Breaking up with Your Pediatrician
We’ve had it with our baby’s pediatrician. It’s time to break up. We’ve gone through the three doctors on staff there, and even started making appointments with one of the nurses. After a few appointments we noticed that she was asking the same questions over and over again and wasn’t listening to us.
If you’re not sure about your pediatrician’s office, or are pregnant and searching for a pediatrician for your baby, here are some things to consider when choosing a pediatrician.
- Does the pediatrician share or accept your parenting philosophy? For example, if you wish to co-sleep, does he or she accept that, or tell you that they don’t recommend it? Or if you follow a vegetarian life style, is the pediatrician enthusiastic about your bringing up the baby as a vegetarian as well, or is he or she skeptical or unsupportive?
- Does the pediatrician share your views on breast feeding, or is open to your opinion? If you choose to breast feed, you will appreciate all the support you can get – don’t choose a doctor who doesn’t see the value of breast feeding your baby.
- Are the office hours convenient for you? Is the doctor or a nurse available after hours for questions? Are they open evenings or weekends?
- Consider the office itself. Is it clean and well maintained? Do patients and parents in the waiting room seem happy or frustrated? Are patients kept waiting longer than usual, or does the office run efficiently? Do the nurses and other workers seem happy to be there?
- How are sick children handled? If you call for an appointment in the morning, can they see your child that day? Bonus points for a pediatrician’s office with a separate waiting room for sick kids!
- Does he or she seem to enjoy children? It seems like a no-brainer, but watch and see if the doctor seems to truly enjoy interacting with kids. If they don’t, then find someone who does.
- Do you enjoy your pediatrician? Is the doctor someone you feel comfortable talking to, and someone who listens to you? You may have to tell him or her some embarrassing or otherwise unpleasant things during your child’s tenure with him or her – make sure you feel comfortable enough to talk to the doctor without feeling embarrassed or – worse – judged by him or her.
A good way to find a pediatrician is through referrals – ask your friends, other moms or dads at your church or play group, or your midwife, OB/gyn, or lactation consultant. A good pediatrician is valuable to your child’s well being, and to your happiness as well.