Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My ped wants me to wean

Bless her heart, as we say here. The backstory is that about three weeks ago, Joel developed a startling decrease in appetite. He has never been a picky eater, and has always eaten a lot--regular meals and snacks during the day. For the last few weeks, he has been eating about a third of what he would eat before. One day he might eat a small handful of grape tomatoes, half a slice of toast, and a couple of small turkey sausages. Another day, it might be a small bowl of cereal and two slices of apple.

He is reacting to dairy again, and had a cold, but his appetite never bounced back. Since this has been going on for a few weeks, I went ahead and called, and they asked me to bring him in. The good news is that somehow, despite all this, he has gained weight in the last month and a half. The ped asked detailed questions about everything he would eat or drink during a day, and as soon as I mentioned that he was nursing twice a day still, she got an "aha!" look on her face.

Not too surprisingly, she asked me to wean. She compared it to formula, saying that we wouldn't be giving him a bottle at this age. Which is true--but breastmilk is very, very different from formula, and breastfeeding is very different from getting a bottle. There really is no comparison.

The thing is, the rest of her exam showed that he was perfectly healthy and growing exactly as he should. So why mess with that? He was nursing more when he was eating more foods, so it isn't that breastfeeding is taking away from that or preventing him from trying new foods, etc.

I pointed that out to her, and explained that breastfeeding is still very important to him. He still asks to nurse at least a few times a day. Of course, he sees Elena nursing all the time, so he isn't likely to forget about it. She agreed that he was doing great with what we were doing, and suggested that we just have him eat solid foods before nursing, which he does anyway.

So, overall, it wasn't bad. I would like to send her more info on the benefits of nursing past infancy. I know that most pediatricians have never studied it. Still, I felt like she respected our choices, and she also gave us some good tips on nutrition and portion sizes. So, I'll take the good info and not throw out the baby with the, bath water. Whatever. :)


Anonymous said...

Good for you!

I say, until she has IBCLC after her name or has experienced extended breastfeeding herself, she has no place giving advice like that. ;)

Theresa said...

Good for you. I tend to clam up and forget all my stats and good info when people question my decision to EN.

dulce de leche said...

Thanks. The truth is that even with all the practice I've had ;), I still tend to freeze up sometimes, too. It is an emotional subject for me, and I get flustered and want to respond to so many things (whether stated, merely implied, or the things that I am paranoid about thinking that *they* might be thinking!). LOL