Sunday, August 28, 2011

Preparing for a doctors visit

For new mothers, visiting a pediatrician can be overwhelming. You are not sure what to bring, what to ask or what to expect. After experiencing my first visit to the doctor for my twin girls Mya and Milani, I decided to compile a list of do's in preparing for a trip to the pediatrician.

Assuming that you have already have picked a pediatrician that is familiar or specializes in premature babies, you want to get the following ready the day before the visit:
  • Discharge papers from the hospital: Before your preemie was released, the hospital provided you with a copy of the babies discharge papers, which had information about your baby's stay, any medical procedures that were needed, their weight at birth, head circumference, blood type and summary of their progress. 
  • Hearing Screen Test Results: The doctor will also provide you with a copy of the hearing screen test, which the results will say pass. The hospital will not release your baby if they did not.
  • Insurance card: Bring the baby's insurance card so that the doctor's office can make a copy. Make sure you are aware of the copay and be aware of the office payment policy. You can call to ask whether they take credit cards, personal checks, money orders and cash. 
  • Immunization Record: The hospital, with your consent, would have given the first immunization to your child at the hospital, which is Hepatitis B. The date and the type of immunization is recorded in a booklet that the hospital staff gave to you. 
  • Diaper Bag: The diaper bag replaces your purse. Anything and everything that you need such as your wallet, keys and cell phone should be placed in one of the pockets of the bag. Other than that, extra diapers, extra onesies, socks, hats, swaddling blankets, changing pad, pacifier and bottles of formula are necessities. 
  • Car Seat: All car seats come with a base that is placed in the car and makes it easy to pull and place the car seat. It is a great idea, if it is not already in the car, to attach the base in the back seat before the doctors visit. Make sure you have a blanket to cover the car seat while your baby is in it so that he or she is not exposed to any dust or germs.
When scheduling your visit, make sure to get an appointment after 9 am but earlier than 1 pm. It takes time to get the baby ready as well as yourself ready. From experience, it is not realistic to make an appointment for 7:45 am and get there on time. Allow yourself time for traveling. If this is your first time going to the doctor, make sure you wrote down, placed it in your GPS and understand the directions. If you are like me, you are going to need at least an extra 30 minutes to get lost.

Make sure you dress your baby appropriately. The doctors visit is not the time to dress your bundle in a cute four piece outfit. Keep in mind that the doctor will examine your baby from head to toe and you want to pick an outfit that is easy to put on and easy to take off. Remember, your baby is probably not going to like being exposed in a cold environment. A onesie, socks, a hat and two blankets to wrap the baby is more than enough.

Happy Visit!

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