or Connect
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › No pediatrician?

No pediatrician?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Has anyone here just not chosen a pedi, for this child or a previous one?  I'm thinking we'll just let the hospital pedi do the initial exam for discharge, and let that be that.  We don't vaccinate, and I manage our health care through herbal and homeopathic methods at home.  Well baby visits would be completely useless to us.  Plus, I'll be losing my insurance shortly after giving birth, so we wouldn't be able to afford to keep going to a pedi, anyway.  There's an ER right down the road if we have a real emergency, but I feel pretty confident that I can handle our routine care just fine, as I've been doing it for years with my son.  The only concern for me is the CPS thing - if we skip the pedi because I just don't believe in it (and I truly don't), can we get in trouble for that?  I mean, the Amish don't do well baby visits, do they?

 

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 11

I was thinking about this the other day. We most likely will have a pediatrician and do well-baby visits, and some vaccinations. But if we can't find someone okay with selective vaxing, I was pondering the possibility. (The big children's hospital around here that seems to pretty much own most of the pediatricians in town has a new policy of not taking doctors not taking patients who don't follow the CDC schedule to a T.) Anyway, my only concern would be that if something were to come up with your baby, like failure to thrive or some other sort of health problem, that lack of medical records showing your baby was, at one point, healthy and normal weight and such, would leave you open to allegations of abuse. I would imagine situations like that would be rare, but I guess it could happen. Not sure if that would be reason enough for you to see a doctor or not. For me, I also want to see a doctor because I'm not confident that I know enough about normal child development to spot problems a trained pediatrician would recognize. I think I would obviously notice major things, but I would feel bad if I missed early intervention for a problem because I wasn't aware anything was up. But again, that's me, not you.

post #3 of 11

When DD was born we hadn't chosen a ped.  She was just checked out by the hospital ped on duty.  I never saw him/her and no one said anything negative to me about it.

 

The only possible downside was that I may have had to stay longer than if I had an established relationship with a ped.  My water was broken for over 30 hrs before dd was born and because of that they made DD and I stay in the hospital or 2 days to wait for labs to make sure she didn't have some horrible infection.  I wanted to leave after the first day, but they absolutely would not release dd. But there's no guarantee that a ped that knew me would have allowed us to go home, but I suppose it's possible.

 

Also our ped doesn't have privileges at the hospital where I'm birthing (it's too far from his office) so this baby will be checked out by whoever's on duty too.

post #4 of 11

Our ped is about 90 minutes from where we will be birthing, so no matter what she won't be checking new baby out until the first well baby visit, which as I recall is sometime in the first week or two of life. I personally wouldn't miss well baby visits because I totally trust my ped and it gives me soooo much peace of mind to know that everything is on track.  If I had more confidence that I could spot any potential issues I might feel differently - and I do when it comes to DD1, but for a newborn, I just feel like they are so fragile I don't want to take any unnecessary risks. 

 

As far as CPS goes, I doubt very much that CPS could make a case that missing well baby visits alone is medical neglect.  However, if there were any other concerns that surfaced it would definitely be looked at negatively.  It might not be a bad idea to have someone picked out so you can tell your hospital you have someone, even if you choose to "switch" practices soon after. 

post #5 of 11

We use a family doctor only, and he urges us *not* to come in the first weeks, because of the possibility of baby getting exposed to illness.  But he's about an hour and a half from us, so we only go annually usually.  I keep a file current with him with annual physicals because he's really, really good (incredibly supportive of homebirth, breastfeeding/ext bf'ing, non/alternative vax, alternative meds, etc).  But we don't do well baby.  I do like to have a doctor we trust for maintenance issues (my oldest has serious asthma and allergies which aren't controllable with holistic measures), and we also have a great urgent care about a mile from our house.  For last minute or late in the day issues (maybe twice a year?) we go to urgent care.  Otherwise we deal at home or schedule ahead with our family doctor.  I birth at home, but I know our local hospital won't discharge without an appt on the books for a check-up post discharge.  I've never birthed there, so I can't speak from experience though.

It can be good as insurance *against* CPS to have a file started and annually maintained with a supportive family doc.  I would NEVER choose a pedi though; they are a death trap for holistic moms quite often (at least all I've seen and interviewed and even used for my fosterling).  You could try finding a family doc recommended by a holistic moms network, etc.  It can be better working with a doctor who semi knows you versus a random ER or urgent care physician.

post #6 of 11
The hospital pedi gave us endless grief about leaving the hospital 7 hours after our perfectly normal, healthy birth. When planning for the birth of our second, my OB suggested that I have a letter from our pedi saying a doctor could examine the baby within 24 hours of the birth.

Funny thing is, we had the SAME hospital pedi the second time around, I don't think she ever saw the letter, and had no issue with us leaving 8 hours after birth. I think it's the difference between being a first time and "experienced" mom, lol.

So, of you're planning on leaving shortly after birth, having a pedi or dr's letter may facilitate things for you. Not sure on CPS related issues - we have a pedi we like who is pretty much supportive of what we do, does check ups, orders tests for us, and tells us if we want any vaccinations between well visits to call and schedule with a nurse. It took a while to find one that we liked, though. Establishing with a family doc might be a better option for you since you do most of your care yourself.
post #7 of 11

I second the family care doc recommendation.  Just having someone on file might be enough to head off any problems.  My doc is doing all my prental care, delivering the babe, and then stepping in as babe's pediatrician, so she'll be there at the hospital (if all goes according to plan) when the baby is born anyway.  But I don't know much about CPS either.  You can't get "in trouble" for not having a pediatrician (though so much of this depends on local and state guidelines), but it could trigger home visits and so forth.  I think a lot of it would depend on whether there was a proven medical need that wasn't being addressed.  Most CPS workers are not going to waste time on a healthy baby who isn't seeing a doctor.  But if there is a medical condition that they feel is not being treated, you could be in for interference.  It might be worth checking out your state laws just to know what your rights are.

post #8 of 11

I don't use a pediatrician.  We all go to a family doctor, who is a DO.  He's super cool about skipping vaxes and never freaked out about Elsa's size.  He's old school and I like him a lot.  Since he doesn't have privileges at the hospital I go to, they just have the hospital's ped work with us.  I didn't have a problem last time.  I don't know if they ever contact the ped anyway, so you could probably just put down a doctor's name and never go.

post #9 of 11

We are signed up with a nurse practitioner but we don't do regular visits.  She actually called me a little while back suggesting that I come in for healthy visits to establish a relationship with the kids, should we ever need her services, but I declined. I keep a really close eye on them for development, weights, heights and so on so I just don't see the point.

Fortunately she was pretty understanding, or at least okay with it, we have a large Mennonite population locally who do not vaccinate so she doesn't push the vax. issue either.
,

post #10 of 11

We are also going with a family practice doctor. We are planning on vaxing, but I just like the more relaxed family practice approach to everything!

post #11 of 11

Even though I don't vaccinate until age 2, I still bring my kids to their well checks. I have a pediatrician whom I love and I want my kids to love her as well, so I figure it's a good thing for them to see her. Also, I really want them to be familiar and comfortable with her if/when something is wrong. I personally don't like seeing a doctor I don't know or have rapport with when I'm sick, and I'm sure that's magnified for a child. I really don't think it matters if you see a pediatrician or a family doctor, as long as they are in line with what you want. The last thing you want to do is fight over something with your doctor or feel uncomfortable!

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: August 2012 Birth Club
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › No pediatrician?