New Parents: Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have questions about our practice or care provided at Norton Children’s Medical Group? Find an answer below.

Finding a pediatrician you can trust with your child’s health is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. Our team of pediatricians with Norton Children’s Medical Group, is ready to care for your child and guide you as you navigate parenthood. We want all children to be healthy and thrive as they grow from an infant into a young adult.

Your child’s health is our priority, and our offices are conveniently located throughout the region, so you can stay as close as possible to your neighborhood. Here are frequently asked questions and answers about our pediatricians, services, appointments and more.

About Our Pediatricians

Pediatricians see children of all ages, from newborns to young adults, and are uniquely trained to support your child’s overall health, including their physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. Your child typically may see a pediatrician if they are sick or hurt, or during a regular checkup. Pediatricians handle preventive care, such as wellness exams and vaccinations, as well as diagnosing and treating acute and chronic health conditions. They also track your child’s growth and developmental benchmarks, along with guiding and supporting you throughout each stage of your child’s development.

You may notice credentials after the name of your child’s pediatrician. An M.D. is a “doctor of medicine,” and a D.O. is a “doctor of osteopathic medicine.” Although the name of their degree is slightly different, both types of doctors have the same job and completed similar medical programs, schooling and training. Both are qualified to practice medicine in the same way.

Osteopathic doctors are sometimes known to practice a more “holistic” philosophy of care, which still includes the same science, technology, treatments and medications used my doctors of medicine. Regardless of their degree, all of our pediatricians share the same passion: caring for all children and helping them thrive, be healthy and grow to live their best lives.

Can we visit the practice for a tour and meet the pediatricians?

Yes! In fact, we encourage it. We have more than 25 pediatrician offices across Greater Louisville and surrounding counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Find a location nearest you and sign up for one of our Newbie Nights. These open houses allow you to meet the pediatricians and providers, tour the practice and ask questions to help decide if it’s the right fit for you.

Do I call a pediatrician before my baby is born?

Finding a pediatrician may not be at the top of your mind early on in pregnancy, but it’s important to make this decision well before your due date. Generally, you should start researching pediatricians after the first trimester, and it’s a good idea to choose your child’s pediatrician around the start of the third trimester. Sometimes pregnancy can be unpredictable, and knowing who your baby’s pediatrician will be can offer some peace of mind and be one less thing to check off your to-do list as you prepare for your little one’s arrival.

 

For new parents, does the doctor perform a first checkup in the hospital?

When you arrive at the hospital to deliver your baby, the hospital staff will ask you the name of your baby’s pediatrician. Your pediatrician will be notified when your baby is born, and they may be available to examine your child within the first 24 hours after birth. If your pediatrician is not available, a staff pediatrician will conduct a thorough exam of your baby and answer any newborn care questions you might have. You’ll be asked to schedule a follow-up appointment with your pediatrician within the first week after birth.

What should we expect at the first pediatrician visit after birth?

After arriving home from the hospital, your newborn will visit the pediatrician within the first week. The doctor will start to track their growth by measuring their weight, length and head; perform a physical exam; check in on you and how the baby is doing at home; review parenting tips and what you can expect; as well as answer any questions you may have.

Are same-day visits available? Do you take walk-ins?

Although our pediatrician offices do not accept walk-in appointments, many of our offices offer convenient weekday evening and Saturday morning office hours. Same-day appointments are available for unexpected visits, and new patients can be seen within 24 hours. Providers are available around the clock for late-night concerns.

The Norton Children’s Access Center can help you with any questions you may have, including finding pediatrician office locations, after hours care and emergency departments. The access center is available 24/7 at 502 629-5437 (KIDS).

Norton Children’s and Norton Healthcare have a variety of options for urgent care needs for kid based on the severity of the issue. Review this chart to determine the best option for your child.

Is there a separate waiting area for sick children?

We want to help make sure that you and your family stay as healthy as possible. Some of our waiting areas are separated into “sick” and “well” sections. You also are welcome to wait in your vehicle, and we can call you when it’s your turn to be seen by a provider.

Is the waiting area kid-friendly?

We know that waiting with a child can be a challenge. We strive to make our waiting areas welcoming and kid-friendly while you’re waiting to be seen. We encourage you to bring any of your child’s favorite activities, toys, tablets, etc.

Is the doctor a good fit for me?

Only you can decide if your child’s pediatrician is the right fit for your family, but we can assure you that all of our pediatricians are passionate about every child’s health and wellness. You should take into account the office location in proximity to your own home. You also can meet the team ahead of time by signing up for a Newbie Night open house at any of our pediatrician office locations.

How often do newborns go to the doctor?

Your baby needs to see their pediatrician regularly, especially during their first year. They are growing quickly, and your provider needs to check that they are developing as they should. After leaving the hospital, you will see the pediatrician within a week after giving birth. Within the first year, babies must continue to see their pediatrician for well-child visits when they are 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

What ages do pediatricians treat?

Pediatricians care for newborns, children and teens until they are considered adults at age 18. Although it’s a good idea to prepare your child to transition to a family provider when they reach adulthood, there is no need to switch from their pediatrician until your child is age 18.

Will my child see different pediatricians?

Your child can see the same pediatrician. Norton Children’s Medical Group is a large group practice. That means you can transfer to any pediatrician if you move or want to find a new one. Another benefit of the group practice is the availability of other providers if for some reason your pediatrician is not available to see you. Other providers are likely available, meaning there’s no need to reschedule your appointment unless you would like to.

 

How do we reach a doctor or practice in an emergency?

If your child is experiencing a health emergency, such as a very serious illness or injury that puts their life in danger, treatment is available 24/7 at three Norton Children’s emergency departments and four other locations. The emergency providers will notify your pediatrician about your child’s emergency care.

Is after-hours care available?

The Norton Children;s Access Center can help you with any questions you may have, including finding pediatrician office locations, after hours care and emergency departments. The access center is available 24/7 at 502 629-5437 (KIDS).

Norton Children’s and Norton Healthcare have a variety of options for urgent care needs for kid based on the severity of the issue. Review this chart to determine the best option for your child.

What breastfeeding resources are available?

Breastfeeding questions, concerns and challenges may arise during pregnancy and once you go home. That’s why we provide a variety of outpatient services, including:

Do you offer new parent classes?

Yes! We offer a variety of classes, most of which are free. Learn the latest practices from specialists about caring for you and your baby before and after delivery, bonding, safety tips and much more.

With a new baby, what immunizations are recommended for family members?

Any family members or friends who will be around your new baby should be up to date on vaccinations. That includes the flu and whooping cough vaccines (Tdap for teens and adults and DTaP for children). Anyone who is due for a vaccine should get it at least two weeks before meeting the new baby to allow enough time for antibodies to take effect.

Benefits of Norton Children’s Medical Group

  • Convenient locations with more than 25 pediatrician offices in Louisville and surrounding areas in Kentucky and Southern Indiana
  • New patients can be seen within 24 hours
  • Same-day sick appointments are available
  • Schedule appointments online, get appointment reminders, communicate with your child’s medical provider, view and request immunization records, refill prescriptions and more through your free Norton MyChart account
  • Night and weekend hours are available
  • Access to Norton Children’s After Hours care and the after-hours nurse care line
  • Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans accepted

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