As you come to the end of your pregnancy, choosing a pediatrician for your baby becomes more pressing.
Now you have to find a right care provider for Baby, not just you!
Have you thought about how to choose a pediatrician for your baby?
Do you know what you’re looking for? Do you know what questions to ask?
We’re here to help!
Here are three essential questions you should ask yourself before choosing a pediatrician.
#1 – What’s important to you?
As with all care providers, they are your partners. They are not the all-knowing, infallible dealers of perfect health.
A good pediatrician is someone you can work with, someone who supports you in your choices and considers your point of view in every decision.
So how do you find a doctor like that? Figure out what’s important to you.
Do you plan on breastfeeding and co-sleeping (meaning room-sharing, not necessarily bed-sharing)? You’ll want to find a pediatrician who not only supports these things but has experience in, if not extensive knowledge about, them.
Are you planning an alternative immunization schedule (for example, more appointments and fewer shots at each appointment) or alternative diets (paleo, WAPF, vegetarian, etc.)? Again, a pediatrician with experience in caring for babies growing up on alternative diets or alternative immunization schedules is critical.
If you’re open to homeopathic and herbal/plant-based remedies (like prune juice instead of prescription medicine for mild constipation!) for your baby, make sure your pediatrician is well-versed in these areas.
Don’t forget babywearing, attachment parenting, RIE parenting, or any other parenting styles/choices you may want to discuss with your doctor.
These are your choices. If you’re firm in your choices, find a doctor who will support and work with you. If you’re not sure about certain topics, find a doctor who’s open-minded enough to present both sides and support you in any direction you choose.
Make a list of all the things that are important to you and bring it to your getting-to-know-you Q&A session with every pediatrician you meet. Knowing what you’re looking for is the first step in how to choose a pediatrician.
#2 – Are they covered under your medical insurance plan?
Trying to find a pediatrician you like is hard enough. Realizing too late that the pediatrician you finally found (and LOVE!) isn’t covered by your medical insurance will make your life so much harder!
If you absolutely have to find a pediatrician covered by your medical insurance, don’t go in to meet them until this has been confirmed!
It should be easy enough to find out on their website if they take health insurance. If the pediatrician takes insurance, don’t assume they accept yours. Call the office and tell them you’re interested in meeting the pediatrician but you need to confirm that they take your insurance first.
Email them a copy of your insurance card to verify benefits if you have to!
You absolutely do not want to be in the middle of figuring out diapering, breastfeeding, and how to survive on no sleep when you realize you have to find a new doctor because the one you chose doesn’t take your insurance.
#3 – Are you trusting your intuition?
Yes, you should do the online research to find reviews of the doctor you have in mind.
Yes, you should ask friends, relatives, and coworkers for referrals.
Of course, you should take into account how much they cost and how far their office is from your house.
But, more importantly, are you listening to that little voice inside?
Do you feel at ease and safe when you walk into their office?
Is it easy to have a conversation with them? Do you feel respected as a parent when they talk to you? Do they respect your child as well?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Listen to your heart.” Well, that’s not just a metaphor! Science recently discovered that your heart doesn’t just pump blood – it actually contains a little brain similar to the brain in your head. (source)
What does that mean to you as a parent?
It means when you’re choosing the care provider whose expertise and personality you will depend on when your little one is ill if your mind is telling you one thing and your heart is telling you another…
Listen to your heart!
If the doctor’s office feels “off” or uncomfortable somehow, finish your appointment and don’t feel bad about leaving and never coming back. Trust that gut instinct of yours. If you don’t like going there the first time, chances are you’ll never like it.
If the doctor says things or makes assumptions you’re not comfortable with, keep looking. A big part of finding the right pediatrician for your baby is personality fit.
It’s worth taking the time and spending the energy to find the right one.
When your Baby is sick, you’ll feel more helpless than you ever have. You need a doctor you can trust. The first step is trusting that little voice inside that sings when you’ve met the right pediatrician and grumbles when you haven’t.
Your heart, your gut, and your intuition will know how to choose a pediatrician that’s right for you.
Good luck, Momma! We hope you find Dr. Right!
Featured image source: www.inhabitots.com