I must admit, I have a doctor complex - not in as in, "I went to med school so I can save the world" way. (I didn't and I can't.) No, what I have is a tendency to put doctors up on this pedestal where I take everything they say to heart and follow all of their advice to the letter. Someday if you find me in a corner muttering to myself and eating my own hair, it is likely because something a doctor says is CLEARLY not working and so I have lost my mind. So far, our pediatrician has been amazing and if I weren't trying to keep a shred of anonymity on this blog, I'd totally recommend him and post his number right now.
In fact, there are several areas where the only advice I will take is from the medical professionals located in that awesome little office. It's not that I don't think other moms know what they are talking about. They do. AND their tried and true methods probably even have some medical/scientific basis to them. But, there are a few things in life for which you just want to call in the experts. These are mine:
What he eats, in what order, and when
I'm fortunate to have a pediatrician who supports the fact that I breastfeed (even after he disclosed that all of his children were formula fed, how's THAT for dialectical?) It just doesn't seem to matter to him what I do, as long as I'm happy and my kid is too. That's the stance I try take with all of my friends who are mothers. Breastfeeding? Good for you! Formula feeding? That's great! Breastfeeding and supplementing? You are an amazing multitask-er and are awesome. So, I'm glad that my pediatrician is the same way. He was able to tell me the benefits of both, support me when I decided to go this route, and has encouraged me along the way too ("You're able to pump how much at work?!") Most recently, he has been so helpful as we decided to introduce solids at 4 months as it is supported by the AAP. Notice I have no link to back up the past statement. Why? I don't trust the interwebs. More on that below.
To get my child immunized
I live in a world where Jenny McCarthy believes that vaccinations caused her child to be Autistic and also believes she later cured him of it. Morons. They're everywhere. So, I had to ask my pediatrician where all of that B.S. came from and also had him tell me (as if I didn't already know) the benefits of vaccinating my child. He could have said anything he wanted and I still would have made the decision to immunize, but his explanation helped me really understand and weigh the risks vs. benefits of immunizations. After hearing his take, it was a no-brainer.
The proper treatment of minor ailments
Little Mr. Grunts-a-Lot showed us at about two weeks old that he was blessed with mommy and daddy's colorful array of GI problems by a chorus of strange (and painful sounding) grunts and groans. I cannot even tell you how many "remedies" I have heard on how to treat reflux in babies. From swings (that actually worked), to pacifiers (::shudder::), to changing my diet (see more below), to giving him formula (um, isn't that even harder to digest?) - we heard everything. Doc's suggestion? Mylanta and Zantac. Just like the adults do, but in tiny baby doses (not tipping back the whole bottle or inserting a straw a la Mommy/Daddy). And. It. Worked. Maybe if I was a natural remedy kind of mom, I would have gasped at the thought of giving my child a prescription at such an early age. But I'm not. And I did. And he slept through the night at 7 weeks. What do you want from me?
What I should be eating
A certain "helpful" mommy suggested that my baby had acid reflux because of my affinity for dairy products and suggested I give them up. Are. You. BLEEPINGKIDDINGME?! I have given up yet another year of wine and caffeine and now you want me to give up the only other (food) love I have in my life?! You want me to give up my CHEESE? Had Mr. Grunts-a-Lot hadn't already been strapped into his pumpkin seat, I surely would have swung it upside her head. I immediately asked my pediatrician about it on our next visit and he said, "Well, you can try it..." And then, out of the corner of his mouth with a little eye roll, "...I don't think it really works." I. Love. This. Man.
Referrals to other medical professionals
Mr. Grunts-a-Lot has to have surgery next year, the details of which I am forbidden (by my husband) to speak about to anyone - much less on an open blog. Needless to say, our pediatrician gave us a referral for the surgeon. I had to look him up online to find the number to his office once and I stumbled upon his bio. The man literally wrote the textbook on how to give the surgery he is giving to my son. And he's affiliated with the second best medical school in the country. Awesome.
On using the internet to
We're all guilty of being Dr. Interwebs every once in awhile, but I can tell you that nothing makes me go more crazy than trying to get advice off the internet. ALL advice is conflicting. ALL children are different. I found myself walking away every time I googled feeling more distressed and confused than when I started out. In fact, when I googled the above mentioned surgery, I was certain I would need to take several months off work for my son to recover. Not true. So, when I asked my doc a question with what was clearly a I-googled-this-and-now-I'm-losing-sleep face, he kind of called me on it and said, "Just call if you have questions. You can't believe everything you read on there." Subsequently, the mere mention of a certain mommy forum (we'll call it Schmaby Schmenter) makes me get all stabby. Plus, the moms are mean to each other on those websites. And I was in a sorority. But, I digress. In summary, the internets are great for some things. Blogs meant solely for entertainment purposes, Hulu, Facebook, and this, for example. But nothing compares to the Nurses' Exchange in my pediatrician's office when it comes to my kid.
It never means I absolutely refuse to hear advice given to me by other moms. I'd hate to miss out on a little gem of wisdom just because I'm too stubborn to realize people are just trying to help. Some of the best advice I got on breastfeeding, getting my baby to sleep through the night, and book suggestions came from other mothers and not from my pediatrician.
And who would've thought? It figures.