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dr. commenting on ext bf

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
We went to a dr. appointment for my ds2, he needs some GI testing. New hospital, new doctor (professor).
When she casually asked until what age my child had been getting breastmilk, I stopped breathing for an instant, looked at my husband for reassurance, thought that a gastro-intestinal specialist ought to know the truth about food-intake, and 'casually' mentioned that I'm nursing him once or twice daily.

As I'd expected, she'd been very surprised, if not shocked. She immediately looked up from the file to look me in the eyes and, ask if 'I still had ANY milk then?' (of course!) and say with 'professional' assurance that I'd need to wean, now. Because, as she said, my child would stay way too attached. At those words, I chuckled and replied that if there were one child going for early independence, it was certainly this one.

I am not sure what she really was thinking then. But I do think the casualty and the certainty in my voice did give a signal that the ext bf is not a big deal to us. I mean, 'not a big deal' in the sense of it being normal, and of 'not needing my child weaned from my milk for any (such) reason', and of me not having an issue with my child's need to nurse. Btw, it is as much my need as his we both enjoy it.

And, to be honest, it's a great way of being so connected with your child, it's the greatest way to snuggle and for the two of us, it may be one of the only daily moments he would actually come and sit in my lap and be really close to me, and so peaceful! So no, I wouldn't even mind if, apart from this ext nursing, or even because of it, my child would be super de luxe attached.

I think so many ppl mix attachment so much with dependence, and on top of that they tend to give a negative connotation to these words, for some or other obscure reason.

I felt awkward to give this honest reply to the question asked and also for and for getting a judgmental yet anticipated reaction. But, I also feel proud to know how OUR way is (mine and my nursling's) and that no-one else will bring us to doing differently.

I also wonder how come that people who haven't nursed (long) as babies themselves and/or never nursed their own babies for a truly extended period, actually think to have the right to claim that extended nursing would make parental attachment/dependency an issue. And WHERE would they get this info???

Btw, my nursling is now 3y8m old.
He still looks like a baby when he nurses, it's so sweet.
No idea what could be so wrong with that :-).
post #2 of 25
When a DOCTOR doesnt know that extended breastfeeding is good, its a sad thing. Doctors that act like this lose credibilty instantly with me. Kids are dependent. Weaning doesnt change that. My DD needs me to survive and there is no way around it.
post #3 of 25
Good for you for your confident response! Hopefully she'll think twice about her non-evidence based opinions in the future.

My doctor is very pro full term breastfeeding, but she shared with me that she's evolved in her thoughts on the subject as she has done more research on breastfeeding, and since her toddler outright refused to wean
post #4 of 25
x2 for both of the above responses!
I'm sorry you had that experience.
A friend and I both just had great experiences with residents at a nearby practice. I hopefully remarked that the med schools must be sending them off with better info these days .
post #5 of 25
If she brings it up again, I think I would just quietly state that you are consulting (paying?) her for her expertise on gastro-intestinal issues, not behavioral ones.

And maybe I might take it a step further that when you have questions about your child's behavioral/psychological needs, you will consult with an appropriate specialist for that.

I had a (shortlived at that practice) ped try to tell me once, when DD was 5 or so, that breastmilk couldn't meet DD's needs. Well at that age, of course not! and neither did I expect it to. What I pointed out is that carrots didn't meet all her needs either, but I still fed her those too. I never understood the concept that unless breastmilk was meeting the entirety of the child's needs, it must be dropped. We don't expect that of any other food at any time, why would we expect it of humanmilk as the child gets a bit older?
post #6 of 25
I LOVED your response to her. Chuckle and then calmly just respond. Way. to. go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post
When a DOCTOR doesnt know that extended breastfeeding is good, its a sad thing. Doctors that act like this lose credibilty instantly with me.
Hoo boy, a big yeah to that!

And I absolutely LOVE this response too! "I had a (shortlived at that practice) ped try to tell me once, when DD was 5 or so, that breastmilk couldn't meet DD's needs. Well at that age, of course not! and neither did I expect it to. What I pointed out is that carrots didn't meet all her needs either, but I still fed her those too."
post #7 of 25
post #8 of 25
I was so glad to learn that our family doctor's wife nursed his son until he as 3.5 and his daughter until she was 2. I knew that was one thing I wasn't going to have to worry about.

I think worse than the misinformation she's trying to pass on is the fact that she specializes in children's stomachs, and doesn't know the benefits of breastmilk. I mean, it's one thing for some ER doc or whatever, but really, a GI specialist? Give me a break!

Good response, way to stick to your guns.
post #9 of 25
This thread came at a good time for me. I just saw my pcp yesterday, and had a rather negative experience. She wanted me to get a test done, and when I asked if it would be safe with bfing, she said no and asked if I could wean, without even asking how old my dd was. It's not a test for anything serious- just confirming hypothyroidism. I said no to the weaning, and she got upset with me! She calmed herself down after a few minutes but then right before I was leaving she finally got around to asking how old dd was. I proudly replied that she just turned one, and she looked at me like I had three heads and said, "She must be getting teeth now, right? She needs to be weaned!"
It made me sad that doctors are giving this information...and that she seemed to think that babies should be weaned by one (or probably much earlier, given her reaction).
post #10 of 25
First of all a big yay for the OP. I think your response to the dr was just perfect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kap728 View Post
This thread came at a good time for me. I just saw my pcp yesterday, and had a rather negative experience. She wanted me to get a test done, and when I asked if it would be safe with bfing, she said no and asked if I could wean, without even asking how old my dd was. It's not a test for anything serious- just confirming hypothyroidism. I said no to the weaning, and she got upset with me! She calmed herself down after a few minutes but then right before I was leaving she finally got around to asking how old dd was. I proudly replied that she just turned one, and she looked at me like I had three heads and said, "She must be getting teeth now, right? She needs to be weaned!"
It made me sad that doctors are giving this information...and that she seemed to think that babies should be weaned by one (or probably much earlier, given her reaction).
OK, this is just SHOCKING! Wow, such ignorance. It makes me sad.
post #11 of 25
There's a big difference between normal Dr's views on bfing and GI Dr's views. We saw the NP recently at the GI's office (waited 3 mos for that appt just to see the NP, ugh) and it was sad. Olivia was 7 mos and ebf, no solids and MANY allergies. She went on to tell me I needed to start an iron supplement, Poly-Vi-Sol none the less (it's so full of crap Olivia can't have I almost laughed at her!), start solids ASAP, and to know that bm is not enough for her after 1 and we'll have to use some formula, which had I been thinking I would've pointed out that she probably can't tolerate even the rx formulas. It was very frustrating that I waited for 3 mos for THAT, so I know how you feel. She did shake me for a day, but I overcame it and moved on. Olivia has had solids 3x since then and it was just in the past week and if she can come up w/ a way to get Olivia to take a bottle, let alone a bottle of formula, I'd like to hear it, lol.
post #12 of 25
I've only the one 14 m/o DD but when people act shocked that I'm still nursing, I inform them that the worldwide average is 4 years 7 months. I also tell them that the World Health Organization recommends nursing for AT LEAST 2 years. That usually shuts them up.

If I really feel like being a jerk I wax prosaic about the joys of never having had an ear infection. They're absolutely flabbergasted.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
It was also shocking to me (OP) that the pediatrics dietician (of the hospital where I gave birth to dss and where we did follow-ups, and got a 'free first dietary consult' asap baby was 6m) wanted to get our baby on full-scale solids asap and seemed so eager to replace breastmilk feeding so much so soon. I just couldn't agree with what she was suggesting (saying we were not in such a hurry to introduce all full meals and foods as soon and plenty as she was suggesting!) and we never saw her again :-). Acc. to many drs/medics where I live, bm looses it's big value as soon as 6m ebf are over, for most definitely around 1y and bf beyond 2y is getting really weird too. What has been the western bottlefed era from the seventies is what is going on here now to a certain degrees, at least such is my observation. Still, bf here in general is considered as very important and extbf (until 2) is seen as much more natural than where I grew up. But with feeding a more than 2y old I2m a true exception.
So I wouldn't really expect the GI specialist to say 'hooray' on finding out I was still bf my almost 4yo, but I do find indeed that these medics should know the benefits/system of (ext)bf much better as GI and dietary specialists.
post #14 of 25
My family doc questioned me on breastfeeding my DS, I think when he was around two. His comment was along the lines of, "isn't it time to wean that boy?" I just laughed it off and told the doc that as long as DS weans before he leaves for college, it is all good. Doc got a good laugh, and has not questioned me on BF since. He was even the one whole consoled me at an appointment after I learned I would lose my last pregnancy. The OB blamed breastfeeding, and my doc quickly said that he has was sure that was not possible. He is very traditional, but over the years, I have watched him become more and more open to new ideas, including chiropratic, and now EBF.
post #15 of 25
Sorry you got grief, but you did give a great response. When I told my doc that I was still nursing my 2 yo all she said was "well, he must be well attached" or somthing along those lines.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
This thread came at a good time for me. I just saw my pcp yesterday, and had a rather negative experience. She wanted me to get a test done, and when I asked if it would be safe with bfing, she said no and asked if I could wean, without even asking how old my dd was. It's not a test for anything serious- just confirming hypothyroidism.
Kap? what test is being proposed? Seems to me that what is needed to confirm hypothyroidism would be blood tests for all the different thyroid hormone levels: TSH, T3, T4, etc. Those are done just from a blood draw.

If she's looking at a radio-active iodine uptake test, the I131 is indeed an end to breastfeeding. However, using I123, a different isotope, would only require a 24 pause in breastfeeding, not full cessation.

BTDT the picture is fuzzier, but it certainly showed enough information in my situation. It would be worth asking about in yours.
post #17 of 25
ernalala,

I am always ready for asinine comments when I mention I am doing ext bf'ing. If the doctor's specialty is unrelated to parenting, which it usually is, and it is our decision as parents to handle parenting, I usually tell them to stick to their specialty and not to be giving me advice on parenting.

Human milk is made for humans. Cow's milk isn't; most of us develop some kind of intolerance to it as we age. Yet our culture has made it okay for us to drink it all the time and pushed it as a convenience to replace nursing. Sad. Unless the medical community can back up their "advice" with solid evidence and studies, I wouldn't be eager to stop bf'ing. I would seek a dr with experience in ext bf'ing and go from there.

I'm going on 25 mo of bf'ing and my ped only said "excellent" when I said I was still doing it. It's so annoying to see culture take over health benefits.
post #18 of 25
I took my then 5 MONTH old to a GI when she was having such bad issues with food allergies. I had already taken everything out of my diet but was looking for some more information about what was going on with her insides. The appointment started with the nurse asking if she was EBF when I said "yes" she said that would change when her teeth started coming in and proceeded to tell me how she bopped her 8 month old on the head when she bit down while nursing (I'm making her soud more articulate by changing some exact words). I was not hopeful by the time the doctor came in. He told me to stop nursing her (actually, did you notice that people who do not support it always refer to it as breastfeeding, as nursing seems too sweet a term for them?). Anyway, he said there were really no more benefits to nursing at this point! HA! I left with a can of formula that he told me would make her poop smell like rotten eggs (I did mail it to a friend who everntually had to wean her twins do to issues she could not control). All I could think was what if I was an easily persuaded person who really didn't know that he was SO wrong? We went to see an allergist who supported nursing, she tested negative for all allergies and outgrew the sensitivities within a few months time. We could have missed out on years of a nursing relationship because of what he told me, thankfully I knew he was an idiot!
post #19 of 25
Great response!

At my son's 2 year appt. his pediatrician asked if I was still breastfeeding. I told him that yes, I was. His response, was "Well, you can breastfeed him as long as you want." Just very matter of fact! I said, "Well, I'm sure we'll wean by the time he goes to college because I'm just not sure how the night feedings would go." LOL He chuckled. I'm so blessed to have the pediatrician I do. He rocks!
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie0603 View Post
Great response!

At my son's 2 year appt. his pediatrician asked if I was still breastfeeding. I told him that yes, I was. His response, was "Well, you can breastfeed him as long as you want." Just very matter of fact! I said, "Well, I'm sure we'll wean by the time he goes to college because I'm just not sure how the night feedings would go." LOL He chuckled. I'm so blessed to have the pediatrician I do. He rocks!
I went to the doc's yesterday, and she assumed I was still bfing my 19 month old too and was pushing for me to keep on. She rocks too!
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