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Newborn Care

Newborn Assessments and Screenings

Moments after you give birth – and over the course of the next several hours – there are a number of standard assessments and screenings that are performed on your newborn at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, including:

  • A physical exam, which includes obtaining weight, length, head size, chest circumference, temperature and performing a hearing test
  • Vitamin K injection to help blood-clotting mechanisms remain normal
  • Hepatitis B vaccination
  • Administering an antibiotic ointment in your baby’s eyes to prevent bacterial infections
  • Performing a heel stick for a blood test of more than 20 inherited conditions such as sickle cell disease, thyroid conditions and phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Performing an Apgar test at one minute and five minutes after birth, evaluating your baby’s heart rate, breathing, activity, muscle tone, reflexes and skin color

Mother-Baby Care and Bonding

Bonding with your newborn is one of the key initial interactions you’ll experience as a new mom. It’s an intensive process that provides your baby with a strong sense of love and security, and ultimately fosters your baby’s social and cognitive development.

We support the bonding process through our mother-baby care approach, beginning shortly after birth with skin-to-skin contact, where your baby (clothed in a diaper and maybe a cap) is placed on your bare chest with a blanket draped over both of you for one to two hours. In addition to boosting the mother-baby bond, skin-to-skin contact offers numerous benefits for your newborn, including:

  • Improvement in heart and lung function
  • Stabilization of body temperature
  • Initiation of breastfeeding
  • Reduced crying
  • Pain relief from screenings like the heel prick

The newborn stage is filled with many surprises, so it’s okay to ask these questions. That’s why we’ve outlined a number of things to help you prepare and better adjust to life at home with your baby, including:

Find a doctor or make an appointment: 800.392.0936
General Information: 573.468.4186 | 866.468.4186
BJC HealthCare