Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Just because you went to med school...

...apparently doesn't mean you should be giving out breastfeeding advice. Seriously, here we are, trying to raise breastfeeding initiation rates, and trying to encourage women to breastfeed their children for at least one year. Yet there are doctors who will spare no effort to encourage formula. A friend of mine has a baby with severe excema. She finally decided to try eliminating dairy from her diet, and has had great success. Excema is still there, but not nearly as bad as it used to be. No more need for band-aids to cover up the open sores. So she took the baby to the pediatrician for his 6 month check-up. Mentioned how she thought the baby was sensitive to dairy, and could she get a referral to see an allergist. Ped told her sure. Then went on to recommend switching the baby to hypoallergenic formula. Um, hello??????? So my friend said she could just eliminate dairy from her diet, and continue bf'ing. "Um, sure, you can do that, too." DUH. Then the visit to the allergist. She mentions how she thinks her son is allergic to milk. The dr. looks at her like "what are you doing giving him milk?" She says he gets dairy through her breastmilk. The allergist goes on to tell her that the whole dairy sensitivity through breastmilk is anecdotal. Yeah, right. Whatever. Dork. The allergy test revealed that the baby is indeed allergic to milk. And sensitive to soy, too. Dr. goes on to tell my friend not to introduce milk for at least 6 more months (duh), but she could try giving soy milk in a couple of months. Um, hello, the baby will only be 8 months old by then. Why would he need soy milk? What about just continuing bf'ing, my friend says. "Sure, I guess you could do that, too." Seriously, what's wrong with people? Now I'm not surprised about the comments I've heard from moms whose peds would tell them their child was allergic to breastmilk. And the child ended up on hypoallergenic formula. No, it's not the breastmilk children are allergic to. Probably just something in the mom's diet (like wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts.... all common allergens). But then I guess maybe reports of babies being sensitive to mom's diet are just anecdotal... @@

10 comments:

Leia said...

OMGosh! :O My mouth is literally hanging open after reading those dumb comments! It angers me soooo much to hear DOCTORs, of all people, telling someone to just switch to formula. HELLO???? Stop taking the easy way out and let a WILLING Mommy work at getting her baby healthy. Good golly...

Lori G. said...

Yup, Emily started a nursing strike at around 8 months and I was soooo discouraged and didn't know if I should pump to keep up my supply and give her a bottle, or just pump and save it, figuring eventually she'd give in to hunger and nurse. I called the pedi (didn't want to dehydrate her) and they said "Well, she needs 16-24 oz of milk or formula a day so I'd give her formula". What???? Not that formula is EVIL or anything, but I wanted to BF for a year. Try giving me some support! And doctors always think it's such a pain when I say I'm nursing, can you check if that med is ok for me to take? Ugh!!

Doreen said...

You know, I seriously think all pediatricians and women's doctors should have extensive training on bf'ing. Yes, there's LLL to turn to, but not everyone knows about that. Who is the average woman most likely to turn to when she's having trouble bf'ing? Her doctor or pediatrician. They should be trained in helping women figure out problems, not in telling them to just give formula...

Emily said...

I agree...what an idiot??!!! Do you remember after I had Audrey I went to an urgent care because of a UTI. He said he refused to treat me unless I stopped nursing my 3 week old baby! HELLOOOOOO!?!?!? What an idiot!!!

Dawn said...

Doreen, you should point your friend to this Babycenter board (when it's back up!) http://bbs.babycenter.com/board/baby/babyills/9266

I'm learning a lot about food allergies from the ladies there, so I know what to ask my doctors. Nobody at my office, thankfully, has suggested there is any reason to give up breastfeeding with food allergies!

Doreen said...

Emily, I totally remember that! Seriously, it's maddening...

Dawn, thanks for that link! I'll have to email it to my friend, I'm sure she could use all the knowledge and support she can get.

Leia said...

Emily I remember that! That made ME mad and it didn't even affect me! ;)

Doreen I agree - everyone who works with women in the medical field should be trained in breastfeeding! Thank GOODNESS Ryan's Auntie is a labor & delivery nurse, because I drilled her with questions for 9+ months! Then I made good friends with ALL of their hospital's LC's! :) And now I educate every expecting Mama I can get my hands on! ;)

Lori G. said...

I just wanted to add that I was in the hospital with gallbladder problems overnight when Em was 5 months old. I was at the hospital I delivered her at and they brought a pump to my room, gave me bottles with labels, stored the milk for me and the surgeon didn't act surprised/mad when I asked if I could wait to have my gallbladder out til she was done nursing in 7 months. I was amazed. So they aren't ALL bad! Oh and the nurses looked up all meds for me and even brought me proof (the book) that they were safe. Thank goodness they were so nice because it made the whole ordeal a lot easier! Wish everyone was as smart!

Doreen said...

Lori, that's great! I know they aren't all bad. We're in a smaller town right now, and it seems people are kind of backwards in some respects... :P

QueenMeadow said...

Its amazing what comes out of Doctors mouths sometimes. It seems that a lot of them wont even talk about allergies until the child is one, very frustrating!