When couples are expecting a baby, especially if it’s their first child, the preparation to-do list can seem overwhelming. Attending prenatal classes, considering a birth plan, investigating breast versus formula feeding and day care options, and shopping for diapers, baby clothes and all the furniture and gear that makes parenting easier—all this takes a lot of time and energy.
At Children’s Medical Group, one thing we do to help ease the transition into parenthood is to welcome expecting parents to visit us at our offices before the baby is born. We physicians all have dedicated times in our schedules for prenatal visits and we want to offer expecting parents an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about our practice or about baby care and infant health issues.
Sometimes about-to-be-parents come in to see us with detailed questions about issues like antibiotic use, circumcision, breastfeeding, and infant vaccines. Others just want a chance to familiarize themselves with our offices and to ask us a few questions about our backgrounds. Occasionally, an expectant parent will say to me, “I’m not sure what to ask. What do you want me to know?” In these situations, I like to make sure to highlight the following about our pediatric practice at Children’s Medical Group:
- CMG is open for acute illness and after-hours care 7 days a week. Because kids get sick in the evenings and on weekends, we like to provide continuity of care for our patients by making ourselves available for same day sick care every day. We don’t want the families in our practice to have to manage the ordeal of an emergency room visit if an illness or injury can be managed in our after-hours clinic in Jackson.
- All of our doctors work side-by-side with a pediatric trained registered nurse (RNs). In addition to speaking with parents to schedule patients’ well and sick appointments, these RNs are experts at answering general baby and child care questions and at talking through minor medical problems over the phone. Our nurses get to know our patients well and are an invaluable part of the CMG team.
- A newborn’s first visit to see us is usually around 2 weeks of age. The neonatologist at the birth hospital will oversee the baby’s care until the mother’s hospital discharge, and we ask parents to give us a call to schedule the baby’s first visit with us after the baby is born. During the time between hospital discharge and the 2-week visit, we are available for any questions or acute care issues that need to discussed over the phone or seen in the office.
- Perhaps most importantly, I like to stress that CMG pediatricians regard themselves as partners with parents in overseeing the growth, development and health of our patients. We encourage any and all questions from new and experienced parents in this regard.
Please call or schedule an appointment online if you would like to meet one or more of us and ask questions about our practice.
Written by Joanna Storey, MD