From names, to the color of the nursery and how you’ll raise your little one, parents to be have a lot to think about when a new baby is on the way. One of the most important decisions is choosing a doctor to care for your little guy or gal. Many doctors recommend selecting your pediatrician during mom’s third trimester, as your pediatrician may visit your new baby while you’re still in the hospital after birth. If not, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a well visit to your baby’s pediatrician in the 3-5 days following baby’s big arrival. So, your baby and his or her pediatrician will become fast friends! Choosing the right pediatrician is important for your little one’s health and your piece of mind.
When selecting a Pediatrician for your baby to be, these are questions to ask before your commit:
Is the Pediatrician Board Certified?
The American Board of Pediatrics certifies pediatricians to ensure their professional standing and medical knowledge. You can see if a pediatrician is certified by visiting the American Board of Pediatrics web site.
Who covers for the pediatrician when he or she is not available? Some pediatricians work in a group, while others have a solo practice. The important information to determine is who covers for your baby’s doctor when he or she is not available, and after hours? And, are you comfortable with the doctor(s) who may be covering?
Does the Pediatrician’s office have a separate waiting area for sick children?
If you’re taking baby for a well visit, the last thing you want is to be surrounded by kids who aren’t feeling well, coughing – or worse! A separate waiting area for sick kids can help you and your baby stay well.
What are the Pediatrician’s views on various parenting issues?
From breastfeeding to immunizations and developing sleep patterns, it may be important for you and your pediatrician to share similar philosophies. After all, your pediatrician is someone you will turn to for help and advice on issues that impact your baby’s health and happiness.
What insurance does the Pediatrician accept and do they have any hospital affiliations?
Let’s face it, for most of us, it’s important that our health care providers are “in network” for our insurance to avoid additional co-pays and fees. Determining if your pediatrician is in network, and if the hospital they’re affiliated with is covered by your insurance, may be an important consideration.
These are just a few of the questions you may want to ask a pediatrician to find the right fit for your baby. Many online resources, like BabyCenter, even provide Pediatrician question check lists to guide your interviews with Pediatricians.
A little bit of prep can go a long way when selecting your baby’s doctor. After all, you want the best for your little bundle of joy!