Pearls from pediatricians: What UCLA Health doctors want new parents to know

Dr. Carlos Lerner
Dr. Leian Chen

Prospective and new parents have many questions – some expected, some not. Each situation is unique and it’s impossible to know what might arise.

That said, some advice is universal.

UCLA Health pediatricians Leian Chen, MD and Carlos Lerner, MD offer these pearls of wisdom based on their experience. If you’ve just had a baby, or plan to, they are likely to come in quite handy.

“Practice installing the car seat before the baby arrives.”

“Get vaccinated! Against COVID, flu and Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, persutssis).”

“The amount of information available can be overwhelming. Find a few trusted sources (such as your OB/GYN and pediatrician) to help you sort through it all. Your pediatrician will be your family’s teammate throughout your baby’s childhood and as you are growing into your roles as new parents, so choose someone who you feel comfortable with and can trust to guide you on this awesome and challenging journey.”

“Many pediatricians offer before-birth visits. Consider taking advantage of this.”

“Generally, the first pediatrician office visit is a few days after leaving the hospital. All newborns lose some weight in the first few days after birth, so the first office visit is where we check that a baby is not losing too much weight or developing any other health issues, like jaundice. We are also here to answer any questions that you have and to go over what to expect until the next check-up at 2 weeks of age.”

“Expect the unexpected. You are bringing a new life into this world, and your child will have his/her/their own personality, wants and needs, and unique challenges as well as joys. Things won’t always happen as planned, and that’s OK. Letting go of that control and pressure is really difficult for a lot of parents, but it helps you to be more present for your child, which is ultimately what is most important.”

Find out more about UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology.