Newborn Care

Newborn with mother in hospital.jpg

Welcoming a baby home can be equally exciting and overwhelming. You may find yourself searching online more than ever in those first few months: How often should a newborn eat? When should you call the doctor if your baby has a fever? When do babies start sleeping through the night? From feeding to sleeping and everything in between, we’re here to help keep you and your little one healthy. We have created this page of newborn care resources, reviewed by medical experts, to help you navigate early days with your baby. We hope they help make these early days a little easier. You may also want to explore our postpartum care resources. 

Newborn Care

Raising a human is a big job. Unfortunately, new parents are surrounded by lots of “perfect” images of parenthood, along with loads and loads of conflicting information. It is normal to feel exhausted and to have days where parenthood doesn’t feel like whole lot of fun. In many cases, this is a normal response to a huge lifestyle change. However, if you or your partner are feeling excessively down, or are having difficulty caring for yourself or your baby, our team of medical experts is here to help.

There will also be moments of wonder, the miracle of watching a new life unfold, and funny memories. Cherish these moments. And remember, we are your partner in caring for your child, always there to answer questions, and help you along this amazing journey.

Newborn Vaccine Schedule

Your baby may have received a Hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital; the next set of immunizations is due at two months of age. Immunizations are an important way to protect your baby; the vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC has been carefully studied for safety and effectiveness. If you have specific questions about immunizations or our immunization schedule, please ask your provider.

NICU Babies

Specialized care in case your baby needs it

Babies may be sent to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) if they're born prematurely, have difficulties during delivery or show signs of a problem in their first days of life. UnityPoint Health's Neonatal Intensive Care Units offer equipment designed specifically for infants with staff specially trained in newborn care and conditions to provide in-hospital 24/7 coverage.

Breastfeeding Services

Expert help for feeding your newborn

The decision to breastfeed is a personal one. Breastfeeding provides numerous benefits for you and your baby - and is a beautiful and natural way to bond. Our qualified lactation services staff is here to provide extensive breastfeeding education and support. The services below may vary depending on your location.

Pediatric Appointments

Keeping baby healthy

Visits in the first few days will vary depending on your baby’s needs; the hospital provider will let you know when to go in for a first visit when you are discharged. Your baby will have a visit at two weeks of age, and if all is going well, your next visit will be at two months. Typically your baby will be seen at 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months in the first year of life, depending on baby’s needs.

Caring For Your Sick Baby

It's not uncommon for babies to get sick. Their bodies are seeing these viruses for the first time, so it may take longer for an infant to recover compared to an older child or adult. Whether your baby is bringing home bugs from daycare or suffering from a tough diaper rash, there are things you can do to keep little ones more comfortable.

Signs of illness may be subtle in a newborn. Please do not hesitate to call your provider if you have a concern. Symptoms of illness may include fever, excessive sleepiness, poor feeding or inconsolable fussiness. If you are concerned that your baby looks blue, or there is a concern about your baby’s breathing, call your provider or seek emergency services if symptoms are severe.

Keep reading to learn more about how to care for a sick baby and when to see a doctor.

Postpartum mom exercising with newborn.jpg

Postpartum Self-Care

While taking care of a newborn is important, it's also critical that new mothers take care of their own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Our team is here to support with expertise you can trust. We're here for every step of your recovery, from pelvic floor therapy to postpartum depression support, we offer comprehensive postpartum care services that focus on holistic health.

Postpartum Care Resources