Baby's First Doctor
As a new parent, you have an important decision to make: Whom will you turn to for ongoing medical care for your child, from infancy to adulthood? Along the way, there will be checkups, immunizations and other preventive measures to ensure that your child stays healthy from now on.
Many moms and parents begin researching pediatricians or health care providers before their child's birth.
Asking friends, family, neighbors and co-workers for recommendations is a good way to begin the process. Your primary health care provider, or the one following you through pregnancy, also can make recommendations. Or research options through your health insurance provider to make certain that you have maximum coverage for your child for these upcoming visits.
Here are three types of health care providers for babies and children:
- Family physicians support your entire family's health needs.
- Pediatricians have specialized training and experience in treating children's health issues.
- Pediatric nurse practitioners can answer your questions and explain medical issues.
All of these care options will provide your baby with exceptional care. It's important for you to find out the most convenient, affordable health care provider to meet your needs.
Here are a few questions to guide you in the selection process:
- Is he or she board-certified? (Check the American Board of Medical Specialties website.)
- Is the clinic and health care provider covered by your insurance?
- Is the clinic conveniently located near your home or work?
For a list of helpful questions, use the choosing your baby's health care provider worksheet.