Breaking up with your pediatrician


Before we moved to Philly we had a pediatrician (and office) that we loved. They were supportive and non-alarmist about breastfeeding when Leo's weight gain was slow. They were not just LGBT-friendly, but were leading the way for trans-health in the area. They were the birthplace of the doula group I belonged to that provided free doula care to marginalized communities. The front desk was friendly. They were willing to talk candidly about vaccinations when we had questions. They were the one that got away.

When we moved here, we asked around and chose a practice that up until recently we were pretty happy with. The office was accessible by train and the front desk staff are phenomenal. The doctor that we had been seeing (without complaints) recently moved across the country leaving us to try out the others in the practice and we just weren't finding anyone who really fit. 

Not informed about breastfeeding

Since Zoe's birth we had been in to this office several times. We were seeing a new doctor, who was very nice but not very informed about breastfeeding. Now, I realize that it's not a pediatrician's fault that they aren't trained in-depth about breastfeeding, but it's a big part of a newborn's health. I ideally want someone who knows a lot about the subject or at least a doctor who can say, "Hey, I'm not an expert about this but I strongly suggest you contact a lactation consultant, here's a number."

This doctor was very concerned that Zoe was gaining on the slow end. Not below normal range — just on the low end of normal. He kept suggesting supplementation.

Tandem nursing

He was also very against the fact that I was tandem nursing a toddler along with my newborn. He gave me two different reasons for why this was disastrous: 1. My body was going to "think I had twins" and would start making so much milk that Zoe would get reflux and colic. 2. Leo would drink up all my milk and Zoe wouldn't get enough.

Well, which is it? Too much or not enough. I told him that I was in contact with the LC from the birth center and she had talked to me about making sure to prioritize Zoe's feedings etc — but he still seemed troubled by the tandem nursing.

Lacking trust

After yet another appointment I found myself again rationalizing, dismissing his advice, and JB said — "I am obviously on the same page as you, but why go see a doctor at all if we don't trust the advice he's giving us?"

Excellent point. "But the receptionists are so nice!" I replied. That is really hard to find! "Do we come here for reception or medical care?" So very true.


So we started asking around again and found a highly recommended practice within waking distance of our home. Score! We made appointments for the kids and filled out requests to have their files sent to the new office.

It's a little sad to say good-bye to the office that has mostly taken excellent care of us. But I think that this new office will be a much better fit for us. Breaking up is hard to do — particularly with an authority figure of sorts. But we do owe it to ourselves to search for a doctor that has our trust all around. Wish us luck!

Sandra Telep is a West Philadelphia mom of one and one-on-the-way. This post is adapted from her blog, West Philly Mama.


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