What is the real purpose of well baby exams? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-06-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by janellesmommy View Post
My daughter likes going to see her doctor. He is very nice. She's never had anything traumatic happen at the doctor's office (no vaccinations). We've had long appointments too, and she plays with toys while the doctor is talking to me, and he also talks to her a lot.


I guess I should have rephrased that to read: I would neither subject my child, nor MYSELF to an hour long visit with the ped.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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oops double post
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LongIsland View Post
Ugh - I would never subject a child to an hour long visit with the ped!
When I was a first-time, vaxing mother . . . yes. Now, not a chance.

Then again - back then, I used to faithfully read the rag mags Parenting, Baby Talk and Parents too.
I agree, this is our second time around so I know what developmental milestones to expect and when. The constant reminders to do things like not leave her unsupervised in a bathtub, put her in a carseat, and things like that got annoying. If I was a different type of parent I can see how that would be beneficial but I started to find it condescending after a while. Sometimes I just wanted to roll my eyes and say "duh!"

With my first dd we had a pediatrician who pushed formula on us when she didn't gain fast enough according to the FF growth chart. Being inexperienced I had no idea that bf babies gain weight slower than FF ones. The pediatrician also became concerned when my dd wasn't crawling and pulling up fast enough for her liking. Now I think her concern unneccessarily stressed me out, every baby is different. My dd started talking very early and from what I've read if a baby is focusing on verbal skills they might lag a little behind on motor skills and vise versa because they focus on one skill at a time.

This time I found a different pediatrician who is supportive of bf'ing, understands they can gain weight slower, and is okay with delaying/selective vaccinating. So I feel comfortable going to those first few visits for weight checks, knowing I won't have to argue about getting the hep b vax for example. But since we might not be vaccinating at all any more(I'm still in the process of researching) I probably won't be going to the later ones unless for some reason I decided there was a certain vax that our children should get.
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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I still did well baby exams even though DD#2 is totally unvaxed. I loved my ped and it was good to make sure DD was growing well. Her shape is so different from DD#1 that was good to get that reassurance. My ped was totally accepting of our non-vaxing status and always told me I could set the WBC for whenever I wanted (rather than follow 2, 4, 6 months etc) since the schedule was based on vaxing.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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I still did well baby exams even though DD#2 is totally unvaxed. I loved my ped and it was good to make sure DD was growing well. Her shape is so different from DD#1 that was good to get that reassurance. My ped was totally accepting of our non-vaxing status and always told me I could set the WBC for whenever I wanted (rather than follow 2, 4, 6 months etc) since the schedule was based on vaxing.
It is really disheartening to know that sooo many pediatricians do not act this way.

Mama to 3 kiddles. joy.giffencing.gif Doing my best and trying to stay afloat.vbac.gif

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Old 01-08-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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I do the first few. After that it's annual checkups or if I have a concern.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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I actually like well baby exams...I love our ped, and he offers advice I can actually use, like good things to feed my dayghter who completely refuses meat in any form, since I have no expereince being a vegetarian. He also gave us suggestions on how to make co-sleeping with 2 kids work out since he agreed with us that DD was not ready to quit co-sleeping at 18 months, and his partner hleped us find a provider that was ok with me breastfeeding through out my pregnancy.

Besides that, sleep apnea would of never crossed my mind and my daughters obstructive sleep apnea was very severe and scary...I'd never really noticed her tonsils were *that* swollen, and I never noticed that she had stopped growing...she's always been tiny and grew slowly, so I just figured we were still on that track.

So I think well child visits are important.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:46 PM
 
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I love our doc and his office is beautiful, so kid friendly and fun. My guys love going there and we like chatting with the doc. He has lots of good advice about things andhe askes us questions about cloth diapers and such, so he is learning too We have always gone because I want a doc to KNOW my kid, not just a few numbers on the chart, but know them in case I notice other things are off and want them checked out. I feel like rapport is important and that, for me, is what the WBV really accomplish. My doc is the place I have turned all my friends onto when their docs had bad advice or sucked for various reasons. They have all be thrilled.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LongIsland View Post
As long as your kids have a file there, you're then "established" and your kids are patients. After that, it's not necessary to keep going on a regular basis in order to get service.
Just a warning though. My mother was telling me that she did not take my little sister to the dr from about age 5 until age 9 and her ped dropped her as a patient for not coming in for so long and she had to become re-established! Even though all her well baby and childhood check-ups were done there!

Jen

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Old 09-21-2007, 01:28 AM
 
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Just a warning though. My mother was telling me that she did not take my little sister to the dr from about age 5 until age 9 and her ped dropped her as a patient for not coming in for so long and she had to become re-established! Even though all her well baby and childhood check-ups were done there!

Jen

Yeah; I didn't takes ds for two years and they lost his file!

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a warning though. My mother was telling me that she did not take my little sister to the dr from about age 5 until age 9 and her ped dropped her as a patient for not coming in for so long and she had to become re-established! Even though all her well baby and childhood check-ups were done there!
They may drop a patient for any reason, including not coming in for a long period of time, but there are laws that require how long doctors keep patient files. I don't know what they are from state to state today, but when I was a teen, my stepfather, a pediatrician, had to keep all patient files for several years regardless of whether the patient was still seeing him.

Kristin

Mama to Laurel '06 & high needs Will '09
Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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I don't mind the well-child visits at all with our current ped. She and I get along pretty well and she's pretty accepting of our alternative lifestyles. No lectures about vaxes, either. Each time, she just asks if we have changed our minds, I say no, she drops it right then and there and moves on. We spend most of the time chatting about our kids anyway .

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sunshinestarr;
How do you take your sugar (I'm guessing urine?) at home? Can you do protein as well? I have been looking for some kind of testing kit but I don't even know where to start. I HATE going to the OB.
I am wary of a lot of these milestone charts; I remember reading some where that they are based on totally FF babies.. And all babies grow differently, don't they??
You can get a glucometer and some test strips to test your glucose levels at home. The meters are usually free (look for a sticker on a box at wal-mart - i recommend Bayer's 'One Touch.') I declined the GD screening (didn't want the label and the cascading interventions) and monitored my own sugar levels (which were a bit elevated and required diet modifications but it only started around 30-32 weeks, so they wouldn't have caught it anyway.) I also checked my own blood pressure and monitored for ketones and protein myself with a bottle of pee strips.

Me (37) ~ DH (39) ~ DS (3) ~ TTC #2 since 4/10
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:43 AM
 
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My LC, who is a sweetheart, told me that they do the post-partum depression check when they administer the vaccines at 2 and 6 months. I am kind of mad about that because it assumes that everyone is going to get the vaccines, and it lets people fall through the cracks -- like me.
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:51 AM
 
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If you don't go to WBV's, what do you do at home to "check" DC yourself? I mean, other than weighing and measuring height. Do you have a stethoscope/otoscope and know what to listen/look for? Do you know signs of hip issues? And what about when the doc presses on the babies belly? (I never knew what that was for...) What else do you look for, other than a healthy, happy babe?

Reason I ask is that we have stopped vaxing, but kept going to WBV's, but now that winter's here, I'd really rather not take DS (17 mos) to the doctor's at all, possibly exposing him to whatever's going 'round this season, you know?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
For us, well baby visits serve two purposes: to make sure that dd is meeting developmental milestones and growing well, and to establish a relationship with our family practitioner.

For the first, I can see perfectly well that she's growing well and is on target or ahead of the general range of developmental milestones. BUT, imo, it never hurts to have a fresh eye, and while I could have the equipment at home to do weight checks and even sugar levels, I choose not to.

For the second, I feel that it's important for her to be familiar with her medical care provider so that if she does need treatment, it's a less traumatic experience for her. I don't like seeing a stranger when I'm feeling sick and vulnerable; I can't imagine it being fun for a child either. I also want our doctor to know what dd's like when she's healthy so she has a better measuring stick by which to gauge her responses if she's sick or injured, especially in this pre-verbal stage. (Knock on wood, it hasn't been an issue yet.)

But our family practitioner is a D.O. from Maine -- pretty relaxed, very knowledgeable, into alternative therapies, and completely ok with our vaxing decisions.
:

I like going to the two visits we have had so far. I really want to establish a connection with the doctor and have my son know him in case he is ever sick and needs help. Our doctor is very crunchy and has a great personality so I like chatting with him about development. We plan on going to all the WBV.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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I'm going to be a new parent, so I have no idea what well baby exams are really for at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months. From the brief reading I've done, it appears these visits are mainly to check brain development and physical milestones... and of course to administer a slew of vaccinations.

Sooooo... if mom and dad can see that baby is developing normally, hitting all the milestones, is healthy and active, etc., and the parents choose not to vax, is it really necessary to go to all those appointments? Are some of those appointments more important to keep than others?

Kristin
I haven't read all the responses yet, but wanted to add our experience. Ds went to his 2, 4, and 6 month visits then not again until 12 months. The first 3 WBV we had an *awful* ped. Just awful. The 6 month visit was the last straw when he recommended we let ds CIO even if it took over an hour :. By the time ds was 12 months we had found a really great family dr. that is supportive of our decisions to not vax, ebf, co-sleep, etc. He's awesome. We took ds again at about 18 months and then just a couple months ago at 2.5 yrs. We'll go once a year now just to keep up the relationship with the dr. in case we need him for anything.

He spends about 30 minutes with us each visit, which is great (better than 10 or less like some drs) but maybe a little too long for ds's attention span.

With this next baby (should be here any day now) our midwife will check the baby's weight, heart, etc. for the first 6 weeks. We'll probably then do a WBV at 6 months, then 12 months, then once per year after that.

Basically, I think parents should go to the number of WBV with which they feel comfortable, and of course that is going to be different for everyone.

ETA: Ooops! Didn't realize this was such an old thread until just now.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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I just don't agree with most of these responses. I do realize that one of the main reasons for WBV is for vaccinations. That's not rocket science. And I am very medically inclined and have much confidence in my observations of DD's development. I am highly educated and have a strong medical background and am well-versed in home remedies. But I think sometimes us crunchy mommas get a little too cocky for our own good. We still don't have medical degrees. And no, I'm not one of those people that thinks physicians are all-knowing and to never be questioned. I always question and research everything. But I feel that there are things that doctors also look at during their WBV's that need to be looked at, such as hip dysplasia, closed labia, asymptomatic ear infections, torticollis, etc. etc. Please don't flame me for disagreeing with the majority. This can be a really tough crowd.

ETA I am referring strictly to visits within the first year.......not the annuals thereafter
I agree. And don't flame me because I obviously understand where most of you are coming from.

I work in the PICU and am *shocked* at how many parents really don't know anything about their own babies and miss things allllll the time (Um you didn't notice your baby was kinda blue around the lips? Some parents will have a baby with a bad cough and not take them to the Dr after a couple of weeks of it not getting better and just think it's respiratory or allergies but it's really a heart problem).

I work with parents who give their children benadryl every single night to sleep, who babies are having problems breathing (yes,some parents don't SEE that), just everything under the sun that some parents totally miss or ignore and it's really not that uncommon.

Not everyone is as smart as the mamas here at MDC! A lot of our patients do not get online, wouldn't even know how to research a subject, never read anything, and make a lot of really bad decisions concerning their children, wouldn't know the first thing about listening for a heart murmur or gallop, etc. Some people really DO need to take their children to wbc (and I'm not talking about vaccines). You can not compare yourselves to a lot of other parents out there.

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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I stopped doing vaccinations (and well baby visits because of it) when my ds2 was 4 months old back in 2001. He grew up to be a pretty healthy six year old, and my 5 and 3 year olds are just as healthy, (if not more healthy immune system wise).

Quote:
From the brief reading I've done, it appears these visits are mainly to check brain development and physical milestones...
That is the excuse to get you in IMO.

What new parent is NOT concerned with how their baby is developing? What new parent does NOT feel totally inept with one or ten things? I was a new parent once and not a stranger to these feelings. How clever of health care providers to pluck and play on these universal parental heartstrings.

Of course that doesn't mean parents should not educate themselves on typical developmental milestones while keeping in mind they are guidelines, not set in stone. I think knowlegde (which means looking beyond what the AAP may spout), combined with parents being the natural experts on their own children and the encouragement to go with one's own gut feelings (instinct does exist!) goes a long way in overriding the need for WBVs.


Quote:
and of course to administer a slew of vaccinations.
That is the real purpose of "WBVs".

Hey, I hate it when I notice a thread is over a year old after I post!!
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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To get the baby sick so they have to go again--at least that's been our experience. My DD has only ever had the sniffles AFTER her 2 WB visits. They have separate times for WB visits, but the waiting room is all the same and the sick kids going for WB visits were in the same room as healthy ones. So DD came home with a cold and a sick mommy both times :-/ And that was after waiting a half an hour for a 3 minute visit with the ped. >
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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I liked going when DS was an older infant because I was slightly paranoid about ear infections. He had discovered his ears and was always pulling on them, so I was worried that I wouldn't be able to tell if they were hurting him. (His ears were always fine though.) I did find it a bit stressful at times, and it was annoying to have the old-fashioned doctor telling me that I could start him on cow's milk at four months old, and arguing with me when I tried to politely tell her that the APA guidelines had changed from what she had on her handout.

We skipped the 18-month checkup, but I took DS to his two-year checkup and made them test him for lead, since I was paranoid about that too. But now we have a new ped who's much more breastfeeding friendly (though he did kind of suggest night weaning, if I wanted to), and who didn't give me any trouble about skipping and delaying vaccines.

Now that he's two, I don't think we'll take him in unless there's something specific we want to check for. He always seems to end up with a cold or a rash or something after we visit.
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