My Baby’s Pediatrician is My Best Friend
June Dung My Lien
August 30, 2016
When my one-year-old is sick, my baby’s pediatrician is my best friend. As a mom, one of the most important members of my support team is my pediatrician. Looking for a pediatrician you can count on? Dr. Knema Rezaei Bazazizad “Dr. Rezaei” has a few tips to help you choose the best one for you and your baby.
What’s Important to You?
Dr. Rezaei recommends thinking about what is important for you and your family before you begin your search for a pediatrician. For instance, I wanted to find a pediatrician supportive of my breastfeeding decision, so this was an important part of my search. Some other things to consider:
- Do you have religious or cultural customs you want to honor?
- Do you prefer a male or a female pediatrician?
- Does the doctor need to be “in network” with your insurance coverage?
- Does the doctor offer after-hours visits, same-day appointment availability, and an all-night emergency contact?
How To Find a Pediatrician
Start your search for a pediatrician by asking family members and friends you trust for a recommendation. Then ask, “What do you specifically like about the doctor?”
“This will give you insight into the pediatrician’s strengths and can help you decide if you want to meet the doctor in person,” suggests Dr. Rezaei.
He advises moms to find a pediatrician with an office nearby and with colleagues who are available to see your child and have access to your child’s records. Proximity, availability, and access to records are all key whenever I have an urgent need.
Meet the Pediatrician and Ask Questions
Most clinics have prenatal meet and greet meetings or the option to schedule a 1-on-1 prenatal visit. I attended a few meetings before making a final choice.
Dr. Rezaei enjoys face-to-face meetings and appreciates giving new parents the opportunity to ask questions about issues that are important to them, like:
- What is your philosophy regarding the care of children?
- What are you thoughts about: breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations, alternative medicine, home remedies, sleep, discipline?
- Also, check if the doctor is board-certified in pediatrics. This means the pediatrician has passed a series of rigorous exams, and must retake them regularly to maintain certification.
Partner with the Pediatrician
After you pick a pediatrician, scheduling well check visits and keeping your child up-to-date on immunizations is the best way to advocate for your child’s health. During every well-check visit with my baby’s pediatrician, we review growth charts and ensure milestones like height, weight, and social skills are progressing as expected.
“Most advocating takes place outside the doctor’s office. On a daily basis, parents should be mindful about their child’s diet, schedule, routines, and development. Then, during visits, you can provide information about your child so that a health assessment can be made,” says Dr. Rezaei.
Connecting with the Pediatrician
Does your pediatrician enjoy being with you and your child? During visits with my baby’s pediatrician, I love watching the connection between the two of them. When concerns arise about my child’s health, I continually feel validated and reassured by our pediatrician.
Being a pediatrician is all about the relationships – with children and parents. Find someone both you and your child relate to, today and as your child grows. The right pediatrician will relate to your child as a toddler, an adolescent, and a teen-ager.
“I took care of a newborn early on in my training. I got to share the joy of watching that child grow and develop.” says Dr. Rezaei. “It was clear to me from then on that this is where I belong.”