picking a doctor - a huggies post

I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too!

Oh...parenthood is full of all sorts of daunting tasks, isn't it? I mean, you are singlehandedly in charge of shaping a human being into a positive and meaningful member of society...whatever that happens to mean to you. From day one of pregnancy you are now fully in charge of making decisions and choices on everything from diaper brands to pre-schools to what kind of diet your child will have. And that's if you have a healthy, typical child. I can't imagine the immense pressure a mother must face if she has a child who has health issues on top of the run of the mill parenting pressures and options. Outside of my husband, who is always a willing and awesome parenting teammate, our most valuable asset to our overall success has been our pediatrician.

I feel that, because we did our homework before walking into the office, we were blessed with an amazing team of pediatricians that genuinely cared about and wanted to help not only our kids but our family as well.

And by "homework" this is what I mean:

Like all things these days, we started with Google. Googling pediatricians in your area will pull up the good and the bad about them. Many sites offer consumer reviews about specific doctors and practices. I don't know about you, but I trust another mother's opinion more than a doctor's peer.

You can also ask around. Post a question on your Facebook page to get recommendations from your friends and family that are local to you. This is a great way to start and get a nice list of names to Google and research.

Once you get in the office, don't let that be the end of getting your needs met. We were extremely blessed with great doctors and here are some ways we could tell they were great doctors...

We could be honest with what we were dealing with. I could always tell our doctor anything and never felt judged or scolded like some of my friends experienced. I could come out and say, "Moses will only eat yogurt right now," or "he had a fever last week but I didn't want to bring him in."

Our doctors listened and offered feedback when needed.

Doug and I are not typical parents in that we hardly ever take our kids to the doctor...we feel like the doctor's office is there when there is a genuine need for help and not just to quench our fears. Both of our boys combined have been to non-well baby visits maybe 6-7 times total in their lives and 2-3 of those times have been when I needed reassurance from the doctors that it was OK to not bring them in with every single illness. It meant a lot to us to have doctors that we could say, "I just don't feel like it's good to run them in here JUST because they have x, y or z. Is that ok?" and to have a doctor that not only agreed but supported that decision.

You need a doctor that will listen, offer support, experience and intelligence, and be non-judgemental. They also need to be available and focused on you during your appointments. Is there anything worse than a doctor that is trying to rush through your appointment?

Until you find those things in your doctor, you need to keep looking. Don't be afraid to keep office hopping until you find the right one...it will be worth it in the end!

What are your criteria for a good doctor?
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app! Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.

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