When to Call Your Newborn’s Doctor

Bringing your newborn home is an exciting experience. It can also be nerve-wracking, especially for new mothers. You certainly don’t have to call your newborn baby’s doctor every time something seems out of the ordinary. There are some cases, however, when calling the pediatric consultants at Pediatric Partners of Augusta is your best course of action. If your newborn exhibits any of the following symptoms, call the doctor immediately.

NOTE: If your newborn ever shows symptoms that scare you, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1, especially if he or she is having difficulty breathing or is turning blue.

Your newborn seems sick

Newborns obviously cannot tell us if they feel sick, so we have to rely on the symptoms. If your newborn exhibits any of the following, get him or her checked out:

  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Vomits forcefully after three feedings in a row
  • Sucks weakly
  • Sucking grows weaker over time
  • Doesn’t seem very hungry at feeding time
  • Wants fewer than six feedings in 24 hours

Any of those symptoms could be a sign your newborn is getting sick and should see the pediatrician.

Refuses to Feed

Newborns have been known to go on a breastfeeding strike. This happens gradually. He or she might be in pain or suffering from an ear infection, cold or other illness. Newborns who are teething will experience mouth pain, which could cause them to refuse to feed. You should call his or her doctor to understand what your newborn is trying to tell you.

Diarrhea and vomiting more than usual

Spitting up small amounts of milk is not unusual for newborns. If the flow becomes more forceful and happens more than twice a day, you may need to check with your pediatrician. This could be a sign that your baby has an infection or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Newborns naturally have softer stool than adults. Stool that’s much looser and watery than normal could be a sign of diarrhea. Call your newborn baby’s doctor if he has diarrhea or you find blood or pus in his stool.

Fever

A newborn’s temperature should be taken in the rectum or under the armpit for the first three months. A temperature in the rectum of 100.4 F or higher shows that your baby has a fever. There are many reasons your newborn could have a fever. Write down your newborn’s temperature and call a pediatric consultant right away.

Yellow skin or eyes

Yellow skin and eyes are signs of jaundice. This condition typically develops between the second and fourth day after birth. If you gently press on your baby’s forehead and if the skin appears yellow, it could be a sign that he or she has jaundice. Newborns should be checked for jaundice before they leave the hospital; however, jaundice can occur in babies who are breastfed anytime during the first week. When you take your newborn to the pediatrician for his first appointment, the doctor will check again for jaundice. If you notice jaundice at any other time, though, get your newborn checked out.

Newborns need lots of love and care. We know you want the beginning of your child’s life to be healthy and safe. Contact the pediatric consultants at Pediatric Partners and we will answer any questions or concerns you have and do our best to make sure your newborn is healthy and happy.

Pediatric Partners now has three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is located at 411 Town Park Blvd., the downtown Augusta office is located at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600, and the new Grovetown office is located at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, please feel free to call the office at 706-854-2500, visit pedpartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.

 

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