I'm wondering if it is really necessary to have a Pediatrician if my baby continues to grow well, gain weight, and meet the usual milestones for his age? Also, if his hearing,eye sight,etc... seem very well. I didn't have him circumcised, I don't vaccinate, and I am exclusively breastfeeding. I'm particularly interested in Moms who have done Unassisted Pregnancy and Birth.What did you do for your baby? What are your opinions on this? I am trying to decide what I should do. I am considering on keeping my own records for him. That way if it is a medical emergency, I will have some records to show. Opinions?
Do You Use A Pediatrician?
I don't fit the profile but will answer... We have a family doc instead of peds, because all peds we met had great problems with such late and little vaccination as we do and tried to retract DS's foreskin. I'm still not happy with doing the well checks, especially now that DS is 3 years old. I do keep them up as I'm paranoid and want to have a record in case some crazy person will call CPS on us for not using fluoride treatments or selectively vaccinating, kwim?
And in case of emergency - it depends on the nurse/doc. We took DS for croup (which I shouldn't have, we were scared and had no idea what was wrong) we got stinky-eye-treatments once they learned that DS had no vaccines (he didn't get any til 2.5). But nobody asked who his ped was or if he had ever been... But I think overall we had a decent experience, I have heard much different horror stories from others and I would assume those are rare incidents.
i had a unassisted pregnancy, almost went through with the unassisted birth, long story, ended up being at the hospital, blah blah blah, but to answer your question - yes we have a pedi, but we hardly ever see her. i went to his ... 8 month check up? and before that, his 2 month check up. just to make sure hips were properly aligned (family history) and because he had funky breathing (laryngomalacia.) after his 2 month check up, we werent really planning on going back but his laryngo wasnt getting any better, hence the 8 month check up. they hassled me a bit about not vaccinating but i just smiled and nodded and refused lol. if anybody checks up on us or if we ever have a cps run-in, my plan is to explain why we do not vaccinate, amd explain why i didnt want to be harassed about not vaccinating which is why i dont go to the well baby visits. i can also show the other doctor appointments for things that i have gone to when something WAS wrong (laryngo/reflux/suspected ear infectiong)
keeping your own records sounds great
I do use a pedi and UP/UC. I didn't go to anyone with DD1 for several years, and it was fine. We did go on to need a pedi for referrals for some of her issues when she got older, it was never an issue that she hadn't been seen prior. DD2 has always seen the pedi quite often but she has health issues. DS1 and DS2 go here and there, my pedi is fine with what ever we do. Not vaxing is not an issue. DS2 has some delays and I knew that before he was red flagged by the pedi and sent to early intervention. She did catch a murmur DS2 has.
I use my pedi relationship for more then just if they are growing. She pulls strings for us at various specialists, she goes out of her way to get us anything possible that she might be able to help us with. That has been well worth some random appointments. Another bonus is that I really like her, a visit is like chatting with a friend.
i didn't uc/up, but i did have a homebirth. it was part of our agreement to go see a pedi within a week of birth. we went at day 5, then tried a d.o. at 6 months because our LO had a couple things going on, minor but i still wanted some input...
i didn't really gain anything from either appointment, but i do like knowing i can get into see the d.o. without much notice if i feel the need. but we aren't planning on going regularly or vaccinating. i don't worry about keeping records or cps.
Personally, yes, I think there is a lot of value in having an access to an outside expert in children's health. I am not interested in child rearing advice and my ped doesn't give it. I am smart, educated, and have excellent research skills but I am not a doctor and I don't have the pride to say my research skills can replace a doctor's knowledge and experience. And if there is a problem with my kids I want access to someone with whom I have a relationship, not someone who sees me as a freak with homemade notes in an emergency situation. There is nothing to lose in establishing a relationship but there is something to be gained.
(I had a hospital/midwife birth with DS and an unplanned UC with DD. I saw first hand how "outsiders" are treated and this was my hopsital staffed with my midwives.)
We see a family doc. (I had a homebirth). He never gives us a problem about not vaxing, never asks about it, and probably prefers that we don't. We usually take the kids in a month late and then skip the next appointment. For instance we just took our 7-month-old in, she hadn't been seen since maybe 2 months, and will go again at one year. (He suggested we skip the 9 months). I do take her to this abbreviated well baby visit schedule, so that we have someone we trust. Also I am a little paranoid about CPS, since after the birth of our first son, the hospital called on us for saying we planned on CO SLEEPING and threatening to take him out AMA (he was completely healthy, just observing for GBS since I didn't screen for it)
My 5 year old has never been to a pediatrician. We had a homebirth and didn't vax. She hasn't had any health or development issues. She has gotten a cold a few times and we treated with Vit C and she was fine after a day or two. We are expecting baby #2 and I don't have a strong feeling against going to a pediatrician if I feel we need outside input but I won't be going just for routine visits. I am hoping the baby will be healthy too and we won't have to worry about it!
Rainbow_Mandala I have to agree with you. My son is now 14 1/2 months since I posted this last! He has never been to a Ped. I didn't feel the need to establish a relationship with one, and my son has been in good health the entire time. He is still BF'ing of course. There was one time when he was 4 months when I considered taking him in, but I discovered he had croup, gave him some homeopathics, and it cleared up fine. Since then, a minor cold here and there. Thanks everyone for your input!
I had a home birth and didn't take baby in to the ped until he was 6 weeks old. We're just doing 4 vax spread out and once they're done (next month, woohoo) I'm thinking of not taking him to any more well baby visits. It's so LAME, our ped knows we selectively vax and I just smile and nod when she mentions the vax he's missing. She asks if we have any questions, I say no. Then awkward silence... :) When he had yeast, she prescribed medicine (at two months of age, GAHHH... is nothing sacred???). I went home, mixed up a batch of Grapefruit Seed Extract, and the yeast was gone in three days. If you don't have to go, DON'T GO!
I think we can go very natural, but there are things that we simply as parents cannot know to even look for.
We chose a Naturopathic pediatric practice for our DDs and we love them. I do believe in selective vaccination (for the protection of other peoples' infants and friends' kids with compromised immune systems as much as for my own healthy kids) though I space them out quite a lot, which our pediatrician supports and even endorses. She doesn't even remind us of the vaccine schedule- we need to request the ones we want. Our pediatrician prescribes homeopathic treatments for all minor issues and has talked us through croup and severe abdominal pain that ended up being gas on the phone. My older daughter has a great relationship with her pediatrician and really looks forward to her yearly visit with her. I think a pediatrician is a great resource if you find one that works for your family. And as Judi says above, even if you don't go for well visits, if something comes up, you can go see someone you trust to deal with your child's health.