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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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Preparing for your baby: Decisions to make

Choosing your baby's health care provider

An important decision is choosing your baby's health care provider. This person will be a source of information and support.

You will want to choose someone you feel comfortable talking with and you can easily reach.

You can choose from several types of health care providers, including nurse practitioners, family medicine doctors and pediatricians.

If you are already under the care of a family medicine doctor, you can ask him or her to also care for your baby. If you are under the care of an obstetrician or midwife, you will need to choose a different health care provider for your baby.

You may want to talk with family and friends about what they like about their children's health care providers. This will help you get an idea of the kind of care you would like for your baby. Look for a health care provider who shares your ideas about infant feeding and other issues that are important to you.

You'll want to consider the location of the clinic. Would you prefer it to be near your home or your work? You'll find other things to consider in the Choosing your baby's health care provider worksheet.

Try to meet with the health care provider before your baby is born. Being able to meet and talk with this person ahead of time can help you feel more comfortable about caring for your baby.

During that visit you can ask any questions you have about circumcision and newborn care. You can also talk about any special family situations. Ask your partner or a family member who will help with your baby's care to come with you.

Choosing a child care provider

If you are returning to work a few months after your baby's birth, you will want to find child care before your baby is born. As you look at child care options, consider both the site and the person who will provide the care. You will want to find someone who will care for your child with affection and common sense.

Use the Choosing child care worksheet to help you gather information.


Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin at the end of the penis. Although there may be some medical benefits, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that all baby boys be circumcised.

Some parents circumcise their sons because of religious, cultural, or social reasons. Other parents decide not to circumcise because it is not medically necessary. The decision is up to you.

red arrow indicating a more link Learn more about the pros and cons of circumcision.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 08/22/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts