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Hi Everyone!<br>
My name is Julie. I am a mom to a 31 month old boy (Levon) and 2 month old girl (Eila), both of whom are breastfeeding. My lactivism and support for breastfeeding came years ago, long before I even considered having children. My mother breastfed all of her babes back in the 70s when it was thought that only poor women did such a thing and all throughout my childhood, all of the childbearing women did the same. It was totally the norm for me and I'm sure my history laid the foundation for my feelings regarding BFing today. Anyhow, I will get to the situation I have found myself in.<br><br>
My son was born in a hospital, and while I was planning a natural birth, I unfortunately opted for an epidural. He was born healthy at 9 lbs and started nursing immediately. We were released the following day after not even 24hrs solely because he was doing so well with BFing. I was ecstatic. Unfortunately though, when my milk came in, I was in for weeks of problems. He was gaining well, but my nipples were cracked and bleeding and so f***ing sore that I would bawl my eyes out before, during and after every feeding. I didn't know what the problem was as my family doctor told me he was "the poster child for breastfeeding" when she witnessed me nursing him at a week old. I thought "fantastic, everything is going ok, this pain is just a minor setback." Fastforward 6 weeks...that's how long it took for the pain to subside. I saw a lactation consultant twice who told me his latch and our positioning was wrong. I was very confused as my own doctor was commending me on our success. Talk about mixed messages. She also advised me to start him on solid food at 4 months old because he was "overweight" from bfing. From that point on, I read all that I could on BFing from only the experts on the subject (other moms who BF, Dr. Newman, La Leche League, etc) and realised that If doctors don't research BFing on their own, they learn very little in school to actually advise on the subject. They just know to tell their patients that breast is best.<br><br>
When I found out I was pregnant with my DD, I sought out the services of a MW as I wanted a homebirth, but I also had to find a new family doc as mine was quitting her practice. So I met with a lady doctor who seemed nice enough until I was leaving. I had my son with my. At this time he was just under 2 years old, but the kid could pass for 3 or 4. In out meeting I told her I was still nursing him, and their was no reaction. Great. So we are heading out the door and she makes a bizarre comment: "Oh he's such a cutie. I wish I had some formula to give him." Ummmm, what the f***??? Ok so this is problematic in many ways right? Firstly, she knows I'm still bfing, so why would I want formula? And he is almost 2 years old!!!! Why would he need it????? And furthermore, why are you, someone in the medical profession, giving away free formula to begin with??? I left the office knowing that we would have to keep searching for a family doctor, much to my chagrin.<br><br>
Soooo, yesterday I have an appointment with another family doctor, a woman about the same age as me (early 30s) and again she seemed nice enough. It wasn't until she questioned me about why I left the other doctor that I became enraged. I told her the story of the other MD offering formula and she looked puzzled. She said she didn't understand so I told her how I think it is totally unethical for members of the medical community to be offering their patients free formula samples as it can send the wrong message. She disagreed with me and told me that every doctor's office in Toronto does the same, that I'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't. She said she caters to her patient's needs and if they choose to FF and she has formula then why can't she give it away? SHe said she wasn't going to debate it with me as obviously, and these are her words "you are pro Bfing and anti- FFing." ENRAGED i tell you!!! Like she couldn't even begin to fathom what the problem was. She said she gives away formula, she gives away Tempra and Tylenol, what is the problem? Um, formula IS NOT MEDICINE OR TREATMENT!!! And she got up very quickly and told me that if I was still interested in having her as a family doctor to fill out the forms at the front desk and she left. OF COURSE I AM NOT INTERESTED!!!!<br><br>
I told my DH about this as I was really upset about the whole situation and his remark was "why is every doctor against breastfeeding?" That is how he sees it. When a doctor endorses formula and when they don't educate themselves in order to advise their patients correctly when it comes to BFing, they are ultimately taking a stand against BFing. And I agree with him. And I can't help wondering if it is for their own financial gain. I hate thinking this way, but really is it that far-fetched? My DS who will be turning 3 in May has had to see the doctor ONCE since his birth and that is only because I didn't trust my own instinct. The more moms that choose to breastfeed, the less sickness there is and as a result, the less trips made to the doctor's office. I am just in a state of shock and now I wonder, will I ever find a doctor that doesn't endorse formula?<br><br>
I'm at a loss. I want to do something about this situation but what can I do. These formula companies have their hand in EVERYWHERE! Luckily, here in Canada they don't send women home with the goody bags including a handy dandy can of formula. But what's the difference if you go see your doctor at your baby's well-baby visit and she's hawking off cans of formula. It's all the same and I'm feeling helpless. These damn companies are sabotaging women and babies everywhere in their attempts at healthy BFing relationships and it is not only wrong, but immoral. Seriously ladies, what can I do about this?<br><br>
Needing Advice,<br>
Julie
 

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Well, you can choose not to go to an MD. What is it that you feel you need from a doctor? Could you get it from someone else - an alternative practitioner of some kind maybe?<br><br>
Melinda
 

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You're in Toronto? Maybe Dr. Newman's clinic can offer a suggestion. I'm not sure, but I think he only sees people specifically for breastfeeding problems. But surely he knows who's good in the area.
 

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Oooohh - I would be enraged too!<br><br>
But there are many of breastfeeding supportive family docs out there. When you call a clinic to see if they are taking new patients, ask if they are doctors who actively support breastfeeding. That will save you from a wasted visit. Plus, you may be able to report the docs who give away formula since they are breaking the code. I think Janice from Canada posted the link just a short while back. I don't know if they take reports about individuals, but you could see.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
The non-BF-supportive MDs do it out of ignorance. They have never been informed of the risks of formula, or the risks of free formula to the breastfeeding relationship. Med schools are not teaching this, and med students and residents learn from their mentors, other MDs who have been brainwashed by the formula companies. Hopefully we can educate them.
 

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what madness! i fortunately have an MD who is totally pro natural childbirth and breastfeeding. i would suggest seeing either a nurse-practitioner or a physicians assistant rather than an MD. in the us both of the above can rx meds and treat common diseases, some even specialize in various areas of medicine. i fidn that nurse practioners in particular are more baby/mom friendly perhaps because they ahve previous work experience as caregiving nurses?
 

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If you're calling first to check on supportiveness, I'd be careful how you word asking if they're supportive.<br><br>
The practice we were previously with was part of the Loyola system, and we were told by the staff (including a ped) that they were supportive of breasfeeding. After months of seriously horrible advise, I finally blew up and asked the doctor how exactly this was considered supportive. Well, 'supportive' around here is code for "not going to tell you not to breastfeed, but we don't encourage it". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> What I should have asked apparently is whether they 'encourage' breastfeeding, and whether anyone in the system was training in handling breastfeeding problems without handing out formula.<br><br>
I'd suggest asking how many children they see who are still exclusively breastfed at six months. That's made for some fast weeding out when I call places.
 

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That is sad - and a reflection of the medical school training doctors receive on BF (none) and the influence of the formula manufacter drug reps who supply the doctor's offices.<br><br>
I used to take the kids to the military hospital/pediatrican (DH is in the Army). They have misc. posters supporting BF. However, they also have "the BF corner of shame" (my terminology) in the waiting room which consisted of a chair with a curtain around it, were panic stricken if you BF in the clinic (would run up and close the exam room doors, etc.), and gave away formula samples in the ped and OB clinics.<br><br>
I now take the kids to a public clinic. No formula samples any where, no mention of formula. They always ask (DS1 is now over the age of one) "How often does he nurse." The doctor has never mentioned weaning, never mentioned formula, etc.<br><br>
So - offices can vary widely. The doctor's response is absurb - even if they do give away formula she should have been more respectful of what you were telling her.
 

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That's horrible that you have experienced that. Why would she want to offer your older son formula? I'm in the GTA and never once has my Ped ever even discussed formula with me. At every WBV he asks if I am still breastfeeding and that is it. He only asks to keep his records updated as to how my DS is being fed. He never asks how often or how much. As well, he is very pro starting solids no sooner then 6 months where I know a lot of docs are still advocating 4 months to start cereal.<br><br>
I know in Canada that doctors do not get a kick back from formula companies for offering their product. I don't even believe that we have the coupons where we can bring it in to our doctors to get free formula tins like they do in the States.
 

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Arrrrgghhh....<br><br>
Um <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh">?<br><br>
You weren't complaining that the doctor was giving formula to moms who were formula feeding (although that's totally against the code unless the doctor is giving the mom ALL of the formula for the baby) you were complaining that a doctor who KNEW you were breastfeeding wanted to give you formula.<br><br>
Totally different situation. And a doctor who can't see the difference is so anti-breastfeeding there's no point in even trying to work with them.
 

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I’m a doctor and I trained in Toronto. Doctors are bombarded with stuff from formula companies. Their doctor magazines are full of advertisements for formula, disguised as information for them to assist their patients with making that all important “best choice” for their baby. Formula is marketed to doctors as some sort of health food product, full of vitamins (protecting their bones and their brains, their immune systems) and good stuff. The companies position themselves as caring for the health of the most vulnerable of humanity.<br><br>
If the companies don’t hook doctors with all those formula ads, there is always the aggressive marketing of vaccinations. Most doctor’s office walls are plastered with vaccine ads, all about protecting your child from the threat of diseases, disease that even good mothers ( the ads imply) cannot protect their children from…..and only the wonderful pharmaceutical industry- and your doctor- working in partnership- can save your child. These same drug companies in many cases make the formula, or the cough medicine, or the birth control pills that mothers accept for “free’. And what’s the problem with all that free stuff? After all, the doctors accept a lot of "free" stuff from the companies, and in turn they expect the patients will be happy to accept the "free" samples.<br><br>
Doctor’s conferences are sponsored by the formula companies. Drug reps take them out for lunch and give them free gifts. Most doctors in Toronto would have done some training at Toronto General, where there used to be (when I was training) a room full of the latest computer technology for making presentations, and up to date library books, courtesy of the makers of Similac. The Hospital for Sick Children, where every Toronto trained doctor would have done their pediatric rotation, accepts money from Mead Johnson.<br><br>
Of course, nothing is really free. When medical schools accept sponsorship money, they allow the company’s access to their trainees. One day they grow up into full fledged doctors, bombarded with marketing, which they pass on to their patients.<br><br>
No wonder you are having such a hard time finding a doctor who really supports breastfeeding.
 

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You've got a tough road ahead of you to find a doc who adheres to the Code (heck, find one who KNOWS about the Code). Our family doc had three breastfed boys and never batted an eye at DD nursing until 2.5 (when she weaned because I was pregnant), but when I raised the fact that I was concerned to see the Enfamil "baby club" posters in her waiting room, she looked at me like I had three heads. She said, "well, I don't discuss FF unless the patient has decided to use FF already..." huh?<br><br>
I ended up bringing her LLL pamphlets at the next visit and a summary of the Code. The pamphlets are there, but so is the Enfamil stuff. I considered looking for a new doc, but honestly, from what I hear in the area, it's a bit of a lost cause.<br><br>
I almost choked last time we were there when she looked horrified that I had let DS (11 months old) try some whole milk (he did puke it all up) - and I'm thinking, "but meanwhile, you have ADVERTISING for cow's milk formula for tiny infants in your WAITING room...".<br><br>
But then again, I consider our family doc a convenience - good for keeping an eye on a couple chronic things with DH and I and keeping track of the kids' weight. Anything more complicated and I wouldn't go on her word for it... (like when she told me that the lactose in my milk was making DS gassy... arg...).<br><br>
You can give Newman a try or check with your midwives. And hey, let me know if you find one - I'm willing to drive!<br><br>
FYI - while "goodie" bags aren't given out, it's very unusual for moms in many hospitals to go home without a few bottles of the ready mix with the built-in nipples "just in case". I had a call once from a distraught mom who fed her nursling the bottles because they were about to expire <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="huh"> and he was sick and wouldn't latch and she had a plugged duct from not nursing for 12+ hours.... Man, oh, man - you guys are getting me all fired up...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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I once had a doctor congratulate me on nursing my daughter for 9 months and then proceeded to recommend soy formula. I got out of there fast.<br><br>
Finally, I found a nice Iranian pediatrician who loves and supports that my daughter is still nursing at age three. Maybe you can find someone from a country where breastfeeding for a normal time is commonplace? Good luck.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>meldess</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10328650"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I once had a doctor congratulate me on nursing my daughter for 9 months and then proceeded to recommend soy formula. I got out of there fast.<br><br>
Finally, I found a nice Iranian pediatrician who loves and supports that my daughter is still nursing at age three. Maybe you can find someone from a country where breastfeeding for a normal time is commonplace? Good luck.</div>
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totally agree here about MDs from countrys where nursing is normal. i had a major dental emergency when my son was a year old. i went to the er and my MD was also Iranian. he had to preform an emergency root canal and my son literally nursed the whole time he was doing it. he just smiled at my cute baby nursing and did his work. plus the procedure didnt hurt at all cause i felt so relaxed and had all the good nursing hormones going.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>miche28</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10328109"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
FYI - while "goodie" bags aren't given out, it's very unusual for moms in many hospitals to go home without a few bottles of the ready mix with the built-in nipples "just in case". I had a call once from a distraught mom who fed her nursling the bottles because they were about to expire <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="huh"> and he was sick and wouldn't latch and she had a plugged duct from not nursing for 12+ hours.... Man, oh, man - you guys are getting me all fired up...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"></div>
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nak<br>
My hospital in the gta did not send me home with any sort of goodie bag. i received no formula, and not once was formula mentioned. I guess i lucked out because my hospital is one of the breast feeding friendly ones where nursing is heavily encouraged. There are some good hospitals out there that are pro breastfeeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey Ladies,<br><br>
Thanks so much for all of your replies. I did in fact get in touch with Dr. Newman and he had a couple names for me. Unfortunately, both docs aren't accepting new patients. I called my local La Leche League and the woman who phoned me back gave me a few more names of docs who actively support breastfeeding. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it's totally worth it in the end.<br>
Ciao!
 

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I'm going to look into a family practitioner instead of a pediatrician because I figure there's a good chance of them being less targeted by the formula companies.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10333513"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm going to look into a family practitioner instead of a pediatrician because I figure there's a good chance of them being less targeted by the formula companies.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Also, I think they get more breastfeeding info in residency than pediatricians, and more chances for continuing education on breastfeeding too (at least in Canada.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PatioGardener</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10334313"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Also, I think they get more breastfeeding info in residency than pediatricians, and more chances for continuing education on breastfeeding too (at least in Canada.)</div>
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And if that isn't the most ass-backward thing ever...<br><br>
Although I suppose since they'd theoretically be having both moms and babies as patients they would be learning about breastfeeding benefits from both angles.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10334413"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And if that isn't the most ass-backward thing ever...<br><br>
Although I suppose since they'd theoretically be having both moms and babies as patients they would be learning about breastfeeding benefits from both angles.</div>
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Family doctors also tend to have a focus on prevention and 'whole health' which would lend itself to breastfeeding. But in general, more breastfeeding knowledge (or at least knowledge that they should refer to an expert) is needed. Plus, you are always going to find doctors who base breastfeeding advice on personal experience (the "I formula fed and my kids are fine" approach.)
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Plus, you are always going to find doctors who base breastfeeding advice on personal experience (the "I formula fed and my kids are fine" approach.)</td>
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This is a good point. There was a research article which showed that doctors, (unsurprisingly) are most supportive of breastfeeding if they, or the mother of their own children, have a personal experience of breastfeeding. I know an oncologist who has had cancer, who says, you don't have to have had cancer to be a good oncologist, but man, does it help. Walking the walk certainlly helps in talking the talk.
 
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