Alright Mama, you’re almost there! You’re in the last trimester of your pregnancy, you’ve had the baby shower, you’re feeling all those cartwheels and kicks from baby, and you can no longer see your feet. There is one important thing you should start thinking about before the baby comes and that is picking your pediatrician. Babies can be unpredictable and come early, so you want to make sure you are on the ball. Give yourself enough time to find a doctor that you feel comfortable with and one that you respect, because believe me, once the baby is here, you will have A LOT going on!
So how does one go about selecting a pediatrician?
To get started, put together a list of pediatricians who are in-network. Once you've done that, a great way to find a good pediatrician is by word of mouth. Ask around to family and friends and find out who is well respected. Crosscheck them with the list you already have. Once you have compiled a list of well-respected pediatricians, you should begin by interviewing doctors and their office. You can schedule an in-person meeting or call and get all your questions answered by staff.
It can be a little overwhelming but it will help if you compile a list of pre thought-out questions to call and ask. You want to be detailed and choose a doctor who will be the best fit for you. So here is a helpful list that can help you get started:
- Is the doctor board certified? Do they follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (known as AAP)
- What are the office hours? Will they work with your schedule?
- Does the doctor have a solo practice or a group practice? Who will see your child when they are unavailable?
- Does the doctor have privileges at the hospital/ pediatric hospital?
- Is there a nurse line you can call? What happens after hours?
- How much do visits cost? Am I required to pay in full at the time of the visit, or can you make payments?
- Are there any vaccination policies? Are children required to be vaccinated and follow the immunization schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?
- Will your doctor come check out your baby in the hospital?