Partnering With Your Doctor
Partnering With Your Doctor
It’s important to start a relationship with your doctor early on. Remember that you are building a partnership for your health and the health of your baby.
Why Your Relationship with Your Doctor Matters
Finding someone you trust and feel comfortable with is vital. Especially in the beginning, you will be seeing your doctor frequently. These visits will be important for:
- Monitoring growth and development
- Talking about nutrition, sleep, peeing/pooping, and safety
- Catching health problems early
- Staying current on vaccinations, development screenings, and other routine care
As your child grows up, your doctor can help you:
- Learn about ways to help your child develop to their full potential
- Learn how to prevent accidents and injuries
- Get help with mental health and behavior concerns
- Discuss concerns about school, including academics, bullying, friends, and individual education plans
- For preteens and teens, talk about puberty and reproductive health
- Know how to handle risk taking behaviors like drugs
In addition, some clinics also have social workers, developmental specialists, and counseling staff who can provide specialized support your doctor may not be able to provide.
Choosing a Doctor
There are several factors to consider when you select a doctor and clinic:
Different clinics accept different insurance types. Some clinics also see patients without insurance.
Because you will be seeing your child’s doctor frequently for check-ups and when your child is sick, it is best, if possible, to select a clinic that is not too far away from your home.
- Hospital/clinic affiliation
It is easier if your primary care doctor works in the same system, so they have easier access to your child’s medical records. This is especially important for children with chronic illnesses and special healthcare needs who need to see medical specialists.
- Your comfort with your doctor
Do they listen to your concerns? Do they answer your questions? Make sure you feel like you can open up with your doctor.
- Hospital/clinic policies
Do patients usually get to see the same doctor for check-ups? Do they have a 24 hour emergency number? What hospital do they send families to in case of emergencies?
Tips for your search:
- Most people start by asking family and friends for recommendations. Where do they take their children for medical care? Are they happy with their doctor?
- Most hospital systems have referral numbers where you can call to find a doctor in your area who is affiliated with them and takes your insurance. Check nearby hospitals’ websites for these numbers.
Use our resource finder to see a list of locations and providers near you.
Talking to Your Doctor
Don’t be afraid to bring up any questions you might have to your doctor. Remember, there are no dumb questions! You should also feel free to ask the doctor to repeat or clarify information as much as needed. Their job is to support you.
Questions you might bring up with your baby’s doctor:
- When is my baby due?
- How is my due date determined?
- Should I take prenatal vitamins? Which ones?
- How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?
- When should I call a doctor?
- How can I ease morning sickness?
- How much can/should exercise? Any activities I should avoid?
- What kinds of foods should I be sure to eat—or avoid?
- Can I have sex during my pregnancy?
- Am I at risk for any problems during pregnancy?
- How often should I have checkups?
Remember, your doctor wants to hear your questions. Whenever you think of a question, write it down and bring it to your next visit.
Going Home With Baby
Here’s what to know about the first few days after coming home from the hospital.
Find insurance and healthcare providers to fit your circumstance and budget.
Common Health Issues
Typical concerns you may have about your baby’s health—and what to do about them.