Waiting for a new family member to arrive is a source of excitement but can also cause some worry. A prenatal pediatric consultation is your first meeting with the paediatrician, before your baby is even born. It is an opportunity to get useful answers to all the questions that concern you about the proper care of the newborn.
Meeting the paediatrician before giving birth and building a relationship of trust in a timely manner, can offer you a sense of security and allow you to enjoy the first days of your baby's life, without stress, with the confidence that you have a valuable ally together with whom you will face any difficulty that may arise.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending prenatal visits to the paediatrician since the 1980s. It is especially useful for parents who are expecting, or planning to adopt, their first child, as well as in multiple or high-risk pregnancies. Ideally, it should take place at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy and involve both parents.
During this meeting there is a thorough discussion about breastfeeding and the steps you should take, from the first hour of your baby's life, in order to be able to exclusively breastfeed. The days you spend in the maternity ward are extremely important for establishing breastfeeding, which is why the right guidance during pregnancy can be especially helpful for first-born babies who want to breastfeed. Some of the most frequently asked questions answered are as follows: Every how many hours do I have to breastfeed? Do I need to wake my baby to feed it? How do I know that my milk production is enough to meet the baby’s needs? When should I use a breast pump?
In the rare case where breastfeeding is contraindicated, or in the case where the mother, having been informed about the multiple benefits of breastfeeding, does not wish to breastfeed, instructions are given for the proper preparation of infant formula milk.
In addition, detailed instructions are provided for the daily care of the newborn and the necessary equipment, in order to avoid mishandling and unnecessary expenses. It is a good opportunity to answer your questions about pacifier use, belly button care, proper bath frequency and proper water temperature, use of air conditioning and protection of your baby from insect bites.
Particular emphasis is placed on creating the right conditions for sleep safety and avoiding sudden death syndrome. In addition, it is important to prepare for the safe transportation of the newborn by car, which should be in place by the time the baby and mother are released from the maternity hospital.
Other common concerns of expecting parents are related to their family and friends. In our first meeting we will have the opportunity to discuss how you can prepare your older children for the arrival of the newborn, if visits from relatives and friends are allowed, whether it is safe for the newborn to have contact with pets and how soon you can take your baby out.
The baby crying can often be a cause of great stress in new parents. It will therefore be very useful for you to become familiar with some comforting techniques and to learn to recognise when crying is just a normal way of communicating and when it is a sign of pain or illness.
Prenatal counselling is very important not only for the parents but also for the paediatrician, who through the taking of the family medical history can determine the presence of a congenital disease and recommend appropriate action. The paediatrician should be informed of any pathological findings detected during the prenatal screening tests of the fetus, so as to plan ahead for any necessary actions to be taken once the baby is born. The paediatrician will also have the opportunity to check the vaccination coverage of the whole family, which is an important preventative measure for protecting the newborn from dangerous infectious diseases.
At the end of the prenatal counselling session you should feel confident that you can contact your paediatrician every time a new concern arises and that all your concerns will be addressed with understanding and respect!
Remember that there are no stupid questions. Prepare your own list of questions and call us to schedule our first meeting!
Dr. Eleni Plessa – Glyfada Pediatric Care
Tel. 6941583838 – 2111828447