You and Your New Baby (Perinatal)

Congratulations! You have a new baby. Whether you are a new mom, new dad or you’re a seasoned parent, there are some things that are good to know about keeping you and your baby healthy and safe.


Finding a Doctor for your Baby
To find a Pediatrician or a Family Practice Physician who sees babies, visit the sites listed below to find a physician near you and then call for an appointment. Call us at NCPPC if you need help in finding a healthcare provider for your new baby.


Jefferson County
Carthage Area Hospital Carthage (315) 493-1005 ext. 2445
Fort Drum - Guthrie Clinic (315) 772-2778
Fort Drum Public Health Nursing (315) 772-6404
River Family Health Center (315) 482-2094

Samaritan Medical Center Watertown (315) 785-4050 

Lewis County
Lewis County General Hospital Lowville (315) 376-5602

St. Lawrence County
Canton-Potsdam Hospital Canton (315) 261-5965
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Ogdensburg (315) 393-8880, ext. 5251
E.J. Noble Hospital Gouverneur (315) 287-3706
Massena Memorial Hospital Massena (315) 769-4349


Child Development
The first years of your baby’s life are very exciting. It may seem that everyday your baby changes; this is because your baby is constantly developing physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. It is important for you to provide an environment that is safe, loving, and secure for your baby’s development.


Between birth and age 3, babies learn to roll, crawl, stand, walk, and run. They learn to talk, joke, rhyme, and sing. But development doesn’t happen in the same way, at the same time, for all children. Some children will develop certain skills (like walking or talking) faster or slower than others. These differences are very normal. It’s important to remember that development is not a race. There are Developmental Milestones that most children reach by a certain age. If your child has not reached these milestones by the recommended age, do not become alarmed. Your child may just need a little guidance in reaching some of their developmental stages. Early help makes a difference. If you think your baby may need a little help, either contact your baby’s doctor or your local Early Intervention Program.


Local Early Intervention Programs

Jefferson County Community Services

175 Arsenal Street
Watertown, New York 13601
Main: 315-785-3283
Fax: 315-785-5182

Lewis County Public Health Agency- Children Services
7785 North State Street
Lowville, New York 13367
Main: 315-376-5401
Fax: 315-376-5462

St. Lawrence County Public Health Department
80 State Highway 310, Suite 2
Canton, New York 13617
Main: 315-386-2325
Fax: 315-386-2744


For more information on Developmental Milestones or Early Intervention, visit:
New York State Department of Health Early Intervention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Child Development
Zero to Three


Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)
SBS refers to a group of injuries to a baby that are a result of being violently shaken.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that the shaking "is so violent that competent individuals observing the shaking would recognize it as dangerous." Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and retinal hemorrhage are the most common injuries seen with SBS.

SBS injuries may result in: brain damage, blindness, paralysis, seizures, and death.


Why Does the Shaking Occur?

  • The number one reason for shaking a baby is inconsolable crying.
  • Shaking usually occurs because caregivers become frustrated and lose control.


What Can You Do to Calm Your Baby?

  • See if your baby is hungry or needs a diaper change.
  • Check for signs of illness, fever or swollen glands.
  • Rock your baby or take him or her for a car ride.
  • Sing or talk to your baby.
  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Give your baby a pacifier or noisy toy.
  • Run a vacuum cleaner or have him or her listen to and watch running water.
  • Put your baby in a safe place, on his or her back and let the baby cry it out.
  • Understand that it is completely natural for a baby to cry and it will eventually stop.


What Can You Do to Calm Yourself?

  • Place your baby in a safe place, like a crib or playpen, and take a time out.
  • Take a deep breath and count to ten.
  • Call a friend for support.
  • Call your doctor, because your baby may be sick.
  • Take care of yourself: stress management, regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest; it may make it easier for you to handle the frustrations of crying.


Symptoms of SBS

  • Extreme irritability
  • Rigidity
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Feeding problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Blood spots in eyes
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Coma

If you suspect that your child has been shaken:
Call 911
Call New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Reporting Center
(800) 342-3720

Make sure all of your baby’s caregivers know to Never Shake a Baby!


For more information on Shaken Baby Syndrome, visit:
National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
The Shaken Baby Alliance


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under one year of age; that remains unexplained after the performance of a complete post-mortem evaluation, including autopsy; death scene investigation; and review of medical history.


How to Lower Your Baby's Risk of SIDS: Back Sleeping and Safe Bedding
Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night. The back sleep position is the safest, and every sleep time counts.


Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved** crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. Never place your baby on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or other soft surfaces.


Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area. Don’t use pillows, blankets, sheepskins, or pillow-like crib bumpers in your baby’s sleep area. And keep all items away from your baby’s face.


Don’t allow smoking around your baby. Don’t smoke before or after the birth of your baby, and don’t let others smoke around your baby.


Keep your baby’s sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep. Your baby should not sleep in a bed or on a couch or armchair with adults or other children, but he or she can sleep in the same room as you. If you bring your baby into bed with you to breastfeed, put him or her back in a separate sleep area, such as a bassinet, crib, cradle, or a bedside co-sleeper (infant bed that attaches to an adult bed) when finished.


Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant down to sleep, but don’t force the baby to take it. (If you are breastfeeding your baby, wait until your child is 1 month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.)


Do not let your baby overheat during sleep. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing, and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.


Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS because most have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.


Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have questions about using monitors for other conditions talk to your healthcare provider.


Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby’s head. Provide time when your baby is awake and someone is watching to play on their front (i.e. tummy), change the direction that your baby lies in the crib from one week to the next; and avoid too much time in car seats, carriers, and bouncers.

 ** For current crib safety standards, visit U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


Make sure all your baby’s caregivers know and follow these SIDS Risk Reduction Steps!


For more information on SIDS, visit:
Nation Institute of Child Health and Human Development: SIDS “Back to Sleep” Campaign
First Candle: Sids Alliance


Your Health After Your Baby Arrives (Interconception Care)
After your baby arrives, he or she will probably be your biggest concern, but it is important to think of you too!


Perinatal Mood Disorders
Feeling sad, anxious or scared during and after pregnancy is normal. When these feelings are very strong and don’t go away, then it may be a sign you have a more serious mental health condition.


“The Baby Blues”
Many new moms feel moody, overwhelmed, anxious, and restless. These feelings usually go away after a week or two. If these feelings persist longer, you may have Postpartum Depression.


Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression is more serious than “The Baby Blues.” It can happen within one year of giving birth to your new baby and lasts more than a couple of weeks. Postpartum depression can be treated with medication, therapy and support, so talk to your health care provider if you have some of these signs.


Signs of postpartum depression include:

  • feeling restless or irritable
  • feeling sad, depressed or crying a lot
  • having no energy
  • having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart beating fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing)
  • not being able to sleep, being very tired, or both
  • not being able to eat and weight loss
  • overeating and weight gain
  • trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  • being overly worried about the baby
  • not having any interest in the baby
  • feeling worthless and guilty
  • being afraid of hurting the baby or yourself
  • having no interest or getting no pleasure from activities like sex and socializing

Postpartum Psychosis
This is a serious mental illness. It usually begins within the first three months after delivery and women may experience hallucinations, delusions, insomnia, agitation and bizarre feelings and behavior. Postpartum psychosis is a medical emergency and assistance should be sought immediately.


For more information on the Beyond the Blues Program for Postpartum Mood Disorders, contact Catholic Charities at:


Jefferson County (315) 788-4330
Lewis County (315) 376-4141
St. Lawrence County (315) 393-2660

For more on Perinatal Mood Disorders, visit:
Postpartum Support International


Healthy Living After Your New Baby Arrives
Following healthy habits and being physically active after your baby is born may help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight, provide you with good nutrition (which is important, especially if you are breastfeeding), give you more energy and help you manage stress.


If you are breastfeeding, you may need about 200 more calories per day than you did when you were pregnant. If you are not breastfeeding, you may need about 300 less calories per day than you did when you were pregnant.


Talk to your healthcare provider before you begin any physical activity. They may have you start with moderate physical activity, but after about 4 to 6 weeks, you should be able to return to your normal routine.Returning to a healthy weight is a gradual process; losing too much weight too fast can be harmful to you and it may decrease your milk supply.


Parenting can be hard work, so try to get enough rest and decrease stress in your life.


For more information on living healthy after the baby is born, return to the “Before Pregnancy” section of this website. The 10 Steps You Can Take to Prepare for a Healthy Life Before You Become Pregnant are really 10 Steps to prepare for a healthy life after pregnancy too.


Family Planning
Having a Reproductive Life Plan is one of the recommendations for all women of childbearing age. If you were eligible for PCAP or MOMS during pregnancy, you may qualify for the Family Planning Benefit Program (FPBP) or Family Planning Extension Program (FPEP).

For more information and to see if you qualify, call Planned Parenthood today at 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) or visit their webpage.
For more information on Comprehensive Family Planning and Reproductive Healthcare Services, click here.


Find information and resources for any stage of pregnancy:

Before Pregnancy During Pregnancy
You and Your New Baby Just for Dads

NCPPC offers a variety of Prenatal and Perinatal Services throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. These initiatives include extensive outreach and education for the community and for health and human service providers.