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What is a pediatrician? A pediatrician is the doctor who studies and treats medical problems of infants, children, and adolescents.

When to visit

When would you see a pediatrician? Most pediatricians typically see newborns, especially with first-time parents,  at a few days of life, at 2 weeks, at 1 month -- depending on how parents and baby are doing -- and at 2, 4 and 6 months of age.

What to expect

What would you expect during a visit with a pediatrician? During your first visit with a pediatrician you will complete registration of your baby with the doctor’s office. Your newborn will be weighed and measured. Your pediatrician will discuss feeding, diaper output, cord care, circumcision care and general baby health. The baby will have a physical exam, and based on those findings your pediatrician may recommend checking a baby’s food for elevated bilirubin – a yellow color caused by blood cell breakdown pigments – if your baby is really jaundiced. Nursing and feeding will be reviewed, weight will be discussed and if there are problems with nursing, lactation help will be mobilized for you. They will also discuss vaccines.

How often to visit

How often should you visit a pediatrician? Pediatricians’ visits often follow the vaccine schedule. So, your pediatrician sees you every day that you're in the hospital, and every day the baby’s in the hospital. Some pediatricians will see you between four days to a week, after you leave the hospital, to check the color of the baby’s skin, to rule out jaundice, just to make sure the baby is eating well, and to touch base to make sure everything is going well. Then the first routine visit is usually around two weeks of age. The two week visit is really important because, especially in breastfed children, most children lose up to 10 percent of their weight in the first week of life. At two weeks children usually regain their birth weight, so it’s an important milestone. After that, many pediatricians follow the vaccine schedule and those are at two-, four-, six-months, nine-months, a year, 15-months, 18-months, two years, and then yearly thereafter. Some pediatricians will see you more frequently in the first year of life, like monthly, but it really varies depending on each individual situation.

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