I Want to Trust My Pediatrician
March 29th, 2011
We had a horrendous experience at Buggie’s six month well baby checkup last night. I went into the appointment feeling great about how breastfeeding was going and eager to launch into our baby-led solids adventure. I left confused, worried, and self-doubting.
The cliff-note’s version of events is that Buggie measured small on the charts. Too small, in my ped’s mind. Plus, his growth curve wasn’t accelerating — he was actually dropping in the percentages. In her brusque assessment of how to respond to this problem, the doctor managed to: imply that I wasn’t feeding him right, completely trash my desire to do BLS, and forcefully command that I start porking him up with big bowls of baby cereal in lieu of nursing sessions.
The problem was, much of what she had to say about how to manage nutrition for an exclusively breast fed infant contradicted everything I’d ever read or heard on the topic.
And therein lay my problem. I want to trust my pediatrician. I am not in the habit of going into doctor’s appointments armed for battle, expecting to be misinformed, lied to, or otherwise under-served (though I know many people who have exactly that attitude toward the profession). I didn’t go to medical school for a reason and, at the end of the day, I need to be able to rely on those who did spend many years of their lives undergoing medical training.
But this lady was just wrong. Conversations I had today with a couple lactation consultants confirmed my suspicions: she was way off base for how to deal with a breastfed baby. She was careless, too. Her (incorrect) response to Buggie was itself based on inaccurate data — they measured him as two full inches shorter than he actually is, which totally threw off his placement on the growth charts.
The whole experience has left me disgruntled and unsettled. This is not how I want my kids’ visits to the doctor to go!