Pediatrician told me to stop breastfeeding 15 month old!!

Aileen - posted on 04/15/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Hi all,

My daughter is now 16 months, and we are still breastfeeding. She is weaning herself a little during the day, but is still nursing at sleep times and overnight. Last month she had a febrile seizure for the first time. 3 weeks later she had 2 more and at that time the ER had a pediatrician evaluate her, which did not happen the first time. She usually sees a family Dr. and he encourages me to breastfeed for as long as my daughter and I would both like. He's wonderful. This pediatrician in the emergency room looked at me when he heard me say I was nursing her and had the gall to look me straight in the eye and tell me "You need to stop. You have breastfed way too long, she looks well fed, you've done all you needed to do and it's time to stop" I couldn't believe it, and it took every ounce of self restraint to tell him where he could shove his outdated, ignorant, unsupported by facts, neanderthal ideas. Well, I'm sure the neanderthals did it the right way, and breastfed exclusively long-term, so maybe not the best description...=) I couldn't believe this guy was a board certified pediatrician and he was saying that to me. It was so frustrating to know that there are Dr.s out there who STILL don't follow suggested protocols that are derived from PROVEN research into the benefits of breastfeeding past the first year.
Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest because it's been eating at me. Even my Dr. couldn't believe this guy said that to me and asked for his name. It's unbelievable the things we hear because we choose to breastfeed past a year!

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Did you tell him that his advice goes against what the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO recommend?



I have tremendous respect for doctors and my life was saved by an absolutely brilliant one, but doctors are not experts in everything. I think it's a shame when they overstep their medical boundaries and give biased parenting advice. If you lived in another part of the world -- for instance, parts of Europe and Asia (just as medically advanced) -- no doctor would tell you such a thing. It's CULTURAL, not medical. Too bad this doctor can't see his own bias.

16 Comments

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Brooke - posted on 04/18/2011

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In the end follow your gut!!!! Keep yourself educated and you will have no problems!

Momof1 - posted on 04/18/2011

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Oh and my doctor told me to breastfeed less and feed my son more when he was in for his 1 year check up, because he was "off the charts" for weight, but he was still a healthy active baby. At that point, he would breastfeed every 2 hours from 7 AM to bedtime at 7 PM, then he'd sleep all night. From the time he was 9 months, he ate 3 meals a day, plus snacks. He was/is a big eater, and is still tiny. Nothing to do with what he eats, it is genetic. My sister formula fed both hers and they were just as tiny as my son was at the same age. Sorry that was off topic. :)

Momof1 - posted on 04/18/2011

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Ugh, that's horrible. There's nothing wrong with breastfeeding past a year (as you well know) but there are a lot of things right with breastfeeding past a year. I had a hard time breastfeeding past a year, because even my husband wanted me to stop at a year. We ended up stopping at 13.5 months. And I even regret that now. I'm the only person I know who has breastfed that long. When my husbands family asked when I would stop, I just gave the vague answer of, "once he's taking sippy cups." I didn't really want to go into it.

MarthaLynn - posted on 04/17/2011

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I had a co-worker ask me, "When you gonna stop nursin' that kid and give 'im a bottle???" Like I am some kind of boob fanatic. I looked at him calmly and replied, "I would rather my baby thrive because of me than survive in spite of me," and walked away. Good for you for continuing to do what you know is right.

Stevie - posted on 04/16/2011

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Ugh...My daughter is now 16 months and I am encouraged to breastfeed by our group of peds as long as I want. I still breastfeed full time -even though Ms. Rowan eats a ton of food but they are great resource for helping me start weaning. I'm sorry that you had to deal with that, its hard to call a health professional out their behavior or nonsensical opinion. Best of luck!

Aileen - posted on 04/16/2011

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He even said it so obnoxiously. I had just commented on the fact that I was so happy that no other Dr. had made any kind of negative comments about our still nursing, then I met that guy. I feel for his wife and babies if he has any! They will definitely lose out in the long run. Even my older daughter's kindergarten teacher told me how awesome it is we are keeping at it, and how she nursed all her kids for over 2 years.

[deleted account]

I am so sorry you had such a bad experience. I am actually the total opposite. 19 months of waiting for an ignorant health professional and still havn't come across one yet! I know of a pediatrician in our local hospital who has a really bad name that way, but I have been spared so far. At least your own doctor is supportive. Mine is too, and it really means a lot that I don't have to worry about nursing Nina practically at every visit and for the entire visit! She's just kind of nervous in there. Imagine that with a guy like the one you had to deal with!

Aideen - posted on 04/16/2011

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well done for having such self-restraint. We're still going strong at 26 mths! Were do people get the nerve to tell you what to do either way...none of his business especially when the advice is not sound. Had he heard of WHO?

Merry - posted on 04/16/2011

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I've had a dr tell me to wean at a year also, she was saying we'll there's no need to continue after a year!' ugh, some drs have NO idea what's healthy for little ones.
But I have to say there are good drs around too. The one I see regularly is totally thrilled I'm bf Eric at 2 and encourages me to continue as long as possible!

Aileen - posted on 04/15/2011

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Lisa, it's amazing that's true anymore because it seems wherever I turn there is the newest, most up-to-date information on the benefits of breastfeeding!

Minnie - posted on 04/15/2011

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At least in the US, most doctors are deplorably under-educated about breastfeeding.

Aileen - posted on 04/15/2011

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Hi Nav, the seizures were supposedly completely fever related. There is a history on dh's side of the febrile seizures. He just felt that 15 months was too old for her to be breastfeeding still and that there was no reason to be doing it. I think the fact that I am passing her antibodies to help keep her healthy so she doesn't get sick, have fevers and then the seizures is reason enough! What Dr. in their right mind is going to tell someone to stop breastfeeding a sick toddler!?

Nav - posted on 04/15/2011

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Hi Aileen, i completely agree with your outrage! Did he give a rationale for his advice? Was he somehow associating the seizures with the breastfeeding? The reason that i wanted to know is that i have seizures and am taking meds, i always worry that she might get it at any time. Sorry just releasing some of my stress.

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