Ask the Pediatrician: The First Year
WebMD Live Events Transcript
Babies grow and change so quickly, and so do their health concerns. From the first fever to the first shots, to what to expect at those well-baby checkups, you have questions about your child's growth and well-being. Pediatrician David Pangburn, MD, dropped by WebMD Live with the answers on June 24, 2004.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
My doctor told me my baby has a mild case of thrush and gave us nystatin to treat it. I've boiled the nipples and pacifiers. Will I have to keep doing this until all the medicine is gone?
Typically you don't need to do multiple sterilizations of nipples or pacifiers. Once the medication is started, within a few days it is unlikely there would be enough yeast on those (which is the cause of thrush) to be worried about sterilization. Thrush is a very common problem. Infants are more susceptible to these yeast infections, but they tend to clear up quickly.
My daughter who is 2 months old has an umbilical hernia. How long does it take for it to be resolved, and if it does not resolve itself, what does the surgery consist of? Also, what percentage of infants that have this condition needs surgery to correct it?
Umbilical hernias probably happen in 5% or 10% of all babies. The vast majority, probably 98%, will close on their own without any treatment. They typically close by 2 or 3 years of age, and rarely do they need surgery. If the opening you feel is about an inch across, which would be a very large umbilical hernia, that size is very unlikely to close by itself. But the vast majority is much smaller.
The hernia is actually what you feel if you push down on the outie belly button and not the outie itself. I've felt a lot of belly buttons in 15 years, and I can only recall one or two who needed surgery. So most of the time I tell parents their child won't always have an outie, that by 3 they'll be just fine.
My insurance plan covers three sick visits and six well visits per year. I am very concerned about this and thinking about purchasing additional insurance. Should I be concerned? How many sick visits are typical for the average baby?
Typically, a newborn sees their pediatrician multiple times and typical would be one to two weeks, one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and one year. So if I've counted correctly that's already beyond your coverage. My experience tells me that most babies in their first year of life will have more than three visits for problems or illness or questions; they go beyond those well-child visits.
Many health plans are attempting to save costs by reducing the amount of preventive care the member receives. It would certainly make much more sense to cover preventive care as good health maintenance. I believe most pediatricians would advocate for all well-child visits and adequate sick-visit coverage being the standard part of all insurances.