First of all, Congratulations! You’re going to be a mommy! You’ve imagined this moment, and now it’s finally here! As a soon mother-to-be, you’re probably wondering how to choose a Pediatrician for you and your baby. Today’s article will help you learn the best ways to find your pediatrician and what to look for!
Once you surface from the morning sickness and first-trimester fatigue, things are looking a whole lot better, right? Your belly starts getting attention from your friends and family, you begin to feel that flutter in your belly, and all of a sudden, your mommy instinct kicks in telling you it’s time to check off every box on your list!
You select the safest car seat, the sturdiest crib, and the cutest nursery ensemble. Then you arrive at your baby shower, and everyone starts talking to you about how to choose a Pediatrician.
After all, once these nine months are over and your baby is in your arms, the next 18 years will be spent with a doctor who will become your advisor, sounding board, a part of your baby’s developmental milestones —an unrelated member of your family. How are you ever going to find the perfect pediatrician for your pride and joy?
Relax! This step is easier than you think. Yes, you’ll ask your friends and neighbors about their primary physician, and you’ll check out online reviews. You’ll even set up an in-person prenatal consult to “interview” your top few choices.
Once you go over the prenatal checklist, you’ll get that gut feeling that’ll direct you to the right doctor. Just like any other doctor you’ve ever worked with, feeling that connection is key to building trust and know your chosen doctor will be with you every step of the way as you raise your baby.
How to Choose A Pediatrician For Newborn
AAP REMINDER: NO SUNSCREEN ON BABIES UNDER THE AGE OF 6 MOS
Use Reliable Sources For Recommendations
I often advise my patient that the internet is a double-edged sword. All the information you could ever possibly want is at your fingertips, but then you’re left to decipher if this information is somebody’s opinion or truly reliable data. The same goes for online reviews.
To understand how to find the right pediatrician for you and your baby, read and take pediatrician reviews with a grain of salt. Are you seeing the same things mentioned in multiple reviews? Are you looking at a reputable site?
I recommend taking the advice of your friends and family. They care about you and your baby, so they won’t intentionally steer you wrong. Mommy blogs and social media groups can also be helpful, but again, when you can get the whole world’s opinions in one place, it might make it hard to pull out what’s accurate information from the assortment.
Choose A Pediatrician You Resonate With
For many years, the discussions will be between the parent and pediatrician before the child begins to share their opinion. As a parent, you want to learn how the doctor approaches both major and minor medical issues:
- Are they flexible on how they approach things?
- Do they tend to be black or white or by the book in their thinking?
- How do they go about educating and informing you of their recommendations?
- What is their opinion on topics like breastfeeding or vaccines?
The way in which the doctor talks to you about common topics like vaccines or breastfeeding might give you a good feel for their personality and overall approach to things.
How Long Does The Pediatrician Spend With Patients?
What’s your gut feeling when the doctor comes in to see you at the prenatal visit? Do they seem rushed, or do they make eye contact, sit down, and listen to what you’re asking? Sometimes a doctor is running late but has great reviews when you check online. Is it because the doctor spends a good amount of time with each patient and so they are a bit behind on their schedule. Remember to keep an open mind as you “interview” the pediatrician.
As a parent, you’re not the patient; your baby is. You don’t know why the baby has a fever or is crying or won’t eat. You just know that you’re worried and you need someone to calm your nerves and help you make your baby feel better fast. As a pediatrician, I’ve always thought I must get as much information in my evaluation so that I can diagnose and treat your child accurately.
Along with that, it’s just as much my duty to answer your questions, educate you, and empower you to feel equipped to nurture your baby. You want to know that when you wake up at 2:00 a.m, it’s just to change a diaper or feed the baby, not in a panic because you didn’t get the answers to all your questions from the doctor earlier in the day.
We sometimes judge physicians on their timeliness and for good reason. Your time spent in the waiting room is just as important as theirs. However, it is the time they spend with the patients that is most valuable in your case, and I would much rather advise you to go with a pediatrician who spends a good time with you.
Take A Deep Breath — Everything Will Fall Into Place
The days leading up to the baby’s birth can be nerve-racking. I often tell my new moms that no matter how many books they read, their baby hasn’t read a single one. Every beautiful baby is unique. They give you opportunities for “on the job training” as parents while they partake in “on the job training” as a brand new human being in the world.
There’s so much to learn in those first couple months of life before the baby begins smiling and cooing. Your pediatrician is ready for this steep learning curve. They have seen enough to guide you and help you succeed. So take a deep breath and relax. You and your baby are in good hands.
I hope that my tips on how to find the right pediatrician for you and your baby has provided some valuable insight. You may also wish to consider concierge options, check out the benefits of a concierge pediatrician. This is the beginning of a magnificent and breathtaking journey. Enjoy it to your heart’s content!