Awful ped visit- need advice on anemia - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Awful ped visit- need advice on anemia
laralou's Avatar laralou 10:22 PM 06-28-2003
Ok, we had a great pediatrician. The only problem is that he is very far away and he is supposed to be retiring any day now. He was totally cool with us not vaxing and was very supportive of bfing, etc.

So I got a recommendation from folks who live around here (no one in my town is AP that I can tell), and went to the new one for the 6 month visit. Ok, so we were a month late (and we had skipped the 4 month one), but I just wanted someone to look at their ears to be sure there were no ear infections, listen to their hearts and check their feet (ds had to wear a brace). I knew that they were developmentally on track with height and weight, as well as with all their milestones.

So... the new doc figures out we don't vax and trips. I cite relgious reasons and he still tries to convince me that we are making a huge mistake. I had to listen to several of his tetanus horror stories. He totally freaked dh out (who had previously left the decision up to me).

He did a bunch of other irritating things, but the thing that bothered me the most was that he did a hematocrit and both girls had low iron. He suggested feeding more solids and vitamin drops. He also wanted their levels checked in 6 weeks.

Tab was the lowest at 27 and Tris was borderline at 32. Tris is a great eater when we do offer solids (1-2x week) and Tab is not as ready, so this makes sense. I also read that early anemia sometimes happens in preemie babies, because their iron stores are incomplete. They are NOT anemic IMO. They are extremely alert, active and voracious nursers.

Well, we *won't* ever go back to him, but I am worried that if I don't have them checked he'll call CPS (he is already really ticked at me for not vaxing).

So I am thinking of offering more iron rich foods (pureed or mashed since they really aren't ready for finger foods), and having our old doc office check their levels in 6 weeks.

I got a list of foods from kellymom.

Did anyone else have this happen with your 6mo? What did you do? I didn't even realize that they checked iron levels this early. Is it just this jerky doc or do they all want to?

BTW I read his info sheet and he recommends that babies at 6 mos be eating solids 3x a day and only bfing 3x a day. He also suggests that babies should be sleeping thru the night at 6mos and that they should be put in their cribs with no "sleep props". Arg!!!!!!!!!!!

Quirky's Avatar Quirky 04:12 PM 06-29-2003
I agree, what an idiot! As you probably know, the iron in breastmilk is much more readily absorbed than the iron in other foods or in vitamins. You probably already read these pages, but there are a ton of links on kellymom's page:

If you do decide to supplement them with iron, I've heard really good things about the Floradix iron supplements (the yeast and honey free version).

I was under the impression that iron levels weren't usually checked until the 9 month appointment. It would also be worthwhile to have the recheck done with a venous draw rather than a fingerstick, which can give inaccurate readings especially if the finger was squeezed to get more blood out.

If you're worried about him calling CPS, I would gather your information sources so you have a nice little packet of info to back up your choices. Also remember if they come over for a surprise visit, you don't have to let them in without a warrant. If you do decide to let them come over, make sure your house is relatively clean and your pantry is stocked. But I hope it won't get to this.

Hang in there!
laralou's Avatar laralou 03:16 AM 06-30-2003
Thanks, Jane! I will check into getting a venous draw. And hopefully CPS won't get involved.
~Megan~'s Avatar ~Megan~ 03:56 AM 06-30-2003
this happened at dd's one yr c.u.

She was a little low but nothing serious.

keep in mind that solids block their ability to absorb iron from breastmilk. Its best to offer solids an hour or so after nursing since most milk will be digested by then
Evergreen's Avatar Evergreen 12:30 PM 06-30-2003
Don't go back! I seriously doubt, with all of his other (poor unfortunate) patients he'll remember you and call CPS. Find someone new (maybe through LLL) so if something does come of this you can just say you got a 2nd oppinion and everything is fine.
Faith's Avatar Faith 03:27 PM 06-30-2003
If you think he will call CPS, I would have the first (nice) doctor's office write the second (mean) doctor a letter saying you are in his care now.
Then, I think the second doctor will feel it is not his issue anymore, since you are now the nice doctor's responsiblity/problem.
laralou's Avatar laralou 01:13 PM 07-02-2003
Thanks for the tips! I am hoping that I am just being paranoid, but if you had been there you would have seen how he obviously thought I was neglectful for not getting the tetanus vaccine.

I want to believe that my bm is enough. Dr. Jay Gordon says that exclusively bf babies shouldn't need supplemental iron for the first year, so what did I do wrong?
Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar Evan&Anna's_Mom 01:38 PM 07-02-2003
I'm not sure that CPS would have any grounds to get involved with your case. As far as I know, all states have a religious excemption for not vaxing, so you aren't doing anything illegal by not doing this. You also have the right to chose your own Dr., so you have no obligation to go back to him for a recheck, and you don't have any obligation to tell him why you aren't coming back. As for the low iron, as long as you are mnaking an effort to deal with it, I don't think its a crime or an indication of neglect. I'm sure the CPS has more important cases to worry about -- no matter where you live! That being said, the poster that noted that you don't have to let them into your house is right, so if you should get a surprise visit and you think there is any chance that you can't get it cleared up immediately, stand your ground.
Jish's Avatar Jish 04:51 PM 07-02-2003
Can your old doctor recommend a new doctor for you? Perhaps he would know of someone similar to his line of thinking.
Quaniliaz's Avatar Quaniliaz 06:52 PM 07-02-2003
I'm sorry you had such a crappy experience at the ped... We had a similar problem at Sage's 4 month check - up , so we are continuing our quest for a doctor who we can respect, and who can respect us and our decisions for our daughter....

So, we'll se how it goes for us, next month... Good luck in your search!! Sounds like your girls are in good hands...

P.S. The doc that I am seeing next month was recommended by my (lay) midwife - he is the back-up doctor for a few midwives around here - and I heard he doesn't vax his kids... Sooo-maybe you could check with some lay midwives for good family practitioners....
XM's Avatar XM 09:06 PM 07-02-2003
We also had an awful ped/ND visit and also decided not to go back. I was worried that she might call CPS on us because she decided that since Ezra hd only just gained back his birthweight at 2 weeks that he was a 'failure to thrive' baby. I called her office and told her receptionist that we had decided to recieve our care from a different ped. Like someone else said, I figured that would get her off my back because we were no longer her problem, and I have not heard from them since.

laralou's Avatar laralou 02:23 AM 07-03-2003
Man, it took my girls 2 1/2 weeks to regain their birth weight. See how good my ped was. He was never worried.
Piglet68's Avatar Piglet68 04:24 AM 07-03-2003
I had a nasty ped visit when dd was 7.5 months (a bit late for her six month checkup!). when she found out dd was barely eating solids (I was offering but she just wasn't interested) she flipped. And when I said I would not give her iron supps until she was proven anemic by blood test she got even more testy. In massachusetts they test all babies for iron at nine months b/c they check for lead at that time (lots of lead in the old houses in boston) so I figured dd could "last a bit longer" even if her iron stores were going down. of course her eating increased, as I knew it would, and now she eats well and she loves iron rich foods like lentils and beans, yams, etc.

I would call mean doc, tell him you're in another doc's care now, and i doubt he'll bother checking further. don't be worried about your girls either. by the time they are a year old they'll be eating enough for you to get some iron rich foods in them.

iron in supps and supped formula is just so hard on their digestive systems, especially when they are raised on just BM. I simply don't believe that man has evolved as a species to be inherently anemic during babyhood (unless there's a good reason for it). I have faith in Mother Nature!!
laralou's Avatar laralou 01:00 PM 07-03-2003
I have faith in MN too. That is why I really don't believe their iron levels are low. They do not act anemic at all. Maybe they tested low that day or maybe the charts assume they are drinking formula and lots of solids by now. It is all I can do to feed them one solid a day right now.
XM's Avatar XM 01:13 PM 07-03-2003
Originally posted by laralou
They do not act anemic at all. Maybe they tested low that day or maybe the charts assume they are drinking formula and lots of solids by now.
I think that is the issue right there... I am sure that the anemia charts are probably just like the weight charts- based on babies who are formula fed.