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#1 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I started going to this new doctor  (psychiatrist) to manage my meds for anxiety/ADD issues and for a little help dealing with all the stress of going back to work full-time after being a SAHM to my 2 year-old.  He wanted to put me on stimulants for ADD and I told him I couldn't b/c I was still nursing.  He went into this big explanation of how I'm making it harder for my daughter to separate and how one of the biggest childhood issues is learning to separate from the breast.  She needs to find other ways to sooth herself, like music, rocking, books, a stuffed animal, etc. to sooth herself.  Blah, blah blah.  I don't know how "separate" he expects her to be at this age or where the research is to back up his claims.

 

Anyway, I told him that she has plenty of time to learn these skills and that she is only 2.5 years old.  I said that the recommendation of the WHO is to nurse until 2 yo and I asked him if I am supposed to abruptly stop at exactly 2 years... I'm 7 months past it, so has my time expired?  I also shared that the world average for weaning is 4.2 years and that our society pushes weaning and independence early. I told him that just because I don't conform the the societal norms for this country doesn't mean I'm harming my daughter and that is perfectly natural.  Even though I don't plan to do child led weaning, many people do and so I am not alone.

 

Tirade over.  I'm so angry that he thinks I am somehow harming my daughter and questioning my parenting decisions.  I did not go to him for parenting advice anyway,  I am feeling guilty leaving my daughter for so many hours a week... that is my problem, not nursing.  I just had to vent and ask for support from those who understand were I am coming from.  Now I have to switch doctors again... the one I loved retired.

 

Why are these messages out there?  If I were in a more vulnerable state I may have taken his advice and believed his supposed "expertise."  An M.D. in psychiatry and a porsche do not qualify you as a parenting expert.

 

Thanks.  I'm trying not to question myself over what he said, but for some reason it bothers me that some people think that what I am doing is somehow wrong.

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#2 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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Do you otherwise like this doctor, or do you feel he has been providing you with excellent care aside from that one-off?

 

The reason why I ask is because I have had similar convos with doctors (one pediatrician, one perinatologist), but was able to come back later and state that while I respected their area of expertise, I expected them to respect my parenting choices, that I had made an educated decision and would be happy to provide them with good resources about breastfeeding and medication, but that I was not interested in hearing parenting advice *unless I explicitly asked or they asked permission to share*.  Then I asked if they were still interested in being my doctor, with those guidelines.  As I'd hoped (because they were both EXCELLENT doctors, our parenting "disagreements" aside) they did not turn me down.  And both LOVED the copies of Dr. Hale's reference book that I purchased for them as gifts later.

 

I think we are human, and we like to preach our style of parenting.  It doesn't matter how many degrees you have or don't have, if you didn't feel that your parenting style was "right" (at least for you) you wouldn't do it--so if you perceive someone as struggling it's a caring instinct to share with them.  unfortunately there is a theoretical power imbalance--but I don't think most doctors MEAN to come across that way.  Sometimes they, like everyone else, need a reminder--and i believe i have been able to affect more change by staying (when the doc is worth it) and discussing.

 

I've had great success, but then again, these were great doctors obviously, who were willing to think and discuss out of their box (and challenged me to do the same).  I want that in my medical team, not a bunch of like minded sychophants. OTOH there are also doctors who are paternalistic, rigid, and unwilling to entertain differences--whatever, I guess, but they sure as hell aren't going to be MY doc.

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#3 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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:(

 

Sorry that happened! For myself, I just don't argue with people. I'm not going to convince them, and they're not going to convince me. Instead I just head them off at the pass. "Thanks for your input, but I'm not here for parenting advice." or "No offense, but we've made our decisions as a family, and we're not looking for other opinions."

 


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#4 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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So basically he's saying that he encourages people to become attached to THINGS rather than their own families? And thinks that that gross materialism should start by age 2?

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#5 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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That's funny, my PhD psychologist told me that one of the biggest challenges of childhood is learning to attach to a main caregiver.  I'd say that's what the research actually supports.


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#6 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by womenswisdom View Post

That's funny, my PhD psychologist told me that one of the biggest challenges of childhood is learning to attach to a main caregiver.  I'd say that's what the research actually supports.



Totally agreed.  OP--if this is the main source of your anxiety, is there some way you could rearrange your schedule a bit? 

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#7 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.  I haven't been going to this doc long enough to say he is giving me excellent care.  He seems very knowledgeable, but missing an emotional link that I need.  I just feel like I need someone who understands what it is like to be a mom.  I can't  change my schedule until the end of the school year, when I can hopefully transfer to a school that is closer to home.  I have an hour and 10 minute commute.

 

I just don't know if I can get past this guy questioning some of the central beliefs of my parenting style - extending breastfeeding and attachment parenting.  I do not see what he is advocating as an attachment style.  I was going to try to wean my dd this past summer but we moved, I went back to work full time, and she went into daycare... all within 2 months.  She needed something to be stable in her life and her "nummies" were it.  Since then we've been trying to get through day by day.  

 

I just don't understand why he thinks that a 2 year old needs to detach.  She is still very young and has plenty of time for this.  HE asked me if it was her or me who would have more trouble giving it up, as if I were the one hanging on.  Yes, I still like it and feel it is special, but my dd LOVES it and it is very important to her.   I cannot wean her in the middle of winter when there are no other distractions.  I'm waiting unitl the summer when we can both relax a little bit about it.  So she'll be three.  Oh well.  Sometimes I just get tired of feeling like I am so extreme IRL.  

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#8 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 09:54 PM
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He doesn't sound as if he's up to date with his information. If his expertise is adult psychiatry he may feel he doesn't need to be up to date with research in child development. Anyone who thinks a person is nursing a 2 year old for their own emotional benefit knows very little about human development.  You can either educate him, get a new psychiatrist, or go to him anyway if he's doing a decent job handling your meds.  You could refer him to Dr. Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London, for information about the neurological benefits of nurturing parenting styles. She wrote the Science of Parenting along with a bunch of books for children who have emotional issues and recommends co-sleeping up until age 5.

 

As for weaning your DD. I recommend letting her wean herself. She may be getting close to that point anyway. Taking care of a child's needs and helping them feel secure helps them become less fearful and more independent. My older DD1 weaned herself at 3.5 and my younger DD2 weaned herself right before turning 4. My DD2 is 5 now, started sleeping in her own room right after turning 4 and has no anxiety issues at all.

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#9 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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Hugs to you.  I am so sorry that your psychiatrist has given you extra stress with his uncalled for comments.  I remember hearing the same thing from a specialist after I had a miscarriage.  He told me that I needed to stop breastfeeding. My little one was then two years old.  I remember feeling that what he had said was wrong; but I know deep down inside it did really bother me.   I didn't go back to him. I just didn't need the stress.   My little one stopped nursing  on his own; and I am so glad that I knew enough to not take his advice.  I think it is really important to feel comfortable with one's doctor; and it is frustrating when they start giving out information that is outside of their domain.   

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#10 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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I also disagree with what the guy said, but I do think he was probably just trying to help and suggesting something that was in his parenting toolbox.  I mean, you are there to ease the transition from SAHM.  So, he thinks it might be less stressful for you to wean.  Well, he might be right.  If nursing and feeling guilt about it are causing you anxiety and the meds aren't okay because you are nursing, it might be easier to wean.  Does it mean you should?  No.  But it's a valid point that you are as equally in your rights to choose not to do. 

 

If you tell him that isn't an option for you, does he keep harping on it?  Will he say okay and work towards other solutions?  I think that is what is most important.

 

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#11 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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That is an issue that I have seen a lot with doctors. They have no training in child development or parenting, but then will express their opinions as if their opinions are professional opinions. I have heard behavior specialists, certified car seat techs, parent educators, even Le Leche League leaders being frustrated by doctors giving contrary advice. (i.e. turn car seat forward facing as soon as they turn 1, EZZO style parenting, etc etc). When it is coming from a doctor, there is no training at all in being a doctor that makes them a parenting expert. 

 

I actually would leave this doctor. I would not trust him. You never know when a doctor will try to enforce their will by calling CPS or something on a patient just to try to force their will.

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#12 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Doctors (especially doctors who treat adults) get frighteningly little info about child development.

 

I'm a WAHM with anxiety, and I nursed dd until she was 4. SHE would have continued longer. No way you're harming her. Dd is a delightful, independent, self-assured child. I've no doubt that meeting her need for closeness by nursing helped with this. Dd needs physical contact to feel loved.


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#13 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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Will he just handle your meds? Will you see someone else for talk therapy? Because the time that I was on meds and in counseling, I saw the med guy one time. Just one time. It really didn't matter what he thought of anything.

 

For someone to talk to, a non- MD might be better. I used to see a wonderful counselor with just a master's who was really, really interested in post partum issues, and very knowledgable about how BFing effects our moods. Very cool lady, and some one like that would be prefect for you. She'd be the kind of counselor to help you brainstorm your schedule for how to combine nursing with working.

 

Good luck! There really are good providers out there!


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#14 of 16 Old 02-16-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Will he just handle your meds? Will you see someone else for talk therapy? Because the time that I was on meds and in counseling, I saw the med guy one time. Just one time. It really didn't matter what he thought of anything.

 

For someone to talk to, a non- MD might be better. I used to see a wonderful counselor with just a master's who was really, really interested in post partum issues, and very knowledgable about how BFing effects our moods. Very cool lady, and some one like that would be prefect for you. She'd be the kind of counselor to help you brainstorm your schedule for how to combine nursing with working.

 

Good luck! There really are good providers out there!


I agree with this. Psychiatrists are just MDs who had a couple of rotations in psych, usually in hospital environments. Counselors who have their Masters or PhD have years of study focused entirely on development & therapy, and are going to be much more able to help you manage your anxiety and talk about what's bothering you. MDs aren't know for their bedside manner. wink1.gif Psychiatrists also usually have short appointments, like 15 minute check-ins to make sure your meds are ok. Talk therapy is more like a 45 minute appointment.

Research shows that talk therapy in combination with medication is the most effective treatment if you need meds. Research also shows that the single best predictor for therapy being effective is the relationship being good between you & the therapist. So how much you like and trust him does matter to your health.
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#15 of 16 Old 02-16-2011, 08:39 PM
 
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unfortunately no doctor - even pediatricians - are required to take ECE classes. wish they would. 

 

many pediatricians are the worst  but govt. rules make them insist on certain subjects like cosleeping. 


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#16 of 16 Old 02-17-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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Ugh.  I feel you!  I'm going through something similar now with my therapist.  :(  

 

First we talked a bit about breastfeeding, maybe a few weeks ago.  It only came up for a minute and it was in relation to me wanting to start some non-psych-related meds that I can't use until I wean.  I do want to start on them.  They may make life better for me, though you never know till you try.  And I'm not willing to wean my child just to see if they work.  In the big scheme of things it doesn't matter that much if I start them tomorrow or two years from tomorrow.  So....  he gave me a little talk about how at this point, even if he's enjoying the closeness of it, he's 2 yrs old and doesn't need to nurse for nutrition, and I'm probably nursing more for my own needs than his.  :(  First of all -- I think a lot of us do have a "need" to be close to our babies.  That is not something to be ashamed of.  It's been selected for for millions of years and it's a big part of what keeps our babies safe and well.  And the fact that it may make us moms *feel good* and it may contribute to our own psychological well-being is NOT a negative!!!  And, obviously, I don't buy the argument that he doesn't "need" it since he can eat food.  He doesn't hear my little guy's voice in the middle of the night when he rolls over and says "mama nurse!"  I know it is doing his little soul good and is good for his little body, too.  Pffffft!

 

Then last week I was talking about my seven year-old, who I've been worrying about bc he's getting fairly defiant and ummm, getting pretty hard to control.  So I worry that I'm harming him by not "controlling" him.  But I know in my heart of hearts that it's healthy for a seven year old to be defiant.  I don't want a perfectly obedient child.  I don't want a child who knows that if he crosses me, I will hurt him or if he doesn't follow my directions I will put him in his place.  I know that my child will be a stronger, happier adult if I'm willing to be in the same room with him even when it's difficult.  But my psycher is completely dead set that time-outs are the end-all-be-all and that if you don't punish them when they're children they'll end up in prison as adults.  :(  

 

I don't quite know how to handle that fact that this is my therapist and we are soooooo at odds on this.  It's not that we have to agree on everything, but this is pretty central to who I am.  So, I think what I'm going to do is go in there and make my case and if he still thinks the only reason I won't send my son to his room is that I'm still mad at my mother for being too harsh, then ugh, I don't know...  I may have to move on.  :(  It sucks though bc now I've been seeing this guy for like 8 mos and I generally like him and think he's pretty decent.  I even think that if he hadn't been trained that time-outs were so great, and gave it a little thought himself, he'd agree with me.  Maybe I should bring him a copy of Unconditional Parenting.

 

Anyhow....  all this is to say (and to vent) that I get how frustrating it is to be told by the professionals that you're being nutty on a topic that you KNOW you are not wrong on (don't know if we can ever be right on parenting, but we are at least way more right than they are, lol).  I want to scream to him that, "no, this is, in fact, a sign of my mental health!"  

 

If it were my psychiatrist and I was only going to him for meds, I might keep going as long as I was pretty sure that I was getting the meds I needed and that he wasn't basing his prescribing on the fact that I was nursing too long or whatever.  Like, if I was going to get the exact same outcome from any doctor, I'd just suck it up and keep going bc it's such a pita to have to change docs.  But if it's effecting your treatment or you aren't sure if it is, then I might lean more in the direction of getting a new doc.

 

Sorry this is happening to you!  Hugs!


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