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Five most asked questions for a hospital pediatrician— Dr Jacqueline Winkelmann

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Meet our hospital pediatrician: Dr Jacqueline Winkelmann

I’m Dr. Jacqueline Winkelmann, but my patients all call me Dr. Jacq, because I chose pediatrics and Jacqueline and Winkelmann are both too long for a little kid to pronounce! I am a Board-Certified Pediatrician, and have worked in the hospital setting in Southern California for 20 years. I cover the pediatric medical/surgical unit and Pediatric ICU, and attended high-risk deliveries for 10 years.

What I love most about my job:

I chose pediatrics because I LOVE KIDS! They are brutally honest, resilient, funny, and overall healthy. They come into the hospital with a particular problem, we fix it, and they go back to being their normal, happy selves! Professionally, I have been in hospital leadership for most of my career, and was elected Chief-of-Staff for my hospital from 2015-2017.

Personal notes:

Personally, I have been married to my college sweetheart for 28 years, and we have 2 children: a 20-year old daughter and a 15-year old son. They were both high level athletes and I became interested in sports nutrition for young athletes. I have been a “nutrition coach” for about 7 years, and enjoy working with teams and individual athletes and love teaching them the importance of food as fuel while they grow, develop, and play sports.

I joined Bobbie as a Medical Advisor in 2018 and have loved every minute of it! It follows right along with my passion for nutrition, as infant formula is often a baby’s first food. I am proud of Bobbie’s mission to evolve the conversation around infant feeding and end the stigma associated with formula feeding.

Five most asked questions for a hospital pediatrician:

I am asked, at least 3 times, every.single.day: “when can we get out of here?!” (No offense taken)

1-My baby was just born. Can I have people visit at the hospital or at home?

There’s no one right answer, because situations are different for each family. But a few things to keep in mind:

  • Infants’ immune systems do not function adequately until about 2 months of age.
  • The hospital will have its own visitor policy but try to limit the number of adults and children visiting at the hospital, even if allowed.
  • At home, pay attention to the following:

Avoid parties or large crowds- you and baby need to rest! 

Make sure adults and children are feeling well- no sick visitors!

Vaccines are important, and it is not unreasonable during those first few months to expect visitors to be up-to-date on vaccines, including flu, whooping cough (pertussis) and of course, Covid

Make sure all visitors wash their hands before holding baby.

It’s OK to ask friends and relatives to wear a mask when holding baby, especially during flu season or a pandemic.

2- My baby has a cold, how do I know it’s time to see the doctor?

The best answer is…depends on your baby’s age; the younger the baby, the sooner we want to evaluate them. Always call your pediatrician’s office if you are concerned. 

Signs of respiratory distress to look for are as follows:

  • Mild-Baby (or child) breathes fast and flares nostrils
  • Moderate- baby uses extra muscles to breathe, sucking in the muscles UNDER the ribs
  • Severe: baby is working hard to breathe, sucking in the muscles BETWEEN the ribs and above the clavicles

3- How do I prevent further illness after my baby has been discharged home from being sick in the hospital?

When you go back home, thoroughly clean baby’s room, including changing area. Wipe down toys, sterilize pacifiers and bottles, and buy a new toothbrush! If you can keep baby/child home for a few days before returning to daycare or preschool that would be ideal. 

4- My baby has a fever. How do I know if she needs to be seen by her pediatrician?

First, let’s define a fever: a rectal temperature of 100.4F or higher. It’s important to understand that a fever in it of itself is not dangerous, but any infant younger than 3 months with a fever should be evaluated immediately. Young infants are at higher risk for serious bacterial infections.

5- Why can’t my baby eat until she’s seen by the doctor?

I get asked this ALL the time! When your infant or child is sick and hospitalized, we want to make sure she is evaluated by the nurse and doctor before we allow them to eat. The reason for this is that some tests (especially ultrasounds, CT scans or MRIs) require the patient to be “npo” (without eating) for a certain number of hours. If your child ends up needing surgery, they also need to be without eating for a number of hours prior to anesthesia. If we feed the baby before being evaluated, we might cause a delay in evaluation and treatment.

I promise, it’s not to torture you or your little one! There are good reasons! 

Best quote about pediatrics:

My favorite quote about pediatrics is from Dr. Arizona Robbins, Grey’s Anatomy Pediatric Surgeon (haha yes, doctors sometimes watch Grey’s Anatomy too!):

“These are tiny humans. These are children. They believe in magic. They play pretend. There is fairy dust in their IV bags. They hope and they cross their fingers and they make wishes. And that’s what makes them more resilient than adults. They recover fast, survive worse; they believe. In Peds, we have miracles and magic. In Peds, anything is possible…”

Jacqueline Winkelmann, MD, FAAP. Board certified pediatrician and Bobbie Medical Advisor.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant's pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant’s pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

Author Jenny Altman

Jenny is the head of content at Milk Drunk and a writer for all of her favorite wellness and mom sites including Well+Good, Peanut, Motherly and Scary Mommy. Mom to Luisa, she can be found talking bras and beauty with the moms at school and @IAmJennyAltman