Are you pregnant and want a pediatrician for your unborn child? Your delivery date is around the corner and you want to know how to choose a pediatrician for your baby? A gynecologist is the go to person during your pregnancy, but before your delivery you should know about the good pediatricians near you and choose one.
A pediatrician is a doctor who has a specialization in childcare. Usually, they treat kids up to the age of 12 years. The pediatricians are specially trained in the field of child health care to understand a baby’s physical and mental health. A pediatrician will examine, diagnose and treat a child if she/he has any injuries or illness.
This is one question many people will ask. The point is that it is important to choose a pediatrician during pregnancy as it is always better to be prepared. There is a lot that changes and happens once the baby is born, and then looking for good pediatricians is a task. It is important to have the same doctor for your baby for the first few months or even years, until most vaccinations are done. The task to choose a pediatrician may seem difficult, but all that it needs a bit of research. The main aim to find good pediatricians is to ensure that the doctor has a similar thought process as you.
I know many people here will think that we are not doctors and we must just agree to what the doctor says. In no way, I am saying that do not follow the instructions of the doctor but somewhere you should have the same ideologies. For example, as a mother, I do not like to give too many medicines to Little Miss A especially antibiotics and steroids. Many doctors prescribe these at the drop of a hat and parents who want the child to get well soon prefer such doctors. I have always gone to doctors who only prescribe necessary medicines. I try and use natural ways to cure common ailments and go to the pediatrician later if things do not improve in three days.
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The role of a pediatrician begins as soon as your baby is born. Within 24 hours of the birth of your baby, she/he needs to be examined by a pediatrician to diagnose their initial health conditions. In our case, as I delivered at 34 weeks, immediate medical attention was needed to see if the premature baby was doing fine and if all vitals were as per requirement. Little Miss A was immediately taken to the NICU where a neonatal pediatrician attended to her.
Usually, the pediatrician visits your baby regularly to monitor his/her health conditions. In our case we had to go to him every month, as it was important to monitor Miss A’s weight. If in case, your baby needs any special care or medications then it will be suggested by the pediatrician. The pediatrician gives you an overview of the vaccinations that need to be taken immediately after the birth of the baby and the vaccinations to be done later on. Most good pediatricians give a vaccination card which has details of the immunizations that need to be given and when. As your baby grows up, the pediatrician will guide you on how to improve his eating habits, his diet, hygiene etc. Pediatricians can also give you a walk through on the right mental and physical development of your child and can do any counseling if needed.
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Good pediatricians are usually popular and you can know about the good ones by word of mouth when choosing a pediatrician. How to choose a pediatrician can be a bit tricky but there are some queries which you should have and should get addressed during your research. The main ones are:
Always start doing your research before the baby arrives. You can consult your friends who are already parents, family members, relatives etc. for contacts and references. When you choose a pediatrician, consider location and time given for consultation as important factors. Good pediatricians are never in a hurry and are patient with kids and answer all questions carefully.
Try to find out about the credentials of the doctor. She/he must have done her/his specialization in childcare. You should cross-check that. Also, try to find out about the work experience of the doctor.
Practices in the field of medicine are rapidly changing. The doctor should be well aware of all the recent practices that are done for childcare. Make sure the pediatrician you are selecting is well versed with all new practices.
Try to study the way the doctor responds to your queries or questions. You must communicate freely with the pediatrician about all your worries and issues. So, the communication style of the pediatrician is very important. I always took a list of questions to the pediatrician and he would patiently let me ask them and would answer them in detail. This gives a lot of confidence to the mother.
It is a must to find out the reviews about the doctor from others. There are online surveys, reviews present about what other patients have to say about a particular pediatrician. This will definitely be a great help in finalizing a particular pediatrician.
Try to study the way your pediatrician and your baby are interacting with each other. This is necessary as it creates a bond between the pediatrician and your child. Good pediatricians are very good with kids and it becomes easy to choose a pediatrician when you see they can easily play and divert the mind of the baby.
After you are done with your research and some initial visits, you are definitely going to understand if the doctor is suitable for you or not. If you feel convinced about the well-being and care of your child, then you can finalize a particular doctor.
I have a very simple parenting mantra where I do not like to stress the child. Pediatricians are the best judge on how to handle the problems. In many ways, I did not follow the traditional parenting thoughts and as my pediatrician was like me, it was a pleasure to be with him. I remember when Little Miss started sucking her fingers at 4 months, everyone told me it was wrong but the pediatrician told me it was important for her to learn to comfort herself. And when she turned 3, he asked us to get rid of the habit. Similarly, at 5.5 months she started getting up at night frequently for feeds, he told me to start solids. Parents usually wait till 6 months, but as he suggested it was needed we agreed, and she was back to sleeping full nights.
After Miss A turned one, I had asked him about potty training. He told me there is no right age, and follow her cues and it will not be a task. As per standards, we trained her at 3, but she was ready and we did just fine. Some of these advices were against usual parenting norms, but as I always preferred to not stress my Miss A, this thought process matched with mine.
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You must choose your pediatrician very carefully as in initial days you will be visiting the pediatrician quite a lot number of times and your baby need to go well with her/him. Moreover, when it comes to the health and well- being of the baby we should be very careful and cautious. Your pediatrician is your best guide when it comes to your baby, “because babies don’t come with owner’s manuals”.
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