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Life after birth : Your baby's first general examination


Your baby will have the first general examination by a doctor(paediatrician) at least once during the first six days after birth. If your baby has been born in the hospital, the doctor will examine the baby once before you are discharged from the hospital.

What is checked?

The following checks are carried out on your newborn baby:

  • head circumference
  • fontanelles (The soft spot on the head)
  • completeness of mouth
  • heartbeat
  • lungs
  • size of abdominal organs
  • genitals (in male babies, the genitals will be checked to see if both the testicles have descended)
  • alignment of feet
  • hip dislocation
  • spine vertebrae

Guthrie Test

This test is carried out on your newborn by the midwife at your home about 6-7 days after birth. It tests for Phenylketonuria (a rare disease causing mental handicap) and thyroid deficiency. A blood sample for the test is taken by pricking your baby's heel.

Food for thought...

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