Visits in the First Year

At hospital discharge you will be given an appointment to bring your baby to the DPC. This clinic meets on the second floor of Hughes Spalding Hospital. How soon your baby will be seen will depend on your baby's size and health at the time of discharge.

It is very important that you keep this appointment. If, for any reason, you can not keep this appointment call the number on your appointment slip and reschedule. Also, call us if you are worried about your baby before it is time for your first appointment. Your concerns may mean we need to see your baby sooner.

A parent/primary caregiver needs to be present during these visits. If you have twins two adults should come to this appointment if at all possible. Having a parent/primary caregiver present is important for making your child feel comfortable. It is also important for you to tell us what you have seen your child do at home and what your concerns may be.

At the first DPC visit a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), nutritionist and social worker will see you and your child.

Physical Examination: You will be assigned to a special PNP who will see your child at each visit. A neonatologist and pediatrician are available for consultation. Your PNP will try to answer any questions you may have about the medical problems your child experienced in the NICU. She will perform a physical examination, paying particular attention to your child's growth, reflexes, muscle tone and how your child moves. These are areas that can reveal early signs of neurodevelopmental problems.

Nutritional Consultation: If your baby is having problems with growing or tolerating formula our nutritionist is available for consultation. You can request to meet with the nutritionist whenever you feel you need assistance with what to feed your baby.

Social Work Visit: The social worker from our team will meet with each family at least once in the child's first year of life. The purpose of the social worker's interview is to identify sources of support for each family. She can also determine if all appropriate resources are being made available to your child. Families can always contact our social worker by phone.

Summary: Before you leave the clinic you will be told about any areas of concern the staff has noted during this visit. You will also be told what we feel needs to be done for your baby. How often your baby will be seen in clinic will depend on your baby's health and growth. Your baby will be scheduled for routine health checks and baby shots (immunizations).

If you think your baby is sick, call your PNP. If you think the problem is serious and needs immediate attention after hours or on weekends, bring your baby to Hughes Spalding's pediatric emergency clinic. At your earliest convenience, call your PNP and tell her about the visit to the PEC. She may want to see your baby in clinic before your next scheduled appointment.

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