I’m not sure if it’s body “preparing” me for sleep deprivation or just my Type-A personality that’s been causing restless nights lately, but I have not been sleeping well these past few weeks. I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation and doing my prenatal yoga, but I still can’t seem to turn my mind off or keep my thoughts at bay when I wake up for one of the (frequent) trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I feel like there is a never-ending list of things to do before baby arrives and I keep thinking of new things to add to that list. And I’m already in full nesting mode. Who knew that happened this early?
Recurring themes on my to-do list
- Find a childcare provider – decide on a nanny-share, in-home daycare, or formal childcare center
- Write a will and designate baby girl’s guardian(s)
- Finish decorating the nursery
- Resist the urge to set-up baby’s items, such as the Pack n’ Play & bassinet, until closer to her due date
- Clean/wash organize all the bottles, breast pump accessories, etc.
- Prep freezer meals and pack labor bag (sometime in May)
This is just a small snapshot of the ideas running through my head at 2am. One big item that I’m happy to report we have successfully checked off is finding a pediatrician. I didn’t even know that interviewing pediatricians was a “thing” until a friend mentioned it to me. Apparently, it’s something expectant parents do sometime between 20-28 weeks, ideally. Luckily, we live in an area with many highly-rated pediatricians, but that can also make the decision more difficult because there are so many options.
Finding a Pediatrician
Most pediatrics offices have “open houses” or specific days that expectant parents can come visit and meet the staff. Each office is different – although I’ve found that most offices host a few expectant parents in a small group, have a Q&A session, and provide tours of their offices. Some prefer to do a one-on-one meet and greet with just you and your significant other; I have heard that not all practices have their pediatricians conducting these sessions, but rather a member of their staff. It all depends on how the practice is structured.
First step in finding a pediatrician: Call and schedule a time to attend one of these information sessions. I had a few pediatricians recommended to me by friends and I found a few by researching online. I didn’t necessarily know what to expect at my first information session but quickly learned a few key things I wasn’t looking for, which was an invaluable part of the process. I came up with a list of questions which really helped guide me during the interview process.
- Does the practice work with my insurance company?
- Who covers appointments when my doctor is out of the office? Will we see the same doctor each visit?
- What are the office hours? Is the practice open on evenings or weekends?
- Does the practice offer same-day sick appointments?
- Is there a doctor on call after hours?
- Does the office have separate sick and well waiting rooms?
- Does the practice accept calls for non-emergency questions? If they do, do they charge for them?
- What is the schedule for well visits?
- Will you take time to discuss my child’s development (social, behavioral, growth) during each well child visit?
- How much time do you usually spend with your patients during each visit? And, how do you handle first-time parents who probably have several questions during each visit?
- Why did you decide to become a pediatrician?
- What are your views on home birth/birthing center births?
- How soon do you want to see a baby who is born at a birthing center?
- What do you suggest a mother do for a breastfed baby that is having trouble gaining weight? When do you recommend a mother supplement with formula?
- Do you recommend babies be put on a strict feeding and/or sleep schedule?
- Do you have an in-house lactation consultant?
- Do you support baby led weaning?
- When do you recommend babies start eating solid foods?
- What are your views on an extended (beyond 1 year) nursing relationship?
- Do you support the use of alternative/holistic/natural medicine? Are there situations where you try alternative remedies before prescribing antibiotics?
- Do you support an alternative or delayed vaccination schedule?
I’m sure the other couples in the first information session were slightly overwhelmed with the amount of questions I had, but these were important questions for me to have answers to in order to make an informed decision. We ended up finding a practice and pediatrician we really like (and importantly, spoke very highly of the midwifery model of care and Baby+Company). I’m glad that I took the time to visit a few offices before making the final decision as I feel that I may have “settled” for the first practice that I felt lukewarm about had I not scheduled a few additional information sessions.