Another Dr. with bad advice - Mothering Forums
Lactivism > Another Dr. with bad advice
donutmolly's Avatar donutmolly 02:14 PM 08-17-2010
So, yesterday I took my youngest DD for her 1 yo well-child check. In general, I feel like the visits are a waste of time, but I want to have a good relationship with the Dr. should my kids ever be really sick and need his care. I was dismayed when we got to the "how/what is she eating" part of the visit and he said "current research shows that there are no benefits to breastfeeding after 9 months". Oh really?!

Of course, he backtracked quickly and said it was my choice, of course, but thought if breastfeeding was becoming too much of a burden for me, that I would be glad to know I could quit at anytime. Gee thanks, Doc!

I'm probably not going to change to a new Dr. -- he doesn't harass me much about not vaxing, and I just am not motivated to find another Dr. in my small town. My main concern, of course, is that he not pass on this bad advice to other families. But I was really shocked to hear him say this -- I live in a super-crunchy small town in WA state, where I regularly see toddlers nursing at library story time... and the Dr. has a young son of his own! I just can't imagine where he could get such nonsense... esp. with the mainstream AAP recommending 12 mo of breastfeeding.

Does anyone know what study he could possibly be thinking of? Of course, my lactivist response was pretty pathetic... I mumbled something about how anthropology and how absurd it was to substitute cow's milk for human milk (which is where the conversation originally started...since I don't give my kiddos cow's milk). I would love to come in the next time with a few studies printed for him that show the clear benefits of extended breastfeeding.

Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein 06:20 PM 08-17-2010
I can't help you with info but I am so glad I haven't been in your shoes. I feel the same way you do about Well-baby visit and I really like our doc but I have been so grateful he hasn't given me a hard time about anything because I wasn't educated enough to know what he'd say 10 years ago when we hired him.

It floors me that he would take a "study" like that seriously enough to pass that on to moms.

Let's say you only wanted to nurse as long as a year, why in the world would you switch to formula for the last 3 months of that time? It just seems like a waste.

My aunt is a nanny and the parents are both docs and the dad was so happy and encouraged the mom to wean at about 9 months. He thought the baby was better-off? WTH? I admired the mom so much because she'd pumped for so long and still was having a lot of success. It's such an irony because they want the baby to eat super-healthy table food and have no junk at all. I just don't get it.
accountclosed2's Avatar accountclosed2 09:49 PM 08-17-2010
Could he mean this study:

Siimes MA, Salmenpera L, Perheentupa J. Exclusive breast-feeding for 9 months: risk of iron deficiency. J Pediatr 1984 Feb;104(2):196-9.

He's got it all wrong, of course, study only talks about exclusive breastfeeding and iron (and the result is 7 months exclusive breastfeeding no problem, for longer, not sure).

The only one I can think of with anything connecting to 9 months.
crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 05:33 PM 08-20-2010
Could you email him to ask him to send you the research he's referring to?
StoriesInTheSoil's Avatar StoriesInTheSoil 08:42 PM 08-20-2010
I would have probably said "there are no BENEFITS to breastfeeding at all but there are certainly risks to not breastfeeding!" Then gone on to tell him that breastfeeding is nothing short of completely biologically normal.

I would be worried about him spreading that false information around as well. Can you go back there in the next few days with some information on extended nursing (even though nursing a 9 month old isn't even "extended"! Arg!)
proudmomof4's Avatar proudmomof4 01:38 AM 08-21-2010
I don't really know what to say (besides "sigh") but I think the "there are no BENEFITS" approach is a good one.
And for you personally, it's probably back to the time-tested method "in one ear, out the other"...
donutmolly's Avatar donutmolly 01:43 PM 08-24-2010
Thanks ladies, unfortunately he's not very easy to get a hold of... no email, have to go through the very incompetent reception desk... like I said, I don't love the care I get there, but I live in a small town and don't think that it's much better anywhere else.

My best plan is to give him some info about the benefits of extended nursing the next time I have a well-child visit. I really want for him to know that breastmilk isn't worthless at some random deadline... he was already saying that it was my choice to continue (ie, no risks) but it's completely false to quote some sort of "research" that says there is no reason to breastfeed beyond 9mo. Which is why I really want to address this with some studies that show clear benefits...

Unfortunately, I tend to see that studies are generally comparing babies that have never been breastfed vs babies that were breastfed like 3 mo -- which is fine and nice, but I'm not surprised when they don't see as dramatic differences as you might see if you compared 2yos who had been nursed/never been nursed.