Many of our clients wonder whether they will need to see a pediatrician after they have a home birth. Of course, this answer may be different depending on which midwifery practice you are working with, but in our practice, it is our policy that our babies are seen by a pediatrician in the first week of life.
This may seem like a lot when we are also seeing your baby five times in the first six weeks, but we always want to make it clear that, while we see a lot of babies and are good at discerning what is normal for a newborn and what is not, this fact is simple: we are not pediatricians, who specialize in baby and child health care, and see many, many more babies than we do. A pediatrician is great coverage to lend a practiced ear to listening to your baby’s heart and evaluate for normal development. It’s also fantastic to already have a care provider in place if we run into any concerns in our exams that we need to refer for, such as elevated bilirubin. And getting started early ensures that you have a chance to build a good relationship with your baby’s doctor that will continue long after our care ends at six weeks postpartum.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, our postpartum and newborn visits occur on or around 1 day, 3 days, 10 days, 3 weeks and 6 weeks. We encourage people to see their pediatrician at around the one week mark so that it falls between our visits, and to get an extra weight check on baby.
If you are our client, we would be happy to talk with you more about our policy to collaborate with pediatricians in our area at one your future visits, and help you to find a pediatrician that you’ll love.