Throughout your pregnancy, you take several decisions to ensure your baby's health and safety — eating healthy, visiting your gynaecologist for regular check-ups, etc.
One such decision is finding a paediatrician!
It is crucial to find a paediatrician you trust and who is the right fit for you and your baby. Finding a paediatrician may take some time, and it's best to do this sooner rather than later, ideally three months before the delivery date.
Why Choose a Paediatrician?
Paediatricians are primary health care providers for children.
Paediatricians have special training to:
- Treat childhood illnesses
- Perform physical exams, diagnose and treat problems
- Give vaccinations
- Guide you in anticipating your child's needs and make healthy lifestyle choices
- Ensure that your child is reaching their milestones — growing and developing as they should
How to choose a Paediatrician?
- Ask your gynaecologist.
- Talk to the people you trust. Ask other parents—your friends, family members for recommendations. You can ask them the following questions:
- Do you feel rushed at your appointments?
- Are you comfortable asking questions during the visit?
- Do you feel comfortable calling up to ask questions? If the doctor is busy, does he return phone calls?
- Is there someone else at the clinic to answer routine questions?
- How are emergencies handled on the weekend or after hours?
- How quickly can you get the doctor's appointment?
- Does your child feel comfortable with the doctor and the staff?
- Do the doctor and staff provide information regarding vaccinations, illness?
- Does the paediatrician have a relaxed "wait and see" approach or a more proactive approach to treatment?
Develop a criteria
Consider the following points when choosing a paediatrician.
- Location-Is the clinic conveniently located? Is it close to home? Can you access it by car or public transport?
- Office hours- What are the office hours? In case you are a working parent, evening or weekend hours would be convenient for you.
- What will be the fees for visiting the doctor?
- Hospital affiliations- What hospital does the doctor prefer to use? Where would your child be admitted, in case they need to be hospitalized?
Filter your options
Select doctor depending on the recommendations you receive and if the doctor meets your criteria.
Since the paediatrician will be an important person in your child's life, you should choose someone you would feel comfortable approaching with your questions and concerns.
- UR Medicine, Golisano Children’s Hospital. How to Choose a Pediatrician [Internet]. Available at: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/childrens-hospital/pediatricians-specialists/choose-pediatrician.aspx. Accessed on Aug 28, 2020.
- Canadian Paediatric Society. Paediatricians in Canada: Frequently asked questions [Internet]. Available at: https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/paediatricians_in_canada. Accessed on Aug 28, 2020.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Why Choose a Pediatrician? [Internet]. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/decisions-to-make/Pages/Why-Choose-a-Pediatrician.aspx. Accessed on Aug 28, 2020.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Finding a Pediatrician [Internet]. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/decisions-to-make/Pages/Finding-a-Pediatrician.aspx. Accessed on Aug 28, 2020.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. How to Choose a Pediatrician [Internet]. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/Pages/How-To-Choose-A-Pediatrician.aspx. Accessed on Aug 28, 2020.