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How to pick a pediatrician before your baby is born

This is a very personal decision for parents, and one they should make before their little one is born to ensure they're comfortable in the first moments of life.

PARKER, Colo. — It’s always a good idea to shop around and meet with various doctors before your baby is born. Afterall, the doctor you choose will be in your baby’s life (and yours) for a long time … and you want to make sure it’s a good fit.

Dr. Marc Avnerm with Greenwood Pediatrics in Parker had some tips to share about what you should ask prospective pediatricians.

“Some families want to know what a practice’s philosophy is about,” Avnerm said. “Vaccines, immunizations … those are good questions to ask up front, to really get to know what you’re going to be expecting when you go to see your pediatrician.”

He also recommended asking how the practice you’re looking at handles late-night calls. If your child gets sick at midnight, will there be someone there to help?

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Also don’t forget to ask if your baby will see the same doctor each visit or if the providers rotate. Some parents like consistency, whereas others like as many eyes as possible on their bundle of joy.

One thing you might notice? Some providers ask parents to tour their practice before their child is born. This is because it’s a big decision, and they want you to feel good about it.

It’s also because parents are encouraged to bring their newborns to their pediatrician the day after they leave the hospital.

“When a baby is born, our role is to come in within the first 24 hours to examine the baby, to do a head-to-toe examination, and check feeds and weights and talk to parents,” Avnerm said.

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He said doctors are typically more cautious with newborns, and that parents often have questions they didn’t think to ask at the hospital.

If you don’t pick a doctor before giving birth, the hospital staff is there to help as well.

“There’s an old saying that you can get into the hospital without a pediatrician, but you can’t leave the hospital without a pediatrician,” Avnerm said. “Hospitals tend to make it easy, coordinating care after discharge.”

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