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Choosing Your Baby's Pediatrician

Your doctor can help you arrange for a pediatrician before your baby's delivery. He or she may be glad to give you a referral. When your baby is born, the pediatrician will be notified so he or she can come to the hospital and check the baby.
WarningAlthough it isn't necessary, you may wish to choose and visit a pediatrician for your baby 3 or 4 weeks before your due date. If the baby comes early, you will have already made these arrangements.

Questions to Ask

Below is a list of questions to help you create a dialogue with your new pediatrician about your child's care.
What are your qualifications and training?
What is your availability?
Are your office hours compatible with our schedules?
Can an acutely ill child be seen the same day?
How can we reach you in case of an emergency or after office hours?
Who responds if you are not available?
Is the office staff cordial, open and easy to talk to?
Do you return phone calls the same day?
Are you interested in preventive, developmental and behavioral issues?
How does your practice operate?
Does it comply with our insurance?
What is the nearest (to our home) emergency room or urgent-care center you would send us to?

What to Consider When Selecting a Pediatrician

Some issues can be resolved only by analyzing your feelings after you've visited this doctor— examining your "gut reactions" to certain issues. Below is a list of questions you and your partner might want to discuss after an initial visit.
Are the doctor's philosophies and attitudes acceptable to us, such as use of antibiotics and other medications, childrearing practices or medically related religious beliefs?
Did the doctor listen to us?
Was he or she genuinely interested in our concerns?
Did the physician appear interested in developing a rapport with our expected child?
Is this a person I feel comfortable with and with whom our child will be comfortable?
WarningIf conflicts develop over time or you don't see eye to eye on important matters, you may be able to choose another pediatrician within the practice or elsewhere, depending on your insurance coverage.
After Your Baby's Birth Articles:
After Your Baby Is Born | Choosing Your Baby's Pediatrician | Your Postpartum Checkup | Birth Control after Pregnancy | Making Your Home Safe for Baby
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