So this week we had our 4 month check up with Liam! Everything looks great and he is the healthiest little boy ever! The beginning of our journey with doctors was not something that I look back at with longing. I’m glad we got past that because it was a scary struggle.
Our first visit was done with a doctor from the hospital. She had seen Liam one of the days and she was very nice. She was familiar with what was going on. Due to our long birth and possibility of infection we stayed an extra day and got more antibiotics. They wanted to see him on Monday (we left the hospital Sunday!) to make sure that everything was still going okay. She was very nice and if I wasn’t already set on our pediatrician I would have Liam see her. At the first visit everything looked normal and his jaundice level continued to come down. Yay us! So we scheduled our visit with his long term pediatrician for a couple weeks away. Went home and started our regular routine.
Probably about a week later we started to notice that Liam wasn’t gaining weight. My husband is naturally a smaller guy so we thought maybe he was just similar in structure to him. But then he started to lose weight. We went in for our 1 month follow up and Liam had lost significant weight. There are only so many things in life that take the breath out of you, and the unknown about your child’s health is one of them.
We were breastfeeding and I thought it was going great. Looking back now there were a lot of signs that things weren’t going great. He would eat for 40-60 minutes at a time. Slept very little. And was so skinny. I have a whole post about exclusively pumping that goes over this story more if you want to read it! But needless to say we started pumping and he started gaining weight like a mad man! Like a pound in a week!
I feel like this has me on edge. Like at times I feel so panicky about his healthy and worry that I worry to much about it. Any time he cries funny there is this voice in my head that says “Something’s wrong!!! Code RED!!!”. I try to remind myself that he is okay, he is healthy, and that if he needs to go to the doctor we can. This usually allows me to calm down and refocus on being rational. With this being said…I cannot impress enough how important it is to have a doctor that is with you. That gets you, gets what you want for your baby, and is helpful.
I work with our doctor and have known him for a long time, so making the decision to have him as OUR doctor was easy. I would trust him with the most precious of cargo (duh, Liam!). But I have heard and read horror stories about friends and families with bad experiences. Take the time to research on your physician!
Here are some factors to think about when choosing a physician:
- What kind of setting does this doctor work in? Large clinic? Individual practice? Hospital?
- Does this person see all his/her own patients? Or if they are out someone else covers.
- Medical interventions? Or more natural/holistic approach?
- How do you want to communicate with your doctor? Phone/Email/In person?
- Do they have a prenatal visit or doctor meet and greet? Do you (or office) have evening/weekend hours? Do you feel comfortable with this person during your visit?
- Do you know anyone that goes to this doctor? Family/friend recommendation?
Please read – in no way are any of these right or wrong things to think about when looking for a physician. This is your baby and how you choose to raise that person is up to you. Okay, so those are questions to get the doctor juices going, now here are questions you can ask your possible doctor:
- How long have you been practicing?
- Are you a parent?
- Are you open to discussion on things like shot/vaccine schedule?
- What are you thoughts on infant feeding (breastfed/formula discussion)? Thoughts on circumcision?
- Who covers in case of emergency and you are not available?
- Do you have same day appointments? How long in advance does one need to set appointments?
- What is the best way to get in touch with you?
- Are you board certified in pediatrics? Are you a member of AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)?
This is a short list of questions, and you should take time to create a list that makes you feel comfortable. Do some digging, research other questions, start the list and come back to it. Don’t rush yourself! You should feel comfortable with this person. If you can’t talk to him/her they are not right for you. It’s also to take into account the office and staff. You will usually see more of them than the doctor, so make sure you like them too!
I frequently tell patients I see, “If you are not comfortable talking to your primary care about poop, your OB about sex, or me about secrets, you are seeing the wrong person”. This is true for your baby. If it doesn’t feel right, that’s okay! Go meet someone else, ask friends, post on Facebook, you’ll find a good one!
What are questions you asked your doctor? Leave me a comment! 🙂