What to Expect in a Prenatal Visit

What to Expect in a Prenatal Visit

If you’re an expectant parent, you’ve probably gone to multiple prenatal visits with your OBGYN. But today, we’re talking about another kind of prenatal visit—the one with your child’s future pediatrician.

When to Start Looking for a Pediatrician

You really don’t need to worry about looking until the third trimester. Before then, you’re busy focusing on growing a healthy baby and everything that entails. Once you hit the third trimester, you’re ready to start looking for the pediatrician that will be the best fit for you and your growing family. Asking your friends and searching on Google are great ways to find candidates, but if you want to make your life a little easier, try to find a pediatrician with an office that’s close to daycare, your home, or your work.

Once you find a pediatrician that you like, call their office and schedule a prenatal visit with them. You’ll probably want to double-check with the receptionist about what health insurances are accepted, and you can ask them about other things like office hours and after-hours coverage.

Bring Your Questions

This isn’t a must, but if you have any specific questions about parenting or your child or what to expect, this is a great time to ask. A lot of parents prepare questions that are specific to their family’s situation. If you have any general questions about parenthood, those are great, too. Don’t be shy! Becoming a new parent is incredibly exciting, but it can feel very daunting, as well. As a pediatrician, I’m here to help answer those questions, and I make sure to leave plenty of time for questions in every visit.

In past prenatal visits, I’ve talked with parents about everything from postpartum depression and strollers to how to bathe your baby. The sky is the limit! It can feel like a lot of information, so while part of my job is to educate expectant parents, another part of it is to reassure them that they’re going to be just fine.

The prenatal visit is also the perfect time to discuss family preferences on things like feeding the baby (breastfeeding or formula?) and vaccinations. This allows the pediatrician to clear up any misconceptions and questions that the parents might have.

After that, it’s really all about the fit and making sure that personalities and values mesh well together. Just like personalities are an important factor when you’re meeting new people, finding a pediatrician that you get along with is important. Once you’ve found your pediatrician, the next step will be to determine when to schedule your first appointment after you have your baby. Granted, you probably won’t know the specific dates, but you’ll want to see the pediatrician within one or two days after being discharged from the hospital.

If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns you have regarding your baby, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at continuumtx.com.