You are expecting your first child: all you need to know about the pediatrician’s role

Here it is: you are expecting your first child and asking yourself a lot of questions… What is exactly the role of a paediatrician? Why is it important to have one? When to look for one? Dr. Alleesaib, paediatrician at the Clinique Bon Pasteur, is answering all your questions.

What is the role of the paediatrician?

The paediatrician is a specialist in children’s health, from birth to adolescence. Their work starts at the maternity ward. By liaising between the gynaecologist and the midwives, the paediatrician prepares to receive the unborn child in the best way, and can intervene in emergency whenever required, for example if the baby needs to be resuscitated.

How does the first medical examination take place?

The pediatrician’s first step is to make sure that the baby is breathing well and that the vital parameters are optimal. That first breath is essential, since it gets the machine started. The paediatrician also assesses the child’s health and vitality through a test called the Apgar Score. This test makes it possible, through various criteria, to predict how the child will grow and determine how to manage his health. The paediatrician will examine the child from head to toe, measure the circumference of his head, his height, his weight, and look for any abnormality. A blood test is then carried out to check for signs of hypoglycemia, blood sugar being the food which the brain needs the most. It is also the paediatrician who authorises, after examination, the discharge from the clinic.

Is it necessary to see the paediatrician after the discharge?

It is absolutely essential! The family meets with us again during the first week after birth: this allows us to re-examine the baby, check his weight and reassure the parents by answering all their questions. They are provided with an ‘emergency pack’, as we explain them what to expect in the coming months and how to respond, whether in addressing breastfeeding issues or possible diseases in babies. We then see the child at the age of 3 months, 6 months and 1 year, to make sure he is growing optimally and filling all the stages of child development, such as holding his head, smiling, tracking movement, sitting, walking, etc. The paediatrician can also administer the vaccines.

When and how to find a paediatrician?

It all depends on the parents. Some prefer to meet with their paediatrician when the mother is still in an early stage of pregnancy, while others prefer to wait. Sometimes it is through the family doctor or the gynaecologist that parents are put into contact with a paediatrician. Sometimes the future parents have full trust in their clinic and choose directly a paediatrician on their health providers’ list.

Is the role of the paediatrician limited to a physical diagnosis?

Of course not! Their work also encompasses the psychological sphere. During routine visits, the paediatrician also examines the child’s psychological development by asking parents specific questions. This allows him to detect possible disorders such as autism, hyperactivity or other syndromes. We then try to help and support the child the best we can, by referring him to specialists.

For more information or appointment with Dr. Alleesaib, contact us on 401 95 00.



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