Apollo Centre of Advanced Paediatrics - FAQs

Can I meet my pediatrician before my baby is born?

Yes, in fact we strongly encourage parents-to-be to visit for a prenatal appointment. This is a great way to get acquainted with your doctors. During this visit, we will answer any questions that you have about our practice or your new child.

How often should my child see the pediatrician?

Your child should not only see the pediatrician for an illness. It is also important to schedule well-child-care exams regularly, beginning in infancy. Also called well-care visits or checkups, these routine examinations provide the best opportunity for the doctor to observe the progress of your child's physical and mental growth and development; to counsel and teach parents; to detect problems through screening tests; to provide immunizations, and to get to know one another. Well-care visits are strongly recommended as part of preventive pediatric care.

How long should I breastfeed my baby?

The India Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months of life. This means your baby needs no additional foods or fluids unless medically indicated. Babies should continue to breastfeed for a year and for as long as is mutually desired by the mother and baby.

When should I start feeding my baby solid foods?

Solid foods need to be introduced to ensure that your baby gets proper nutrition around 6 months of age. Ask your doctor about when when to introduce solid foods and how to do it.

Why do children get so many immunisations?

Number of immunisations are required in child’s life to protect the first few years of a child’s life to protect the child against the most serious infections of childhood. The immune system in young children does not work as well as the immune system in older children and adults, because it is still immature. Therefore more doses of vaccine are needed.

In the first months of life, a baby is protected from most infectious diseases by antibodies from his/her his mother, which are transferred to the baby during pregnancy. When these antibodies wear off, the baby is at risk of serious infections and so the first immunisations are given before these antibodies have gone.

Another reason why children get many immunisations is that new vaccines against serious infections continue to be developed. The number of injections is reduced by the use of combination vaccines, where several vaccines are combined into one shot.

Are there any reasons to delay immunisation?

There are very few medical reasons to delay immunisation. If a child is sick with a high temperature (over 38ºC) then immunisation should be postponed until the child is recovering. A child who has a runny nose, but is not ill can be immunised, as can a child who is on antibiotics and obviously recovering from an illness.

What are the side-effects of immunisation?

Many children experience minor side effects following immunisation. Most side effects last a short time and the child recovers without any problems. Common side-effects of immunisation are redness, soreness and swelling at the site of an injection, mild fever and being grizzly or unsettled. You should give extra fluids to drink, not overdress the baby if hot and may consider using paracetamol to help ease the fever and soreness.

Serious reactions to immunisation are very rare, however if they do occur consult your Serious reactions to immunisation are very rare, however if they do occur consult your doctor immediately. It is important to remember that vaccines are many times safer than the diseases they prevent.

What about natural immunity?

Natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are both natural responses of the body’s immune system. The body’s immune response in both circumstances is the same. In some cases, vaccine-induced immunity may diminish with time; natural immunity, acquired by catching the disease is usually life-long. The problem is that the wild or natural disease has a high risk of serious illness and occasionally death. Children or adults can be re-immunised (required with some vaccines but not all) if their immunity falls to a low level. It is important to remember that vaccines are many times safer than the diseases they prevent.