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homebirthers - advice re: pediatricians?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

We're going to start interviewing pediatricians soon--I've made a few preliminary phone calls, but nothing in-depth yet. (This is our first baby.) 


There's one practice that has been recommended by four families we know (none of whom have had home births). It's a larger multi-doc practice and they take our insurance. They sound pretty good except when I called them, the person I talked to was very careful to tell me (a few times) that they do not "endorse" home birth. 


How much does it matter if the pediatrician we choose "endorses" home birth or not? The baby will already be born, there's not much they can do about it at that point, right? Those of you who have already had babies at home: did you care if you got a pro-homebirth pediatrician?

post #2 of 10

If they are already telling you they don't agree with what you are doing, it would be a huge red flag to me.  We have a practice in town that TONS of people recommend, but they "fire" patients who do not vaccinate.  I don't care what side of the "vaccine debate" you are on, that just isn't right.  Children deserve good care.  That being said I avoid pediatricians like the plague.  We see a naturopath and that has worked great for our family.  She isn't quick to prescribe medication, but recommends it when you need it.  She looks into the whole person, which a Ped will not do.  Peds are trained to look for things that are wrong and tend not to believe in food allergies, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding and many other natural things.  Just a few other items for you to look into.....

post #3 of 10

I would probably interview pediatricians without making a big deal about the homebirth. When you have your interview, focus on the care issues that you are concerned about. Your midwife will do a newborn assessment and then the doctor will want to see you within two days. IMHO it doesn't really matter if the practice "supports homebirth" unless you get there and they are looking for flaws or something. The baby is there and healthy and who cares who and where it was born.


Our very ped is very science and APA based and I am probably the most "natural minded" person in her practice. But I like her because she is a very good doctor and doesn't try and give me parenting advice. We do annual checkups and do vaccinate and that is it. Kids are rarely sick, weight gain with breastfeeding has never been an issue, etc.


Also, we bedshare and do extended breastfeeding and potty train by 2 and do cloth diapering and are tv-free and no junk food and none are particularly standard these days and none of these things have caused a comment of any type other than some curiosity about our decision-making process and research. All we get is praise that are kids are healthy and growing well and that their parents are thoughful about raising them. My sister had gone to her before and she just stressed that this a doctor not a child rearing expert and that has been great for us.


Also, I really like a larger practice especially one with an associated walk in clinic. Super convenient.


She didn't bat an eye when I said that the next babe would be a homebirth (I had an unplanned, unassisted homebirth with the second do to a short labor) and just said to bring in her at two days. She did want to know about scheduling the post-birth genetic screening which is extensive in our state (our midwife does it). And figuring out a referral for a newborn hearing screen might be challenging because none of the local audiology practices do it because it generally done at birth in the hospital.

post #4 of 10

I am just taking baby to our MD/NFP as needed. I can tell if there's a problem. I've always been around babies though I know this will be different. The dr's wife is a nurse and she's acting like a grandma already so I know I can always call her if I need to. : )

post #5 of 10
When we were pg with DS and looking for a pediatrician, we mostly looked for one who would allow us to be flexible with vaccinations. We ended up with a really awful ped and I would practically have anxiety attacks before every visit because I would be preparing myself for a fight with her about everything else: feeding, sleeping, naps, CIO antibiotics, etc. vaccination choice was very important but it turned out to be one of many things that were important to us when choosing a ped. We switched when DS was about 18 months old and have never looked back.

All that to say...my advice would be to be careful about letting one factor influence your decision too much. You need to feel comfortable going to this person for help, when you're at your most unsure and stressed--when your baby is sick. (the routine stuff is not so critical.) If you can find that in a doctor who thinks homeborth is a bad idea, it might be worth the sacrifice of one this principle. You will just have to use your judgement about whether that one thing is the only biggie, or if it's just the tip of the iceberg of your disagreements...
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies, all of you. All good things to consider. I think we will just have to go see these folks in person and see if we hit it off. I am kind of on the fence in general about small solo practice vs. big multi-doc practice. I think there are pros and cons to both. Unfortunately, the two peds in our area that it seems like all the homebirth folks take their babies to don't take our insurance. I wish insurance weren't such a huge PITA.


Anyway, thanks!

post #7 of 10

Our midwife does a dual visit for mom and baby every so often until 6 weeks, and then they have a family naturopath that you can go to.  Not my plan A, but worth looking into. I plan to use the same Ped that we used with baby 1, but then, they're a very evidence-based practice and normally don't even do the regular shot list unless you ask for it (very open to all the different people, just nice to not have to say no every single visit for the one we have a bad family history with).  Also, consider a family doctor that you like: my regular GYN would be a great family doc if our pedi ever peters out.

post #8 of 10

I think it's important to be on the same wave length for at least medical decisions (vaccinations, etc) but a pediatrician is a medical doctor, not a lifestyle or parenting coach.

I don't necessarily like "big brother" asking me if we smoke in the house, if they are in car seats, where they sleep at night, and the whole breastfeeding lack of information some practices seem to have is just cringable (I was asked at our 4 week check up if we were "still" breastfeeding).  "still?"  I don't think how or where you give birth even needs to be brought up.  We give birth in a very small baby-friendly hospital (not near us) and we leave right after the birth.  So I've already told our Dr I'll be making an appt for a new baby check up and a PKU test some time in November. 


I see a Ped that is sort of close (in the next town) and our insurance covers it.  We can't afford to pay out of pocket for visits and we don't have a ton of choices around here.  We do delayed/selective vaccines and even so, we get the riot act. every.single.time we go to the Dr's.  I just make it a point now to say what they want to hear. "yes the baby sleeps in his own crib all through the night".  whatever.  I like seeing a slightly bigger multi doc practice because what we really wanted is a relationship with a doctor so when they 3 year old wakes up screaming with an ear infection, we can get in quickly.  They have same day visits, weekend and early morning hours,  and have been good with seeing us quickly when we need to.  I just try to take the well baby visits with a grain of salt and just smile my way through.


I'm not saying to suck it up with a doctor you know you won't like but don't feel pressured to give away your entire life's details and choices when it's not necessarily medically relevant.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just an update--we didn't decide to go with the practice in question. We visited a solo practitioner who's closer, and our midwives have had other clients take their babies to her, so we know she is okay with homebirth. She also uses an alternative vaccine schedule as a default. So I think we've got a winner. We figure that later on, when our kid is older (and our lives are potentially busier), if we need the convenience of a larger practice, we can switch. 

post #10 of 10

Yay!  You found something that works for you.  That's great.  The default scheduale has been a blessing for us, so I don't have to keep track of quite so many vaccines per visit (SO NICE WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT!).

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