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Doctor's visits

Choosing a Pediatrician
You should choose pediatrician (baby doctor) for your baby while you're still pregnant, usually during the last 3 months. Ask your friends, family, or your own doctor for recommendations. You can also get free care for your infant at provincial and community clinics, and low-cost paediatric care at state hospitals. When you think you have some good choices, call the doctor, and schedule a visit. This person will play an important part in your child's healthcare so it's very important that you find someone that both you and your child can trust and feel comfortable with. Whoever you choose should be warm, understanding, and open to your thoughts and ideas.

Your General Practitioner (GP) can also help. Ask your GP if they regularly treat children and infants. If you feel comfortable with them, you can take your baby to them for basic check-ups and minor illnesses.

Check-Ups
Your baby needs to see the doctor regularly to grow happy and healthy. Babies have checkups:

  • within 24 hours of birth
  • 2 to 4 days after birth, if a baby goes home less than 48 hours after delivery
  • 2 to 4 weeks
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months

What to Expect at Check-Ups
At each check-up, the doctor checks your child's height, weight, and head circumference. This will be done at each visit to check your child's growth and development. The doctor will also feel the soft spots on the baby's head and check your baby's eyes, ears, lungs, heart, mouth, genitals, hips and belly. Your baby's reflexes, hearing, and vision may be checked depending on the age. Your doctor should also ask about your child's developmental milestones. During the first year, your baby should sit up, roll over, and pull itself to a standing position.

Immunisations
Another important part of well-baby check ups is routine immunisations. Now, it's recommended that children receive these immunisations to prevent life-threatening illnesses:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTP)
  • Polio
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB)
  • Varicella, the chickenpox vaccine
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