Are You Expecting?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! What an exciting time for you and your family. Amongst the numerous preparations you are anticipating, we know choosing a pediatrician can be a difficult decision for many expecting parents to make. Sometimes, friend and coworker recommendations can assist you. Most times, expecting parents feel best when they have met with potential pediatricians, visited the office, and had a chance to ask questions ranging from medical management to philosophies on various issues. We are always happy to facilitate visits for expecting parents to meet our doctors and tour the office. Simply call the office at (818) 789-7181 and our staff can arrange a prenatal visit with one of our doctors.

As your pediatrician:

Our doctors have privileges at Providence Tarzana Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. If you are delivering at one of these hospitals, please notify the nurses as to whom your chosen pediatrician is and they will be contacted and advised of your delivery. This will ensure that you and your newborn get a personal visit from one of our pediatricians. Depending on the type of delivery, you will likely be in the hospital for 2-4 days. We recommend following up with your pediatrician 2-3 days after you've been discharged for your first appointment.

If you are delivering at a hospital at which we do not have privileges, you may either choose to use the staff pediatrician or solicit recommendations of a pediatrician with privileges at that hospital to assist you. If you delivered at a hospital at which your selected pediatrician did not attend to your newborn, please call and notify us as to when the baby is to be discharged in order to arrange for follow up visits.

Your baby is covered under your insurance, usually for 30 days. During that time you will need to notify your insurance carrier of the birth and they will update your plan.

At the delivery:

As your baby lies with you following a routine delivery, his/her umbilical cord still will be attached to the placenta. The cord may continue to pulsate for several minutes, supplying the baby with oxygen while he/she establishes her own breathing. Once the pulsing stops, the cord will be clamped and cut. (Because there are no nerves in the cord, the baby feels no pain during this procedure.) The clamp will remain in place for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, or until the cord is dry and no longer bleeds. The stump that remains after the clamp is removed will fall off sometime between one and three weeks after birth.

Once you've had a few moments to get acquainted with your baby, he/she will be dried to keep him/her from getting too cold and be examined briefly. S/he will be given Apgar scores, which measure overall responsiveness. Then your little one will be wrapped in a blanket and given back to you.
Depending on the hospital's routine, your baby also may be weighed and measured, and receive medication before leaving the delivery room. S/he will receive a dose of vitamin K as well, since all newborns have slightly low levels of this vitamin (which is needed for normal blood clotting). In addition, your baby will be given antibiotic or antiseptic eye drops or ointment (erythromycin ointment is commonly used), either immediately after delivery or later in the nursery, to prevent an eye infection because bacteria in the birth canal can infect a baby's eyes.

Some hospitals will offer the Hepatitis B vaccine for your baby. If mom has no history of hepatitis B infection (negative prenatal blood testing), your baby can wait to have the vaccine given in our offices at 2-3 weeks of life.

Also, with the recent outbreak of pertussis in California, parents may be offered the TDap vaccine (tetanus and pertussis) in order to protect the baby. We encourage parents and all caretakers to be vaccinated with the TDap. We offer the TDap vaccine to parents/caretakers in our offices if they have not yet been vaccinated.

Again, congratulations as you embark upon this wonderful adventure and we look forward to meeting with you!