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Choosing Your Baby’s Doctor

As you busily prepare and plan for your new arrival, one of the most important decisions you will make will be choosing a doctor to care for your baby.

UM Health-West’s Health’s pediatricians and family practice physicians are dedicated to helping new parents raise healthy, happy children. They are passionate about working with babies, and their parents, to provide the care you have come to expect from UM Health-West.

Learn more about our family practice and pediatric services.

Topics to consider when choosing a doctor for your baby

The following information may be helpful for you when choosing your baby’s doctor:

What will my baby’s doctor do?
Your baby’s pediatrician or family practice doctor will:
• Make sure your baby is growing and eating well, and is generally healthy
• Update immunizations and boosters
• Monitor your baby’s growth and development
• Educate you on how to keep your baby safe and healthy
• Work with specialists if your baby is sick
• Communicate with you, listen to you and answer your questions

When should I start looking for a doctor for my baby?
You want to have chosen your baby’s doctor before your baby is born, so plan to start looking for a doctor when you are 24 to 32 weeks pregnant. Getting a head start will be helpful because some women give birth before their due date.

How do I find a doctor for my baby?
You could ask for a recommendation from a friend, relative, your OB/GYN or your primary care physician. You may want to check with your insurance company to find a doctor that accepts your insurance plan. Once you have some options, you can schedule an interview appointment. Interview appointments may not be covered by your insurance, so you’ll want to find out whether the doctor charges for such a visit. UM Health-West family practice physicians and pediatricians offer free visits to get acquainted.

Questions to ask when calling the doctor’s office:
• What are their hours?
• How does the office do its billing?
• Will payment be due at the time of visit?
• Does the office accept your insurance?
• If your baby is sick, how quickly can you get an appointment?
• How do I care for my baby after hours or during an emergency?

What to look for when visiting the office:
• Is the waiting area clean and child-friendly?
• Do you feel comfortable?
• Is the staff welcoming and friendly?
• Is the staff receptive to your phone calls?
• How are the wait times?
• Is the location convenient?
• Is the physician open to your questions and working with you?

What to ask a potential pediatrician or family practice physician:
• What is your background and education?
• How long have you been a doctor?
• How do I reach you after hours?
• Who covers for you when you are off?
• If I call and can’t talk to you, who will answer my question?
• What is your philosophy on breastfeeding and what support do you offer to breastfeeding mothers?
• How do you support women who choose to bottle feed?
• How do you feel about obtaining second opinions?
• What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and do you offer it?
• How do you approach working with specialists?
• Do you have children of your own?