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Your baby will be here soon – are you ready?

If your baby isn’t here yet, he will be soon! Bet you can’t wait to see, hold and get to know him. These are exciting times! You want to make sure you’ve got everything ready for him when he’s born. Be sure to pick a health care provider and get supplies like clothes and diapers (lots of diapers!). He also needs a place to sleep and a car seat for the ride home. You’ve got a lot to do before he gets here!

Before your baby is born, decide if you'll breastfeed or feed your baby formula. Breastfeeding is feeding your baby with milk from your breasts. Formula is a special liquid food that you feed your baby from a bottle.

Once he’s born, your baby gets a full checkup at the hospital to make sure he’s healthy. He gets eye drops, a shot of vitamin K for his blood and a vaccine to protect him from hepatitis. He gets an Apgar score that checks his breathing, heart rate, muscles, reflexes and skin color.

Your baby also gets newborn screening tests. These tests check for birth defects and other harmful conditions. His provider takes some blood from the baby’s heel and sends it to a lab for testing. All states require newborn screening tests. Ask your provider which tests are required in your state.

See also: Newborn jaundice, Newborn screening tests, Umbilical cord blood

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