How to Choose the Best Pediatric Provider for your Family

by | May 28, 2024

infant baby

How to choose the best pediatric provider for your family.

Trying to choose the best pediatric provider for your family has always been a really important decision

But honestly, I think it’s more important now than it ever has been. 

When I was having my first baby over 12 years ago, I really didn’t choosing the best pediatric provider much thought at all. I was 23 years old and thought convenience was everything! Turns out, it wasn’t

As a seasoned mom of four who comes from a family of health-care professionals, 

I can tell you that it can be really challenging to navigate the healthcare scene, find the best pediatric provider for your baby, and be an active informed consumer of health care.

2023 was a year full of personal and professional growth for me and my family, and I’m proud to say that I’m committed to continuing to learn (and keep my eyes open!). I plan to continue to evolve in the way I practice as a health-care professional. It’s also an expectation I have for other health-care providers.

I really took a step back and started to look at my family’s lifestyle.

Looking at how what we eat and the products we are exposed to every day affect our health and wellbeing.

I woke-up and realized that the toxic overload in our environment is causing our generation to be sicker than any past generations.

And I started wondering if I was the only one seeing this.

At my youngest’s 15 month well-child check-up I had this discussion with my pediatric provider.

We’ve traded our health for modern day convenience.

Unfortunately, our viewpoints were not aligned and so we decided he was no longer the best pediatric provider for my family. And I had to find a new provider for my children. It was emotional for everyone involved because we’d been with him for over a decade.

After a few weeks, I began to really wonder how other parents who aren’t “medical” really navigate these scenarios.

I didn’t have to wonder very long. Of course, social media!

There are actual Doctors (MD’s and DO’s) who are devoting their life to spreading the message that we need to look at health care differently now than we have in the past. Some that I trust are Dr. Cate Shanahan , Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy , to name a few. 

There is so much information being published today. “Junk science” and fake stories written by the media, influencers, or companies and organizations who have an agenda to spread fear, gain control, or as a means to profit.

It is hard to know who to trust or where to turn for CURRENT up-to-date evidence-based information.

I’m going to say something that might not be very popular or well-recieved, but I’m okay with that.

Just because your pediatric provider validates something for you, that doesn’t mean that it’s right or accurate.

The articles that appear “legit” really aren’t when you approach reading them with a questioning mindset. Frankly, the CDC and AAP are not at the top of my list for “go to” evidence-based information.

As a consumer of healthcare, our family is looking to the future of Lifestyle Medicine and really using an integrative approach to our health care. 

We are looking to Real, Whole food as a means to nourish our bodies and prevent disease. 

We’re making an effort to eliminate environmental toxins, and we’re prioritizing sleep. Moving our bodies, and ensuring our mental and spiritual well-being in an effort to be Well. 

There are amazing pediatric providers out there who WILL support you if you find yourself in a similar situation as me. And many of them are on the same exact journey! So don’t stop searching for the best pediatric provider for your family.

I highly recommend scheduling a consult with your chosen pediatric provider before you deliver or if you’re considering switching to a new practice. Meeting them face to face is really important because you’ll instantly get their “vibe” and be able to decide if you like them!

Here are some things to think about to find the best pediatric provider for your family: 

  • Reflect on Your Healthcare Philosophy:
    • Before you begin your search for a pediatric provider, take some time to reflect on your healthcare philosophy, values, and preferences. Consider factors such as your approach to preventive care, vaccination beliefs, lifestyle choices, and desire for integrative medicine practices.
  • Research Pediatric Providers:
    • Start by researching pediatric providers in your area who offer integrative, holistic, or lifestyle medicine approaches to healthcare. Look for providers who prioritize evidence-based medicine and emphasize preventive care strategies.
  • Seek recommendations
    • From friends, family members, or online communities who share similar healthcare philosophies.
      • You can also explore websites and directories that specialize in integrative pediatric care if that’s important to you.
  • Schedule a Consultation:
    • Once you’ve identified potential pediatric providers, schedule consultations to meet with them and discuss your family’s healthcare needs and preferences. Many pediatricians offer complimentary meet-and-greet appointments for new patients.
    • Use this opportunity to ask questions about the provider’s approach to pediatric care, vaccination practices, communication style, and willingness to accommodate your preferences.
    • Pay attention to how the provider listens to your concerns, respects your viewpoints, and addresses your questions and preferences during the consultation.
  • Discuss Your Healthcare Values:
    • During the consultation or at your next pediatric appointment, be open and transparent about your healthcare values, including your beliefs about vaccinations, lifestyle medicine, preventive care, and parental involvement in medical decisions.
    • Express your expectations for shared decision-making, informed consent, and personalized care for your child. Discuss any specific concerns or considerations related to your child’s health and well-being.
  • Evaluate Communication and Trust:
    • Assess the communication style and level of trust you feel with the pediatric provider. Effective communication and a trusting relationship are essential for successful pediatric care.
    • Pay attention to how the provider addresses your questions, explains medical recommendations, and collaborates with you to develop a care plan that aligns with your family’s values and goals.
  • Consider Comprehensive Care:
    • Look for pediatric providers who offer comprehensive care services beyond traditional medical treatments, such as nutrition counseling, behavioral health support, and integrative therapies.
      • At the very least, make sure they enthusiastically support you when you bring ideas about alternative therapies (beyond medications) to their attention as it relates to improving your childs health and well-being.
    • Consider whether the provider emphasizes preventive care strategies, lifestyle modifications, and holistic approaches to promote your child’s overall health and well-being or do they just say things like “they’ll grow out of it” or quickly recommend a medication.
  • Review Practice Policies:
    • Take the time to review the practice policies of the pediatric provider, including vaccine requirements, appointment scheduling, after-hours care options, insurance acceptance, and billing practices.
    • Ensure that the practice’s administrative policies align with your preferences and logistical needs, such as accessibility, convenience, and financial considerations.
  • Trust Your Instincts:
    • Trust your instincts and intuition when evaluating pediatric providers. Choose a provider who makes you feel heard, respected, and confident in your role as a parent. 
    • If you have any doubts or concerns about a pediatric provider, don’t hesitate to explore other options until you find the right fit for your family.

I am beyond grateful for Western (Traditional) Medicine and its ability to react when we have acute problems.

But I do not believe traditional medicine and our current standard healthcare system has been successful in preventing disease and promoting wellness. 

Nearly 2 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year (1 in 3 people) in spite of the massive technological advances over the past 50 years. And the incidence of childhood cancer has increased nearly 60%

Why is this?

I have many different thoughts about this, but I think that the major point is that we (healthcare consumers and healthcare providers) should be questioning why this is happening. And it’s not just cancer. It’s Obesity, Diabetes, Autism, among other things. 

Don’t get me wrong. It can also be a patient problem, too

Maybe we’re too busy or we don’t want to look deeper than surface level and ask the hard questions.

It’s also a health care system problem. 

I am not unaware of the fact that healthcare providers literally do not have enough time in their day to remain up to date on the latest research or to take the conversation deeper than surface level on many topics, including educating their patients on the CURRENT evidence-based risks for each and every decision they make as a healthcare consumer. 

This is a big problem that probably won’t be fixed in the next decade.

Ok, if you made it this far I’m guessing you might want to follow along on my journey and maybe learn my personal perspective on how I’m approaching health and wellness for my children and family.

You can learn more by going to babysettler.com. We’re excited to share that we have all things early-momming in one searchable app coming in Summer 2024! 

I also offer individualized one-on-one support through my Baby Settler VIP program. You get exclusive access to me via texting, voice memos, and video calls. I only work with a few clients at a time. If you’re interested in working with me, get on my waitlist asap

In Your Corner, Always!

Hillary- The Baby Settler

hillary sadler founder baby settler

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Meet Hillary

Hi! I’m Hillary, the Mama behind Baby Settler. These days you can find me with my four children and husband… probably outside, and helping Mama’s and families. I also have a lot of letters behind my name which translate, I’m also a Labor & Delivery nurse and Lactation Consultant.

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