How to Choose Your Baby’s Doctor
Before your baby is born, you should choose a health-care provider to follow your baby’s growth and development after birth. You may choose to have your own family doctor, a pediatrician, a nurse, or a health clinic care for your baby. Some pediatricians, who are specialists in child health, do “well baby” visits, while others only follow children with health problems. Here are some points to consider when making your decision.
- Convenience: During the first months, frequent visits are required to monitor your baby’s growth and development, so having a care provider close to where you live may be important.
- Comfort: Pick someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable asking questions. Ask family members and friends for their advice. Your own doctor may also have recommendations.
- Accessibility: If you have a concern about your baby’s health at night or on a weekend, how will you get help? How is the practice set up — is it a solo practice or a partnership of practitioners who share on-call duty?
KEY POINT: Identify a health-care provider for your baby before you deliver to ensure that you have help in place should your baby have any health concerns immediately after she leaves the hospital.
JEREMY FRIEDMAN, MB.ChB, FR CPC, FAAP, is the Chief of Paediatric Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children and a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.
NATASHA SAUNDERS, MD, MSc, FR CPC, is a pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children and the mom of two small children.
Find more information on how to care for your baby in Baby Care Basics.