Choosing a pediatrician
If you haven't chosen a pediatrician for your baby, ask your primary care doctor, friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations.
A pediatrician specializes in the development, care, and diseases of babies and children. Once you've gathered a list of possible names, consider asking the doctors these questions before making a final decision (remember to take a notepad to your visit):
- How long have you been in practice?
- What is your medical education, training, and certification?
- Do you have scheduled telephone time for responding to minor questions?
- Where do you have hospital privileges?
- How are after-hours concerns and emergencies handled?
- How is payment handled?
- How are telephone inquiries handled?
- What are your office hours?
- What are your views on breastfeeding, circumcision, feeding schedules, etc.?
- How long can I expect to wait before seeing a doctor at each visit?
Do I need a doula?
Doulas are educated, trained women who nurture and support other women and their families during labor, birth, and postpartum.
Some doulas are trained in both childbirth support and postpartum support; others are trained in one specialty.
Doulas who provide labor support meet with the family during pregnancy to determine their wishes for the birth experience. The doula remains with the family during labor and birth, and visits the family in the postpartum to review the birth and help with questions about mother and baby care. Research has shown that the presence of a doula during labor can reduce the length of labor, the need for medication and intervention, and the incidence of cesarean birth.
Postpartum doulas, on the other hand, provide education, support, nurturing, and assistance in the home after the baby is born.
Doulas may belong to an organization or may be self-employed. All should be asked for references.