May 29, 2017
Almost every new parent wonders how to go about choosing the right pediatrician (or family doctor) for their new baby! For most families, we suggest starting your search in the late second trimester, or early third trimester (when you are about 22-32 weeks). This gives you time to have started to think about what you want in a pediatrician in early-pregnancy. It also gives you time to meet and interview a few pediatricians as needed in later-pregnancy!
There are many different ways to go about finding the right care provider for your baby. Here are a few of them:
Most pediatricians and family doctors will allow you to schedule a consultation to meet them and ask questions before deciding. This is a great way to see their office, and get to know the unique personalities and communication styles of different providers ahead of time.
Also, it is helpful to know that the hospital you deliver at will require the contact information for your chosen pediatrician, and most also require you to schedule the first appointment for your baby before you are discharged from the hospital. This is why we want to make sure that you have made your choice before delivery!
If this stresses you out, though, don't forget: this decision isn't set in stone for life! We hope that you will find the perfect fit right off the bat, but if not, you can always switch later if needed.
Before heading in to talk to the pediatrician or family doctor, here are a few things you might ask yourself and your partner first so that you have a more clear picture of what you need out of a doctor (and make sure you and your partner are on the same page!):
Once you are ready, here are a few questions you can ask to help you start to get a sense for who that right fit might be in a doctor:
At the end of the day, it is important that you feel comfortable and confident in the care your pediatrician or family doctor can provide. Being on the same page, and able to clearly communicate is important. Good luck in your search!