Postpartum and Beyond

What I Hate about my Pediatrician

Overall, I really like my pediatrician’s office. They have an entrance for healthy kids and an entrance for sick kids. The wait times seem to get longer and longer, but I come to expect that with all doctor’s offices, so I’m pretty forgiving on wait times. There are two things that come to mind when I think about why I dislike my pediatrician.

The first, is very minor. When we took Little P in for her first office visit the doctor we saw said that she had jaundice and recommended we bring her back in a couple of days to check on how it was progressing. We came back, saw a different doctor, who basically said he had no idea what the last person was talking about. So, definitely minor, but a big old waste of my time and that was frustrating. I guess I’d rather have them be safe than sorry.

The real reason that I have been incredibly frustrated with my pediatrician is that they constantly harp about Little P’s weight. It’s also how they go on about her weight. At our four month visit, Little P had put on five pounds since her two month visit. Personally, five pounds in two months isn’t that big of a deal to me. However, we weigh her (the nurses go on about how they love a bit of a chunky baby, it’s great) and then the doctor comes in. “Five pounds, momma, wow. Five pounds momma.”

My husband is here and my husband is also taking care of and feeding our daughter. Why is it “five pounds momma”? After a multitude of shocked “five pounds momma”, the doctor then proceeded to tell us that once a baby starts moving around the weight gain tends to slow down.

This visit has seriously stuck with me as a parent. My daughter was and is still in the normal weight range. We don’t overfeed her, she dramatically coughs and gags if we try and give her a bottle she doesn’t want. Plus, she’s happy and other than the “five pounds momma” has had no issues. No matter how many times I tell myself all those things though, I hear that stupid voice “five pounds momma, wow”. On a bad day, this memory makes me feel inadequate as a parent. On a good day, it’s just a dramatic pediatrician who was surprised at a hungry baby.

It may seem really small to some people. I’m sure it doesn’t bother my husband anymore, if it ever did at all. As a brand new mom though, it’s frustrating. Why was it only my fault that the baby had gained five pounds? Why was it a big deal she gained five pounds in two months? It wasn’t a week or even one month, it was two. How was I supposed to prevent that? Not feed her even though I knew she was hungry?

It made me think that doctors can have a very narrow view of what should and shouldn’t be happening with a baby. At our six month visit, Little P had only put on two pounds. The doctor, however, still seemed hung up on the previous visit’s weight gain. She mentioned again, “Oh, once a baby’s moving around the weight gain isn’t that big of a deal”, “Oh, was she breastfed? They tend to be bigger babies”. It’s frustrating and not productive. I’d rather the doctor give advice on weight loss at this point.

If the doctor is concerned about the weight, then that’s fine. Maybe it is a big deal and I just don’t get it. That’s the point when the doctor should give advice and next steps though. Not just say, “oh five pounds, wow mom”. I also, don’t want to be the only one getting spoken to. My husband made Little P too, he makes an effort to go to every single doctor visit, don’t exclude him from the conversation.

So, there you have it. The reason (well two) that I dislike my pediatrician. Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives, so I don’t see us switching pediatricians. It just kind of gives me a reason to feel like I should doubt myself. Remember to make sure you pick a pediatrician that works for you though! You’re going to have a relationship with them for a long time, so make sure you get someone who gives you a good experience and who is competent.

As always, let me know what you think! Do you have any doctor horror stories? Or even better, any “my doctor is the best” stories?

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