Posted in Blog, Caring for your baby, Health and safety, Life as a mom, Mother, Rebecca

An “expert” told you WHAT?

I don’t get it.

I’m really concerned about this. It makes me very nervous. My son is now 17 months. And since he was born, I’ve heard many stories from other Mamas about things their pediatricians have told them. Most of the advice is spot on. But the other portion of the advice is frankly scary. (Of course, I am in NO way bashing pediatricians with this post. I love the medical community and appreciate them.)

One story I will tell is of a Mom who is a vegetarian. She has been a vegetarian for 20 years. She has a son now. (10 months) She was at a routine pediatric visit for her son one day. Her doc voiced his concern for the low weight of the child. She was still breastfeeding and had no interest in supplementing with formula. She hadn’t been worried previously about her son’s weight. Some babies are smaller than others. And he seemed in perfect health. The doc didn’t agree.

He proceeded to tell the Mom that she needed to start eating meat to increase the amount of fat in her breastmilk. WHAT? seriously? He honestly scared her into believing that she had to start eating meat otherwise her son would suffer. He had started solids already. Couldn’t the doc just say add more avocado into the diet? Or another type of fat? No, instead he practically threatened the Mom into believing what he was saying.

I would have said, “Oh, can you find the research on that and bring me a copy?” What evidence is there showing that you HAVE to eat meat in order to have adequate levels of fat in the breastmilk. I have never read anything like that or heard it anywhere. I even researched it after I heard this and found no such link.

After talking with some other people, she soon discovered that the doctor was a little “off” in his beliefs/knowledge and therefore was able to brush aside his advice to her. Oh, scary. Poor Mama. She put her complete trust in that doctor. She has since found a great new pediatrician! Thank goodness.

Another story from a Mama I just heard yesterday. A Mom of a 4 month old went to her doc for standard 4 month appointment. The doc found out that the 4 month old was still being swaddled and proceeded to tell her to stop. (Even though it was working great for the baby) The doc said that you had to stop now or the baby would “have to have it forever”. WHAT? Yeah, like my 3 year old is still going to demand being swaddled.

Well, she believed him and went home. She stopped swaddling and the baby immediately had problems sleeping. Now she’s distraught over how to get her 4 mo old back to sleeping good.

I LOVE swaddling. I always heard at my Mom’s classes with Ann Keppler (at First Weeks) that you should swaddle as LONG as it works for the baby. I personally swaddled my son until he was 11 months. He showed signs of being done with it, so we stopped. He transitioned pretty easily from there. But I guarantee you, I wouldn’t have listened to anyone tell me to stop.

I understand that maybe some Mamas don’t know. They trust their doctors and that’s great. I’m not saying to NOT trust them. It just seems weird to me that I’ve heard of so many strange things that pediatricians are telling Mamas. Are they just reading from a script? Maybe some of them aren’t even parents yet.

I didn’t write this to bash docs. Again, I love them. But each of these Mamas came home from the appointment with a weird feeling that something the doc said wasn’t quite right. It’s OK to listen to your gut, trust your Mommy instincts, and seek a second opinion. It’s OK to do your own research and find evidence of what’s right for you.

Talking to other Mamas has been really good for me. You can hear what other doctors are telling them. We can share advice, pool resources, and bounce things off one another.

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