Picking (or changing) Pediatricians

Mariah with her first little bundle of joy.

Today I have the honor of a guest blogger. Mariah Fairben, a past and future ABC Doula client, has written this account of finding good medical care for her baby, and I think it is worth sharing: The process of picking a pediatrician was pretty easy for me.  My OB gave me a list of doctors and my sister's pediatrician for her two kids was on the list.  Done.     The pediatrician met our full term, 6 lb 2 oz baby girl at the hospital.  Our daughter was small.  One of the first questions the Dr. asked me was if I smoked during the pregnancy.  Really?  I realize that people smoke and that can cause low birth weight.  I still found the question insulting.   -1 for the doctor When our baby girl was around 6 weeks old she was displaying some signs of acid reflux.  The doctor prescribed something, but I held off a few weeks.  We went to a cranial sacral therapist as an alternative to starting the medicine.  I realize this is an alternative that might not interest everyone, but I wanted to try before we went for the medication.  My experience was that our baby girl would nurse for about 3 minutes and then pull off screaming.  During the few weeks that this was happening I was doing anything to feed her comfortably, but it was very stressful.  After the third cranial sacral appointment she never cried after breastfeeding again.  Thrilling!  The pediatrician's response was that it was a coincidence.  Really?  I know you might not choose alternative medicine for yourself, but I need my doctor to not dismiss something that I think has value. -2 for the doctor Just after her 1st birthday we had her at the doctor's office for a minor fever or something.  The doctor didn't know about the Motrin recall that had happened more than a week before.  Really? I understand someone without a child knowing about it, but it was all over every news source.  Our pediatrician should know about it before me!   -3 for the doctor In hindsight we probably should have started looking for a different doctor at this point.  I kept thinking that I really just needed her for the basics and that I didn't have to love everything about her. We went in for a fifteen month appointment to make sure she had started walking and to do a weight check.  At this appointment our little girl was walking, but she had only been walking a few weeks.  I pointed out to the doctor that she was holding her right leg very stiff.  The other point I mentioned, and that I had mentioned in prior appointments, was that she primarily used her left hand.  She said she was going to send us to a physical therapy appointment to make sure it wasn't anything else, but really thought she was fine.   I won't get in to all the of the medical details, but our little girl was diagnosed with very mild cerebral palsy at her appointment with a specialist.  He diagnosed her very quickly and said "did your pediatrician tell you why she sent you?"  uh, no.    - 203 for the doctor My daughter is now eighteen months old.  She is great.  Unless you are someone that specializes in kids with CP I don't think anyone notices that she prefers her left hand.  Her walking is improving so much on it's own that she doesn't need any intervention.  We did go to our well child appointment because we wanted to stay on schedule with weighing and shots.  The pediatrician said "I knew it was something." Well, it would have been nice if you had given us a little insight because last time you said you thought it was nothing. I am a very loyal person.  I have only had three hairdressers in my life.  Changing doctors is a huge deal to me.   Looking back, I think any of these minor or major issues are enough to change doctor.  In my opinion, everything about being a parent goes back to trusting your instincts.  Sometimes this can be much harder than it sounds.  My instinct is to trust a doctor.  As a parent you have to be more diligent in your choices. Just because someone is a doctor doesn't mean that they should be your doctor.  FInd someone that fits you and your family.  No one is going to judge you for switching and, if they do, who really cares.  If you have any doubts it probably means that you need to make a change.  There are plenty of resources to find a new doctor.  The best is to talk to all your friends with kids.  One experience that was incredibly reassuring to me was a conversation with my OB.  I am pregnant again so we have been able to talk to her about our little girls current medical issues with the OB.  She went out of her way and made phone calls to help us find a doctor that has experience with CP.  Without asking her for reassurance, she told us that we were not being difficult parents.  We were doing the right thing changing doctors.  It is always nice to be reassured.  Since you might not have that experience, let me reassure you. You are doing the right thing!