Taking your Doctors advice

Nikki - posted on 12/12/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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How do you feel about your Doctor giving you parenting advice? Do you take on board everything they say because the have the medical degree?

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Barb - posted on 12/12/2010

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I don't listen to respiratory therapists that smell like cigarette smoke. I don't take nutrition advice from people who are morbidly obese, and i don't take marriage advice from a someone who's been divorced several times. (aka, my mother)



Now if i knew the dr was a good parent to his kids, he'd have merit with me, but not because he was a dr.

Laura - posted on 12/16/2010

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While it's true that doctors are trained in medicine which helps keep everyone healthy, the question about parenting advice could be vague and open to interprutation. Parenting advice as it pertains to the "physical" health of a child is very different from parenting advice for behavioral issues. Family doctors and pediatricians are trained in dealing with physical and physiological concerns; pshychiatrists and psychologists are trained in dealing with mental, emotional and behavioral concerns. If you have questions about feeding, sleeping or sickness you go to one; if you have questions about behavior you go to the other. In either case both should be open and willing to work WITH the patient to find the best solutions for that particular person or child. These folks are professionals for a reason--extensive (expensive!) education--but their opinions can be flawed; research changes viewpoints about conditions yet medical/psychological advise doesn't always reflect that; and some doctors just barely pass their requirements! Plus the internet has allowed average people to have access to medical information once only held by doctors. The patients are becoming better educated themselves. I generally try to educate myself before going to the doctor so that I may ask good, informed questions. Those questions can lead to informed dialogue on an issue for both parties, which can lead to treatment options that the patient feels comfortable with. Ultimately, IMO, it is about having a trusting, working PARTNERSHIP with your doctor. Working together on any health issue is how things really get done!

April - posted on 12/13/2010

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My doctor has no children of his own. He may have a medical degree, but he does not have firsthand experience with child-rearing.

I listen to what he has to say and I make my own judgment. I have concluded that it is perfectly okay to nurse a two year old and that he is still healthy even if he hasn't slept through the night yet.

Luckily, our Dr. hasn't said too much about how long to nurse and hasn't said "he should be doing this or that" as far as STTN and eating solids/nursing goes.

Now my pet peeve is when Dr.s tell new mothers that they aren't making enough milk and that they should supplement with formula. It really makes my blood boil...especially in the case of my friend who just gave birth YESTERDAY. The fact that it can take mature milk up to 6 days to come in....that fact is BASIC information that all Dr.s ought to know.

Kristin - posted on 12/13/2010

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I'm okay with it. I don't feel obligated to do what they tell me. It is simply additional info for me to use in making my own decisions.

38 Comments

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Alecia - posted on 12/16/2010

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i feel bad for some of the moms on here. we have a great Ped and i love her. and not just her, but the whole practice. they are kind and curteous, and they care. alot of the nurses and doctors that work there are young enough to be 'new' parents. my doctor had her daughter about 9 mnths after my daughter was born. she is very knowledgable and relevant. they have a lactation consultant who works for them and she is great! she had nursed triplets for and entire year!! she was a a big help when i was BF my daughter...though for some reason my daughter didnt want to stick with it long. i take my daughter to them because i like them and can trust them (though i never follow ANY advice blindly). if i didnt then i would find a new doctor.

[deleted account]

Oddly we have more problems with it in the spring and autumn time, I suppose it's because we wrap him up in the winter whereas in the spring/ autumn it is warm so we dress him as we dress according to the weather. :-)

[deleted account]

I have no problem with my son's pediatrician. He came highly recommended by a close friend and I've been lucky to have a healthy kid. I rarely get parenting advice other than the usual safety stuff and milestone reminders. At the 5 year check up it was a conversation about diet, health, nutrition, exercise, blah blah blah.

[deleted account]

"his hands and feet kept turning blue, turns out he has Raynaud's Phenomenon"

I have this too. One of the reasons we left new Jersey for Arizona. I physically NEED the heat. But it still sucks in the winter time, but not as bad as it was back in the snow.

April - posted on 12/15/2010

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"My daughter's first state issued pediatrician told me babies don't get gas" --- WOW...that's pretty bad! That's a first for me!

Joanna - posted on 12/15/2010

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My my daughter's first state-issued pediatrician told me babies don't get gas, that's when I realized you can't trust everything doctor's say. I then found a different pediatrician, who became more like a friend - then yes, I trusted most of her advice simply because I trusted her, and we felt the same about many things.

September - posted on 12/14/2010

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Our pediatrician in the 2 years we've been seeing him has never given us parenting advice. I'm not sure how I would feel if he did, honestly. We would probably just listen to his opinion but still make our own choices. Our pediatrician’s medical advice rocks and I love him for that! :) I don’t think that just because he has a medical degree that he's an expert in the parenting department.

Amy - posted on 12/14/2010

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Our dr's have given us suggestions when we ask, and if they notice something and tell us we need to do X, Y, or Z, before doing so we typically look it up or do some research on it if we are uncertain about it. When asking a dr for advice it's always one we trust and feel they have more knowledge on the subject. I love our children dr, and I love my dr, as well as our chiropractors.

Danielle - posted on 12/13/2010

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I like my sons ped. He is very up front with us, and if we ask for his opinion, he gives it-if we don't he doesn't. For instance: I had heard MANY different things about baby food (ex: when to start) and he took the time to tell us WHY they started earlier in the old days and why that's not safe, etc.) I even like my current OB-GYN...but other than that I haven't met a doc I like and I wouldn't take parenting advice unless it had a medical perspective.

Nikki - posted on 12/13/2010

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April my doctor told me to supplement as well, I laughed at him and lectured him on the benefits of breast milk!

You are a patient woman, 2 years without one night of full sleep! Well done super mum! :) :) :)

Meghan - posted on 12/13/2010

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I have been having a very hard time finding any doctor right now for me or Joshua. I think I found one that I like but I can't get a damn appointment when I need it (tis the season). If its medical advice I will listen and then google later...or ask you guys. If it is parenting advise, a doctor can blow it up my ass-just because you have a medical degree doesn't mean you can give advise on life skills and what not.

[deleted account]

The one bit of advice I took from my daughter's doctor was starting her on solids earlier to help with weight gain. It worked, after introducing solids she gainned 2 lbs and grew 1 in in 2 weeks.

On the other hand her doctor said that she should get between 16 and 24 oz of whole milk. I think that is way too much saturated fat to give a baby. So we give her 8 oz.

[deleted account]

I love my pediatrician. She's old, but not old school. She stays up to date with current research, and takes time to explain the "why" behind her recommendations. I definitely take her advice into consideration.

Amanda - posted on 12/13/2010

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I will ask them for the advice I need. Other than that I don't really listen to them. My pediatrician is awesome! I've always liked him. He's been my pediatrician since the day my son was born, and sees all 4 of my kids. He'll always make time to see them. He's hilarious and always makes sure the kids have fun when they have to go to his office. But otherwise I don't usually ask for too much.

Amy - posted on 12/13/2010

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To me medical advice is just advice. I hate it when moms say....well, the doctor told me to. I wasn't aware doctor ideas or comments were law. Even though they may have a medical degree.....they are trained in medicine. Not psychology or parenting or the like. Not all doctors are good doctors. Taking what any doctor says is not the best idea. We do not go to a doctor unless we are sick. I refuse to take my child to a doctors office swarming with sick people when she's perfectly healthy and they just want to weigh her and check her height. But...doctors should stick to healing sick people. It's their job. You pay them for that specific service. You HIRED them essentially. If you do not like what they do or how they do it, you FIRE them by choosing another doctor.

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010

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I like and respect my doctor, but I don't ask him for parenting advice. And it has nothing to do with not trusting him, but doling out parenting advice is not his job. Medical advice, yes. For parenting advice, I tend to consult with other mothers who I trust to be sensible and level-headed.

Brie - posted on 12/13/2010

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I don't like doctors and I have to be forced to go and if I ask to go then there is something really wrong.. The doctor my son was going to is an idiot... got irritated when I tried to voice concerns.. talked like 90 miles an hour and tried to rush everything.. and he would do it when we were the only ones in the office... a lot of the things he said to me made no sense and he was just downright crabby... so trying to find him a new doc... I think some things its ok to listen to but use your best jugdement don't just take their advice to the tee...

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My doctors are great, I see a few different ones depending upon who is available in the surgery. If they are remotely unsure they refer me to a specialist for further tests, the doctors I used to be under however, were appaulling they made several mistakes, hence why I moved.

As the surgery I attend is so good I have no issues trusting them to provide the correct care for Ethan, we was refered to the paediatrician when his hands and feet kept turning blue, turns out he has Raynaud's Phenomenon. So health wise I trust them 100% to provide the correct level of care of for my family.

Generally if I want parenting advice I go to the Health Visitors because they are trained in the most up to date information regarding parenting options and choices, but if I was in the doctors office I would ask him/ her the question. For any advice I am given, I listen and then digest the information and decide whether I feel it is right or will work for me. The best people I find for parenting advice are my mum and my MIL- although the MIL can sometimes be a little outdated (she did suggest weaning onto solids at 6 wks..er no thanks) she is a font of knowledge about children's development and ailments and anything else child related!

Ez - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think doctors need to stick to what they know... medicine. I am a medical receptionist. I work with doctors every day and I love it. But they do not have the time or resources to remain up-to-date on parenting and infant nutrition issues. Meaning the advice they give is often out-dated.

So no, I do not blindly follow a doctor's parenting advice. When I had breastfeeding issues, I went to a child health nurse and LC. When my daughter had bronchiolitis and couldn't feed because her O2 sats were so low, then yeah I went to a doctor.

Minnie - posted on 12/12/2010

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Yeah, my low view of doctors is due to personal experience. I only know one doctor I LOVE. He went to school with Patch Adams- no kidding! But he lives back in NY, a 3 1/2 hour drive.

Every other doctor I have seen or my children have seen past fixing my hernia has done jack for us and ruined other things.

I know that there are wonderful doctors out there and I am glad that so many others have good relationships with theirs. I wish that my experience was more positive. Just based on mine, I am overly suspicious and leery of doctors.

Kate CP - posted on 12/12/2010

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Depends on the advice, really. I asked my doctor (who has seen 3 generations of my family) how long I should nurse for. He shrugged and said "When she walks into the room, throws her car keys down, and says 'Mom, I'm thirsty' and is expecting to nurse I would suggest you wean her." He's got a great sense of humor, is not afraid to say "I don't know. Let's find a specialist.", and doesn't treat me like a moron. I told him I wasn't going to circumcise my son and he said "It's up to you." I like the fact that he knows my family's history so extensively that when my daughter was born he actually ordered an extra test to check her thyroid function (Graves disease runs in my family) and he routinely has my thyroid checked, too. I lucked out and found an awesome family doctor and if he gave me advice I would probably take it...depending on the advice, however.

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2010

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I take advice from mine. But they are fantastic! I don't think they've ever given me shit advice. When I was trying to breastfeed Logan, Dr Haider said to me that it's more of a risk to keep feeding him and him not gain weight and me become a mental patient then to just give him formula. Dr. Belen told me Duramine wouldn't work unless I exercised and ate healthy. They all remind me when I have to come in for a pap smear and even though none of them are OB GYN they are fantastic when I'm pregnant with ordering all the blood tests and sending them to the midwife at the hospital and giving me info sheets about vaccinations and shit.

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My kids ped is raising his grandkids and my stepmom works for him. ;)

Lisa, that sucks that you've had those experiences. The word 'circumcision' never came out of the ped's mouth until I asked him who would be the one to do my son if he were done. The fact that the ped was the one is the reason I decided for it. I WANTED it done, but was nervous until I heard that the ped was the one to perform it. That's how much I trust him.

He was away when my son had his 18 month visit and because the fill-in was a woman (my son had issues w/ women) I had to nurse him practically through the entire visit. The fill-in thought it was great that we were still nursing! The ped knows we are STILL nursing and doesn't have a thing to say about it (it isn't brought up).

[deleted account]

The kids doc doesn't give me any parenting advice unless I ask his opinion. I respect and value his opinion enough to consider any advice he would give, but I only do what works for us. My kids absolutely adore him and he is great w/ them, but I'm the one that knows them best and he's the one that knows the most about medical issues.

[deleted account]

Absolutely not. Actually, there is nothing I find more irritating than a doctor acting all holier-than-thou. I am the expert on my child, period.

Barb - posted on 12/12/2010

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HAHAHAHA Nikki, i didn't even say he was fat, but he is, he's HUGE and that is such a pet peeve of mine taking health advice from him when i worry he's going to have a heart attack or a stroke every time he waddles into the damn room. He's wheezing and gasping for air, his face is flushed, looks like his blood pressure is up and i'm thinking "you want to give ME health advice?"

I agree, they are just human like the rest of us, and i want to say, follow your own advice, but i do it too. Im an electrician, i painted my kitchen 6 or 7 years ago, last month i just got around to putting the covers back on the electrical switches and outlets LOL.

Nikki - posted on 12/12/2010

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ha ha, that's so true Barb, my Doctor is fat too! The are Doctor's not super humans.

Minnie - posted on 12/12/2010

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I do not see doctors for parenting advice. Doctors are trained to diagnose and treat illness. I've never heard anything but bunk come out of their mouths regarding parenting advice.



And that goes for pediatricians. My eldest's ped. told me to wean her at 12 months because she was in the fifth percentile for weight. Apparently no one is allowed to be thin. My OB pushed circumcision propaganda on me and no doubt if my first had been a boy she would have been circumcised.



So much for informed, expert opinion...

LaCi - posted on 12/12/2010

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I don't ask my doctors for advice. Mainly because I hate them. Currently in the process of finding new doctors, because mine in particular, is a moron. He's great, if you feel like going in and saying "I need a prescription for ____" but not if you actually want a doctor. My son's doc is alright. What advice would he offer me though? He exists (in our life) solely to take notes on his development, make sure he's not not growing extra toes or anything, the usual. Why on earth would he give me parenting advice?

Amber - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think that it depends on the doctor. Some doctors (like pediatricians) have specialties on numerous subjects. It is their job to keep up to date on specific parenting topics and to offer their informed and professional opinion to their patients, or patients parents.
Advise from other doctors that do not specialize on these topics should be taken just as it would from other parents. (Provided that they are not discussing a treatment for an illness).

Nikki - posted on 12/12/2010

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I get so frustrated reading some of the replies on CoM when mother's say "well my Doctor told me to *insert old fashioned, outdated and sometimes unsafe recommendations here* and he/she has the medical degree so I would rather listen to him/her". Doctors are not parenting experts, they are not lactation consultants or nutritionist's .

I love my Doctor, I respect him, I respect his opinions when it comes to medical matters but that's as far as it goes. We actually joke because he has tried to offer me recommendations at times which were obviously from when he had children 40 odd years ago, and I always have to correct him. He admits he does not keep up to date with parenting recommendations because that's not his job.

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