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Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingNewborn & Baby · 1 decade ago

Finding a pediatrician who supports breastfeeding- what questions to ask?

I want to start the process of finding a new pediatrician who is more supportive of breastfeeding.

I've decided to come up with a list of questions, and go through the phone book, asking them to each listed doctor.

Could you please help me come up with some questions to ask, to determine if the pediatrician and staff is truly supportive of breastfeeding? I am sure they will all say that they are, but how do I really know?

15 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would go through this, first, for some inspiration:

    "How to Know a Health Professional is not Supportive of Breastfeeding"


    "Under what circumstances do you recommend formula supplements for nursing babies?"

    "Do you recommend any particular formula?" (if you get something like "We always recommend [particular brand]," run; idiot....)

    "Under what circumstances have you recommended discontinuing breastfeeding?"

    "To whom do you refer/consult with for breastfeeding problems?"

    re. "You don't want a doctor who's going to try to make a woman feel guilty for NOT nursing" -- oh, bollocks. That's like saying you don't want a doctor who's going to make a woman feel guilty for smoking while pregnant.

    "One of the most powerful arguments many health professionals, government agencies and formula company manufacturers make for not promoting and supporting breastfeeding is that we should "not make the mother feel guilty for not breastfeeding". Even some strong breastfeeding advocates are disarmed by this "not making mothers feel guilty" ploy.

    It is, in fact, nothing more than a ploy. It is an argument that deflects attention from the lack of knowledge and understanding of too many health professionals about breastfeeding. This allows them not to feel guilty for their ignorance of how to help women overcome difficulties with breastfeeding, which could have been overcome and usually could have been prevented in the first place if mothers were not so undermined in their attempts to breastfeed..."

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sad but true, there are many pediatrician who do not actively support breastfeeding and some even discourage it.

    I would just start out with the straight question "How do you feel about breastfeeding?" Then read into the answer to decide if they are giving you an honest opinion or if they are just feeding you what you want to hear to get your child as a patient. If they just give you a bunch of stats then they are probably just telling you what you want to hear. Another question that would be good to ask when they think a child should wean. If you plan to let your child self-wean and the pedi is rigid about the 12-month wean time it will affect your doctor-patient relationship as your child grows.

    Good luck!

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  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Finding a pediatrician who supports a certain approach to breastfeeding may be difficult. You should probably focus on finding a pediatrician who is easy to get along with and who understands that at the end of the day you are his/her employer. Here is a website that lists pediatricians in New Jersey and may have some helpful reviews in there.

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  • I would ask him or her how LONG they believe is the optimum length of time to breastfeed? Do they have anyone on staff to help assist in teaching breastfeeding techniques if you get sore nipples or attachment issues? What do they recommend you do if milk isn't coming in as well as it should? (This last one is a big determiner...if their instant answer is "Give up and go to formula" then they aren't really very supportive of breastfeeding. You may have to supplement with formula but they ought to have some other options...nutritional supplements, new "holds" for the baby, etc. if they truly desire that you breastfeed as the best option.)

    P.S. Do NOT let the breastfeeding Nazis make you feel guilty if you simply aren't able despite your best efforts. My wife really really really WANTED to breastfeed but she had tons of pain, never produced enough milk, supplements (fenugreek) didn't work and in the end I told her it was making her too anxious and tearful and that it was far "healthier" for her to be in a better frame of mind than for our son to struggle with hunger, depression that she was "letting him down" because BF wasn't working for her, and guilt because other moms she knew WERE breastfeeding. Though it didn't work the first time, we plan to try to BF again with #2.

    Breast IS best...but sometimes Mother Nature cops out.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Tell them you are having triplets and you'd like to breastfeed them. If you get a doctor saying "yeah right" or "you'll won't make it", or something along those lines, avoid. A doctor supportive of breastfeeding will be supportive, even in crazy situations.

    by the way, good luck finding a doctor like that!

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  • 1 decade ago

    My insyrance website lets you seach for pediatricians by specialty...mine is the only one in StLouis who is listed as a specialty in Breastfeeding.

    Good Q's

    When would you encourage or suggest a mother should supplement?

    Can I come in and weigh my baby at any time (to check for adequate gain since you aren't measuring ounces)

    Can I have some formula samples (if they say yes, you say bye-bye)

    *****Go to LLL (La Leche League) and ask the moms who they chose and how happy they are. *****

    Source(s): experience
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i think it might be hard to tell over the phone if the answers are what you need, and, also, you may not be able to get them all on the phone. is there a mom's online page (similar to this one) specific to where you live. for example, there is "park slope moms" in brooklyn. if you can find one, i bet your best bet is to ask moms in your area if anyone has a doctor who is particularly breast-centered. also, i would call la leche and ask them to tell you if they know of docs in your area. i bet they'd LOVE to help you. this is their business, after all. if none of this works, i would ask very simple questions so that you do not steer the doc. for example, just aks "what do you recommend in terms of breastfeeding versus formula feeding?" i would bet that you will get the most telling answers from just that one question. good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's an excellent question. I like that. I nursed my two boys.

    You don't want to ask so many questions that the doctor feels he should have charged you for an office visit. So keep the list of questions brief, and you could talk to his nurse and ask her what he recommends in the following situations. It's easier to talk to the nurse than to the doctor.

    Also, before you call doctors, if you know some nursing mothers, you can ask them some questions:

    - who's your pediatrician?

    - do you feel he's supportive of your nursing?

    - does he support without making you feel guilty?

    - is his nurse & staff supportive and helpful on nursing?

    To ask the Doctor or his Nurse:

    - do you feel all women should nurse?

    - if a woman is worried about nursing, what would you tell her?

    - if the baby isn't real interested in nursing at first in the hospital, what do you recommend and why?

    - what do you recommend for plugged milk ducts?

    - what do you recommend if mommy needs to return to work?

    - how do you feel about nursing out in public?

    - when do you recommend adding solids to the diet?

    (opinions on this vary a lot from one generation to another)

    You don't want a doctor who's going to try to make a woman feel guilty for NOT nursing. Encouragement but not guilt tripping is what's needed for hesitant mothers, and a pushy person isn't your most supportive person even if you're nursing. It's got to be mom's choice, not forced on her.

    Returning to work involves expressing the milk and sending it to the nursery with the baby, and that can screw up the nursing, and how it's approached tells you a lot about the doctor and his staff's attitude.

    Nursing in public can be a controversial topic, and the response tells you how supportive the doctor is and how helpful his suggestions on that topic might be. While I was comfortable nursing out in public, I made SURE I hid it really well, so people had NO IDEA what I was doing. But my MIL made me VERY nervous and she was someone I did NOT want around when I was nursing, but she really wanted to be there and watch.

    I think those questions would give you a good feel for how the doctor and his staff deal with nursing mothers. If their answers to those questions makes you comfortable, you'd probably find them pretty supportive.

    My Pediatrician at the birth of my 2nd son was horrible, but my husband was in the military and I had NO choice of doctors. He had the gall to instruct the nurses to bring me a bottle of milk when my colostrum was in and he told me and the nurses that if I didn't bottle feed the formula that my baby would be brain damaged since my "milk isn't in yet".... which showed that he didn't know what he was talking about. His instructions ALSO included the threat that if I did NOT obey his orders, he'd have the nurses bottle feed my baby BEFORE bringing him to me to nurse. So I took the bottle and told the nurse I wanted privacy while I fed my baby. When the nurse left, I went to the bathroom and poured out anywhere from 1/2 oz to 3 oz of the formula. When the nurse returned, I had nursed and they thought I'd bottle fed the baby and they duly recorded the amount of formula they thought i'd fed.

    That son nursed 11 1/2 months, and is a strapping 6'2" man today and VERY healthy. And he's smart, so I know there was no brain damage. Babies NEED the colostrum and the milk comes in on day 2 or 3.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i guess my thought is a little different, but asking them how they feel about formula for babies. if they are very supportive, then i would go else where, if they maybe express that breast milk is the best option and gives some reasons, i would say they are a good choice and you can feel confident.

    instead of asking them about breast milk because they will probably just tell you want you want to hear...

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  • Ginger
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I get really mad at people who are so anti breast feeding. How in the world did the human race survive for thousands of years without breast feeding. I would breast feed and if the Dr did not like it I would tell her that unless it is harming your child in some unhealthy way that you will continue to do so. The only reason why I would think any Dr would be against breast feeding is if the baby is not achieving a healthy weight because of it.

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  • Rainy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    tell them you plan on breastfeeding with out any supplemental formula and if they tell you how hard that will be on you if you don't supplement formula sometime they are not breastfeeding supporters . . my doctor told me there was no reason to supplement formula she even set me up with a electric pump and classes about breastfeeding . . .

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