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Bringing home a newborn can be one of the most exciting times in a parent's life, but the event can also be both stressful and complicated. Newborns demand endless attention, and it is entirely up to the parents to make sure the child is fed, changed, immunized, and looked after.
The first step in dealing with newborn health is choosing the right doctor. You and your baby will probably visit the doctor more often during the first year than at any other time in the child's life.
What Happens Right After Birth
Depending on your desires and the rules of the hospital or birth center where your baby is delivered, the first exam will either take place in the nursery or at your side:
-- Weight, length, and head circumference will be measured
-- Temperature will be taken, and your baby's breathing and heart rate will be measured
-- The doctor or nurse will monitor skin color and your newborn's activity
-- Special medication will be given to ward off infection
-- A shot of vitamin K will be given to prevent the possibility of bleeding.
Your baby will be given a first bath, and the umbilical cord stump will be cleaned. Most hospitals and birthing centers provide personal instructions (and sometimes videos) to new parents that cover feeding, bathing, and other important aspects of newborn care.