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Choosing a pediatrician or family care doctor for your new baby should be done with care. Of course you can always change down the road, but you will be spending an enormous amount of time with this person, especially at first, so choosing wisely will be a huge benefit.
I recommend starting to shop around for this person as you enter your third trimester so you’ve got plenty of time to make any decisions. You want to be able to feel as though you trust this person completely as they will play in important role in your life and in the life of your child.
Here are the steps to follow when choosing a doctor for your new baby.
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Ask around to friends you trust to see who they recommend
This is a great place to start. This is how I chose my pediatrician, and so have many other family members and friends. Asking several people means that you have the opportunity to hear multiple people recommend the same doctor. It is awesome when this happens!
Prepare a list of questions to ask the office manager. These are the questions I would ask:
- What is the overall philosophy of your office?
- How does your office feel about breastfeeding and bottle feeding?
- Do you have evening and weekend hours?
- Can I get in touch with someone from the office 24/7 including on evenings, weekends, and during lunch breaks?
- How easy is it to get a same day appointment?
- How is payment handled?
- What insurance to you accept?
- Can I go to a different hospital if I choose?
- What hospitals do you make rounds at?
- How many doctors are in your practice?
- How do you feel about homeopathic treatments?
- Do you make referrals to other specialties?
- How easy is it to get in to see the dr. of my choice?
- How does your office feel about vaccines? Regardless of where you stand on the issue you will want to know how the office handles them so you can be assured that you are in the right place.
- What parenting books do the doctors in your office recommend? This will tell you a lot about the office in general.
- How do you handle patients with mental health issues?
- How often do you see babies and patients for well care visits. In general, your baby’s doctor should see them within the first five days of birth, at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 2 years, and then every year after for routine care.
Once you have these questions and any others answered, ask to make an appointment to meet with the doctor you would like to choose
Hopefully they will meet with you briefly. If not, you can determine whether to proceed with that doctor or office.
Look for any reviews from patients or former patients online or elsewhere
Call the local hospitals to inquire about the reputation of this doctor and office
When it comes to choosing someone to care your the health and wellbeing of your child, taking the time to research your options will be time that is well spent. These steps to follow when choosing this important person are essential.
I have several other posts you may find helpful as a new or expectant mom: