When you have a child on the way, you worry about everything. But, the number one worry is about your child’s health. You want so badly for your child to be born healthy and you want them to continue to be as healthy as possible. If they get a cold or develop a condition, you need to know that they will get the best care possible and that you will have a person to turn to for reliable advice.
What you are searching for in a pediatrician is a healthcare family member. You need someone who is not simply competent but also someone you find agreeable. This is the person who will help you break your little one’s fever and calm them. This is also the person you will turn to with questions about immunizations, any ailments your child has, developmental changes, thumb sucking, puberty, and bed wetting. You need to feel comfortable.
Start Looking While You Are Pregnant
Experts recommend you begin looking for a pediatrician before your baby is actually born. This doesn’t mean that you can’t wait longer or that you won’t find yourself searching again at some point in your child’s life. It simply means that looking early is a good choice because the period after your baby is born will be so busy that finding a doctor may not happen, and you don’t want to leave your family without a pediatrician.
You should start looking when you are between 28 and 34 weeks pregnant. By this point, you should know what you want and you will have the time you need to do some research. But, don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to find the best pediatrician that ever practiced medicine, you just need to find one that you can connect with and who you believe will be the best for your child and family.
Do Your Homework
When you get started, develop a list of providers from family and friends. If that doesn’t net you at least half a dozen people to scope out, check with an organization like the American Academy of Pediatrics and get referrals. You can also ask your ob-gyn and primary care doctor for help. When you have a list of candidates, contact your insurance and make sure the doctors you are interested in are covered by your plan.
You should consider things like the distance you will be traveling to see the doctor. When you find yourself in a situation where your child needs care as quickly as possible, you don’t want to have to drive for 30 minutes to get your child seen. Also, check into the hospitals affiliated with the pediatricians. You want to know they are connected to reputable, convenient facilities.
Credentials are also important. A pediatrician should have attended medical school and served at least three years of residency in family medicine or pediatrics. It’s ideal to find a doctor who is board certified via a test from the American Board of Family Medicine or American Board of Pediatrics. Your insurance company’s website should list the credentials for any providers in their network.
Meet Doctors in Person
To find a pediatrician with whom you feel comfortable, you need to schedule time to meet the few candidates that remain on your list of possible doctors. Try not to have a list of more than three people at this point. These appointments are often called pre-natal appointments and doctors are all prepared for them. You will want to check whether or not the doctor’s office charges for these visits. If so, you should know whether or not your insurance will cover the cost. Some doctors forgo individual appointments and have monthly meet and greets, so be prepared for that as well.
During these meetings, you must ask the questions that matter to you. Don’t feel like you need to adhere to “proper” parent questions. You will have opinions about breast feeding and sleep routines and other childrearing practices. You need a doctor who aligns with your values. Make them a priority. You can also ask your doctor on how to avoid addiction and its treatment as well as what are the effective approaches, for instance, the methamphetamine addiction treatment in your area or state.
Some common questions include:
- Is there anything you want to know about my family?
- Do you have a specific area of pediatric interest or a subspecialty? If so, what is it?
- If I have a tiny question, when is the best time to call and have it answered?
- What is your pediatric history?
- In case of an emergency or after hours situation, how do I contact you?
- If you are unavailable, who will help me?
Try to find out how many doctors are involved in the office. Ask whether or not you will be able to consistently see the same doctor for both well child and sick appointments. Also, find out how long routine appointments are. If you are concerned about whether or not your child can stay with the same doctor for the entirety of their childhood, you may also want to find out about the doctor’s future plans.
Maria C. Lopez is a health and wellness blogger that writes especially about addiction and its treatment. To know more of the approaches and programs applied, feel free to visit us at: https://www.addictions.com.