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What to Look for in a Pediatrician

Allison Hutton


Once your baby arrives, her doctor will see her after birth, and again within 3 days to 4 weeks after birth. She will then be seen several times within her first year, to receive immunizations and well baby check-ups. Therefore, it is important that you choose a pediatrician who meets the needs of your baby and family.

It is advisable to choose your pediatrician before your baby's birth. You can begin your search in several ways. You can ask your obstetrician to refer someone, ask for recommendations from friends and co-workers, or begin calling offices in your area.

Do not hesitate to meet with a doctor, and conduct an informal "interview" ahead of time. While he or she may have appeared to be what you were looking for in the beginning, you may find that your views of baby care and parenting differ. For example, if you want to have your baby sleep with you, a physician who believes in attachment parenting would be an advisable choice.

You will also want to find a doctor who is covered by your insurance, available at times that are convenient to you, and hold the same beliefs as you and your family. Another option is to find a family practitioner that will be able to see your entire family. This allows for a close relationship, and the physician will readily understand the type of care your family needs.

Regardless of the type of practice you choose, you should feel comfortable and confident that the doctor will respect your decisions, and work with you to give your baby the best care possible.

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