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What questions should I ask the doctor?
When you've narrowed your list down to two or three, consider setting up consultations with each before your baby is born (some time after the 30th week of pregnancy). Some doctors charge for this meeting; others don't. Prepare a list of questions about the office's policies and daily routines to get a sense of whether you and the doctor share views of parenting. You'll also get a sense of the office atmosphere: is the waiting room bright, cheerful, and child-friendly? Is the office staff helpful? Here are some questions to ask:

  • What are the office hours?
  • Are there other partners?
  • What is the procedure for emergencies at night or on weekends--who handles them?
  • Will the doctor come to the phone during office hours?
  • Do they have a telephone hour before or after the work day?
  • What are the standard fees? How is payment handled?
  • How long is a typical office visit?
  • How do you support breastfeeding?
  • How can you help me understand my child's development?
  • What are the practice's standards for treating infant jaundice? (most newborns experience some jaundice; doctors vary in their opinion of how to treat it.)
  • What is the office policy for routine blood testing?
  • What is the doctor's opinion of newborn sleeping arrangements?
  • What is the doctor's recommendation for toilet training?
  • When should solids be introduced?
  • Are there separate waiting rooms for sick children?