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.