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

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#1 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#2 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by majorsky
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?
The handful of well visits I had for DS#2 were a complete waste of time.

No, I don't believe it is necessary to go to all those appointments if you do not intend to vaccinate. I went six months in between one of the well visits and it's been about 7 months since the last visit for my now 21 month old.
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#3 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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The first few aren't a bad idea, imo, because they check for stuff like heart palpatations and fused skulls.
But after that it's a total waste of time.

I got the same feeling during OB appointments...only difference is that during OB appointments I was thinking "Ummm...I can check my blood pressure and sugar level at home" and at well visits you think "Umm, I have baby books with milestone charts I check quite regularly, actually."
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#4 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Yacht payments.
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#5 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay
The first few aren't a bad idea, imo, because they check for stuff like heart palpatations and fused skulls.
But after that it's a total waste of time.

I got the same feeling during OB appointments...only difference is that during OB appointments I was thinking "Ummm...I can check my blood pressure and sugar level at home" and at well visits you think "Umm, I have baby books with milestone charts I check quite regularly, actually."
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??
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#6 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
Yacht payments.
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#7 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
Yacht payments.
<--Oops! I didn't see warrior_mama's post!!

Kristin

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Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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#8 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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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 diabetic testing kit from a drugstore.
The milestone chart kinda appeal to the lowest common denominator, imo. Every baby I've ever known was way ahead of "schedule".
Or maybe I just hang out with genuises with genius babies.
All babies do grow differently. My ds never, ever waved "bye-bye". It was "on the milestone chart" but I didn't worry about it. This is going to sound crazy, but I think he always thought it was stupid. I mean, none of the grown ups ever "waved bye-bye". He'd just look at us like : when we would try to get him to do it.
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#9 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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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.

Birth With Love
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#10 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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That's a great link, AmyD! Thanks!
And lol at mamakay at "Waving goodbye" - your baby sounds pretty smart!
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#11 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 06:13 PM
 
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We just had our 24 month well baby exam.

We were with the doc for almost an hour. She had a long checklist which we ran through. I can't recall all the questions, but basically lots to do with developmental milestones. Specifics on sleep habits, diet. Baby's social contacts, specific questions on social development. Lots also on safety: lead exposure, car seats, stairs, basic baby proofing of our home environment. How was potty training coming along?

Vision and hearing screening. General physical exam.

The dreaded vaxes . No lecture about the fact that we're deferring hep B and influenza.

I like our doc. She's a young Family Practitioner and does a great job with baby. She's always got a wide eyed medical student following her around, and takes about twice as long as normal because she stops to teach every other step of the way. She's a good doctor.

And as an academic general practitioner, she's nowhere near yacht territory. If she's like normal, she's probably paying back a loan debt of about 120k after four years of college, four years of medical school, and three more years of FP residency. And she's doing it on a salary that is about half of what my hubby makes with his plain ol' four year college degree. She'd be happy to hit slightly used Volvo range, I imagine. Some docs make a lot of money, but GPs aren't in that category.

I think if you're bright and an experienced parent, chances are you'd do fine and pick up on any real issues before too long all on your own. But I find a lot of reassurance in working in cooperation with a dedicated children's health care provider when managing my baby's health. There's just so much to keep up with, and it's nice to get feedback that things are coming along okay, or that there might be areas that need to be followed more closely.
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#12 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed
We were with the doc for almost an hour.
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.
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#13 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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We were with the doc for almost an hour. She had a long checklist which we ran through. I can't recall all the questions, but basically lots to do with developmental milestones. Specifics on sleep habits, diet. Baby's social contacts, specific questions on social development. Lots also on safety: lead exposure, car seats, stairs, basic baby proofing of our home environment. How was potty training coming along?
And weirdly, those are the things that doctors have next to no training in.

She does sound like a very good doctor, though.
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#14 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 07:17 PM
 
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Our doc sounds a lot like Blesseds. All that kind of stuff. I really enjoyed wb visits. I had a very hard time with nursing the first time, and though things went well the second time, my confidence level was very low in those early months. I eagerly anticipated getting ds2 weighed periodically and just checking in that he really was gaining weight like he was supposed to. And I just like our doc. I enjoyed spending time with her. And there was no talk of vaxes after we told her we wouldn't be doing them.
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#15 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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Grandson #1
After we researched vaccines and knew my grandchild (then 15 mo.) would not be getting any more we didn't go for any wbv until he needed a health check up to get into K. Since then we have not been back to any ped.
He is 8 y. now.

Grandson #2
Second grandson was not vaccinated every, had a few first time wbv (I think 3 - because the other grandmother RN insisted!) and again has not been back to any ped since then. He is 2 y. old now.

Grandson #3
New baby coming soon! He will get the same treatment as gandson #2.

We don't want to subject the kids to the unhealthy conditions in the peds office. No more than we would take them to a hospital unless medically necessary.

Wanted to add:
Grandson #1 went to all the WBV until 15 mo. of age.
At six months he was undernourished. Ped (#1) told dd he needs to eat more. : He was excl. bf
At that point he had not yet smiled. Ped said he was a serious baby (when in fact he was showing signs of autism).
At 14 months he did not walk yet. Ped (#2) said he should be walking by now.

Truth is any possible vaccine reaction was ignored and the other things neither ped could change.

He is walking, talking, strong, healthy, smiling and the brightest (and probably funniest) kid in the class now.
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#16 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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DD has never been to a well baby visit. We took her to a new family doctor at around 8 months just to establish her as a patient. Doc was impressed with her overall good health and agreed with us that there was no reason to come in unless there was something I felt I was unable to treat at home. (Which to me was very close to an admission that the only reason we would go to WBV is to get vaxes.)
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#17 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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We do WB visits, but are starting to think about not doing them. It IS pretty pointless if you aren't vaccinating, unless of course there are underlying issues.
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#18 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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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.
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#19 of 81 Old 02-09-2006, 10:16 PM
 
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When we were vaxing, we did every WBV on time. When we decided not to vax anymore, we put off making ds#2's 2 year old check. I finally decided to take him 3 months late only because I feel until we get a definitive from him (our Family Prac) about us not vaxing, I feel it's good to keep up a relationship. If he is okay with us not vaxing (which I'm suspecting is going to be a challenge because when I told him we were delaying all future vaxes when ds#2 was just in there, he said it was okay (like it's his choice) because he only needed a DTaP booster and he'd just need it before entering school, but since we weren't sending them to school ... and then he just let the conversation end), then we will take new babe (due in early June) for his/her WBC through summer, and then let him know we'll be back with all three kiddos around June/July. I see no purpose to going in the doctor's office, especially in the winter, with perfectly healthy kids ...

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#20 of 81 Old 02-10-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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Personally, we're done with well-baby visits. I have a great Dr., but I also have a great naturopath, a great applied kinesiologist, and a great mom between the three of whom I get my advice if the kids have issues of any kind. We did the WB thing with ds1, but since we don't vax, they were mostly just weigh-ins. With ds2 I was much more lax. He has been in the the Dr when he needed to be: when he had an asthma attack and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Personally, since we use very little in the way of abx (and dr's advice : ) it's sort of useless. We live in Canada, too, so I feel guilty about overusing the public health care system.

I think if you need some advice, or you're concerned about something, and your dr can help you, you should go!

Here in Canada, the WB visits are basically just for vaxes and as a kind of safety net in case parents aren't noticing a problem (or don't know that problem exists, I guess) for whatever reason.
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