Choosing Your Baby's Doctor
It may seem early, but the beginning of your third trimester is the ideal time to choose your baby's doctor.
To get recommendations, ask reliable sources—your obstetrician, other healthcare providers, family, friends, neighbors, your pharmacist or a local medical society. Free assistance with physician referral is available at 425.656.INFO or by using the Find a Doctor directory online. Check to see if your insurance plan covers the physicians you are considering.
These points can guide you in selecting a physician who will help your child grow healthy and strong, from birth through adolescence and into adulthood:
- Personality fit: Consider the type of personality that suits you and your family. Some people want an easy-going physician who provides options and asks for patient input. Others prefer a directed or authoritative approach.
- Good communication skills: Look for a physician who listens and is good at explaining complex medical information. You'll want someone who is straightforward and easy to understand while respecting your intelligence, cultural background and personal experience.
- Convenient location: Choose a physician who is close to home, work, daycare or other caregivers.
- Friendly and reliable nursing and office staff: Make sure the entire healthcare team is helpful and relates well to children. Over the years, you can get lots of useful information from these professionals.
- Credentials and hospital privileges: Ask if the physician is board-certified in a specialty, like pediatrics or family health. Your baby will need to be examined while you are still in the hospital. If your doctor of choice does not have privileges at Valley Medical Center, s/he may apply for temporary privileges, or an on-call physician can see your baby while you are in the hospital.
- Support for your beliefs: When you interview a prospective physician, discuss any strong philosophies or beliefs you have—such as dietary or religious—that could affect your healthcare. Your physician does not have to share your philosophy, but he or she should be supportive and willing to work with you.