Back in the beginning of December, my husband and I brought a list of the doctors in our medical group to get my OBGYN’s opinion on pediatricians. He said it was a little early to start thinking about that, but indulged us and told us a bit about each one that he knew, and gave a vague thumbs up or thumbs down. He then recommended that we make appointments with a few of them before the baby arrives to choose one we liked best.
Now that I’m in my 8th month, I think it’s time to revisit that list and make a couple of appointments so we can choose a doctor for baby TTT before he arrives. I suppose we’ll need to interview them, but the process is so foreign to me. I found some detailed interview guides on Baby Center, The Bump, and Pregnancy and Baby, but many of the questions either don’t apply to me (eg: we’ll know they take our insurance because we will only interview ones that do and for after hours care, we go to urgent care or the ER), or are not things I feel like I need to ask (eg: I don’t care if there are other doctors in the practice or how many years the doctor has been practicing medicine). However, there are a few things that are important to me and I hope to address them at our so-called “interviews”.
I’d like to know where my doctor stands in the breast vs bottle world. I want a doctor who supports my efforts to exclusively breastfeed for at least one year and one who knows all the latest research and information on the topic. I know that some doctors of a previous generation tend to push mothers to give their kids formula when it isn’t necessary, so this is something I’d like to discuss.
I know most pediatricians don’t recommend co-sleeping, which is something we’re not planning to do, but I think a doctor’s opinion on this issue says a lot about how they might handle other things. If they have more of an open mind on the topic, I know they’ll have more of an open mind on other things, which is so much easier to deal with than someone who thinks they are the ultimate authority on everything.
Growth and Development
I remember when my brother was a baby — I was 18 when he was born, so I was pretty involved in his care. My mom would get a sheet at each of his monthly checkups that included everything he should be mastering developmentally, and where he stood on the growth charts. While I definitely want this information, I also want to know that my doctor understands that each child is different and won’t pressure me into any medications or therapies that might not be necessary.
This one is pretty important to me as I want to feel comfortable in whichever doctor’s office I chose. Are there toys for the kids to play with while we’re waiting to be called in for our appointment? Is it clean? Is the receptionist friendly? Do I feel comfortable there? I know this makes a big difference for me because my previous OBGYN’s office was horrible – very large waiting room, rude receptionists, uncomfortable seating, etc., and my current OBGYN’s office is like a different world – the receptionist knows me, the office is small, it’s decorated very nicely and even has a fountain in the waiting room for ultimate relaxation. Luckily, I won’t really have to ask any questions for this one; I can just observe and make note of it.
I remember when we first met with who was to be our wedding photographer, The Caldwells. We knew that we should interview a few people before coming to a decision, but after talking with them for an hour or so, we just knew they were right for us. We didn’t feel the need to meet with anyone else because we knew we liked them and felt that chemistry. We’re still in touch with them almost three years later. I’m pretty sure that this will happen when choosing a pediatrician, as well. When we find the right one for us, we’ll just know. Hopefully one of the doctors on our somewhat limited list for our medical group is also one who we have good chemistry with.
What is important to you when selecting a pediatrician?