Pregnancy is an exciting time! Many expecting parents spend the nine months of pregnancy reading pregnancy books, talking with friends who have had children, scouring social media for pregnancy articles, and learning all they can about what to expect while they are expecting.
If you’re expecting, your to-do list might look something like this:
- Paint the nursery
- Put together the crib
- Buy diapers and wipes
- Pack the diaper bag
- Pack the hospital bag
At UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, we encourage you to remember something that may not be on your list:
Schedule a prenatal visit with your new baby’s future pediatrician.
Choosing a pediatrician can be a stressful experience, especially if you are unfamiliar with how a pediatrician differs from a family practice provider.
A prenatal visit with a pediatrician is the perfect time to discover all the benefits of pediatric care!
Where do you start?
You may want to choose a clinic that is near your home, or perhaps a clinic near your workplace would be more convenient. Next, call the clinic to speak with a receptionist. He/she will be able to tell you:
- Which pediatricians at that clinic are accepting new patients (You can read their biographies on our website to help you decide on one for your child.)
- Clinic hours, including urgent care or walk-in hours
- Health insurance accepted
- Emergency coverage
Next, make a prenatal appointment with your chosen pediatrician.
If possible, have both parents attend the appointment. During the appointment, discuss:
- How you plan to feed your baby: breastmilk, formula, or a combination
- A schedule of pediatric visits during the first year of your baby’s life
- Newborn screening tests you can expect at the hospital
- Immunizations: their importance, the schedule your pediatrician uses, and any concerns you may have
- Your family’s health history
- If you’re having a boy, whether or not you plan to circumcise and any related questions
- Any safety-related questions you may have, such as car seats, smoking cessation, and SIDS prevention
- How you can get in touch with the pediatrician during the day, what to do if you have questions after office hours, and who does your baby see if their chosen pediatrician is off work or on vacation
Prenatal visits with a pediatrician are often overlooked by expecting parents, but they are a valuable tool. Let our UnityPoint Health – Des Moines pediatricians help you understand what to expect after you’re expecting. Contact one of our pediatric offices today to schedule your prenatal visit.