Disclaimer :: Dr. Joyce Rafati, a pediatric physician with Cook Children’s Pediatrics — Magnolia, composed this sponsored piece just for the Fort Worth Moms Blog readers.
The last few months of pregnancy are an exciting time and offer a great opportunity to meet your pediatrician through a prenatal consultation. While this visit is not required, many expectant families find it very helpful. There are lists of sample questions online that suggest points to cover, but don’t overlook these three areas.
1. Get to know each other and the practice. The first time you visit the doctor with your newborn can feel overwhelming. It’s typically the first venture from the house with baby and all the gear! If you have met your pediatrician and staff in advance and have seen the way in and out of the office, you’ll be more at ease. It sounds simple but can make a world of difference. At the prenatal conference with your pediatrician, you also can learn what to do if you have a question after the office is closed and how you can get in touch with your doctor directly if needed. Some practices ask that you call, while others offer email access. Some may allow you to schedule online, while others prefer a phone call to arrange this. The conversation you have with your pediatrician will allow you to get a sense of his or her practice style and specific interests. You want to make sure that it is a good fit.
2. Discuss plans for feeding. For some moms, breastfeeding is a breeze, but others may find it more challenging. Either way, there is help available to support your feeding goal. At the prenatal consultation, you will typically discuss ways to prepare, and your doctor may suggest a list of resources to have on hand. I always remind moms to spend as much time with the lactation consultants as possible in the hospital before going home. This time is so important. You also may discuss working with your insurance company to get a pump, so it is available if needed.
3. Discuss health promotion. A large part of keeping babies healthy is through prevention of injury and illness. In pediatrics, one of the cornerstones of prevention is vaccination. Many parents have questions about vaccines. Meeting with your doctor before the baby is born allows you to go over these questions. Injury prevention is also fundamental, and you can ask your doctor about how to have your car seat installation checked before the baby arrives. In addition to checking the car seat, you should set up your baby’s sleep environment so it is ready for the first night home. Your pediatrician will discuss safe sleep practices and the most current recommendations with you in depth.
Meeting with expectant families is one of the highlights of our day. To schedule a no-cost prenatal consultation with Cook Children’s pediatricians Vanessa Charette, M.D., Frank McGehee, M.D.; or Joyce Rafati, M.D.; call 817-336-4896. Visit the website for more information on choosing a pediatrician and preparing for parenthood.
Dr. Rafati completed her undergraduate training at Harvard University and her medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. She joined Cook Children’s in 2013 and believes the care of a child is a partnership between doctor and family. During your visit, she will take the time needed to listen and discuss the various aspects of your child’s growth and development. Her particular interests include sleep, nutrition, newborn and infant care, asthma and allergies, and behavior.
Vanessa Charette, M.D.; Frank McGehee, M.D.; and Joyce Rafati, M.D.
1263 W. Rosedale, Ste. 200
Fort Worth, Texas 76104