As a new parent there are lots of important decisions to make when it comes to the health and well-being of your new baby. Choosing the perfect pediatrician is one such decision. As your trusted Fort Collins doula, I want to help you make the right decision for you, your family, and your baby. Rather than choosing off of a list of in-network HMO providers, web searches, or even referrals from friends and family, it’s important to choose a healthcare provider that aligns with you and the type of newborn and postpartum experience that you desire. Not only do you need to feel comfortable and at peace with this person, but you’ll more than likely be sitting in their waiting room for around 30% (give or take) of your life from your child’s birth to age 18, so it’s a much better experience all around when you feel seen, heard, and validated.
Here are a few tips to make sure that your pediatrician is the perfect fit for you.
- First of all, it’s important to know what you want out of a health care provider. What experience do you ultimately want and what philosophies do you adhere to? Only from this point of knowledge can you choose a pediatrician that aligns with you and your wishes.
- Make sure you understand how they approach certain situations such as newborn weight loss, breastfeeding, nutrition, newborn sleep, immunizations and vaccines, or any other topics that you may feel strongly about or are open to learning more about. A conversation about these topics will give you insight into the philosophy of the pediatrician.
- What are the dynamics of the office? Are there multiple doctors that rotate calls? Is it easy to get through to your doctor or is there red tape? Do they return phone calls? Do all the doctors in the practice have similar philosophies? If the doctor is independent, who do they use for backup for vacations or illness?
- Ensure that the practice is current when it comes to training and education regarding especially around infant sleep and feeding. They should be providing up-to-date evidenced based resources to you and your family.
- Do you feel good about how after hours/weekends are handled? Do they have someone on-call to speak too or text with? Do they provide virtual or 24×7 options for care? It never fails, kids tend to get sick outside of normal business hours. Many providers now offer subscription services that include home visits, text/call support for 24 hours a day.
- Once you choose a pediatrician, pay attention to how you feel when you’re in an appointment, how you feel when you leave the appointment, and how the staff makes you feel. If you ever feel off, unheard, or just downright shitty or anxious at any point when interacting with your pediatrician, it’s not a good match. You should your appointments feeling like an amazing capable parent, not a failure or a parent that isn’t taken seriously.
- And remember, it’s always ok to switch if you’re not getting what you need. Because if you’re not getting what you need, your baby isn’t getting what they need.
I encourage you to be thorough in this process of choosing a pediatrician. Be as thorough in your research as you would be when buying a new car or house. This is an important decision not to be made lightly.
In addition to pediatricians there is a local wealth of amazing newborn, postpartum, and breastfeeding resources available in our community and as an experiencedFort Collins birth doula in our community I have meaningful relationships with many of them. You can check out my resource guide or ask me anytime for my recommendations and I’ll be happy to help! If you need any help or have any questions, I’m always here for you.
Click here to contact me with any questions or to set up a time to chat.