Sunday, August 19, 2012

Breaking Up With Your Pediatrician

Before we moved to Philly we had a Dr. (and office) that we loved.  They were supportive and non-alarmist about breastfeeding when Leo's weight gain was slow.  They were not just LGBT friendly, but were leading the way for trans-health in the area.  They were the birth place of the doula group I belonged to that provided free doula care to marginalized communities.  The front desk was friendly.  They were willing to talk candidly about vaccinations when we had questions.  They were the one that got away.

When we moved here we asked around and chose a practice that up until recently we were pretty happy with.  The office was accessible by train and the front desk staff are phenomenal.  The doctor that we had been seeing (without complaints) recently moved across the country leaving us to try out the others in the practice and we just weren't finding anyone who really fit. 

Since Zoe's birth we had been in to this office several times.  We were seeing a new doctor, who was very nice but not very informed about breastfeeding.  Now, I realize that it's not a pediatrician's fault that they aren't trained in-depth about breastfeeding, but it's a big part of a newborn's health.  I ideally want someone who knows a lot about the subject or at least a doctor who can say, "Hey, I'm not an expert about this but I strongly suggest you contact a Lactation Consultant, here's a number."

This doctor was very concerned that Zoe was gaining on the slow end.  Not below normal range - just on the low end of normal. He kept suggesting supplementation.

He was also very against the fact that I was tandem nursing a toddler along with my newborn. He gave me two different reasons for why this was disastrous: 1. My body was going to "think I had twins" and would start making so much milk that Zoe would get reflux and colic. 2. Leo would drink up all my milk and Zoe wouldn't get enough.

Well, which is it? Too much or not enough. I told him that I was in contact with the LC from the birth center and she had talked to me about making sure to prioritize Zoe's feedings etc - but he still seemed troubled by the tandem nursing.

After yet another appointment I found myself again rationalizing dismissing his advice and jb said - "I am obviously on the same page as you, but why go see a doctor at all if we don't trust the advice he's giving us?"

Excellent point. "But the receptionists are SO nice!" I replied. That is really hard to find! "Do we come here for reception or medical care?"

So very true. So we started asking around again and found a highly recommended practice within waking distance of our home. Score! We made appointments for the kids and filled out requests to have their files sent to the new office.

It's a little sad to say good-bye to the office that has mostly taken excellent care of us. But I think that this new office will be a much better fit for us. Breaking up is hard to do- particularly with an authority figure of sorts. But we do owe it to ourselves to search for a doctor that has our trust all around. Wish us luck!


  1. You made the right call for sure. We have switched doctors 4 times in 9 years. One of them was a disaster that told me I needed to lock up my cabinets to "teach" my daughter a "lesson about trust." I sent a letter saying we would never return and that her "advice" was sure to kill my daughter with an eating disorder.

  2. Janine Fowler Alternative Hous8/14/2012

    I'm iffy about our pedi sometimes but we like her personality so much! We've sort of just stopped going at all, which is kind of stupid. Good luck with your new office!

  3. Lindsay Wilhelmi8/14/2012

    Good luck! We have had a bugger of a time finding a pediatrician we like. Pretty much the same thing happened to us: doc we loved and who took great care of Cady left the practice and we were left with the... well, the leftovers. We are at a new practice now, and what I'm finding most difficult are the vaccination wars. And, we fully vax (just not exactly on schedule) so I can't imaging the difficulties no- or minimum-vaxing parents might face. Cady only has one more shot, other than flu, to be up-to-date till the 4 year old ones start so I'm proud to say I stuck to my guns and fought the good fight.

    Only, we shouldn't have to fight to get the care we seek for our kids. :-P

  4. Marlas8/22/2012

    Do you have to have a pediatrician? S has been to one to check on suspected allergies but other than that we deal with our regular GP (who is awesome). I wonder if it's different in the US?

  5. It's true. I'm not tough to please on the vax stuff either - and I felt like I was always fighting. Hope you find someone great.

  6. Yeah, that's what I found. If I met them at a dinner party or on the playground - I'd like them. But I wasn't really valuing their professional opinions as much as I thought I should.