We’ve generally been happy with our pediatrician, who is one of the most popular doctors in a group practice. We love that it’s a 10 minute walk away, we typically don’t have long waits once we’re there, and we always get an appointment within the hour if one of the kids are sick. Our pediatrician has an excellent bedside manner and genuinely seems like a nice and concerned guy. There are also several other great doctors in the practice we’ve seen when our doctor has a day off or is on vacation.
But knowing so much more now about my options when it comes to certain healthcare decisions for Charlie and Olive has made me, at times, long for a doctor with a more holistic approach. Even though we live in a very liberal “crunchy” neighborhood, we don’t cloth diaper, I had two medicated births, we followed the traditional vaccine schedule, and we don’t ascribe to attachment parenting. But I would love to have a doctor who doesn’t always prescribe medication, suggests alternative and natural methods of treatment if applicable, and treats the whole body in addition to the symptom. Now that our pediatrician is starting his own solo practice, I’ve been contemplating whether we should consider changing doctors.
This is how he has handled some of the big healthcare topics that have come up:
Breastfeeding – I mentioned that I was taking fenugreek to boost my milk supply at Charlie’s 2- month wellness visit, and our pediatrician was not only skeptical of my taking it, he’d also never heard of fenugreek. I didn’t expect him to know as much about breastfeeding as a lactation consultant might, but I have to admit that it did bother me a little when I seemed to know a lot more about increasing milk supply as a new mom than he did, especially since it did pertain to the health of my child.
Sleep training – When our pediatrician asked about Charlie’s sleep at his 4 month checkup, we told him Charlie was waking up 10+ times a night. He said he was a firm believer in “nipping it in the bud” and advocated sleep training from 10 weeks on. Mrs. Jacks (who is a pediatrician) really put it into perspective when she mentioned that pediatricians don’t receive any training on how to address these types of issues. But I couldn’t help but feel like most pediatricians that I knew were generally pro sleep training/crying it out because it was the easiest, one size fits all solution they could tell parents. Although sleep training ended up working out for us, at the time I did not want to sleep train and would definitely have been open to other solutions.
Antibiotics – Whenever Charlie had an ear infection, he was immediately prescribed Amoxicillin. I gave it to Charlie the first time, but like I mentioned in my recent post about Olive’s ear infection, I only give antibiotics now when they’re necessary since things like ear infections clear up on their own most of the time.
Constipation – When Charlie was constipated, our pediatrician suggested we just give him Miralax. We’d tried many months of whole-body approaches from diet change to more exercise to more water consumption. It wasn’t until we read Dr. Tom’s book about constipation that we finally figured out exactly what was going on with Charlie, and just how common childhood constipation is. We didn’t want to just give him medicine to treat the symptom; we wanted to address all the underlying causes so we could cure him once and for all.
I don’t expect a pediatrician to have all the answers, and I’m sure they don’t want neurotic, anxious parents second-guessing their recommendations, which is completely understandable. I usually do a lot of my own research when it comes to healthcare decisions for Charlie and Olive so that I know all my options, and I have to be ready to ask their doctor the right questions and be their advocate. Sometimes that means following the doctor’s recommendations, and sometimes that means asking for more information or alternative methods of treatment.
I’m not sure if I’m expecting too much from a pediatrician, or if I should try to find a more holistic pediatrician that’s more in line with the way I feel about healthcare now. It’s funny but the more I’m on Hellobee, the more “crunchy” I become! ;)
Do you typically follow all your pediatrician’s recommendations? Do you ever wish for a more holistic pediatrician?