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Congratulations! Parenthood is one of life's greatest joys. We love to see new families discover the wonders (and challenges) of parenting! Our goal is to help you ensure that your baby grows up healthy and that you have all the support you need to be happy and effective parents. Our providers welcome newborns and are glad to schedule a free get-to-know-you visit. Call Eugene Pediatric Associates at (541) HUG-KIDS (or 541-484-5437) to make an appointment. Some parents already know they want to join our practice. For those who are still undecided, here are some useful facts and answers to common questions.

When do you see your baby for the first time?

Whether your baby is born at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend or McKenzie Willamette Hospital, we will see your baby on his first day of life and each day thereafter, until your baby goes home. One of our Pediatric Nurse Practitioners who is also a certified breastfeeding consultant, may also pay you a visit in the hospital. New babies born in the hospital will often see us at our office within a few days after going home. We will check his weight, discuss feeding, look for signs of jaundice (a common yellowish discoloration of the skin) and answer any questions you may have about your newborn. If your baby is born at a midwifery center or at home, your midwife will usually see your baby two to three days after birth, followed by his first well-baby visit at our office two weeks after delivery. Should any early health issues arise, we will work closely with you and your midwife to ensure the best possible care for your newborn. Please call to schedule your first appointment with us.

What will happen to my baby while we are in the hospital?

Babies receive a vitamin K shot soon after birth to prevent potential bleeding problems, as well as erythromycin eye ointment to avoid eye infection that sometimes occurs during birth. Your baby will be given his first state-screening blood test (the PKU test), which tests for a variety of metabolic diseases. His hearing will be checked and a hepatitis B vaccine will be offered; this immunization can be deferred until later, if you prefer. Lactation consultants and nurses will also be on hand to provide breastfeeding mothers with advice and assistance.

Photos can be taken and posted on the hospital website for your family and friends to see. Birth certificate and newspaper announcements can be filled out with the assistance of hospital staff. And we will visit and examine your baby each day and answer any questions you may have about this new little bundle of joy.

Do you support breastfeeding?

We have many years of experience helping nursing mothers. Ample scientific evidence shows that breast milk benefits babies' health. Both of our Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are IBCLC certified lactation specialists, and we encourage you to schedule a breastfeeding consultation. We also recognize that some mothers cannot or choose not to breastfeed, and we want them to know that we also support their feeding plan, and are happy to discuss formula choices. To learn more, see feeding your newborn.

Do you recommend vaccines?

We believe vaccines save babies' lives and we strongly recommend that you protect your baby against the many vaccine-preventable diseases that are present or reemerging in the United States. Although we hope you will follow the standard vaccine schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Center for Disease Control, we will work with you on an alternate vaccine schedule if you desire a different plan for your child. Find out more about childhood vaccines.

What about antibiotic use?

Antibiotics are important in treating serious bacterial infections, but we try hard not to overuse them in our practice, due to concerns about antibiotic-resistant germs and side effects of medications. Each time we see your baby for an illness, we will discuss with you whether antibiotics are indicated for treatment and ways to make your baby feel more comfortable while he is sick.

What happens if I think my baby is sick?

Call our office 24 hours a day, seven days a week for help when your baby is sick or injured, or when you are concerned and want to talk with us. You also will find a great deal of helpful information on this website. E-mail is an option for non-urgent questions and can be accessed through our secure messaging.

We have same-day appointments available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5:15 p.m. When your child is urgently ill late at night or on a weekend, we will assist you in being seen in an urgent care or emergency room. If your baby must be admitted to the hospital, we (or our on-call partner if it is nighttime) will admit and take care of your child in the hospital. When your baby is at his sickest, we will be there to help.

How do I coordinate my obstetrician/midwife and my pediatrician?

Once you choose a doctor at our practice, simply let your obstetrician or midwife know. When you deliver at a hospital, we will be notified when your baby is born. If you deliver at home, please call our office for your first appointment.

We've decided to adopt a child. What's next?

We are excited for you! Come meet us as soon as you know you are adopting to get to know us and to let us answer any questions you may have about caring for your new child.

Do you help people prepare for adoption?

Adopting a child can seem overwhelming; we're here to help. If you have a child with complex medical problems, we can assist you in reviewing any medical records to answer your questions about the future care of your child. For families traveling to other countries to adopt, we can discuss supplies to take with you, vaccines and a medical evaluation, which is recommended for your new arrival. Go to our adoption section for more helpful information about international adoption.