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How to Choose a Pediatrician

How to Choose a Pediatrician

As you prepare for your sweet baby, an important choice you’ll make before your second trimester ends is choosing your baby’s doctor—their pediatrician. Choosing a pediatrician can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to a city, the only person you know with young kids, or if you’re just not sure how to choose a healthcare provider. Let’s discuss how you can confidently pick your baby’s pediatrician.

What is a Pediatrician?

Pediatricians are doctors that specialize in taking care of children from birth to age 18. Specialized doctors work in hospitals, private offices, and clinics. Following your baby’s birth, most hospitals require that your baby is evaluated by their pediatrician, family physician or pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) within 24 hours.

When parents don’t have a provider chosen for their new baby, they will be assigned a provider during their stay in the hospital. When you return home, your baby will need ongoing care from a pediatrician you will see at their office.

To find a great pediatrician, start with recommendations from friends and family members. Do you prefer a male or female pediatrician/pediatric NP? Does your preferred pediatrician’s office hours align with your schedule? Are there options for your baby to be seen on weekends?

Then ask about policies for practices such as vaccinations. Have your questions ready as you narrow your search. If you don’t have family and friends nearby, find new mom groups, and websites that rate pediatric providers in your area.

Convenience Matters

Be sure that you and your partner choose a provider who may be in the most convenient location to your home or work. Many of your baby’s appointments, scheduled and unscheduled, happen within the first year of life. This could help to alleviate extra stress by avoiding the need to commute a long distance from the places you spend the most time!

It’s also important to know if your desired pediatrician is accepting new patients. Call the office to inquire and share your due date. Their current number of patients and practitioners in the office determines how many patients they can handle, so call as early as possible.

Often, your infant’s pediatrician becomes an important part of your family as your sweet baby grows up. Finding the best healthcare provider to fit your family’s needs is an important step and may require a little time and research. But your baby is worth it, so let’s get started new parents, you’ll be glad you did.

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