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What should you ask your pediatrician?

Published On: Apr 24 2013 12:16:41 PM CDT
Pediatrician

Lyn Lomasi, Contributing writer

If you are a first-time mother with a newborn baby, you probably have questions about your child's health and development. Here are some things you may want to ask your child's doctor.

1. Is my newborn's growth on target? During checkups, your newborn baby's growth will be tracked. The pediatrician may ask questions about feeding habits, as well as about the height and weight of close family members.

If the numbers the pediatrician gives you don't make sense, don't be afraid to ask what they mean.

Your baby may rank in the 85th percentile or the fifth. Either can be normal, depending on various factors. According to MayoClinic.com, as long as a baby shows signs of growing at a steady rate, there is probably no reason to worry.

The percentile lets you know how your baby ranks against others. Being in the 85th percentile for height, for instance, means that the baby longer than 85 percent of others.

2. How do I know if my baby is developing normally? The doctor will likely ask questions about your baby's milestones. Some of those milestones might be things like the ability to follow objects with their eyes, recognition of mom's voice and face, and smiling.

Parents should ask their pediatricians which milestones their baby should be achieving. While not all babies develop skills in exactly the same manner or order, asking the pediatrician questions about this can help determine if your baby is developing normally.

3. Why is this happening? If there is anything about your newborn that concerns you, ask the pediatrician about it. This could be anything from the way the umbilical cord is healing to developmental concerns or newborn acne.

Most of these things may end up being nothing to worry about, but it's always better to ask, just in case there is reason for concern.

Asking the pediatrician questions and bringing up your concerns can help you become more knowledgeable about caring for your newborn.

4. Am I giving my newborn the proper nutrition? Discuss your choice of nourishment with the pediatrician. Whether your newborn is being breastfed or bottle-fed, ask about feeding habits.

Some moms may wonder if their newborn is getting enough to eat. Others may wonder if the formula they have chosen is the most nutritious for their baby.

Breastfeeding moms may wonder if what they are eating will provide baby with the appropriate nutrients.

5. How often will my child need immunizations? Immunizations are another important topic to discuss with the pediatrician. Ask which immunizations will be needed and when.

This will help them plan in advance and keep a child's immunizations up to date.

Also find out from the doctor what each immunization guards against and why they are needed. Staying informed about this kind of information can aid in keeping your baby healthy.

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