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So what do you say to crazy doctors?!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is sort of a continuation of my earlier thread, but I just am so flabbergasted. Here's the rundown of my experiences with doctors telling me to wean:
- Abigail's first ped wanted me to suspend bfing at 3 weeks when she still had a little jaundice (bili level 14.2). She knew we'd had a tough start and had finally gotten the hang of things. Baby was gaining well and healthy. We switched peds.
- The crazy ER doc we saw in December told me to stop nursing because my milk was bad for my gassy babe.
- My own dr told my husband he thought I should wean because it had been long enough and the fact that I am nursing makes it hard to find the right antibiotic for me.:
- The pediatric GI specialist we saw this week said I should have a plan for getting Abigail onto a bottle so that bfing doesn't become "a total disaster." (What's that? Inconvenient? Uncomfortable for other people?)
- And I just read on another message board about a woman whose ped advised her to supplement because her baby was "so big at birth" (9lbs). She was mourning because the babe then stopped nursing altogether at four weeks, preferring the bottle.

I would love to say that I had snappy responses to all of this, that I quickly quoted facts and figures and the recommendations of the APA and WHO, etc. But really I just do this: . Mostly I am just so flabbergasted that I'm speechless, but I also do feel some weirdness because I need these folks to help my child, and I don't want them not to concentrate on her needs.
What do YOU do when you face this situation?

Sigh...thank heavens for our ped. She is wonderful-- a homebirth mama herself, very pro-ebf, etc. I don't know what I'd be doing otherwise.

-Rachel
Mom to Abigail Rose
5-18-02

Also-- when does BF become EBF?
post #2 of 15


I don't have any witty comments for you. Perhaps you could print the AAP guidelines and just show it to them when they give you a bad time.

Here's the abstract from that document;
ABSTRACT. This policy statement on breastfeeding replaces the previous policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reflecting the considerable advances that have occurred in recent years in the scientific knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, in the mechanisms underlying these benefits, and in the practice of breastfeeding. This document summarizes the benefits of breastfeeding to the infant, the mother, and the nation, and sets forth principles to guide the pediatrician and other health care providers in the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. The policy statement also delineates the various ways in which pediatricians can promote, protect, and support breastfeeding, not only in their individual practices but also in the hospital, medical school, community, and nation.

Strong words.

I'm reading Confessions of a Medical Heretic and he's SO into breastfeeding and how it's a crock for any doc to try to make you stop. And this isn't even the point of the whole book!

Also, I think EBF may start at 1 year, esp ire that AAP suggests breastfeeding continue at least one year. I'm sure if I'm wrong someone will correct me

Best wishes!!

Lori
post #3 of 15
Don't know any witty answers, but I did tell a doctor I must be a walking medical miracle when he told me I couldn't possibly be pregnant if I was still nursing - as I sat there with my big 6 months pregnant belly. : :
post #4 of 15
This just depresses the heck out of me. Sometimes I really feel like we're making progress in educating this culture about breastfeeding, and then I read something like this. It's not just one ignorant MD that you've encountered; it's practically all of them!! We, too, had to switch pediatricians because the original one hassled me about ds waking up at night to nurse (at 6 months). We now go to a family doctor who, when I tell him we're nursing, smiles and nods and says keep up the good work. He doesn't make a big deal about it at all! Bless him.

I think EBF is usually considered to be a year, but under some circumstances one can feel that she's already doing so at 6 or 8 months!!


P.S. Hi Rachel!
post #5 of 15
It's not just doctors, it's the dentists too! It's so sad that formula and bottles has changed the way an entire society looks at how you feed your baby. Do they object to the actual milk or do they object to how that milk is delivered? I mean, no one bats an eye over giving a child cow's milk (which is where they *should* be concerned if they have done even a tiny bit of research) , so why should they care if they are drinking momma's milk? So, if it's not the substance, then it must be container the milk comes in.. the breast. No one would care if babe was drinking mommas milk from a bottle or a cup, but omg we can't have a toddler nursing. This whole thing is just so sad. Milk, money and madness was a great book, it should be required reading of everyone in the medical profession.
post #6 of 15
I've gotten the most resistance from a lactation consultant, of all people. My son was born New Year's Day, but he wasn't due until February 5. Yes, we had a few problems due to him being sleepy, but I didn't think it was a big deal. (Neither did the baby's doctor.) But the lactation consultant at the hospital kept telling me that I was going to have to supplement with formula because I couldn't make enough milk for a premature baby. : I didn't get that at all. His tummy is smaller than a term baby's. Plus, I was using a breast pump to keep my supply up, and I was actually pumping colostrum. I did end up giving him some pumped milk with a cup and syringe, but the baby did not need formula. He's growing just fine. I just never expected to get resistance from a lactation consultant.
post #7 of 15
Every time we have a doctor go in on something we don't believe in, we just say, "we do X and we are happy." Without exception they have been sensitive enough to either take a parting shot and shut up or just nod and smile.

The most recent was
NP: "so, how is baby sleeping?"
me: "oh, he's doing ok, he wakes to nurse about 3 times a night."
her: "here's a handout on how to eliminate night wakings and sleep-train your baby."
me: "we cosleep and believe in on-demand nursings and self weening and won't need that handout."
her: "um, ok" and puts it back.

We also do most vaccines but not all, and our Dr. has never had a problem with that. She asks one by one which we will be getting, and when we come across a 'no' she just takes out those information sheets and order forms, and goes on with things. Of course the first time she asked if we had researched it and when we told her that yes, we had, she never bothered us about it. She knows that I am pretty well educated and I think that this helps, since she pretty much never second-guesses something I say, and doesn't 'dumb down' her explanations when she is talking to me (we dropped a ped once because I asked what type of test they were going to run on DDs blood and he said 'we are just going to test for germies.' Um, I had a very sick daughter and I have made it clear that I understand medical 'lingo', why did he feel like he had to say stupid things like that? And he kept repeating that...ARGH. I gave up and had a friend at the hospital look it up for me, and never saw that doctor again.)

How about WIC? We are on WIC and they make this big deal about how they support breastfeeding, but really they don't. They kept asking if we needed formula "yet" and when we were still nursing at 1 they were like "that's ok, it's ok to still be nursing now..." ummm, I am not expressing doubt here, YOU are. They asked how long I planned to nurse and I said "at least 2, like his sister" and they say "that's ok, it is ok to nurse that long." Umm, I knew that. They act like I am SOOO abnormal. Now that I think about it, I seem to recall the WIC person in the hospital saying "it will come in handy WHEN you switch to formula at 6 months." My mom, a dedicated lactation consultant, almost yelled at the girl but kept her restraint and said "not everyone switches to formula and you of all people should not be encouraging it like that." I bet most women get this whole 'it is normal to switch to formula, that's why we are here, breastfeeding usually fails and you will probably need WIC for the formula' vibe off the place. Drives me nuts.
post #8 of 15
AmyG,

Please report that story about your LC to the International Board of Lactation Consultants, or at least to your local LLL leader. That is abominable that she would tell you that. My God!

My LC was outstanding and worked to support me through so much during my son's first 6 weeks--we were in her office 3x a week for an hour or more working on positioning, latch, doing weighings, just talking, learning how to use the pumps, etc. I ended up supplementing (I had breast reduction sugery 10 years ago, though, and had supplemented 1/3 my first son...) but she really tried so hard and gave me such confidence about my ability to nurse. I cannot imagine how I'd have felt if she'd undermined my confidence. How awful for you!

Good for you for not caving into the pressure.

Best,

Mel
post #9 of 15
That's too bad that there have been so many of you that have had bad experiences with drs.

My dd has had a lot of health issues, and seen a lot of different doctors. The only one who hinted that I should wean was the allergist when we found out that dd has multiple severe food allergies. The dr said, you might want to consider weaning, as this will be a very limited diet. I said, I don't want to wean right now, and she was very supportive. Other than that, I never got so much as a raised eyebrow. I was sort of expecting it, though.
post #10 of 15
My babe is only 9 months, but her ped thinks it's awful that I nurse her to sleep and let her bf at night if she wakes up. He was wanting me to get her to go to sleep on her own and sleep through the night by 4 months.

He is awful with AP, but then I live in a conservative suburban area and I haven't been able to find an AP dr. I think he'd be really good with her if she were sick (she hasn't been sick at all yet) so I just lie to him about how often she breastfeeds (he thinks it shouldn't be every other hour still.) It really isn't his business what we do at night. Or where she sleeps, for that matter. I tell him she sleeps in a crib in her own room.

I know I should be trying to educate him, and I did early on, but I've given up . . . *SIGH*
post #11 of 15
I love coming to this board to remind myself that I'm not crazy! This week has been a nightmare of negative professionals. At the community centre parent drop in the nurses did a big speech about not breastfeeding your baby to sleep, and not picking them up when they cry 'just pat them on the back'. Then today I'm watching citytv (Toronto) and the physician was asked how to wean a six month old to go back to work. He didn't even suggest that pumping during the day and breastfeeding in the morning and evening were an option. I thought it was really depressing...

I like the approach of 'it works for us' that was mentioned earlier, however it makes me cring when drs/nurses don't even mention the options.

Oh, and at the drop in my friend mentioned to the group that Mothering.com was a good place to find a supportive group of people that share the family bed, breastfeed on demand etc. She had many Mothers come up to her after and ask her questions. They were also confused by the things the nurses were saying.
post #12 of 15
The naturopath I had in Oregon wanted me to wean ds around a year. I was a real wimp but basically said I couldn't wean him. Now, I tell anyone who looks at me strange when I begin to nurse my son that WHO recommends nursing for 2 years. After he turns 2, I will start saying that anthropological studies show that a human baby is supposed to nurse for a minimum of 2.5 years. I plan on taking my son to the dentist soon and plan on telling him/her that archaeological studies show that breastfeeding does not promote cavities if he/she says something about me nursing.

In the earlier thread, I said that I think breastfeeding should not be titled "extended breastfeeding" until somewhere around 3 years. I know that we are the odd ones in western society, but I really want that fact to change rather than classifying my son and I as "extended."
post #13 of 15
Mamazee, don't be hard on yourself about not educating your ped. It's good when we have a chance to share the positive effects of AP, but our first job is to our kids, know what I mean? I say this because I used to beat myself up about not staying with the first pediatrician we had . . . but it really isn't our job to "convert" them . . . some people will never understand and beating our heads on a wall doesn't accomplish anything!

I think it's sad, though, when we feel the need to lie to medical practitioners. Why can't they respect individual parenting differences?

In other news, I have actually just heard of a dentist who has read LLL's stuff on night nursing and knows the facts about early childhood caries! I'm calling him this week! (For myself, at this point, but it sounds like the kind of guy who I will want for ds, one day, too!)
post #14 of 15
AmyG--

Yes, report your LC, IF she is International board Certified (IBCLC). She may not have been a real LC, but just a nurse calling herself one. No LC should tell a mom of a premie she can't make enough milk. Why would you be less able to lactate than a mom of a full term? Just doesn't make any sense. As you probably know, the milk a mom of a premie produces is different than the milk of a mom of a full term, and is perfectly suited for the premie's needs, in all but the tiniest babies, who may need a little supplement. A premie specialist would determine this.

For example, preimes who are artificially fed, are prone to a dangerous intestinal infection called nectrotizing enterocolitis, which is virtually unheard of in the human milk fed premie.

On the other topic, I was so very lucky, in my central Mass town, to find a FP just down the street, who was actually on the LLL advisory board! How cool was that? Not that we bothered with well baby visits anyway, but when I had a breast infection when my dd was 2 yo, he didn't bat an eye. He gave me guff abt vaxing, but I just let him see my Mothering vaccination article anthology!
post #15 of 15
Yes, it was a board certified LC. I was completely flabergasted when she brought the Similac into my room and told me I was going to need it. She kept saying, "I'm the last person to tell someone to supplement." I just wanted to tell her that the baby's doctor and my LLL leader (also a LC) didn't think I needed to, so she wasn't the last one to tell me so. She also said that part of the reason I needed to was because he didn't have any fat and couldn't stand to lose weight until my milk came in, but the baby's doctor was fine with that. I thought it was really odd that she was trying to tell me what the baby needed when I told her that his doctor didn't agree.

How would I go about reporting her? Could I do it anonomously? This town is pretty small, and she's friends with people I really respect.
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