e. Choosing a health care provider for your baby

Once your baby leaves the hospital, she will need follow-up care. You may already have chosen a pediatrician. But if your baby came early, you may not have had a chance to find someone. It’s important that you find a health care provider who is a good fit for you and your baby.

Your baby’s provider may be a pediatrician, family physician or nurse practitioner. All of these providers have the training to take care of babies.

If your baby has special medical needs, you may need to find a health care provider who has experience caring for children with your baby’s condition. The NICU staff, hospital social worker or case manager can help you find one. Also, some hospitals have follow-up clinics for babies who stayed in the NICU and have special medical needs. Ask the NICU staff about these clinics.

Here are some questions to help you choose a health care provider for your baby:

  • Do you have experience caring for children with conditions like those my baby has?
  • Do you accept my insurance plan?
  • How do I pay if you don’t accept my insurance?
  • What are your office hours?
  • Will you see my baby at each appointment or are there other doctors you work with?
  • What happens if my baby gets sick at night or on a weekend?
  • How do you handle emergencies?
  • What hospital(s) can you admit patients to?

Take your baby’s folder with your discharge summary, any X-rays and information sheets you were given in the hospital to your first appointment with your pediatrician. The provider needs to know what happened during and after your baby’s birth.