The importance of creating a relationship with your pediatrician before birth
Pregnancy, especially for the first time, might be the steepest learning curve in the world.
Physically, emotionally, socially, financially, spiritually, there is growth and expansion in every direction!
There are countless books, blogs, and resources to prepare, I am reminded of an analogy that is often used to describe the first year of medical school - like trying to drink from a fire hose.
Most resources and providers that parents encounter during this time are focused on the pregnancy itself and the eventual birth - and rightfully so! In this buzz, however, one important relationship and resource is often missing - the baby's future pediatrician.
Birth is an extraordinary finish line, but it is also the biggest beginning. Pregnancy is the perfect time to prepare for both sides of this milestone. Most pediatric practices will do at most one prenatal visit to meet the family and take some basic information, but there is so much more to cover in this special time in order to best prepare for the time to come.
1. Get to know the pediatrician and their practice style
The relationship between a family and their pediatrician is hopefully a long one. To make sure they are the right person for you, it's helpful to learn about their values, philosophies, practice styles, and just see if the personalities are a good fit.
How do they feel about the lifestyle choices that are important to you?
What do they think about articles from google you find and bring to them with questions?
What's their policy about getting in touch for emergencies?
2. Let the pediatrician get to know you
Every family is different, and so is every child. It takes time to learn about a family's dynamics, plans, values, and expectations. Most of the time, pediatrics is not based on disease diagnostics, but on everyday life. So, the more your doctor gets to know you, the more effective they can be in navigating future situations with you.
3. Get information about questions you might not know to ask
We get it, it's tough to even think of questions to ask if you have never done this before. That's why it's the pediatrician's job to take you through information about what to expect after the birth. Important topics include:
- What happens in the first 5 minutes
- What happens in the first 5 days
- Your feeding plan, and what to expect as we try to implement it
- What are the screenings that are routinely done in the nursery?
- Which crib/carseat/stroller/dinosaur?
- How often will we touch base after the birth, and what are we looking for there?
- What is scary, and what is actually okay?
At Kinder, we think your pediatrician should feel like a friend by the time baby arrives. We don't count the number of interactions or hours we spend getting to know you, because it's all part of the care of your baby.
You and your baby are not like anyone else, and neither should your care be! We look forward to getting to know you.
Dr. Amy and the Kinder Team