When it comes to raising your children, you need to choose your village wisely. You want your kids to have the best teachers, the best caregivers and the best medical professionals taking care of them. Other than you, these people are the ones who will most have a direct impact on your children and their well-being. Choosing a pediatrician is one decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Before my first child was born, I asked my ob/gyn for a recommendation for a good pediatrician. I then called the office and scheduled a time to meet with the doctors and staff to see if the practice was a good fit for our family. I sat down and asked the doctors some questions, and it turns out that it was a good fit. Before you say yes to any potential pediatrician, don’t forget to ask these 5 important questions.
1. What Are Your Thoughts On Vaccinations?
This is a hot topic these days. There aren’t just mommy wars, there are anti-vaxxer vs. pro-vaxxer wars too. And when you’re fighting this kind of battle, you need people on your team who will support you. Every doctor has a different opinion on vaccinations, and it’s really important that your pediatrician will back you up. There is a doctor in my area who will not even accept patients who want to vaccinate their children. If this doesn’t work for you, it’s time to ask around for a different doctor.
2. Can You Accommodate My Holistic Lifestyle?
For some families, a holistic approach is best. From organic food choices to alternative forms of medicine, some doctors promote this lifestyle choice, while others take a more traditional approach. Find a pediatrician who values your values, so there isn’t a disagreement when it comes to medical care for your children.
3. Do You Promote Breastfeeding Or Formula Feeding?
The breastfeeding vs. formula feeding debate is (sadly) far from over. And while you can’t always find other moms who support your decision, you can find a pediatrician who does. Some doctors have no strong opinion either way, while others are adamant about the “breast is best” philosophy. Make sure you choose a pediatrician who you feel comfortable talking to about your method of feeding your baby.
4. How Do You Feel About Circumcision?
The decision of whether or not to circumcise your baby boy is not always easy. My husband is European, so we chose not to have our son circumcised. But in other cultures, circumcision is a non-negotiable. If your doctor disagrees with your choice, no matter what it is, they aren’t going to leave their opinions to themselves when it comes to checking on your baby and discussing his genital health. Find a doctor you’re on the same page with when it comes to circumcision.
5. Do You Think Children Should Stay Home Or Go To Daycare?
It’s hard enough trying to figure out whether or not your child should stay home with a parent, or go to daycare. You don’t need a pediatrician who is going to criticize your decision. I’ve been fortunate to find a supportive group at our children’s pediatric office, but some doctors are not as understanding. Don’t let that mommy guilt be intensified by a judgmental pediatrician. Instead, find one who will listen to you and support you in whatever you choose.