Your healthcare professional checks:Checks for your baby
- Heart – using a stethoscope, he/she will look out for any heart murmurs. These are quite common (up to 80% of children have a heart murmur at one point or another) and in most cases harmless, so even if a heart problem that requires treatment is picked up, it might not necessarily be anything to worry about. Further tests by a specialist will be conducted if anything out of the ordinary shows up.
- Hearing - this is usually already checked by 4-5 weeks, but if it hasn’t happened yet, it will at the 6 week review. There are a series of easy tests that doctors can carry out, such as clapping their hands behind baby’s head to see if he/she startles.
- Lungs, spine, and genitals – if your baby is a boy, then your doctor will check the opening on his penis as well as that both his testicles have descended into the scrotum. If your baby is a girl, she will be checked to make sure all is developing as it should in her vaginal area
- Hips – your baby’s legs will be gently manipulated to check for clicky hips. This terms describes a variety of hip problems, including developmental dysplasia (DDH) or congenital dislocation of the hips (CDH). If anything is picked up, further investigation using ultrasounds may be needed, with about one of two in 1,000 babies will require some form of treatment.
- Vision and general responses – your health visitor will check if baby can focus on an object and follow it, will also make sure your baby is smiling, cooing, gurgling and crying as expected for this age.
- Weighing and measuring – if your health visitor will want to weigh the baby, then you will need to remove all his/her clothing including the nappy. Your baby’s head circumference might also be measured.
- Feeding - Your health visitor will enquire about your baby’s feeding routine, if breastfeeding she will most likely carry out a breastfeeding assessment to ensure your baby is showing signs of an effective breastfeed. This includes frequent wet and dirty nappys, being alert, good colour, good muscle tone and good weight gain. If you have any feeding concerns now is the time to ask questions.
- You're having trouble holding urine or wind, or if you’re soiling yourself
- Sex is painful
- You're feeling very tired (even more so than you would expect), low or depressed
- If you’re worried about anything at all