Pediatric Prenatal Consults
Who you select as a pediatrician is a very important decision. The birthing process will be much less stressful if you know that your baby has someone waiting to help you oversee his or her health and well-being starting at birth. I encourage expecting parents to come in and meet me for a free prenatal consultation. It means a lot for parents to get the right energy or “vibe” from the doctor, the staff, and the office. You will need to know that you won’t have to wait too long, especially with your newborn, and that your phone calls will be returned quickly, whether it’s 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. And you won’t want to feel rushed, especially during those first few visits. I expect and encourage new parents to bring a long list of questions!
Your Pediatrician and the Practice
I am confident you'll find efficiency, availability, professionalism and a patient, sometimes witty and fun "bedside manner" here. But it’s also crucial that you know that your doctor is a well-trained, intelligent, and hard-working professional that will not miss a developing illness. I always aim to "not intervene", but there are indeed times where we have a challenge or obstacle, and you will be in good hands here.
I have worked with children since 1986 and have been a pediatrician since 1996. I went to school at the University of Pennsylvania and majored in Biological Basis of Behavior. I then attended UCSF, or the University of California at San Francisco, one of the top medical institutions in the country and a leading expert in pediatric research and clinical care. I then came back to Mount Sinai Medical Center where I completed my residency in Pediatrics. I stayed on staff at Mount Sinai, and taught medical students and residents for many years. I then was an attending Pediatrician at the William F. Ryan Community Health Center, before I joined this wonderful group of pediatricians in Brooklyn in 2007, working both at Long Island College Hospital as well as a thriving private practice on Montague street. Mount Sinai opened this brand new state of the art office January of 2013, and us four pediatricians have been here since the first day.
Here at Mount Sinai Doctors of Brooklyn Heights you'll have each of the pediatricians here every day, so you'll be able to forge a steady, meaningful long term relationship with your main pediatrician, while knowing there is an amazing backbone of other amazing doctors should you need them. Indeed, we have over 37 specialty doctors at the practice, including many pediatric sub-specialists that come from the main campus of Mount Sinai. We have radiologists, an allergy specialist, a GI/stomach specialist, an orthopedic specialist, and a full array of amazing adult doctors for our new families!
Antibiotics and Vaccinations
I am a big believer in allowing the body to heal itself, and I welcome alternative or complementary therapies, as long as they have been proven and don’t show any side effects. But there are also cases when intervention is necessary. In those situations, I explain in great detail the needs for a given test or intervention, and what to look out for in the coming days: when to worry and when not to worry. That's how I look at my role. I never tell a parent how to parent, and I aim to empower new families. I fear the websites or blogs that preach "how to parent" as that takes away your individuality and family values. But when it comes to medical issues, whether it be a raging fever, a funky rash, or a complex medical issue, I shift gears, and construct a detailed plan to help get your little one better.
With regards to antibiotics, all medicines, and even vaccines, I prefer the body to heal itself naturally. So when there is a viral illness, even with a high fever, I believe in providing symptomatic relief to your child and avoiding antibiotics. But there are some very strong and powerful germs out there, and babies can suffer and even die from bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections that spread. So if the situation requires it, I will strongly recommend the correct medication or antibiotics.
Along those lines, we need to realize that vaccines are a major method of disease prevention and have been enormously successful in reducing and even eliminating diseases. I understand completely the concerns that parents have regarding possible side effects or links to other conditions such as autism. But when you look at the double-blinded studies involving kids who did and didn’t receive the vaccines, there just isn’t any link to autism. Please see my full article on this subject here.
I encourage families to follow the standard vaccination schedule as I did with my two daughters. We already “split and delay vaccines”, waiting to give any until 2 months old, and then only giving a low dose of each at 2,4 and 6 months old. It is likely safe to delay the Hepatitis B vaccine a bit more, but all other vaccines should be given on time. Due to recent outbreaks of pertussis and measles here in New York and around the country, we no longer work with completely unvaccinated children.
Quality Care from Day One
I have a great relationship with the local hospitals and midwives, and I will be involved with your child’s health from day one, even if I can’t physically be there at the delivery. Just call my office and schedule an appointment for the first week of life, ideally day three, four or five, but you could also call me on day one if any question or medical issue such as jaundice or feeding issues come up.
Our staff is friendly and flexible, and my colleagues are wonderful. You’ll see me at all regularly scheduled visits - both check-ups, as well as same day sick visits, but if you meet the other doctors for an occasional sick visit or speak to them on the phone while they are on call, I know you’ll be pleased with their care and compassion. Drs. Turner, Messinger, Kantrowitz and Aronov are incredible, intelligent, kind doctors that I am proud to call my colleagues. We bring our daughters here to the practice as well!
I look forward to meeting parents-to-be at our prenatal consultations! There is such a unique and amazing energy that surrounds an expecting family! I have worked with children since 1996, and yet it wasn’t until I had my own two children that I gained a whole new perspective. Now in addition to providing you with my professional expertise and the latest theories of infant growth and development, I can share in your pure joy about becoming a parent—and empathize with your sleep deprivation!
Instead of a quick meet and greet for 10 minutes, I aim to go over a plethora of issues at our prenatal consults - from preparing for the baby, nursing, development, what to expect in the hospital, where to go in case of night time emergencies, jaundice, vaccines, books to read etc! My prenatal consults often last an hour, and I am always available for follow up questions and calls. I look forward to meeting you!
I hold free prenatal meetings the third Wednesday of each month starting at 550pm. You can reserve a slot on Eventbrite.