September is Newborn Screening Awareness and Baby Safety Month. Being sure to schedule newborn well-child visits following the baby’s birth is very important, according to Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner, Katy Maker, at Veterans Memorial Hospital Clinics.
“Well-child exams create an environment where the parents can develop a relationship with a primary care provider who will be there for them and their child throughout their child’s growth and development,” states Maker. “It’s important to feel that you can trust the medical advice that you get from your child’s healthcare provider because these days we get bombarded with a lot of information through the Internet and it is hard to filter.”
Well-baby check-ups are encouraged at the following visits: 1 month, 2-month, 4-month, 6-month, 9-month, 12-month, 15-month, 18-month, 2-year, 30-month and at three years.
“Most children develop along a fairly predictable pattern for growth as well as abilities and yet each child has their own specific way to go through these changes. It is important to have well exams at these regular intervals to follow both the growth physical findings, but to also look at behaviors and make sure that they are meeting growth and developmental milestones,” adds Maker. “A good portion of each well-child visit is actually giving parental advice and helping with decisions regarding a variety of things from nutrition to bedtime, discipline, and the child’s self-esteem.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for baby safety and safe sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Place infants on their backs for sleep in their own sleep space with no other people.
- Use a crib, bassinet or portable play yard with a firm, flat mattress and a fitted sheet. Avoid sleeping on a couch or armchair or in a seating device, like a swing or car safety seat (except while riding in the car).
- Keep loose blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, bumpers and other soft items out of the sleep space.
- Breastfeed if possible and avoid smoking.
For more information, contact Katy Maker, Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner, at Veterans Memorial Hospital Clinics. Maker delivers babies at Veterans Memorial Hospital and provides pre and post-partum care, as well as well-baby checks at both the Waukon and Postville Clinics. To make an appointment to see Maker at the Waukon Clinic, call 563-568-5530 or the Postville Clinic at 563-864-7221.