Admittedly, I got a late start looking for my baby's doctor. In fact, I waited until the day after my daughter Mirabel was born. We were living in Seattle only temporarily, so finding a pediatrician there hadn't seemed all that important. But even during that short time, we went for three well visits. Thankfully, my Seattle ob-gyn recommended a local pediatrician who answered all my questions and sat patiently as I thought up even more.
I was lucky, but it would have been smarter to scope out the M.D. scene while I was pregnant. "It's important to have a doctor you've already met and feel comfortable with, because you have enough going on after a baby is born," says Evaline Alessandrini, M.D., a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Not only will you save yourself hassle, you'll protect Baby's health. Babies who see the same doctor for their first six months are up to twice as likely to receive key tests before they turn 2, according to a study that Dr. Alessandrini coauthored.
The best time to start the search for a pediatrician is between 28 and 34 weeks into your pregnancy. The process may seem daunting, but keep in mind that you're not trying to find the Best Pediatrician in the World -- you're looking for the best one for you and your child.