When should we begin looking for a pediatrician?

This is a question I’m often asked by hopeful adoptive parents in my community.

My name is Valerie Trumbower, I’m a Postpartum Doula, and my adoption-specific resources have helped thousands of adopting parents prepare for life with a newborn.

Your pediatrician will be an important part of your village. In your baby’s first year of life, he/she will have a minimum of SIX doctor’s visits, and that’s just counting the well checks! 

Before you are matched is the ideal time to find a pediatrician for several reasons:

  • You can take your time!

When you get the call that you’ve been matched, things often move quickly.  You’ll be doing things like making travel arrangements, packing your bags, buying last-minute baby gear and making arrangements to board your dog.  By taking time before you’re matched to find a pediatrician, you will be able to give that decision the time and attention necessary to make the choice that is right for your family.

  • Your pediatrician can be a resource! 

As hopeful adoptive parents, you may have cases presented to you involving medical complexities.  Having a resource to help you better understand these conditions is invaluable.

  • Post-placement will go more smoothly!

Traveling home after ICPC can feel hectic.  One of the first things you will do when you get back home is go to the pediatrician.  When you’ve taken the time to make this appointment before you arrive home, you feel more organized and have more time to bond with your baby.

Ready to find your pediatrician? Here are three steps to make this process easier!

  1. Start with friends

Many people make the mistake of thinking their best friend or sister’s pediatrician is the obvious best choice for them. This is often not the case. When choosing a pediatrician, you will want to consider things like location, insurance accepted, office hours and communication style. 

What resonates with your bff or sister may not resonate with you.  But I recommend you start with those closest to you when finding a doctor to meet with.  Another great option is to ask in local parent Facebook groups as well as ask co-workers who likely have the same insurance you do.

  1. Meet the doctor

If at all possible, take time to meet in person or speak by phone to any prospective pediatricians you are considering.  Even a short meeting will allow you to ask questions and understand how the doctor communicates.

  1. Put the office on speed dial

Congratulations, you are one step closer to building your village of support as a new parent! Be sure to put the doctor’s info with your adoption paperwork and save the office contact information on your phone. Now when you have questions or are ready to make your first appointment, you have a trusted resource at your fingertips.

As a postpartum doula, I have seen the difference it makes when adopting parents take time to prepare BEFORE the baby they are matched.  Post-placement goes more smoothly when new parents have time to bond with the baby instead of constantly worrying and googling at 3 am.

For this reason, I have created a free class called 7 Things Adoptive Parents Learn The First Week Home With a Newborn. You can click here to learn more

For other helpful baby prep tips, follow me on Instagram @newparentsacademy.

Valerie Trumbower is a guest contributor and works independently from the services provided by American Adoptions.