The hospital bags are packed, you have not been able to see your toes in weeks, getting out of bed makes you feel like a tipped over tortoise struggling to get upright, if you laugh or cough too hard you pee a tiny bit, the nursery decorated with the clothes organized by size and color, and the house is in constant cleaning mode. Sounds like your pregnancy journey is winding down as you prepare to hold your little one in your arms for the first time and see the face of who has been kicking you in the ribs for the last few weeks.
If this is your first time as a parent, there is a lot to learn and figure out as you go. With a ton of information being thrown at you by everyone. From your mom, grandma, sister, aunts, to your neighbor Karen, that does not even ask for a cup of sugar but has advice on how you should not believe everything your doctors tell you. And she should know because she has six kids…. Thanks, Karen.
A great way to weed through all the unwanted and wanted advice quickly is to ask your baby’s provider. Yes – you should start looking for a provider weeks before your baby is due! Its recommended to start looking for a provider between 28 and 34 weeks along. You will have enough going on after your baby is born, so it’s important to have a provider for your baby that you respect. There is also another benefit of finding a provider early on. According to Dr. Alessandrini’s recent study, which she co-authored, found that babies who see the same doctor for their first 6 months are up to twice as likely to receive important health tests before they turn 2. Sticking with the same doctor also prevents wasted time on things like “going over whether immunizations are up to date,” she says. “If you have a continuing relationship with a doctor, you have the time and comfort to go deeper.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies get checkups at birth, 3 to 5 days after birth, and then at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months. So, you will be seeing your baby’s provider quite often. Not even to mention all the times you are going to call the office asking questions about spit up, diapers, not sleeping, and temperatures.
Thank your network of people offering free unsolicited advice. Take it with a grain of salt, consult with your baby’s provider and then make the decision that works best for you as a mom and your child. You’re the mama bear of your baby, you know what’s best.