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Pediatrician at Birth

I'm a bit confused about how to go about getting a pediatrician. Do I need to have one at the birth of my son, for the first shots, to get him circumsized before I'm discharged, etc. or is it typical to do that all after you leave? I'm so confused. I know there's a pediatric floor full of capable pediatricians at the hospital, so can they do the honors until I find one of my own?? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Thank you to everyone who responded to my request! Your advice/suggestions were so helpful--I have 5 prenatal interviews set-up this week and am super excited to find a pediatrician for my little man. Thank you again for all of your wonderful help!

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It's important to get started in finding one. Some pediatricians have a wait-list or are not taking new patients. I agree it's good interview doctors and ask friends and neighbors (people you trust) about their experiences with their pediatricians and some good recommendations so you know where to start.

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Hi - if you are having a hospital birth there are resident pediatricians that take care of everything necessary while the baby is in the hospital. You should also choose your pediatrician before hand so that when you need him/her you will already know where to go for future help.
As far as shots go - I highly recommend that you do a lot of research on this before you subject your tiny baby's bloodstream to foreign matter. If you decide that you do want your baby vaccinated - there is no rush to do it fresh out of the womb.
If you are also opting for your baby to be circumsized, I believe there is a specific time period that is optimum - and that is not the day or day after they are born. I would research that one too. I didn't know any better and my little guy was circumsized the day after he was born and it was very traumatic . . . .
You have time to check out the home birthing option. I know it may sound crazy - it did to me the first time I heard about it. I had 4 hospital births in 4 different states, but, after meeting my midwife, I've never looked back. I have since had 4 home births - as far as care and safety and everything else the home births just have blown away all my hospital births. If you are in the Colorado Springs area - check out BirthMatters!

1 mom found this helpful

Yes you need to choose a pediatritian now, I reccomend calling the hospitals and asking the nurses! Your pediatritian will come to the hospital for your baby's first check up, this is routine for them! So you need to find the right one for you and your family and the hospital will contact them for you when the baby is delivered. You could also ask your OB for a referral. The OB will perform the circumsision. I would reccomend finding a pediatritian that is close to your home, you go alot for the first year! Good luck to you!

My OB encouraged me to find my pediatrician prior to delivering so that I could start out working witht he person I intend to be a key person in my baby's life. I went and interviewed, adn had one picked out... but then it turns out I didn't like him after all so I ended up switching Peds several times before I found someone I really liked. If at all possible try to interview several and find one with whom you are very comfortable and feel you can ask any "dumb" question in the world and not feel inappropriate. Otherwise, the hospital will have an on-call Pediatrician to assist with the baby right after the birth, then you'll need to find someone for after you leave the hospital... which might be really stressful if you're exhausted, or if there's anything of concern (my daughter was jaundiced and I was freaking out!). I suggest finding one before you go to the hospital so you don't put that task on yourself after you deliver.

you should meet with a pediatrician before you give birth. I moved here from california in November and was 35 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. I enlisted the help of my realtor and one of my husbands co workers and found a pediatrician that I am extremely happy with- much better than the one in CA! I delivered at Lutheran in December and a pediatrician from Childrens did my sons circumcision in the hosptial, because my pediatrician doesnt do hospital visits. Most pediatricians do " meet the doctor" meetings where you meet with them for 15 minutes or so and they tell you a little bit about their practice and you can ask any questions you like. Your son will not get his first round of immunizations until he is 8 weeks old so you will have some time before you really need to worry about it, except for the fact that you will be so pre occupied with your son, it will be the last thing on your mind. Most doctors will want to see the baby 2-3 days after discharge and then again at two weeks. I would recommend finding a pediatrician before the baby comes. Dont be afraid to ask people for who they use- word of mouth is great! I use Arvada Peds in Broomfield and are very happy!

Good luck......Motherhood is the most rewarding thing you can ever experience!

You don't have to have when at birth, there are always pediatricians staffed in maternity, in some cases the obgyn delivering the child has a preexisting relationship with a ped. office.

Its always good to look around for one, check with your family and friends. Also if you go to a Family Practice they should already have one on staff.

Check with your docter at your next appointment. NEVER be weary, there is no such thing as too many questions ... especially concerning your child.

Good Luck!


When we had our kids, we just took the pediatrician on call. We live in a different town than where our kids were born. When our son was born we were given the option to circumsize him the day after he was born or wait and take him to a ped. when we got home. We asked the ped. and our family Dr. and they both said it is somewhat better to do it right away and get it over with. So, we elected to have the ped. on call do the circumcision. Although it is hard on them no matter where or when you do it, I was just happy to get it over with and not have to take him in a week later and traumatize him any further. We had different peds. for all three of our kids and were happy with all of them. They're perfectly capable and generally you're in and out of the hospital so fast anyway, they don't really do all that much. Good luck!!

I totally second the suggestion to visit with La Leche League moms at a meeting before Baby comes for resources and suggestions if you're looking for referrals and plan to breastfeed. All their services are free, the meetings are informal and the moms I've met their are typically really thoughtful and deliberate in the decisions they make on behalf of their families. They usually have a while library full of books and CDs they will loan to anyone for free. It's quite a community resource; you can find a local group at www.llli.org.
It's nice to have a pediatrician chosen ahead of time so you can interview him/her, or know s/he comes highly recommended by like-minded friends and know you have someone already chosen if you have problems or questions right away. It's not a bad idea to work with a pediatrician at the hospital, but personally, I've always liked knowing I had a relationship with someone I trusted before the baby came.
You do not have to have a son circumcised before you leave the hospital. In fact, you do not have to have it done at all. I think it's important to read lots of information before you consent to surgery on someone else's behalf. My kids' (two sons) pediatrician does not perform circumcision, since he says removing healthy tissue for a cultural, cosmetic reason violates the Hippocratic oath ("first do no harm") to him and does not make sense to him as a surgery. His own sons are intact, as are my own and the sons of many friends and doctors I know. There is a lot of research that shows it can interfere with breastfeeding (babies in pain tend to withdraw) and that it does not improve hygiene, as has been thought in the past. Actually, Orthodox Jews and Americans are the only people in the world who do it, and the numbers are dropping rapidly among Americans who question it as a painful and unnecessary tradition. Circumcision in America started as a way to reduce masturbation, which I think is kind of funny. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends routine infant circumcision. I know Jews wait for eight days before performing it, and medical research supports waiting for baby to be stable out of the womb for awhile before inflicting any risky trauma so blood-clotting factors and breastfeeding are well established. There's lots more info out there; I found the articles at www.mothering.com to be the most informative. Just something to think about.
Enjoy your little man!

It's important to get started in finding one. Some pediatricians have a wait-list or are not taking new patients. I agree it's good interview doctors and ask friends and neighbors (people you trust) about their experiences with their pediatricians and some good recommendations so you know where to start.

Hi, A.!

Yes, yes, and yes, you most definitely need a pediatrician prior to having your baby! You'll need to contact them in the hospital where you give birth afterwards if they do not go to that hospital (if they do see newborns at your place of birth, the nurse will contact them and they'll examine your baby within 24 hrs at that hospital, and if not, a doc or in-house neonatologist, or specialist, will examine your little one while there). You will need to make a well-baby appointment for 1-3 days after your discharge, and most hospital staff like you to do that before you leave.
Also, you'll want to visit the doc you have chosen before you deliver, as not all pediatricians are to the liking of every mother! I suggest someone close to your residence.
Most likely, your ob doc with do the circ, so be sure and ask the ob ahead of time as well!
Let me know if you have questions or this seems confusing--hope it helped, and good luck to you!!!


Although the hospital peds. will check things out while you are there, it's kind of nice to have things in place before you deliver for after you go home. I felt my ob/gyn, whom I love and trust, would be a great starting point. He knew the inside scoop and reputations of drs. in a way most of us don't. He named a couple for me in my area that he would personally trust, and I set up pre-birth appointments to interview them in person to get a feel for whom I was comfortable with. (For that matter, I found my ob/gyn through a nurse that I know, and then found out that a whole lot of nurses go to him- what a great referral! He's been my doc for 20 years!) Anyway, we really liked our ped. and went to her until she retired 2 years ago. Our current ped. was referred to us by her- actually, she joined their practice in preparation to retire in order to give her patients a place to go. So your medical professionals can be a fabulous resource!

We had one picked out before the birth, but we didn't actually meet or interview him. A trusted friend referred him to us. When our son was born, the hospital called him and he came in, met us and has been our pediatrician ever since.

When we had our second child, he didn't have priviledges at the hospital I had her at, so he told us to have the hospital call another office they work with for just this sort of thing. A doctor from that office came in, did all her exams, etc but after she was discharged, we just took her to our normal doctor.

Anyway, don't trust that just because someone works at the hospital that your insurance will cover their expenses, so whatever you do, make sure the doctor accepts your insurance. And you'll be taking your baby into the doctor within the first 2-weeks anyway, so it's better to choose one before you give birth because it's the last thing you'll think of after you have the baby.

Best wishes

I may repeating someone else's advice, but your OB usually will do the circumcision before you leave the hospital, both my boys were just fine with it. Also, if you have a pediatrician picked out beforehand, then they may be able to come to the hospital to check the baby. My pedi doesn't go to the hospital I deliver at, so I just have the pedi group at the hospital check them in the hospital. You can make an appt before the baby is born with different pedi's to interview them, I just went based on the suggestions of my friends, who they liked and didn;t. We went o a General practitioner for the first few months os my oldest's life, and realized that we definitely needed a separate pediatrician

A. - I feel obligated to respond to your question after reading some of the other responses. I am a pediatrician and would mention the following: 1. you should absolutely have your pediatrician picked out before your baby is born. Some hospitals have staff pediatricians and some DON'T, and I agree that you want someone you have met, or at least have heard good things about, caring for your baby. 2. Some people have said that OB's do the circumcisions - that actually varies by region. OBs tend to do them in the more eastern part of the country, but pediatricians generally do them in the more western parts. Bottom line? You need to ask who does them where you live. Good luck!

Hello A.
Congrats on baby,and Good luck. There is nothnig to worry about because with you in the hospital, there is about three to four pediatricians that come directly to your room and talk to you. tell you about themselves and there practice. From there you may chose one of them. and usually they are ones that are within distance from your home or the hospital where you have the baby. Good luck, there is nothing to worry about have a great one. val

I found it very helpful to already have a pediatrician when my son was born. The pediatrician was able to check up on the baby and talk about my concerns with him or taking him home, he also did the circumcision and was then the one who checked up on it at his well baby checkups. I would find a pediatrician that you like and many are able to meet with you before your child is born and you can find one you like.

It's best to have a pediatrician before you give birth because then you'll have time to interview the doctors and find one you like. This way YOU get to choose who sees your son. In addition, the pediatrician isn't just for at the hospital- you will follow up with him/her at about 10 days, 2-, 4-, 6-, 9-, 12-months. You won't want to be scrambling for a doctor after your son is born. If you don't have a doctor, the resident on call and/or the "unclaimed" doctor will see your little one; your son WILL get seen, but I recommend finding a doctor now that you want to be with for the duration, trust me, it will be a lot less stressful. I think this site has a list of Pediatricians that people like here in Boise.

First off.... Congrats! I was in the same boat as you when I was about to have my son, I didn't know how to go about everything myself. I was advised to look for a pediatrician befoe I had him, and was in the middle of finding 1 when he came 3 weeks early! The hospital will set up a pediatrician for you if you don't have 1 when you go in. The catch is that your insurance might not/probably wont cover the 1 they give you. I had a lot of issues with the insurance and bills and it was a really big head ache. I liked the pediatrician, and she was really good but looking back I wish i would have found my own pediatrician before we went in. It's actually kind of easy to find 1 you'll like, and for mine all I had to do was go in and tell them that I needed a pediatrician, they had me fill out some paperwork and told me a little about each of the pediatricians at the office. You'll need to take him in for a 1 week appointment then the pediatrician will tell you everything you need to know from there. (My son got 1 shot at the hospital and then the rest of his first shots at his 1 week.) The good thing is... if you pick a pediatrician and don't like him/her you can always switch to a new one! Good luck!

I was in the dark about the pediatrician thing myself. The hospital provided one for us after birth. They do a checkup and take stats, provide a couple shots etc...we then took him to our chosen ped. a couple week later. No biggie. Just note the name of the initial ped. and hospital for the chosen ped. for record transfer.

In my case unless I wanted the on call who knows if it's a good doctor or not I interviewed pediatricians so that I would have one at the birth of my son. If you are going to circumcise I believe that is the best choice. Do you really want someone you've never met performing surgery on your new baby? Almost all pediatricians offer a free consult. Check out the PPO's for your insurance and then start a list. It could get very expensive to keep using the hospital staff as you will need a 2 weeks check, a 6 week check and a 2 month check and some offices have waiting lists, especially the good ones. If you are ready when your baby arrives they will already have you on the schedule. My last baby did have to see the oncall doctor as ours did not have privleges at the hospital where I ended up unexpectedly. It was okay but I really missed having the person I had built a relationship with there.

It's helpful if you have somebody before hand because you can start the relationship from the very beginning. Our ped has always come and seen us personally. Some practices hire someone for hospital visits but still get the records themselves. Also, having a ped ahead of time allows you to get all the vital info to the doctor without hassle. Plus, you'll feel more like visiting new doctors now than you will with a newborn. You're also less tired to be able to remember the questions you have for the doctor.

Its a good idea to interview a few pediatricians while you are pregnant. Go in with a list of questions. Your first visit with your doctor of choice may be a few days after discharge from the hospital (mine was anyhow).
However, the physicians at the hospital will take care of everything there. You don't need to have yours do the circumsized or for shots. They do that there.

A. you do need to get a pediatrician before the birth of your baby. They will ask you who you pediatrician is so that they can come and check the baby. Also I would not want just any dr to look at my new born would you?? How about your step children??? Do they have a pediatrician?? Maybe you can call and see if they would take your baby. I have a 2 1/2 month old baby and she sees the same pediatrician my other 3 girls have. And when they know family history it's alot better. so start looking now. Good luck with your baby

Before my son was born, I asked friends who their pediatricians were, then I called the offices to schedule a meeting. Most offices have scheduled dates and about 10 couples show up to get info about the drs and office. It's a great way to get a feel for everything.I started about 3 moths before the birth.
When your child's born, whichever ped. from the office is on call OR the dr. you chose (if possible) will show up within hours of the birth, examine your baby etc. Then you call to make one wk appt etc. I HIGHLY recommend doing this; there's much more continuity with the care and then your baby will not get "overlooked".
Good luck.

You don't have to have a pediatrician before your child is born. We actually decided to go with the ped that checked out our daughter at the hospital the day after her birth, but you certainly don't have to do that either. My midwife gave me some recommendations, and I also asked some friends who already had kids about their peds. I think the biggest thing is to do some research so that you are getting a pediatrician whose ideas for child rearing are similar to yours. Similar ideas on things such as immunizations, breastfeeding, and even discipline are important to have in common so that you will be comfortable with the advice that your ped gives you in the future. Of course whether or not they accept your insurance is a consideration too.

As far as circumcision goes, if you are planning on breast-feeding, some advice I got from my childbirth educator was to wait until his two week appointment to have it done. Sometimes the stress of just being born along with the pain of circumcision can make breastfeeding harder for little boys (especially if you hold them cradle hold so they are being pushed up against your body). Give him a couple of weeks to get breastfeeding established and comfortable before you do the circumcision. Just a thought.

I am a mom to 3 children under the age of 5. If I were you, I would be setting up interviews with possible pediatricians now before your son is born. Many MDs will do a free consulation/get to know you session, or it may just be the cost of your copay, if you have insurance. You can prepare a list of questions to ask the MDs ahead of time to help you in the selection process. This also allows you to meet the MD and see how you get along, how well they listen, and get a feel for the office atmosphere.

It may also be important to you to find a Pediatrician that has "hospital privileges" at the hospital you will deliver at. That just means that they are able to come and see patients there. If you have a Pediatrician selected ahead of time, the MD's name is entered on all the inpatient hospital admission paperwork and that Pediatrician, or the one that happens to be on call for that office (i.e. a colleague), is the one that will attend if there are complications (God forbid) during delivery, will conduct the initial evaluation of the baby's health, and the baby's discharge from the hospital nursery.

The "well baby" checkup schedule is very frequent and if you have a MD selected ahead of time, it will be one less thing you have to do while caring for an all dependent newborn. :)

You can use the resident pediatrician at the hospital, but your baby will need to see a pediatrician for a one week check up. So it is good to have one lined up before baby comes.


First, I would talk to your own doctor who is going to deliver the baby. If s/he is a general practitioner, s/he can take care of your baby. You do not HAVE to have a pediatrician for your baby's general care. My opinion - peds are specialists, just like surgeons or neurologists. They are trained to look for things to go wrong, and to deal with those emergencies. Taking your baby to one for general care can result in more treatment than he needs. My kids see a general practitioner, and if anything came up that he couldn't handle, we would ask for a referral to a ped.

Your doc will know the routine at your delivering hospital. I think most of them have their own peds on staff that do baby's first checkups. If you have LIKE-MINDED friends, you can ask them for referrals. Don't ask people who don't parent the way you want to, as their doctors will likely support their way of parenting/health care. If you are a part of any mom's groups, you can ask around for recommendations there. If you aren't, I would recommend you find some in your area. They are a wonderful resource, even through your pregnancy. If you are planning on breastfeeding, La Leche League is an incredible group. You can find a local group at: http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html. Definitely try to go before baby is born. You will start making mommy friends, and also find some great resources. Also, if you do need help with breastfeeding, it is nice to have met the leader beforehand.

That's about all I can think of. I hope this helps!

Best of luck,

Hi A.,
You will be assigned a pediatrician at the hospital for your baby for the duration of your in-patient stay. However once you leave the hospital (usually around 48 hrs post delivery if everything goes smoothly) you will be given instructions to follow up with your own (out-pt) pediatrician for check-ups, shots etc. I don't know about the circumcision because my boys didn't have one.
I would recommend that you "interview" a couple of out-patient pediatricians and choose one before you deliver. They won't be at the hospital when your baby arrives, there are pediatricians who are hospital-based who deal primarily with newborns, but you'll see them for check-ups on an ongoing basis ie at 2 wks, 8 wks, 4 months, 6 months etc. Hope that helps.

For my first I hadn't found a pediatrician so the ped that was on call at the hospital saw him. It worked out fine, we liked him and continued to see him. Now the ped I go to doesn't work at the hosptial where I like to deliver my babies. So in the hospital we see whatever ped is on call there and then we go see our pediatrician at his office after we go home. It has worked out just fine for us. We like that hospital and our ped too much to worry about changing things. You don't have to do the circumcism at the hospital if you don't have a pediatrician yet, you can have it done at the office. At the hospital the ped is just there to examine the baby. The nurses are actually the ones to do all the shots. Anyway, good luck with your baby. I have 4 boys and I just love them!!!

I'm surprised that nobody else has asked, but who is the ped. for you step children? Is he in your area, or do they live someplce else? If he is near you, I would go to him, because then it makes things easier if you ever have any questions about genetics. You never know what may come up.

they do recommend that you have a pediatrician at birth because you take the baby to that office 3 days after you are home from the hospital. they will normally have an MD circumsize the baby in the hospital. Ask your friends or post something here and list what neighborhood you live in and get some recommendations. good luck!

It's a good idea to have one by the time your son is born, not only for the circumcision but because you will have a few check-ups right after he's born and it would be a real hassle to find someone in the midst of the "newborn fog."

Good luck, and congratulations!

Not so sure about the boy part as I have two girls but I have the most wonderful pediatrician!
Dr.Martha Middlemist
9094 East Mineral Avenue, Suite 120
Centennial, Colorado 80112

Good luck!

definitely find one before you have the baby so he/she will come see the baby at the hospital daily until you leave. most offices have free prenatal interviews you can schedule to meet the docs so you can take your time to choose one

You don't have to have a pediatrician at birth but I would highly recommend it. Your child will need their first pediatric appt. within the first week so if there are any complications it would be wise to have the same Dr. tending to your child's needs. Our Dr. is Paul Swensen and we love him!

i waited until i was in labor at the hospital, told the nurse that i wanted the one on call, and that's it. you can do it before though

Yes, pick a couple, intrview them, and them they come to the hospital for your birth (or just after). I choose the Longmont Clinic as I go there. I got a flyer with six or so listed, read their bio. and picked two to talk to for a second (shouldn't have to pay..but you want to make sure you feel comfortable talking with them and all). Or, the hospital will call an on-call one and who knows what you get. Also, you can always change if it doesn't work out later or after a year you might all go to a family doctor.

Each pediatrician has thier own method, some will come to the hospital, some will prefer the pediatrician on call at the hospital take care of the first shots and things. I would definatly get referals from other parents you trust, and call the pediatricians office to see if they are accepting new patient and thier new mother procedures. If you have the hospital pediatrician take care of your babies first shots, they will ask you who the babies regular doctor is going to be, and they will want you to see them within a few days of the birth. Good Luck

I don't usually have much of an opinion on things like this (because I feel it's really up to you - whatever you're comfortable with). But for this particular issue, I feel obligated to at least say this: If you don't tell the hospital staff which pediatrician you want (or at least what office) they will usually assign someone on hospital staff. This is usually fine as far as the care and quality of service. However, many hospitals have pediatricians (and other professionals) who are under contract to work with the hospital, but take their own payment from patients, and many of them do not contract with ANY insurance companies. Meaning if you let the hospital staff assign you someone, you're not guaranteed to get someone who accepts payment from your medical insurance company (even when the staff already has been given the information and name of your insurance.) So... that said, it's kind of like "buyer beware" only "patient beware." If you would prefer them assign someone, tell them you want someone who is contracted with "xyz" insurance company or you don't want someone at all until they can call someone in who does accept it. Most things the pediatricians do will not be affected by a few hours' delay so they get the right people in. Other than that... good luck, and do whatever you're most comfortable with.

When my first one was born I didn't have one picked out because I knew the hospital had some there that would do the shots and everything it ends up my insurance didn't cover their pediatricians so it would have been better if I had picked one out before that did cover my insurance. This is actually very common. I would ask some of your friends who they would recommend and go from there. Just call them and ask to meet with them or just call them and tell them you are planning on using them for your childs doctor and you would like them to go to the hospital for the exams. My OBGYN circumsized my son so I don't know who usually does that part. I would pick one and if you end up not liking them you can switch, might have to pay to release the records but your not stuck with them and that fee is a lot less than what I ended up paying for the checkups the hospital ped didnt.

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