There are tons of things to think about and prepare for as an expectant mother, including choosing the right pediatrician for your newborn's needs. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that the pediatrician you choose is the right one for your family:
Gather Your Leads
The first thing you should do when choosing a pediatrician to care for your newborn is gather leads from a variety of resources. Don't just rely on your phone book's yellow pages or healthcare signs you see while driving down the road to find a pediatrician. You can also find leads through credible sources that can refer you to qualified and experienced pediatricians who are trusted within your community. Here's how you can find qualified leads:
Ask your state's official medical board to provide you with the contact information of board-certified pediatricians in your area.
Use the referral services of your local medical association.
Contact the pediatrics department of your local hospital to get names of qualified pediatricians in your area.
After gathering your lists of leads, you can narrow the leads down based on things like their location, experience, and availability.
Schedule Your Consultations
Once you have found a pediatrician who you think will meet your needs and expectations, it's a good idea to schedule an in-person consultation with them before scheduling any healthcare appointments for your newborn. During the consultation you will have an opportunity to learn about what you can expect when working with them as your newborn ages. You should find out about:
Appointment scheduling policies
Whether there is after-hours nurse support by phone or email
Whether other doctors will fill in for the main pediatrician at any time throughout the year
Which hospital the pediatrician will treat your child in if they ever have to be hospitalized
What types of managed-care programs the pediatrician participates in
After your consultation, you should be able to decide whether the pediatrician you met with will be a good fit for your family as time goes on.
Choose Your Pediatrician before Giving Birth
If possible, it's a good idea to choose your pediatrician before giving birth. This will ensure that your pediatrician is the first care provider your newborn is able to see after they are born. You'll also receive valuable information and insight from your pediatrician that will help you get through the birthing experience and parenthood.
You'll learn about things like proper nutrition, growth expectations, and common health issues to watch out for in the first days and months of your newborn's life. Additionally, you will already be familiar with your pediatrician by the time your newborn starts seeing them, which will help you feel more secure about the care that the baby is getting.