Raising children is one of the most incredible journeys you can take. It can also be one of the most intimidating ones. The moment you look into your baby’s eyes, your heart just melts, and you realize this tiny human being is relying on you for literally everything.
And as you realize they’re depending on you, you're faced with another question: How can you keep them as healthy as possible? The answer is actually quite simple: pediatric care.
In this blog, our providers at Generations Family Practice in Cary and Raleigh, North Carolina, explain why teaming up with a pediatrician is one of the best things you can do to help your child start out strong.
The pediatric care difference
If you have a family doctor, you may wonder: “Can’t my family doctor take care of my baby?” Technically, yes, but there are some key differences.
For example, a family doctor cares for patients of all ages. A pediatrician, on the other hand, only cares for children — infants to adolescents. Their expertise isn’t divided. This hyperfocus can make a pediatrician invaluable.
If the following, we give five reasons why working with a pediatrician as your child grows up is often the best option:
1. Pediatricians are specially trained
The specialized training pediatricians receive is probably the most valuable of all the benefits of pediatric care. Pediatric care starts from an understanding that infants and adolescents aren’t simply miniature adults.
Since their bodies and minds are literally wired differently from adults, diseases and illnesses manifest differently, and even medications work differently, which can make diagnosis and treatment particularly challenging.
2. Pediatricians are experts in monitoring childhood development
Similarly, pediatricians are experts in knowing what healthy development looks like. This important work typically happens during well-child visits, the first of which generally occurs within 72 hours after being discharged from the hospital.
Your pediatrician schedules well-child visits more often when your child is under age 1. From there, it becomes less frequent unless there’s a particular issue that needs to be monitored closely.
During these appointments, your provider performs a physical examination, checking on things like weight and height. Your provider also engages you and your child to learn more about your child’s social behaviors to gauge their mental and emotional health and development.
3. Pediatricians emphasize prevention and wellness
Another valuable asset that pediatricians bring to the table is a unique emphasis on prevention and wellness. While so much of health care delivery is about treating people when they’re sick, the core of pediatric care is a belief that disease prevention and overall wellness are just as important.
For that reason, pediatricians address immunizations, good nutrition, and other aspects of living a healthy life.
4. Pediatricians are well-versed in health issues that affect children
Since pediatricians are specially trained in pediatrics and only see children, they’re particularly well-versed in the physical and mental health issues that affect children. With this keen eye on what’s normal and what may warrant follow-up care, pediatricians are able to address small issues before they become big health problems.
Furthermore, your pediatrician will be familiar with your child’s specific health and development. So they will be better able to intervene early if anything develops, which could reduce your child’s risk of developing a serious medical condition or chronic health issue.
5. Pediatricians are experts in communicating with children and caregivers
Another great benefit of pediatric care is that over the course of the relationship, your pediatrician can gain a rapport with you and your child. Pediatricians are experts in working with children and their caregivers, and when it comes to health care, it’s always better to have clear and effective communication between the provider and patient.
By having an open line of communication and a foundation built on trust, your child's provider can be more effective in diagnosing and treating any issues that may come along.
To learn more about pediatric care and our specialized services, such as same-day appointments and telehealth (virtual) visits, book an appointment online or over the phone with Generations Family Practice today.