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Choosing a Provider For My Baby

Awaiting the birth of your baby is an exciting time, and a busy one. There’s a lot to do—and finding the right healthcare provider for your baby is at the top of the list. Your search should begin well before your due date so you’ve chosen your baby’s doctor before you deliver. Here’s why:

  • Many doctors won’t take on a new patient if you haven’t contacted them before the delivery.
  • A doctor must examine your baby at the hospital. If the doctor you choose is not affiliated with St. Luke’s, we have doctors on staff who can examine your baby.
  • The hospital prefers not to discharge you if your baby doesn’t have a doctor, and will help you find a doctor. You’ll need to have a doctor for your baby for follow-up after discharge. 

Choosing Your Baby’s Doctor

When choosing a doctor, look for a pediatrician or family medicine physician who’s compatible with your personality and lifestyle, and is conveniently located near your home or childcare facility. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. Or ask your doctor. 

You might meet with one or more doctors before your baby is born to help you make your decision, or you might not meet your doctor until you bring your baby in for the first visit. Either way, it’s a good idea to bring along a list of questions.

If there are issues you feel strongly about such as returning to work, breastfeeding, antibiotics, immunizations, circumcision, or nutrition, mention them. 

Most importantly, you should feel your child’s doctor is someone you can talk with and trust. Follow your instincts about whether this is the right healthcare provider for your child. 

Questions to Ask Your Baby’s Doctor

  • What is your background in children’s healthcare?
  • What is your philosophy about breastfeeding?
  • Where will you see my baby?
  • With which hospital(s) are you affiliated?
  • Are there other providers in your practice?
  • If you’re unavailable, who will answer my questions?
  • How could I reach you after hours or in an emergency?
  • What are your office hours?
  • Do you offer extended hours to accommodate working parents?
  • How are insurance claims handled? How is billing handled?
  • Can I schedule routine visits and immunizations in advance?
  • What reading or video materials do you recommend for parenting?

About Pediatricians

Pediatrics is the medical specialty that focuses on the physical, emotional, and social health of children. Pediatricians are doctors trained to care for kids from birth through the teen years, providing treatment for illness or injury, conducting wellness exams to prevent problems or catch them early, and monitoring your child’s development. Their primary focus is preventive care, to keep kids as healthy as possible. Pediatricians complete 4 years of medical school and 3 years of pediatric residency. They must take continuing classes and pass examinations to maintain their state licenses and board certification, and to keep up with the most current knowledge and research about child health.

About Family Medicine Physicians

Family medicine physicians are trained to care for patients of all ages, so your child may see the same doctor from birth through adulthood. Because your family medicine doctor may also care for you and other members of your family, he or she will know the medical histories of all family members and may also be more aware of the emotional and social issues within your family. Family medicine doctors complete 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency. They train in pediatrics and several other areas such as internal medicine, orthopedics, and obstetrics and gynecology. They must take continuing classes and pass examinations to maintain their state licenses and board certification, and to keep up with the most current medical knowledge and research. 

If you need help finding a doctor for your baby, call (208) 381-9000 or use our Provider Finder.

Healthcare with a Certified Nurse-Midwife

Personalized Care

Certified nurse-midwives are nurse practitioners who specialize in obstetrics and women's health. Apart from their well known roles in pregnancy and childbirth, they also conduct annual exams and routine screenings; write prescriptions; order labs; treat STDs; administer vaccines; and handle minor to moderate illnesses, including many chronic conditions. Nurse-midwives combine evidence-based medicine with a holistic approach. They favor longer appointments, individualized care, and supportive environments.