Selecting the right paediatrician to kickstart your journey after giving birth is pretty important. A paediatrician helps you every step of the way in your child’s development. They ensure the wellness of your kids from the start through their teen years. The early years of a newborn demand several planned and unplanned checkups, especially when you’re a new parent(s). Therefore, finding a suitable and comfortable paediatrician who can manage your family’s needs is critical beforehand.
Paediatricians aren’t there to satisfy your queries about runny noses, vaccinations, etc. They also help you with anxiety postpartum and depression. So when you have bad days, they can help you feel how well you are doing in parenting a new human being in your life.
Since you expect to maintain long-term relations with your paediatricians, it’s essential to consider some things before you land on one choice. Here are some factors to keep in mind for choosing your paediatrician:
Proximity to the doctor’s office
With a newborn, you can expect regular visits to the paediatrician several times, whether they are scheduled or unplanned, depending on your child’s health. Therefore, the location, ease of reaching from your office or home, and overall convenience are quite crucial. Further, getting there should also be easy through walking, train, subway, or bus, so you don’t need to go through the hassles of changing routes to get your baby the care they need.
A close-to-home, work, or office doctor can ensure convenience and save time.
Availability of the doctor
Further, check the availability timings of the doctor you choose. It will determine the appointment scheduling procedure. While availability may not be a factor if you’re a stay-at-home parent, it can trouble you when you’re both working. If the doctor is available only 9-5, you need to alter your schedule for checkups. Further, unplanned visits can become a challenge.
In such cases, you’ll need to see how the paediatrician takes up emergency visits. Are they available for calls when you need them? Can you take up virtual assistance from them for a problem or doubt? It’s better to have a paediatrician with a tele calling and online patient portal so the appointment scheduling, revising, etc., can happen seamlessly.
Consider the doctor’s credentials and experiences
When choosing a paediatrician for your child, do not skip on asking the most crucial question regarding the credentials and experience of the doctor. Most doctors have passed the medical school, finished their residency program, and received state licensing. However, not all have board certification.
Although board certification is voluntary, it pertains to getting additional training in pediatrics. The American Board of Pediatrics certifies the doctors after they give and complete the examination process. This procedure is valuable for paediatricians as it demonstrates their competency in
- Medical knowledge
- Communication skills
- Patient Care
Considering the credentials will ensure you are placing your newborn’s health and wealth in the right hands.
Visit the doctor once
Before you zero in on one doctor, ensure to visit them once. When you do meet them, you will find information about them, their treatment style, and their philosophy of care. At this introductory stage, you should ask as many questions as possible about them. This will help you eliminate all the doubts, confusions, and inquiries about post-pregnancy care and help you determine how the paediatrician is. With a paediatrician, you get a partner, an advisor, and a doctor all in one.
Collect as much information as possible from your friends and family members about the paediatricians they follow. Further, when you consider the location, regular and weekend hours, after-care hours, etc., check if the doctor accepts your health insurance.
You also need to check whether the doctor is accepting new patients because sometimes the applications are wide. Moreover, parents should consider the specific developmental needs of their child before deciding on a particular doctor.
Check the newborn’s interaction with the doctor
Bring your newborn after birth to your paediatrician for regular checkups and see how they both interact. It’s crucial for the baby to be as comfortable as possible when they are with the doctor. Ensuring a good fit will help your further checkups.
Last, but definitely not least consideration, is cost. You need to determine whether your insurance can cover the trips to the paediatrician and other affordability aspects. You should know exactly what you will be paying for: Will it be Co-pays? Deductibles? An out-of-pocket maximum, etc.?
When you’re ready for the baby, specifically in the third trimester, you should start looking for a paediatrician for the next phase. The process isn’t tedious, but proper research is crucial to ensure your child’s well-being. Talk to your close ones about your need and gather as much information as possible before closing in on one option.