Postnatal Care

Find out about postnatal care for you and your newborn baby in Brazil, including a list of potential immunisations necessary…

Following the birth, the doctor asks the mother if she wishes for the baby to have hearing and sight tests, as well as a teste de pezinho, which involves drawing blood from the sole of the baby's foot in order to test for metabolic, genetic and infectious diseases.

All babies weighing over 2 Kg are given a vaccination against tuberculosis as soon after birth as possible.

In general, the mother remains in hospital for up to three days following the birth: this may be longer in the event of a cesarean section. During this time, the mother is given breast feeding lessons, and nursing staff are available to answer any questions regarding the newborn or the mother's health.

Vaccinations

When a child is born in Brazil, it is common practice for an obstetrician to oversee the birth. Children receive a health booklet at birth called a Boletim de Saúde Infantil e Juvenil or Livro Vermelho. In this book are the vaccinations and dates recommended by the World Health Organization, with a space for the medical center or practicioner to sign and stamp. There are no mandatory vaccinations in Brazil.

Every child has a right to basic vaccinations under Brazilian legislation. However, due to lengthy queues for treatment under the National Health System and the greater number of people with private health plans, many parents choose to see a pediatrician operating in the private sector.

The calendar of vaccinations is well-structured and catered for by the public system. Parents may choose to give their child other vaccinations, including those against meningococcus and Hepatitis A. These two vaccinations are only available at private clinics with a doctor’s prescription.

The most important, and recommended, vaccinations are:

  • BCG against tuberculosis; newborns should be vaccinated within 12 hours of birth
  • Tríplice Bacteriana against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough; the first vaccination is given at two months, with boosters given at four and six months
  • Tríplice Viral vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella given in a single dose at 12 months

There are no particular ages recommended for baby and toddler check-ups, but most parents make sure their children at this age are seen at least once every six months during the first two years. Depending on the pediatrician, these check-ups can range from a basic body development analysis and conversation or advice on doubts and concerns over the growing process, through to dietary planning and even infant psychology.