Looking back to my own pregnancies, one of the tasks I found most daunting, especially the first time, was trying to find the right pediatrician for a baby I hadn’t even yet met. In fact, with my first pregnancy, I put it off until I was already in early labor, because I was so scared to pick the wrong doctor! Now that I’ve been through the process a few times, I decided to share a few of the questions I ask and things I pay attention to when considering a doctor to be our pediatrician.
#1. Ask how closely they follow AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians) recommendations.
While this one may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many doctors will actually scoff at the recommendations released by AAP and WHO (World Health Organization) and make recommendations that can be dangerous.
#2. Ask who they refer to for breastfeeding problems.
This question is a really great way to see how supportive your doctor will be when it comes to breastfeeding. If they bring up formula samples, its safe to say that that pediatrician may not be the most supportive of breastfeeding. Many pediatricians now have Certified Lactation Consultants in office, which can be a huge help. Either way, this is a great question to ask to see if your views and the doctor’s views match up.
#3. Sit in the waiting room for awhile.
I think the waiting room is such an important part of choosing a pediatrician! Do they have a separate room for sick children, to help minimize the spread of illness? When families check in, does the staff act friendly and happy, or as though they are being inconvenienced? If the office is very busy, at all times, this means you are a bit more likely to be able to schedule a same day appointment, though the staff may not be as personable.
#4. Ask how the doctor would treat an ear infection.
The way the pediatrician answers this question will give you insight as to how they will handle any ailment with your child. Are they quick to prescribe medicine? Do they prefer to take a “wait and see” approach? You might even get a talk on antibiotic resistance. Its important to choose a care provider for your child that will line up with your own philosophies, so that you don’t feel like you have to fight for your child to receive the care you think they need.
Now, go out and schedule some consultations with pediatricians. If you need some recommendations to get started, don’t hesitate to reach out, and I’ll be more than happy to send you a list of doctors that my clients and I have loved!