Choosing a primary care physician for your new baby is not easy. At SSM Health, we offer a wide variety of pediatricians at multiple locations, so you can find a provider who best meets the needs of your family.
Whether this is your first baby or you’re an experienced parent, it’s important to try and find a pediatrician while you are still pregnant. The benefits of choosing a physician early include:
- Your baby’s first exam will likely take place immediately after birth, so you may want to choose a physician who practices at the same facility.
- It’s not uncommon to see your pediatrician more in the first year of your baby’s life.
- Your pediatrician is an expert on general child health and will be a valuable resource.
- Early appointments are crucial to evaluate your newborn’s health.
The best time to start looking for a pediatrician is between 28 and 34 weeks into your pregnancy, when you likely know what you want and have at least a few weeks to do your homework. The process may seem daunting, but realize you're not trying to find the Best Pediatrician in the World -- you're looking for the best one for your child and a personal connection for you.
Try to collect at least three names of physicians from friends, family members, or even coworkers, or by visiting our list of pediatricians.
You might want to consider someone who is easily accessible and to whom you are comfortable talking about your child's health. Other important information you might want to consider includes office procedures, office location (if it is near your home and work), and the physician’s background. Many pediatricians offer a free “Meet the doctor” visit to give you the opportunity to meet and ask questions before making your choice.
Questions to Ask
It can be helpful to have a list of questions to ask as you consider potential pediatricians. These could include:
- What time does the office open and close?
- Whom do I contact if I have an emergency?
- How does the office handle billing?
- Is the staff friendly?
- With which hospital(s) is the doctor affiliated?
- Will my child be seeing the same doctor each visit?
- Ask about the pediatrician's training and experience.
- What happens if my child gets sick in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
- How long does it take to get an appointment?
- Is this pediatrician listed as a provider on your insurance plan?
SSM Health Pediatrics would like to extend our warmest congratulations to you on the upcoming arrival of your newborn! This is an exciting time, and we look forward to providing your family comprehensive, high-quality pediatric care in an efficient and professional manner. Please feel free to contact us to set up an appointment or learn more about our pediatricians.