When you’re pregnant, finding a pediatrics clinic might not be high on your list of priorities. It’s more than likely that you’re overwhelmed with just getting through the day, counting the minutes till the expected delivery, putting finishing touches on the baby’s room, and preparing to lose more sleep than you already are. However, someday soon, that baby will arrive and he or she is going to need pediatric care. To help you during this stressful time, here are several important things to consider when finding a pediatrician.
Start early, before the baby is born if possible.
According to Parents.com, the ideal time to be looking for your pediatric medical center is as early as 28 to 34 weeks into your pregnancy. This probably seems too early. However, getting an early start means that as soon as your child is born, they can start to receive their scheduled checkups, medical testing, and vaccines. According to the AAP, even healthy children require consistent checkups with a pediatrician. Early vaccination is also critical, because just one vaccine can stop as many as five diseases, according to UNICEF.
Before you start reading pediatrician reviews, try to get a good, long list of pediatricians that you would consider. Family, friends, and coworkers are all great sources to start with. If your insurance company doesn’t seem to agree with you on your choice of pediatric medical center, don’t give up. Provider lists are subject to frequent updates, and it’s possible that the pediatric center that you have shortlisted may end up on it sooner rather than later. You can always check the American Academy of Pediatrics for referrals.
Narrow down the field.
Once you have your list, you will need to start talking to doctors. This might involve short interviews, brief meetings, or prenatal visits, depending on the doctor and the group. When you meet with a doctor or group, you should be judging their compatibility based on whether they make you feel comfortable, and meet your criteria for a good doctor. Some people choose pediatricians based on whether or not the doctor has actually raised children for themselves. Others simply want a doctor with good credentials, and a great deal of experience. Make sure you know what you want to see in a pediatric medical center before you start paying visits, and remember to think about factors such as proximity to your home, open hours, and ongoing availability.
If you start to get a little overwhelmed with this process, just remember that in the United States there are more than 73.9 million children. Millions of parents have been down this road, and there are plenty of resources out there that can guide you towards finding the best medical care for your child. Simply remember these three steps. Try to get an early start, make a big list, and then narrow it down, and you will be well prepared, just in time for the arrival of your new baby. Continue reading here.