Dr. Mona's Mom Blog

What to expect at the hospital for you and your baby

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How long will we be at the hospital?

What tests are done?

Does the Pediatrician come?? Read on to find out!

How long will you be in the hospital for?

  • Vaginal delivery: Two nights
  • C-Section: Three nights
  • Earlier discharges are possible based on hospital and doctor discretion
  • A pediatrician and OB will clear you to go home

Who will see my baby?

In some areas, a pediatrician from your selected practice will come. You would tell the labor and delivery team who your baby’s pediatrician will be, and they will notify their team to come see baby every day.

  • The in-hospital staff in some areas will automatically see babies.
  • Either way, you will have a trained professional examining your baby every day.
  • The doctor will review your baby’s delivery history, your pregnancy history, examine the baby, and order any labs if needed.

Who is part of my care team?

A pediatrician (or Family-medicine doctor) for baby, your OB, a mother-baby nurse, and lactation consultant if you are breastfeeding.

When do I make an appointment with a pediatrician?

Typically you can call on your discharge day to make an appointment for the day they need you to follow up.

Expect the following tests in the hospital.

You can expect the following tests in the hospital. They are all screening tests to ensure baby is healthy.

  • A newborn screen is also known as a PKU test. This tests for a variety of rare, metabolic, and genetic conditions. In terms of requirements and tests, every U.S. state is different!
  • A hearing evaluation – if a baby fails, one or both ears will need to be retested. Your pediatrician can help coordinate this as an outpatient. Make sure this follow-up test is completed!
  • Jaundice or bilirubin level – routine jaundice (bilirubin level) is obtained after 24 hours of life. In some babies who appear jaundiced or have risk factors like being Coombs +, the level will be checked prior to the 24-hour mark. Jaundice is common in babies, and screening is vital to ensure baby does not need intervention (phototherapy) and is safe to go home!
  • Critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) screening – prior to discharge, the nurse will check oxygen levels on baby’s hands and feet using a pulse oximeter.
    • This device has a sensor that attaches to the baby’s hand and foot and shines a light that measures the oxygen level in the blood.
    • A large discrepancy between these numbers can indicate a need for a cardiac (heart) evaluation.
    • This test is important to pick up congenital heart defects missed on ultrasound.

What else? Yes, believe it or not, there is more! Download my FREE guide on what to expect at the hospital!

P.S. – You might need to hear this podcast episode – “Finding Joy as a Parent During the Pandemic.” Give it a listen.

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All information presented on this blog, my Instagram, and my podcast is for educational purposes and should not be taken as personal medical advice. These platforms are to educate and should not replace the medical judgment of a licensed healthcare provider who is evaluating a patient.

It is the responsibility of the guardian to seek appropriate medical attention when they are concerned about their child.

All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer or hospitals I may be affiliated with.