Shortly after birth, your baby will be examined by a doctor to make sure everything appears to be normal. When you get home, you may wonder why your pediatrician wants to see the baby in just a few days. After all everything is normal. Right? Not just in a few days, but at one month and two months and four months and six months and on and on. Why not just go to the doctor when there’s a problem? Your life is busy enough already.
There are a lot of reasons for this schedule and your pediatrician will explain them to you. At every visit the doctor will be looking carefully to see that your baby continues to be normal on physical examination and in development.
- Measurements of height (length in infants), weight and the size of the head are taken every time to watch growth. The child’s BMI (body mass index) is determined. This will help your pediatrician and you decide if your baby is gaining the right amount of weight.
- Normal babies begin to smile, coo and gurgle at about two months. They start to look at faces and turn towards sounds. Your pediatrician will be checking on developmental milestones at each visit, making sure that the baby can hold his or her head up at two months and holds it steadily without support at four months. At six months the baby should be able to roll over and start to sit without support, respond to his or her own name and begin to know the difference between family and strangers. Every visit will have its own checklist for your doctor to monitor and discuss with you.
Immunizations are so important, too. So much misinformation is spilled out over the internet and on TV that it is hard for parents to draw reasonable conclusions. When celebrities announce that they are not going to vaccinate their children, parents wonder whether they should refuse as well.
- In 1998 a doctor published a supposed scientific study that linked autism to the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. The study, however, used false data and was dishonest, but parents all around the world became concerned that immunizations might be more harmful than helpful. That study has been proven to be faked, yet the fear of vaccines continues to do harm. The measles epidemic that started at Disneyland last year should not have happened. One dose of MMR protects the child 93% of the time and with two doses that protection is raised to 97%. More than 100 people, infants, children and adults were infected with measles and many had to be hospitalized.
- Vaccines prevent disease and death. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a totally preventable disease. The spores that cause the disease are everywhere. All it takes is a break in the skin that allows enough of the spores into the body. It causes death more than 50% of the time. Polio has been nearly eliminated in the United States, but foreign travelers and immigrants bring it in. Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, some types of pneumonia, influenza – these diseases all can cause severe illness and death. And they all can be prevented. No vaccine works 100% of the time, but the protection that immunizations offer is excellent.
- Many people in our communities are immunocompromised. That means they cannot protect themselves from diseases because their own immune systems don’t work well or because they are taking medications that suppress their immune systems. Cancer patients on chemotherapy are very susceptible to diseases normally prevented by vaccines. Immunizing your children protects your community as well as your family.
At each visit, Dr. Fakih will talk to you about feeding, sleeping patterns, diapers and digestion, colic and constipation, adding new topics with each visit. You will discuss how to add foods, problems with breast feeding, preventing injuries and what to expect in the coming months. Each visit will prepare you for the next stage in your baby’s development. Each visit will also give you a chance to discuss any problems that you’ve noticed, such as constipation, rashes, irritability. Dr. Fakih will be there to help and advise as your child grows and matures.
Dearborn Pediatric & Adolescent Medical Center
2547 Monroe St
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: (313) 791-8300
Fax: (313) 791-8302
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM
By Appointment Only