Who Do You Call When You Discover Your Infant Needs to See a Specialist?
The joys of parenthood are fun to imagine.
The fears of parenthood, however, are a completely different story.
When couples first find out that they are going to be parents it is fun to get caught up in the planning. Planning colors of the nursery. Deciding to find out the gender of the baby or keeping that for a surprise. Making the announcement to friends and family.
And while the majority of pregnancies and births are filled with happy moments and excited planning, the anxious moments of finding out that a baby may have health issues can be exhausting and stressful. Fortunately, for parents who discover that their child may be in need of medical attention, a number of resources can make these fears easier to deal with.
Obstetricians, Gynecologists, Family Pediatricians Provide the First Levels of Care
Confirming and monitoring pregnancies, in most situations, takes place in the obstetrician-gynecologist offices around the country. When ultrasounds and exams are normal, these appointments can be simple visits that seem very routine. In the event that a scan shows an abnormality, however, it is often in these offices that soon-to-be parents find out that they may require different test, scans, and other kinds of procedures.
Once born, pediatricians become the go to person for monitoring the health of a baby. Realizing the possibility of an abnormality, whether it is from an obstetrician or a pediatrician, can be frightening for the parents and lead to appointments with specialists. Whether the doctors are concerned about congenital abnormalities of the ear, breathing difficulties, vocal cord paralysis, cleft palate, or parathyroid disease, the anxiety of parenting increases. Finding the best specialist, however, can make diagnosis and treatment more manageable.
Congenital Abnormalities of the Ear
Ear, nose, and throat doctors (ENTs) are most often the first specialist to see in the event of a concern about congenital abnormalities of the ear, vocal cord paralysis, and adenoiditis and adenoid hypertrophy. With offices full of scanners, testing devices, and experts, an ENT office can help explain the complexities and treatments for everything from congenital abnormalities of the ear to more common ear, nose, and throat problems.
In some cases, sleep disordered breathing and sinus infections may also be referred to ENT offices in order to seek further treatment. Other common ENT conditions include: tinnitus and hearing loss, noise exposure, ear infections, sinus infections, ear or head injury, Meniere’s disease, and otosclerosis. The fact that genetics are responsible for hearing loss among 50% to 60% of children, means that ENTs work closely with genetic doctors and other specialists.
Cleft Palate Repair
Sometimes diagnosed in the womb, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) research indicates that as many as 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 every year in America. Additionally, 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate. In all of these cases, obstetricians and pediatricians will refer parents to specialists. In most cases, surgery to repair a cleft lip occurs in the first few months of life. If not immediately done, specialists recommend the procedure take place within the first 12 months of life.
The comfort of knowing that cleft palate is a condition that has a specific protocol can serve as a comfort to parents who are faced with the decision to have a newborn undergo surgery within the first months of being born.
Repair of Facial or Neck Injuries
Sometimes caused by the birth process itself or sometimes caused by an accident, facial or neck injuries often require a team of specialists in consultation. With the expertise of ENTs, plastic surgeons, and neck injury specialists, parents can often meet with a team of physicians or find themselves at different appointments within a short time frame.
Parenting Requires the Use of a Variety of Resources
The joys of parenting are easy to plan for. Although some new parents may make it seem difficult, planning nursery colors, and announcing the news to family and friends is really quite effortless. Some of the real work of parenting, however, comes with the realization that a medical condition may require a numbers of office visits, scans, and testing. Relying on the best resources, however, can make even the most difficult situations more manageable.