Finding a good doctor can be like navigating a glistening goldmine riddled with facsimile nuggets. With careful investigation, you can strike gold but chances are, you’re going to have to dig deep to find what you’re looking for. It’s best to start scouting for paediatricians while you’re still pregnant, because this will give you enough time to build a synergy and comfort with your doctor by the time your baby arrives. Besides, you likely won’t have time to scour options once your belly pops, so it’s important to make the most of now.
Benefits of Finding a Paediatrician Early
While selecting a paediatrician before your delivery can certainly offer you peace of mind, the merits of being proactive have a sweeping effect. Studies show that babies who consistently see one paediatrician for the first six months are doubly likely to undergo vital health screenings and tests by the time they are two years old. Every time a doctor is swapped out, the slate is wiped clean, and a new roster can potentially swipe important information off the table. The longer the relationship with one doctor, the greater the insight. It’s recommended that you begin evaluating child specialists after you cross the 28-week mark. This allows you a few weeks to do your groundwork and zero in on shortlisted options. Remember, while you may feel overwhelmed at picking a doctor, your priorities should be equally geared towards the doctor’s credentials and your comfort level. A good paediatrician is one that fits your baby like a perfect puzzle, and it’s up to you to align the pieces of the jigsaw.
Steps to Find the Right Paediatrician
Developing a relationship with any doctor is a process that is built on good energy and positive vibes. A doctor with phenomenal reviews may have a brilliant track record, but what matters most is your personal rapport and ease of interaction.
Step 1. Consider the Distance
An important consideration is how far your doctor is situated from your home. Considering that you will be visiting your paediatric clinic or hospital with your bundle of joy in tow, you’ll want a place that isn’t too far. Also, you can never reach the hospital too soon in an emergency, so a doctor around the corner is always an added bonus.
Step 2. Schedule Appointments
Create a final shortlist of not more than 4 doctors and schedule prenatal appointments with all of them to gain information on topics that you’re pondering. Perhaps you have questions about breastfeeding or kangaroo care. Also make sure to ask about the doctors’ availability, which days they consult and where. You may also want to enquire about the emergency response protocol at the hospital or clinic for instances such as a high fever. It makes sense to be in the know now so that you’re prepared when your little one arrives.
Step 3. Assess Your Rapport
Believe it or not, there are often subliminal stimuli that influence our impression of a person. A characteristic demeanour, a manner of speaking, even half-moon glasses that remind you of your grandfather. A personality that resonates with you is likely to be a long-lasting relationship.
Step 4. Speak to Other Parents
The waiting room is a useful space to gauge both positive and negative feedback from experienced parents. This will give you much-needed insight about the doctor, the clinic and their approach to childcare. Based on the information you gather, you should be well-equipped to pick a doctor that meets your preferences.
Step 5. Introduce Your Baby
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the way your paediatrician responds to stressful situations. With a newborn, even a simple rash could result in a frenzied panic. Your paediatrician should be able to handhold you through such an event.
If you’re still on your way to finding the right paediatrician for your baby, use these steps to see you through. You’re likely to take a shine to some doctors more than others. You’ll only know which ones, once you scratch the surface.
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