It is important to do thorough research before you choose a paediatrician. It is preferable to stick to the same paediatrician from birth until 12 or 13 years. This will enable the doctor to follow the progress of your child adequately.
Don’t wait until your baby is born before you choose a paediatrician. Your baby needs to be examined by a paediatrician while you are still in hospital.
What can you do to make the right choice?
- Ask your gynaecologist and general practitioner for a referral.
- Choose a paediatrician who is affiliated with the hospital where you are planning to deliver.
- It will be more convenient if you choose one who practises in your area.
- Ask your friends and relatives about their experiences and whom they would recommend.
- Make sure that your paediatrician or his/her partner is available after hours.
- Make an appointment for you and your partner to see the paediatrician before your child is born. This way you will be able to judge whether you feel comfortable with him/her or not.
- Find out whether he/she charges medical aid or private rates.
- As you may have to spend time in the waiting area before you see the paediatrician, you may want to check what the décor is like. Is there a comfortable play area for toddlers? Is there a selection of toys and books appropriate for different ages?