Are You Expecting a Baby?
Bringing a newborn into your home can spark much joy, with feelings both sweet and overwhelming. Whether you’re a first-time parent or have other children, we’ll give you all the support you need. You’ll get answers to your questions, no matter how big or small, and soon be a pro at changing baby’s diapers, burping, and swaddling. With Metro, you’ll get the most up-to-date information on breastfeeding, formula feeding, and sleep training with access to the best pediatricians in the Portland area. Learn more about how we care for newborns.
When you register at the hospital where you’re planning to deliver, let them know you’ve chosen Metro Pediatrics for your newborn. One of our pediatricians will see you and your baby within 24 hours of delivery if you’re at Legacy Good Samaritan, Legacy Mount Hood, Providence Portland, Providence St. Vincent, or Randall Children’s Hospital.
3 Ways to Contact Us Before the Baby is Born
Call Us After Your Baby is Born
Call us to schedule your first newborn doctor visit within two to four days after discharge from the hospital, or within one week after birth at another location. If you’re adopting, call for their first visit as soon as baby is born. This initial visit is very important to ensure your baby is on track for development. Here’s the schedule for newborn well-baby visits.
Get Started as a New Patient
About Postpartum Depression
While it’s typical for new parents to experience some temporary changes in mood and moments of worry, some may develop more severe symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/A). PPD/A involves intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that can appear within days or even months after giving birth. These feelings can interfere significantly with a parent’s ability to function and care for themselves and their newborn.
Postpartum depression and anxiety are common and serious health conditions that affect about 1 in 4 parents. People with PPD/A need help in order to feel better. Please contact your obstetrician or primary care provider for help. Let your baby’s pediatrician know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you are having thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby. Remember, a parent’s feelings affect their baby, too! A caregiver’s health is a crucial part of a baby’s health and development.
Symptoms are different for everyone.
- Frequent crying
- Feeling like a bad parent
- Changes in appetite or sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
Learn more about the symptoms associated with postpartum depression and anxiety and find helpful resources.
Recommended Newborn Parenting Books
- Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, by American Academy of Pediatrics
- Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, by Ellyn Satter
- Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide, by Frances Largeman-Roth, RD
- Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, by American Academy of Pediatrics
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, MD
- Juggling Twins: How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Well-Adjusted Twins, by Meghan Regan-Loomis
- Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!, by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada
- Super Baby Food, by Ruth Yaron
- The Milk Memos: How Real Moms Learned to Mix Business with Babies–and How You Can, Too, by Cate Colburn-Smith and Andrea Serrette
- The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones, by American Academy of Pediatrics
- Top 100 Baby Purées, by Annabel Karmel
- When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, by Barbara Luke, Tamara Eberlein, and Roger Newman
- Your Baby’s First Year, by American Academy of Pediatrics
Text 4 Baby
Get support throughout your pregnancy and baby’s first year with FREE text messages on topics like prenatal care, baby health, parenting, and more!
How to Sign Up
- Text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.
- When prompted, enter your due date and zip code.
– OR –
- Sign up online.
You can cancel the service at any time by texting STOP or HELP for technical assistance. Text UPDATE to change your due date or baby’s birthday.
With a new baby in the house, you can expect having lots of questions. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions we hear from parents.
What medications and tests should my baby have received in the hospital?
- Vitamin K shot. This helps prevent bleeding after birth.
- Erythromycin eye ointment. This prevents damaging infections in your newborn’s eyes.
- Hepatitis B vaccine. This is the first of 3 hepatitis B vaccines your baby should receive. It starts the process of creating your baby’s immunity to hepatitis B, a serious liver disease that can lead to cancer. Some mothers are unaware that they have hepatitis B, and it can be passed from mom to baby during labor and delivery. The vaccine decreases the chance that your baby will get hepatitis B, even if exposed during the birthing process.
- Newborn screen (formerly called the PKU test). This blood test checks your baby for additional treatable diseases. It will be repeated at your baby’s 2-week visit to make sure nothing has been missed.
Talk to your provider if you have further questions, if your baby didn’t receive these things, or you’re unsure if your baby received all of these treatments, vaccines, or screenings.
How do I feed my baby?
How often should I feed my baby?
Babies need to eat every 2-3 hours in the first few weeks of life. Often, babies will wake up to eat on their own, but you should wake them if it has been more than 4 hours since they last ate. Nursing should take about 10-15 minutes per breast and bottle-fed babies eat between ½-1 ounce at first, increasing to 2-3 ounces by about 2 weeks. They will continue to eat more as they get older.
What should I feed my baby?
- Breastfeeding. Breast milk helps protect your baby against illnesses in the first few months of life, decreases development of chronic diseases like asthma, and is the perfect nutrition for your baby. Take advantage of the lactation services at your birthing hospital for help, even if you have already left the hospital. If you have any concerns with breastfeeding and latching, Metro also provides support through our lactation consultants.
- Formula. If you are going to use formula, follow the mixing instructions on the package exactly or use a premixed formula. Never dilute or concentrate the formula without instructions from your doctor.
- Vitamins. For all babies, whether breast or bottle fed, 400 IU of vitamin D per day is recommended. This is available over the counter.
How do I protect my baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS or "crib death")?
- Back to sleep. Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the most important thing you can do to decrease the risk of SIDS.
- A safe sleep environment. The safest place for babies is in their own space, not in your bed. Their sleeping environment should be a firm surface clear of fluffy toys, blankets, pillows, and other materials that can cover their face. A car seat is not a safe place for a baby to sleep.
- Sleeping with a pacifier. It is best to start the pacifier after breastfeeding is going well, and using pacifiers may reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
- A fan in the room. The fan should not point directly at your baby’s face; it should circulate the air.
- Not smoking. Babies whose parents smoke have a higher chance of dying from SIDS. The best way to decrease this risk is to stop smoking. If you cannot stop, you should change your clothes and wash your hands every time you touch your baby after smoking and never smoke in the house or car. Require the same from everyone else around the baby.
- Room Sharing. Have your newborn sleep in your room—room sharing (NOT bedsharing) has been shown to protect babies from SIDS. See the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment.
What about taking my baby's temperature?
- You do not need to take your baby’s temperature on a regular basis. You should take your baby’s temperature if he or she feels especially hot or cold, is extremely fussy, is much more sleepy than usual, or is not eating regularly.
- You should call your clinic or take your baby to the doctor if the baby’s temperature is higher than 100.4°F (38°C) or lower than 96.0°F (36°C). Babies under 2 months are at higher risk for serious infections, and fevers can often be the only sign.
- Rectal temperatures are the most accurate. Use a regular digital thermometer with a little Vaseline on the end, and gently insert it in the anus about ½ inch.
A few other safety tips...
- Your baby should always ride in a car seat, even on the bus or in a cab. The car seat should face backwards and be in the middle of the back seat, never the front seat. The straps should be tight enough that you should only be able to get 2 fingers underneath. Blankets go outside the straps, not under.
- If anyone wants to touch your baby, ask them to wash their hands first. Babies catch illnesses very easily so everyone needs to be careful to protect them. Babies shouldn’t be around people you know are sick. Avoiding crowds during the first few weeks will help protect your baby from infection.
Okay, my baby ate... Shouldn't they poop and pee?
- Babies should have a stool in the first 48 hours of life. Over the next few days, their stool turns from blackish brown to green to yellow. Color can vary, but if you see blood, call your doctor. Babies can poop anywhere from 8 times per day to 1 time per week. They may strain, cry, grunt, and kick, but as long as their stool is soft and there is no blood, they are not constipated and do not need treatment.
- Babies should have several wet diapers per day, almost every time they feed. In the first few days, babies can have a reddish hue to their urine, called “brick dust urine” because crystals in the urine give it the same color as red bricks.
Reacting to mom's hormones...
- Babies are exposed to mom’s hormones while in the womb. These hormones can make changes in your baby’s body until they have cleared, which usually takes a few weeks. Boy and girl babies can get small breast buds, which can even make a little milk. They can also get baby acne, which happens around 2-3 weeks of age. Girl babies can have white vaginal discharge or even a little bloody discharge, usually on the 3rd or 4th day of life. All of these things should resolve on their own.
- Mom is also experiencing her own hormones and going through a lot of changes. The “baby blues” are feelings of anxiety, irritation, confusion, fear, tearfulness, and restlessness that are normal and some level are experienced by 50% – 80% of women shortly after delivery. These feelings are generally strongest 5 days after delivery and can last for weeks. Sometimes these feelings progress to more serious depression, so tell your doctor if your baby blues are not resolving or if you are having new or worse symptoms. Look below for more information on Postpartum Depression. Call us if you’re concerned that your “blues” are not getting better.
What is jaundice?
- What is it? Jaundice is a yellow tint to the skin and eyes. It is not present at birth, but may develop after a few days of life and is usually worse around day 4 or 5 of life. It can be due to a combination of dehydration after birth, genetics, mom’s milk production, and feeding ability. The yellow tint comes from a pigment called bilirubin, which is made by the liver.
- What are the signs of jaundice? A yellow tint to skin and eyes, increased sleepiness, and poor feeding are all signs of jaundice. When levels are extremely high, babies can suffer seizures and brain damage.
- How do we check for it? Your pediatrician will examine your baby for jaundice at the hospital, and your baby will get a blood or skin test before going home. However, the levels are highest during days 4-5 of life, so it is important to see your doctor in the first few days after leaving the hospital. Your baby may need more blood tests to check the level.
Why is my baby crying?
- Babies may cry often; it is the only way they can tell you they need something. If your baby is safe, not hot or cold, not soiled, not hungry, and can be consoled by holding, be reassured. If your baby is unable to be consoled, call your pediatrician. You cannot spoil a baby with attention, however, letting him or her cry while you catch a break is not harmful either!
- Your baby may cry for no reason and you may, as a parent, become frustrated. This happens to everyone.
- NEVER SHAKE a baby. It can cause brain damage that can never be fixed. Don’t be afraid to set your crying baby down in a safe place and walk away if you are frustrated.
- To soothe your baby, try swaddling (learn how from the nurses at the hospital), rocking, walking, bouncing, shushing, singing, or a pacifier.