At one of the visits when your baby is around a week old your midwife will again check your baby’s health and development. Your midwife will also check that you are healthy and well.
What the midwife will do
At your baby’s first-week check, the midwife will:
- ask about breastfeeding and offer help if you need it
- check that your baby is healthy and well, and measure their length, weight and head size
- check that your baby can see and hear well
- check your baby’s development
- ask about where your baby sleeps
- take a small amount of blood from your baby’s heel (the heel prick test; part of newborn screening) – if you agree to the test and it has not already been done
- talk about how you are and how you are getting on – including your experience of the birth, being a new mum, your mood, your whānau, smoking, drinking and drugs, money worries, family violence and so on.
You and the midwife will also work out the schedule of visits for the next 4–6 weeks, according to your needs and their way of working. If you need more visits in this time than you have scheduled, contact your midwife for an extra visit.
Things to talk about at the visit
The check is a good time to talk with the midwife about your baby and being a parent. You could talk about:
- your baby’s feeding; breastfeeding
- safe sleeping for your baby
- what your baby’s behaviour means (eg, crying)
- knowing when your baby is sick and what to do about it
- being smokefree
- car seats and car safety
- how to enrol your baby with a Well Child Tamariki Ora provider, a general practice (doctor and practice nurse) and the Community Oral Health Service
- keeping yourself healthy and well and where to ask for help when you need it
- whānau relationships.