Entering the journey into parenthood is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. It marks a unique and special opportunity to guide another life through all the joys and some of the challenges of growing into adulthood.
There is an old adage that says: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Being able to surround your little one, and your family with the right village of people will go a long way toward getting your son or daughter off to a great start!
Here at The Pediatric Group our physicians and staff have years of experience ensuring that children of all ages receive the highest level of care. We also understand that parenting comes with a lot of questions, and natural concerns. We are here to provide you with the answers you need while providing comfort and guidance along the way.
This includes things like:
- Prenatal visit to meet the pediatrician
- Timing important appointments
- Helping you to recognize your baby’s needs
- Performing well-child checkups
- Monitoring your child’s development
The Value Of A Prenatal Visit
Prenatal care is one of the most important aspects of getting your baby off to the healthiest start possible. It’s also a chance for us to get to know you, your family, your needs, and for you to get to know our physicians as well as our trusted staff.
There are a lot of complex changes in a woman’s brain chemistry that occur throughout pregnancy, delivery, and the early stages of raising a newborn. This can also include situational challenges associated with lack of sleep, and other environmental factors.
It’s estimated that one in eight new mothers experience some degree of postpartum depression. In some cases, it can last days to several weeks. We can help you understand the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, as well as the wide spectrum of resources that can help.
Providing your baby with the nutrients they need encompasses several very important factors. Being prepared in advance of the birth will help manage the transition while also ensuring that your baby receives the nutrition he or she needs.
Breastfeeding is the best option for your baby. A large, and growing body of research has found that the ideal nutrition provided by breastfeeding can help:
- Increase I.Q.
- Protect against infection
- Develop long-term protection from certain diseases
- Reduce the chances of your child developing diabetes
- Reduce the chances of asthma and allergies
- Combat obesity
- Reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Lactation Support And Lactation Counseling
While breastfeeding is a very natural process, it can be challenging at first for new mothers, or mothers who are breastfeeding for the first time. Getting the newborn to latch onto the breast, colostrum production, and concerns about being able to generate a sufficient supply of breast milk are common concerns.
Fortunately, the staff at The Pediatric Group is well-versed and experienced in helping new mothers deal with the early challenges of breastfeeding. We can help prepare you with resources and information, as well as answer any questions you might have.
We typically recommend establishing a consistent breastfeeding pattern during the first two weeks of your newborn’s life. This can be a challenging time, and it’s natural to be discouraged. Yet with continued effort, and perhaps some professional guidance, you should be able to develop an effective breastfeeding technique adapted to your baby’s needs.
If you do have any problems during this stage, The Pediatric Group can refer you to lactation support specialists. We can help answer your questions and concerns or give you any pointers you might need.
We recommend feeding your baby from both breasts at each feeding. If possible, you should try to target 8 to 12 feedings per day for the first two weeks.
Storing Breast Milk And Maintaining Breast Pump Equipment
Once you have established an exclusive breastfeeding pattern (usually by around 3 weeks old) you may want to start giving your baby one to two bottles of expressed breast milk per day. As time goes on you might also start to develop a surplus supply of breast milk. Indeed, many breastfeeding mothers will store additional breast milk pumped during times when the baby is sleeping or not hungry. This can allow Dad to help with feeding the baby, or to be able to supply milk for a babysitter, or daycare provider.
Purchasing your breast pump and other related equipment in advance of the birth will give you the time you need to read all the instructions and have everything ready for the time your little bundle comes home. If you have any questions about breast pumps, breast pumping, breast milk storage, or feeding expressed breast milk from a bottle, please feel free to ask during your prenatal appointment or at any time.
If you prefer to, or circumstances dictate that you,feed your baby formula, we recommend a cow’s milk formula that has been fortified with iron. There are several forms available including powder, a ready to use liquid, and a special liquid concentrate, which will need to be diluted. Our specialists can help you find the one that is right for you.
The powdered formula tends to be the more common option. It can be helpful to purchase some formula in advance of the birth. If your water at home is supplied by a well, you should consider boiling it for ten minutes in advance or purchasing water from a municipally supplied source or using bottled water.
All bottles, nipples and other equipment used for formula feeding should be washed with hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Afterward, let the air dry in a safe, secure spot. It is not necessary to sterilize bottle equipment.
Other Items To Prepare
Most new mothers find it convenient to stock up on some basic supplies before the birth. This includes things like:
- An infant nasal bulb syringe or aspirator device
- A digital rectal thermometer
- Topical antibiotic ointment
- Petroleum jelly
- Burping towels and extra wipes