Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Many women will spend time choosing their healthcare provider to deliver their baby, but many overlook the importance of choosing the healthcare professional who will care for their newborn baby. Generally, you should choose a provider for your baby by your 7th month of pregnancy. Here are some tips and things to consider when making this decision:
Types of Providers:
- There are many different professionals who can care for your child. Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in pediatric care from newborns to 18 years of age. Other options include family practice doctors, pediatric nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Other things to consider:
- Location: Do you want the office you visit close to home? Work? How far are you willing to travel with a sick child?
- Availability: Does the office offer after-hours services? What about weekend clinic hours? It’s important to choose a provider who has on-call services so you can always get ahold of someone. And don’t forget to ask about how many partners are in the group for when your provider isn’t available.
- Insurance: This is probably the biggest factor when deciding whom to care for your newborn. Check with your insurance company first on which providers are covered to minimize out of pocket expenses.
- Office Environment and Personnel: Are the office staff friendly? Do they answer your questions? Ask about typical waiting times and see if the office has a specific waiting area for children who are not sick.
- Bedside Manner and Practice: This refers to the way your provider does things. You want someone who will take time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions appropriately. You never want to feel rushed. Also, make sure you are choosing someone who sees eye-to-eye with your preferences on vaccinations, breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, and other important issues.
- Referrals: Get referrals from your OBGYN, family, and friends. Go online and research providers and read reviews. It’s best to get to know your provider before your baby is born. If possible, schedule an appointment with your potential provider to get to know them and ask important questions before your baby arrives.
Keep in mind that you will be seeing your child’s health care provider many times during the first two years of your child’s life. On average, your child will have 8-10 well-child visits during this time, not including any visits for sick children. Your relationship with your infant’s provider needs to be based on trust. You have hired this person to take care of your baby to the best of their knowledge and know how. Never hesitate to ask questions and remember, you are the best judge of what your baby needs!
At EIRMC, care for kids is what we do. We are the only hospital in Idaho Falls with pediatricians on Medical Staff; highly-specialized pediatric subspecialty physicians; pediatric nurses; child life specialists, and other pediatric clinical experts to take the best care of your child. Learn more at eirmcKids.com.