As soon as your little one is six weeks old, it’s time to get them ready for their very first check-up. But with COVID-19 infections at its peak, you may be terrified at the thought of taking your baby out in public spaces, and instead may decide to rather skip the check-up.
But, according to Dr Heidi Ackermann, a paediatrician at Mediclinic in George, “it’s really important that your baby has regular check-ups to make sure she’s healthy and growing well.”
What to expect at baby’s six week check-up
At your baby’s first check-up, she’ll be weighed, measured and carefully examined so your doctor or nurse can evaluate all her body organs and functions.
You’ll also be asked about your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns, and all these findings will be used to plot your child on a growth chart that evaluates weight, height and head circumference.
“Regularly measuring weight gain against growth charts and monitoring developmental milestones is vital,” says Dr Ackermann. “Abnormalities in weight gain and failure to reach specific milestones can be an indication of a possible underlying illness or congenital abnormality, which may warrant further investigations or treatment,” she adds.
Many moms take their babies to a paediatrician these days, especially if they’ve given birth in a private hospital. But moms are now also nervous to take their babies to their regular paeds because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s understandable that you don’t want to take your baby to a hospital where the risk of exposure to the virus can be potentially higer.
It’s okay mom, nursing sister Christine Klynhans says there are safe, and affordable alternatives, you can take your baby to for her check-ups (provided there were no complications at your baby’s birth and your baby is generally healthy):
- Visit a family GP in your area or ask him or her to refer you to a clinic or clinic sister.
- Check out if there are any baby wellness clinics in your area, for example, the Mother & Baby Clinic in Bedfordview or Parentwood Baby & Family Wellness Centre in Pretoria, which are both highly recommended.
- Some pharmacies such as Dis-Chem and Clicks have baby clinics where you can make an appointment with a qualified nurse at appointed hours.
- Make an appointment for a private clinic sister to come to your house, which may be ideal for you. Besides weighing and measuring your baby, they can also offer advice on your baby’s sleeping and feeding.
If a problem is picked up during one of your baby’s check-ups at one of the above facilities, you’ll be referred to a paediatrician. So, take a deep breath and don’t stress – your baby’s going to be fine if she doesn’t see her paed right now.
Editor of Living and Loving. She is responsible for developing the brand’s overall content and business strategy.
She has worked on various newspapers and magazines as a journalist and editor over the years. Passionate about health and wellbeing, she has won several respected industry awards for writing and editing. She’s featured on radio and television as a health and parenting expert numerous times and has judged the Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Awards on three occasions.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.