Choosing Your Baby’s Doctor
At Metro Health, we understand that pregnancy is an exciting time in any woman’s life. It is a time of anticipation, anxiety and preparation. As you busily prepare and plan for your new baby’s arrival you will encounter many decisions that you must make. One of the most important decisions will be choosing a doctor to care for your baby after he or she has been born.
Metro’s Health’s pediatricians and family practice physicians are dedicated to helping new parents raise healthy, happy children. They are passionate about working with babies, and their parents, to provide the care you have come to expect from Metro Health. Learn more about our family practice and pediatric services.
The following information may be helpful for you when choosing your baby’s doctor:
What will my baby’s doctor do?
Your baby’s pediatrician or family practice doctor will:
- Make sure your baby is growing and eating well, and is generally healthy
- Update immunizations and boosters
- Monitor your baby’s growth and development
- Educate you on how to keep your baby safe and healthy
- Work with specialists if your baby is sick
- Communicates with you, listens to you and answers your questions
When should I start looking for a doctor for my baby?
You want to have chosen your baby’s doctor before your baby is born, so the best time to select your baby’s doctor is while you are pregnant.
Plan to start looking for a doctor when you are 24 to 32 weeks pregnant. This will give you plenty of time to meet with any physicians and “interview” them before giving birth. Getting a head start on this process will be helpful because some women give birth before their due date, and starting early in your pregnancy will give you time to comfortably choose the best doctor for you.
How do I find a doctor for my baby?
There are a variety of ways to find a doctor. You could ask for a recommendation from a friend or relative or your OB/GYN or your primary care physician. You may even wish to check with your insurance company to find a doctor that accepts your insurance plan.
Once you have a found a doctor or several doctors that you are interested in learning more about, schedule an “interview” appointment to see whether you are comfortable with them. Interview appointments may not be covered by your insurance, so you’ll want to find out whether the doctor charges a fee for such a visit.
What should I ask when I call the doctor’s office?
- What are their hours?
- How does the office do its billing?
- Will payment be due at the time of visit?
- Does the office accept your insurance?
- If your baby is sick, how quickly can you get an appointment?
- How do I care for my baby after hours or during an emergency?
When I visit the office, what should I look for?
- Is the waiting area kept clean?
- Is the waiting area child-friendly?
- Do you feel comfortable and welcome there?
- Is the staff welcoming and friendly?
- Is the staff receptive to your phone calls?
- How are the wait times? Short or long?
- Is the office’s location good for you?
- How open is the physician to your questions and working with you?
What do I need to ask a potential pediatrician or family practice physician?
- What is your background and education?
- How long have you been a doctor?
- How can I reach you after hours?
- Who covers for you when you are off?
- If I call and can’t talk to you, who will answer my question?
- What is your philosophy on breastfeeding and what support do you offer to breastfeeding mothers?
- How do you support women who choose to bottle feed?
- How do you feel about obtaining second opinions?
- What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and do you offer it?
- How do you approach working with specialists?
- Do you have children of your own?