What's Up, Doc?

Yesterday was Mason's 12 month well check. I called at 9am to schedule it, got in at 11am (during Tyler's lunch so he could go, too). Anyone else schedule their appointments the same day? You know, every time we go to the clinic, we are the only people there. That's the good thing about our small town clinic. The bad thing? I don't agree with 80% of the things our PA tells us we should be doing.
Like yesterday, she asked if I was still breastfeeding. I said yes and then she gave me the scrunchy face (don't tell me you've never seen the scrunchy face) asking if I was ready to be done with it. I felt as if she was implying it to be an inconvenience or burden. I answered that, no, I wasn't looking forward to stopping. Her response was that since he is a year old now, I should wean him and start giving him whole milk. Um.. uh.. I didn't know what to say. So many things floated through my head. Should I tell her the CDC reccomends breastfeeding to 2 years of age? Should I remind her that we are practicing baby-led weaning? Should I ask her why she recommends such a thing? Should I start chanting "cow milk is for cow babies, human milk is for human babies?"
I ended up doing my go-to smile and nod. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, I didn't want to be a snotty know-it-all and I didn't want to be the crazy mom that starts chanting things. So, smile and nod it was.

This was one of three S&N's (a.k.a. smile and nods) today. Another was when she started talking about television. This is a hot topic and there are a lot of different views on it. I vowed to not let Mason watch TV until he was at least 2 years old. I failed there. We use the TV as a distraction during diaper changes and sometimes when I clip his fingernails. Sometimes there is something on that captures my attention (don't tell me you can just shut Jeopardy off without a second thought) and I'll be sucked in after the diaper change is over. My will power eventually kicks in and I hit the power button, but I always feel guilty for the five minutes I let slip by. We try not to turn the television on until after Mason is in bed, but there are a couple shows that we make exceptions for and try to keep Mason distracted with other things instead of watching. Because, when this kid sees the TV, he goes into instant Zombie Mode.

I was shocked when our PA said that 2 hours of television a day won't kill him, it is the 6-8 hours in front of the TV you want to avoid. I'll admit it made me feel better about the couple episodes of Two and a Half Men Mason has seen, but in no way made me feel they were justified. I'm sure she was talking something more on the "educational" side, but the are a lot of lessons to learn from prime time tv, no? Just kidding.
At his last appointment (9 months), she told us he needed to start learning to self sooth. We are totally not into that style of parenting. I feel like crying it out is dangerous and it makes me sad whenever I think of a baby crying and not being consoled. I can't help it!

Mason's stats were:
23lbs, 9oz for weight
28.25 inches for height

According to the folks at the clinic, he over the 95th percentile for weight, but we shouldn't be too concerned, especially if he's going to be weaning and eating more table food (gah!)
Well, I looked up charts for breastfed babies when I got home and he's actually pretty average. See?

His height, no argument there. 5th percentile, he's short. But, I am, too. And Tyler is not giant himself. Maybe we'll start hanging him upside down for a couple hours a day (while he watches TV?) to stretch him out.

We do think the people at the clinic are super nice. Our PA is a wonderful person and we like her. But, needless to say, her approach to parenting (or advising) is completely different from ours. We don't see eye to eye and I never know what to say!

The question is, do we keep going there because it is so close and convenient? Do I speak up in the appointments? Do we look in bigger towns for someone who is on the same page as us? Decisions, decisions.
What would you do?

By the way, just because I don't make the same parenting choices as you, doesn't mean I don't support that your parenting style is your choice!


LeAnna said…
Ugh. The scrunchy face.

This is precisely why I don't take my kids to well checks. I hate confrontation, and I hate it when Dr's think they know everything. I know they are smart, and they went to school, but I still don't think they overide my parenting decisions. Their opinion is just that, an opinion. "Medically" derived opinions, but opinions. Most medical professionals pass on what they learn in college, and I happen to think that everything they learn in college is not correct. But, I'll get off THAT soapbox.

I take my kids to our regular family practice if they get sick, and that's the only time they see a physician. I'm thankful for modern medicine, but I'm not thankful for growth charts and CDC's and FDA's that think every child goes into the same box. My Sprig is not even on that chart you showed up there, matter of fact, she's several points below the 5th percentile. But she's healthy, active, meeting all her milestones, happy, talking more every day, did I mention she's happy?

Bottom line, you have to do what your Mama gut tells you to do. Medical professionals make text book suggestions that effect the very non text book lives of our children. Thankfully we still have the right to make decisions based on their suggestions or our own research. Just because you are knowledgable does not mean you are a know it all. And any physician that makes you feel inferior for your knowledge ought to be fired. They should be thrilled that there are still parents who look out for the utmost best interest of their childrens lives.

I thought I was climbing off my soapbox? Guess I stayed on it a bit. :) The topic of scrunchy faced PA's just so happens to grate my cheese a bit ... ;)

Your little guy is TOO CUTE!
Barb said…
I'm a completely different generation than you, but having had some experience with differing opinions from a doc I'll weigh in here. I would call and ask to talk with her, be honest about what you feel differently about, let her know you really appreciate the care she gives and that you enjoy going there, but ask her if she will have trouble supporting what you wish to do as a parent. She's a PA and has a lot of knowledge and it's her job to share it with you. However, as the parent, you have the right to decide how you want to raise him. It isn't like you are not taking him in for shots, etc. Although you don't see eye to eye on everything, perhaps she respects the relationship enough that she will accept that you will take some of her advice, but not all. If not, it's time to find a doctor who will work with you. Either way, I think it would be to everyone's benefit (and less stressful!) if she knew what advice and suggestions you were comfortable with and which ones you were not I had to talk with a provider who gave great care but I felt rushed and at times confused when I left her office. She ended up calling me to suggest a different doctor - and I couldn't be happier with the new one. The things I told her I felt she was not giving me were exactly what my new doc was able to provide (and she also gives awesome care). Just my two cents :)
Adrienne said…
Man. So bummed for you to have to deal with this. We changed doctors back in March and have been so happy. We were trying to decide too, if we should just keep smiling and nodding, or if we should share our differing opinions, and when it came down to it, we just wanted a change. Our new doctor is a family doctor and is just wonderful. She has her opinions on things, but for the most part we are on the same page. Regardless of our opinions, whether they match or not, she always respects that the decisions are ours to make. In my opinion, it might be worth finding another doctor; having been there, I can say it is a world of difference knowing I can look forward to appointments rather than dread them.

And, on a side note- Burkley and Mason are pretty much the exact same size. Burkley's 23lbs & 30in long, so a bit taller, but their weight must be distributed quite differently since they wear such different sizes! In fact, just today I bought him a 6-9M shirt to wear for Thanksgiving. Of course, brands do make a difference, but I just find it interesting!

Anyway, one more thought on the doctor thing is that Mason is only one and you're already having these thoughts. When you move, are you going to be seeing a different doctor? If not, how do you feel about continuing to go to this doctor as Mason grows up, for years and years to come?

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