Your gut instinct feels good
A parent’s instinct should not be ignored, and may even be the best way to make important decisions when it comes to your children. No one knows your child the way that you do, and if you feel good about a decision regarding his care, then trust yourself. Everyone has heard the stories about parents saving their children based on instinct alone, that simple gut feeling that you get when something just isn’t right. So if you’re feeling good about your child’s physician, chances are that you’ve made a good choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you consider how you feel during an appointment: rushed and hurried, or as though the doctor is genuinely concerned about your child’s health? Examine the way you feel about the care you received after a visit as well. Do you feel at peace with the decisions made, and like your concerns were considered to be valid? Choosing a doctor for your child and yourself can sometimes feel a bit like any other relationship: it either clicks or it doesn’t. This is not the time to settle. If it doesn’t feel like there’s a connection and understanding about your wishes for your child’s care, it might be time to move on. Here’s more advice on finding a doctor you trust. It’s important to trust your doctor, but it’s also important to trust the brands on the products you use every day. Meet the super heroes of the most trusted brands in America.
You feel comfortable enough to tell her your biggest health worries for your child
Every parent worries about their child’s health. It starts as soon as they’re born. Are they eating enough? Pooping enough? Breathing correctly? For first-time parents these fears can feel magnified, as every day with their newborn is uncharted territory. Having a physician who understands this, and can sympathize, is invaluable. You need to find someone that takes each of your concerns seriously, even if you must preface them with, “I know this sounds crazy but…” A parent should never feel like they cannot bring up an issue with a pediatrician for fear of seeming paranoid, over-protective, or annoying. This is a non-negotiable issue that directly affects the health of your child. Your child needs an advocate who isn’t afraid or intimidated to ask every question necessary concerning her health. Find a pediatrician that hears your concerns, validates them, and then puts them to rest. Ben Spitalnick, MD, MBA, PhD, co-author of Baby Care Anywhere: A Quick Guide to Parenting On the Go, says that pediatricians should listen to parents. “[A pediatrician] should listen to everything you have to say. A nurse or helper will likely ask you questions before the doctor comes in, but a good pediatrician doesn’t just rely on that information. She wants to hear it from the patient or parent themselves, to be sure the concerns are accurate, and to see if there is anything that hasn’t been asked.”
You trust him to tell you the truth
If you know without a doubt that your pediatrician is always truthful with you, even when it isn’t what you want to hear, that is a very good thing. When a child’s health is at stake, there is no room for sugar-coating. This doesn’t mean that he delivers bad news with a harsh tone or attitude, but rather that the information is given in its entirety. Dr. Spitalnick says, “You know you’ve got a good pediatrician when he is willing to admit he doesn’t automatically know the diagnosis to an illness, but he can explain what steps they will take to help you find out. It may take lab work, a call to a sub-specialist, or simple follow up as an illness evolves, but a great pediatrician is willing to admit there is more than one possible reason you are sick, and understand the process needed to narrow down the answer.” You should never leave an appointment wondering if there were other tests that could have or should have been performed to help diagnose your child. Your pediatrician should also offer you any and all information you request about a diagnosis, and be willing to go the extra step to provide other recommendations of resources such as helpful books or websites. (Related: Be sure to read these signs that you can’t trust health advice from the web.)