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Your newborn baby

Medical examination of your baby

A paediatrician or a midwife qualified in newborn examinations will perform a medical examination of your baby. This examination can be performed between 6 hours and 72 hours after birth.

Occasionally, if this cannot be completed before you leave, you may be asked to make an appointment with your GP to do this. Alternatively one of the community midwives, who has received appropriate training, may be able to do this at your home. The examiner will discuss signs of illness in the baby and your six week postnatal check-up with your GP.

Hearing Test

This is performed on all new babies as part of the NHS newborn hearing screening programme and is explained in the ‘screening tests for you and your baby’ booklet given to you during pregnancy. The test is carried out on the ward and if you go home prior to this, an appointment will be sent to you.

BCG (Bacille-Calmette-Guerin)

Babies born to parents in high risk groups will be offered this injection to protect them against tuberculosis (TB). The high risk groups are:

  • People from countries where TB is still prevalent
  • Known TB within the family.

Personal Child Health Record (also known as the red book)

This will be given to you prior to discharge or by the community midwife if you give birth at home. It is used to chart your baby’s growth and record results of any tests and immunisations. It also contains advice on health and development.

NHS podcasts on a variety of topics: