As women, we don’t always take the time to take care of ourselves. But we can be fierce advocates when it comes to the health of our children. Advocating for a child can be challenging, but the reward is knowing that your child is receiving the best possible health care. My advice? Keep really good records and trust your gut to know when something is not right with your child.
Advocating for a child means making the best possible decisions to take care of the child’s health. That means you have to have access to whatever resources you need to make those decisions. Having a great pediatrician is an important element. But you know you won’t have access to your child’s doctor 24/7. So you also need to have your own resources to look things up. These days, most of us probably turn to the internet first. There are some fantastic resources for health research there, including empowHER.com, where you can look things up day or night. But I also think every parent should have a really good baby book sitting on a shelf for those times when the internet goes down or the power goes out. Dr. Spock’s classic book on baby and child care has been updated and is still a great resource to have at hand.
Your emergency resources should also include a list of important phone numbers. You’ve probably got them all in your phone. But again, I recommend an old fashioned backup like a printout for critical numbers like the doctor’s office, poison control, and emergency babysitters, just in case your battery dies right when you need it most.
Now let’s get back to trusting your gut. I am a firm believer in mom’s and dad’s intuition. No one knows your child better than you do. So no one, including your child’s doctor, is going to be better at knowing when something is wrong with your child than you are. So trust your gut! If something seems off, don’t doubt yourself. Dig in and figure out what is going on.
You can start by making a list of what seems different, what time of day symptoms are most common, and everything you can think of that might have changed in the child’s environment.