Now that you have a baby on the way, it’s time to choose a pediatrician
Crib? Check. Baby names? Check. Pediatrician?
Along with all the excitement and preparations for your new arrival, one of the most important items on your list should be choosing a pediatrician. As well as being a highly experienced physician, this person should be someone whom you feel comfortable with. After all, this person will be helping you raise your child, possibly several children, for years to come.
The beginning of a wonderful journey we’re going to take together
At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we’re happy to meet with you well before your delivery date. We welcome your questions, especially any specific concerns about your pregnancy or your developing baby.
At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we’re all about connecting.
Here, we take connecting with our patients and their parents seriously. Right from the start, we get to know a lot about you and your child and you get to know a lot about us. That’s because we firmly believe that the strength of the physician-patient-parent relationship is critical to your child’s health and well-being — and to your peace of mind.
Make an appointment today to come in and see us
At each of our 12 locations throughout Westchester and Putnam counties, our highly experienced pediatricians are welcoming, knowledgeable and ready to help. They’re eager to get to know you, answer your questions and give you guidance and support while you await the arrival of your little one. Please check our Locations page to find the WHP office nearest you.
10 questions to ask when choosing a pediatrician
When meeting with prospective pediatricians, here are some helpful questions to ask:
1. Scheduling well-baby visits
How often will you need to bring your baby in for check-ups, vaccinations, development assessments? Knowing what to expect will help you plan those first several months once your baby arrives.
2. Do you take my insurance?
Very important question!
3. What hospital are you affiliated with?
Every pediatrician, whether a sole practitioner or part of a group, is affiliated with a nearby hospital, sometimes several. This physician will be visiting you after you deliver, so it’s important to know at which hospital(s) he/she has medical privileges.
4. Office hours/after hours
At Westchester Health Pediatrics, each of our 12 offices has its own weekday, weekend and holiday hours. When choosing a particular doctor at a particular location, it’s good to find out when the office is open and whether that physician is available outside regular business hours.
5. Can I speak to you directly when I have a problem/question?
In many pediatric practices, you might get referred to a nurse practitioner when you call with a question or concern. Here at Westchester Health Pediatrics, when you want to speak directly with your child’s doctor, you can. He/she may need to call you back, but they will personally connect with you to discuss your child’s care and answer your questions.
6. How are emergencies handled?
Even with you giving your baby the best possible care, emergencies can happen. And when they do, you need to know how to handle them. Does the pediatrician’s office have emergency capabilities or should you take your child directly to the emergency room? Will your pediatrician meet you there? If your child is admitted to the hospital, is he/she still under your pediatrician’s care? These are all important to know ahead of time, just in case.
7. What is your childcare philosophy?
At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we partner with you in the raising of your child, from birth, early childhood and adolescence all the way through young adulthood (until age 21). Therefore it’s important for you to choose a pediatrician whose views on child-rearing you feel comfortable with, including breastfeeding, childhood obesity, alternative medicine, vaccinations, use of antibiotics, sleep and discipline issues, eating disorders, mental health counseling and many others.
8. How long have you been in practice?
This is a very valid question and good information to know.
9. Do you have children?
Again, good to know, not only the number and ages of children, but gender as well. Does he/she have personal experience raising boys, girls?
10. What do you like best about being a pediatrician?
This might be the most important question of all! Why did this person go into pediatrics? What do they like most about taking care of children? What brings them the most joy as they watch their patients change from babies to young adults? Do they value forming relationships with their patients and their families, not just dispensing medicine?
To learn more about prenatal preparation
To read American Academy of Pediatrics articles on preparing for delivery, alcohol and pregnancy, reducing the risk of birth defects, nutrition and exercise during pregnancy and more, please click here.