One of the most important things you need to do before giving birth is to decide on a doctor for your baby. Babies need frequent checkups, vaccines, and they sometimes get sick. So don't wait until you need a doctor to make a choice. Doctors that care for babies and children include:
• Family physicians
Some nurses with special training also can care for your new baby. They are called pediatric nurse practitioners. Many medical offices have both nurse practitioners and doctors on staff.
To help you choose a doctor for your baby:
• Call your health insurance company for a list of doctors covered under your plan.
• Find out where they trained and how long they've been in practice. Some insurance companies and hospitals have this information. Details on some doctors can be found using Doctor Finder on the American Medical Association website.
• Request an interview with the doctors you like best.
• Find out about their office hours and how they handle concerns and emergencies after office hours.
• Find out who else in the office can see your child if your doctor is out.
• Get recommendations from other patients.
If you deliver at a hospital where your baby's doctor normally sees patients, she will see the baby right after the delivery. If not, a pediatrician on staff at the hospital should see your baby right after the birth. Then you can call your baby's doctor to schedule a visit a few days after birth. Remember to get your baby's medical records before leaving the hospital. Your baby's doctor will need them.