How do I select a pediatrician?
You might begin by asking for recommendations from other parents that you know well and trust. If you are new to the community in which you currently live, it is a good idea to contact a local medical school and/or hospital for a list of pediatricians. During the final months of your pregnancy, you can schedule interviews with some of the pediatricians and ask about their policies and philosophies on child rearing, and also ask the medical staff about insurance policies, billing, office hours and if the doctor is amenable to taking phone calls, etc. Ideally, you will have found your pediatrician before the delivery.
When should my child first visit a pediatrician?
Pediatric staff will typically check the newborn at the hospital immediately after delivery and every day for the duration of the hospital stay. If you already have a pediatrician selected, then that pediatrician might be present at the time of birth. If not, then the hospital will notify him or her once the baby is delivered, and disclose any complications that might have arisen. The baby will be examined during the first twenty-four hours of life, and the examining physician will recommend a time and date for further appointments, generally two to four days after birth.
How often should I bring my baby to visit a pediatrician?
Because your pediatrician will want to monitor the growth and development of your child, he or she will advise you to schedule appointments for newborns at two month intervals during the first year. However, your pediatrician will recommend a schedule based upon the specific medical needs of your child.