First of all, congratulations on your new arrival.
We’re sure you can’t wait to get your little one home but first we want to give some information on some of the things you may experience and when you need to get medical help.
Examination of the newborn
Prior to you being discharged, a Midwife / Paediatrician / Advanced Nurse Practitioner will visit
you and ask to perform an examination of your baby – this includes listening to the heart and lungs and checking the hips and eyes and blood oxygen level. The head to toe examination is intended to check for some of the more obvious problems which can arise within six to 48 hours of delivery.
If a member of staff has any concerns you may be asked to wait for the Registrar or Consultant to
review your baby
Can every condition be diagnosed by this examination?
No, there are some conditions that cannot be detected when the baby is so young.
Therefore, the examination cannot guarantee that your baby will not become ill or unwell in the future. This is why your GP, Health Visitor and Midwife will continue the support and screening in the community.
In order to perform this examination as thoroughly as possible, you may be asked the following questions:
During your pregnancy did you have any medical conditions, i.e. diabetes or epilepsy, or have you taken any medication?
Did you have any problems during your pregnancy, for example shown on your
scan report, blood tests, or was your baby lying in a different position, i.e.
Are there any relatives who have experienced any of the following problems at
birth or in early childhood?
- Thyroid problems
- Heart problems
- Issues with their hips / limbs
- Breathing problems
- Kidney / urinary problems
- Deafness or blindness
- Jaundice or anaemia
- Metabolic problems
- Any other health problems which you may want to discuss
Please note that this is also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you may
have regarding your baby.
Some common findings with newborns
- Yellow / white spots on the face or nose, called millia. They will fade during the first two weeks
- Pearly white spots in the mouth – 70% of newborns have Epstein’s Pearls’ which disappear within a couple of weeks
- Stork marks – on the back of the neck or eyelids, may appear red and usually spontaneously resolve after 12 months
- Enlargement of the baby’s breasts – a harmless effect of your hormones, which may also cause swelling of the genitalia. This swelling will disappear within a few days of life
- White tipped spots with red blotchy surround – this is called neonatal urticarium, or erythema toxicum. 30% of term babies will have this rash, thought to be due to the babies developing some immunity to the external environment
- Pink urine – a pink staining is the result of your baby excreting extra urinary deposits from birth and disappears within a few days
- Vaginal loss – you may see a milky white discharge, possibly streaked with blood (pseudo-menstruation) again due to your hormones and is quite common within baby’s first days
As a parent you become aware of your baby’s behaviour, activity and appearance.
Should you feel something is not right your GP, Health Visitor and / or Midwife should be available to discuss your concerns.
Keep the temperature of the room your baby sleeps in at an even temperature of about 65°F (18°C) both day and night. Do not swaddle your baby in blankets as this may overheat them.
Avoid smoking and taking your baby into smoky atmospheres – please read the leaflet about reducing the risk of cot death.
Sleeping position – put your baby to sleep on its back from the beginning, with feet to foot of the cot. Do not sleep with the baby in your bed or lying together on a sofa (especially if you have been smoking, drinking or using drugs).
When should I contact my GP or Midwife?
- If breast feeding – if time spent on the breast is reduced or baby is going for long periods without feeding
- If feeding is reduced – if baby has taken less of the usual amounts of feed, contact your midwife
- If baby has vomited – at least half the feed after at least three of the last feeds and if any of the vomits are green in colour
- Dry nappies – if there is much less urine passed than usual
- Blood in baby’s poo – if this occurs please contact your GP immediately
- Baby’s cry – if your baby’s cry has changed (high pitched or weak) and you cannot settle them by usual methods; seek advice from your GP or Midwife
- Responsive – if your baby is less responsive, less active or more floppy than usual – contact your GP immediately
- Colour – if your baby has a colour change during a feed, looks very pale all over, grunts with each breath, has obvious dips in the upper tummy or between the ribs as they breathe – contact your GP immediately
- Fever – contact your GP if baby has a high temperature
Even if you have consulted a Doctor, Midwife or Health Visitor, if your baby is not improving or is getting worse, either tell your GP again even on the same day, contact the NHS 111 service if non-life-threatening or visit you’re A&E department if you consider it to be an emergency.
Scunthorpe General Hospital:
Diana Princess of Wales Hospital:
Date of Issue: February 2023
Review Period: February 2026