Your baby's here – now what?

Congratulations on the birth of your baby! Bet you can’t wait to get to know him!

In this topic, find out about the care your newborn gets right after birth to make sure he’s healthy. Learn about the shots he gets to protect him from infections and bleeding problems. He also gets a complete physical to check out all those tiny body parts!

Your baby gets newborn screening tests to check for birth defects and other health conditions. Newborn screening tests for your baby depend on the state where you live. Find out which tests your baby will get.

If your baby’s a boy, learn about circumcision and decide if it’s right for your son. For most boys, this usually happens before you leave the hospital. But some boys are circumcised later at home as part of religious or cultural traditions.

Most common questions

Are vaccines safe for my baby?

Vaccines (also called immunizations) are one of the best ways to avoid serious diseases caused by some viruses or bacteria. For vaccines to be most successful, everyone needs to get their vaccine shots.

Several years ago, some people were concerned about thimerosal, a preservative used in some shots. Thimerosal contains mercury. Some people worried that thimerosal might cause autism. After a lot of careful research, medical experts found no link between thimerosal and autism. Still, to help ease some parents' concerns, thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines, except in tiny amounts in some flu shots. If you're concerned about thimerosal, ask your children's health care provider to use thimerosal-free vaccines.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).