The Doctors Clinic’s Pediatrician, Shannon Vitone, offers her expertise for new and expecting parents on what to look for during those first few beautiful days and weeks of their newborn’s life.
What is newborn care?
To me, newborn care encompasses three parts: prenatal care, birth and follow-up appointments with your pediatrician.
Why is it important?
It’s all about continuity of care and these appointments are the beginning of that. So many things — nutrition, safe sleep practices, bonding — begin in the first few weeks of life.
In my pediatric practice at The Doctors Clinic – Poulsbo, I meet with expectant families before birth, evaluate their newborn babies during their first check-up in the hospital after birth, and follow-up with them once they leave the hospital. During this time, families are establishing a relationship with me, as their pediatrician, who will care for their baby (ies) throughout childhood.
How does newborn care start?
I like to initiate newborn care by meeting with the expectant mother or the parents. This usually takes place in the third trimester before the delivery of the baby. Birth is an exciting and life-changing event, but not every birth goes according to plan. At this consultation, we will go over the family’s birth plan, what they can expect during their hospital stay and what to look for in the first few sleepless weeks at home.
What happens after birth?
In the early days after birth, parents have many important decisions to make for their child.
The Doctors Clinic Pediatrics team and I are skilled at helping parents understand the risks and benefits of typical newborn services, such as circumcision, vitamin K injections and vaccines (among others) so they may make the best choices for their child. We prepare expectant parents for the various screening tests their baby will undergo in the hospital and how to optimize their success with infant feeding.
During these appointments, I cover the early establishment and continuation of breastfeeding, and help families troubleshoot breastfeeding challenges such as teaching a baby to latch and maintaining milk supply. If families wish to not breastfeed, or breastfeeding is not a viable option, I collaborate with them to determine an appropriate alternative feeding option for their infant.
Post-discharge from the hospital, I follow-up with my families at our clinic to assess newborn weight gain, feedings, jaundice and the parents’ emotional health.
A healthy start to childhood begins with newborn care.
As a pediatrician, I look forward to helping Kitsap County families raise healthy kids.
Schedule an appointment
Dr. Vitone is one of six pediatricians with The Doctors Clinic. She is based at The Doctors Clinic – Poulsbo, and is now accepting patients.
Visit her provider biography at the Doctors clinic to learn more about her or call (360)
Birth Centers – Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
For Parents – 1,000 Days (thousanddays.org)
La Leche League of Washington – A world without barriers to experiencing the love and wisdom found in the breastfeeding relationship (lllwa.org)
AAP updates guidance on newborns whose mothers have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org)
Safe Sleep Recommendations (aap.org)