How to choose a doctor for your baby? Should you choose a pediatrician or a family physician?
The choice is yours!
A pediatrician is medical doctor who specializes in the physical, behavioral, and mental health of children from birth until age 21 or longer in some cases.
A family physician is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of the entire family from birth through old age.
There is no “correct” time frame to start this process, however, I would encourage you to begin the search near the end of your second or beginning of your third trimester. Here are some important things to consider.
1. Ask your obstetrician or midwife who they recommend?
2. Talk to family, friends and co-workers that have children. They are a great resource for
3. Get a list of accepted pediatricians or family physician from your health insurance
Determine if the physician’s practice matches your needs/desires.
1. What is the physician’s practice philosophy?
2. Is the physician supportive of breastfeeding?
3. Does the physician perform circumcision?
4. Does the physician support your vaccinations preferences? What is your vaccination schedule?
5. Does the physician specialize in any particular areas such as asthma, allergies, diabetes? This can be important if your family has certain medical conditions.
Other details to consider
1. Is the physician board certified? Use the American Board of Medical Specialties website to
check any physician’s board certification status.
2. Is the physician accepting new patients?
3. Does the physician accept your health insurance provider?
4. Does the physician deliver at the hospital or birth center of your preference? Not all
5. Does the physician practice alone or do they practice within a group of doctors?
6. What are their office hours? Are they open in the evenings or on weekends?
7. If your child is sick, can you get an appointment the same day?
8. Is there a 24-hour, on-call physician available?
9. Is the main waiting room sectioned off into two areas, one for well patients and one for sick
patients? This helps prevent germs from spreading to those at the office for routine well
checks or physicals.
Do your research and take some time to make sure that you have found the best fit for you and your growing family. If possible, try to schedule a consultation appointment before you make your final decision. You will be spending a lot of time with him/her throughout your child’s life. Whichever practitioner you choose, you should feel comfortable and supported in your parenting choices.
All of my postpartum packages include a thorough review of this process. Call today to see how I can help you find the right doctor to support you and your growing family.