Your newborn requires medical attention every now and then. If you are a first-time parent, your visits to a pediatrician are likely fraught with questions about your baby’s physical growth and well-being.
Having a pediatrician who can set your mind at ease is important as he or she provides professional medical insights and advice as your baby goes through different stages. The following are things you must know as you search for that pediatrician of choice.
Begin your search early
If you do not specify a preferred pediatrician in advance, you will be assigned a pediatrician to attend to your baby during your stay in the hospital after he or she is delivered. He or she will be the same pediatrician whom you will be scheduled to consult for a follow-up check-up on your baby about a week after you return home.
If you already have a pediatrician in mind, make your intention known early so that arrangements can be made ahead of your expected due date. Getting recommendations from family or friends is perhaps one of your first steps towards choosing a preferred pediatrician.
Someone you are comfortable with
Experienced pediatricians who command a long wait are not necessarily the best fit for you. Instead of going for a pediatrician just because he or she is popular among parents, find out more about the pediatrician through online parenting forums before arriving at a conclusion.
Some parents are fine with pediatricians who have very little to say. But if you are a first-time parent who does not have the benefit of knowing what to expect, finding a pediatrician who is patient, friendly and open to questions is important.
It is also good to know what a pediatrician advocates. For example, some pediatricians are quick to offer antibiotics in treating an ailment. Others can be discouraging when a mother persists in breastfeeding. If you are not comfortable with a pediatrician’s approach, you should strike him or her off your list.
Pediatricians specialise in various disciplines. Depending on a health condition that your baby or toddler is prone to developing, you may want to consult a pediatrician who is specifically trained in that discipline.
For example, some babies are more susceptible towards developing persistent coughing that often leads to bronchitis. In this case, having a pediatrician who specialises in this area of treatment may be preferred.
Availability of a pediatrician
Some pediatricians offer consultations at various branches of a clinic throughout the week. Understanding a pediatrician’s availability at a preferred location (usually near home) is important in ensuring that your baby obtains immediate medical attention from a pediatrician who knows your baby’s medical history.
Pediatricians have different consultation charges. Call up clinics to check on consultation fees so that you will not be in for a rude shock when your bill is presented to you.
A visit to a pediatrician can set you back by a few hundreds of dollars depending on the treatment provided. On top of consultation fees and cost of medicine, blood tests and x-rays can weigh heavily on the total amount payable. As a result, you may want to visit a clinic that makes provision for payment using your baby’s Child Development Account (CDA) account.
Finding a suitable pediatrician can take time. You may even find that your baby outgrows a pediatrician because his or her needs have changed, and this renders another pediatrician a better fit. Ultimately, your preferred pediatrician at any time should be someone whom you can count on to address your baby’s health concerns.
For other concerns, speak with a professional to find out more.