Checking your baby at birth and soon after

The birth check happens within a couple of hours of your baby being born. Your midwife (or specialist doctor) will check that your new baby is healthy and well.

What happens at the check?

At your baby’s birth and during the first couple of days the midwife (or specialist doctor) will:

  • check that your baby is healthy and well
  • measure your baby’s weight and head size
  • check your baby body: heart, lungs, pulses, nerve responses, sex, hips, eyes and ears
  • give your baby Vitamin K to prevent bleeding problems, if you agree to this being given
  • check your baby’s development
  • help you to start breastfeeding your baby
  • support you and your whānau looking after your new baby
  • explain the screening tests for rare problems in your baby and, after your baby is 48 hours old (2 days old), take a spot of blood from baby’s heel to send for testing

The Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book

Your midwife will give you a free Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book, which  contains a lot of information about your baby from birth until they are 5 years old. It reminds you about all the things you can do to keep your baby safe. There is also space in the book for you to write down all the special and important things that happen to your baby from birth until they are 5 years old.

When your child sees a doctor, nurse or other health professional, they will need to record your child’s health and development information. Please take this book with you every time you take your child to a health appointment or hospital visit.

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