Attachment Parenting

Pediatrician Interviews

So we're expecting our LO in January and I know we're going to be more attachment-style parenting. My DH and I are interviewing three potential pediatricians and I'd like to pick your brains on what issues are important to you and/or have been met with resistance from your pediatrician.

They have all those lists online but they don't truly cover some of the attachment parenting style issues I know can be deal-breakers with pediatricians.


What would you ask? 

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Re: Pediatrician Interviews

  • imageMandJS:

    Things that matter, IMO (and assuming you decide to do any of these), are will they let you do an alternate vax schedule; will they support extended BFing; will they support BLWing (my pedi had never heard of it but was open to it when I showed him the book and answered his questions satisfactorily); do they push formula on kids; etc. Then, irrespective of AP tendencies, you want a pedi who is available for after hour emergencies (or has a partnership with someone) and that you respect.

    Honestly, things like CIO/not, BWing, CDing, co-sleeping, etc. are NONE of their business unless you make it their business. How you parent is your decision - find a pedi you like and are comfortable with. Don't worry about the rest. They can make their recommendations, but it is up to you, the parent, to make the final decision.


    Also, if you plan to BF I would question the pedi if they are knowledgeable about the differences in growth between BF babies and FF babies and if they use the WHO chart for BF babies. The curve is different. Mine does not, and I always go home and look up where she is on the WHO chart. 

    The weight loss after birth (can be up to 10%) and jaundice practices can be an issue too. My sister had a pedi who told her she was starving her baby and causing him jaundice and made her stop bfing the first week.  


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  • Honestly, my doctor doesn't give me parenting advice and I don't ask for it. The assistant weighs and measures him, she gives him the once over and asks if I have questions, she gives him shots, we're on our way. We're not interested in delaying vaccines, so that's not an issue. I've worn him in his carrier and she didn't care. We use cloth diapers and she doesn't care (although the doc I saw until she left on mat leave loved the cloth). I tried to explain BLW and she didn't really get it... but I know it's right for us, so I'm not really looking for feeding advice from her.

    I guess it matters a lot how much of a parenting expert you think a doctor is. I think my doctor knows best about some issues (like, say, things they learn in med school), but is just as clueless as everyone else when it comes to parenting issues like sleep, eating, discipline. Whereas some people seem to have loads of questions for their kid's doctor and take their advice as gospel.

    ETA: She also had zip to do with my breastfeeding experience, but that has a lot to do with the nurse homecare support we get here. She's happy we're still breastfeeding, but she never gave me any advice or support when we were starting. Or any discouragement or formula. She's just not that important.

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  • Here was my list:

    1. I plan to breastfeed. How long do you recommend (or encourage) patients in your practice to breastfeed? (I was looking for a "as long as the baby is thriving and mom is OK with it" response).

    2. We have a history of celiac disease in the immediate family. How familiar are you with this condition?

    3. What are your policies for questions/issues after hours? (I was looking for a practice that provided a free nurses phone line)

    4. What is your recommendation for vaccinations? (Even though we follow the AAP schedule, I was looking for a thoughtful response to show that they kept up on the research.)

    I also took note of the posters/handouts/etc. in the office. One was plastered in crap sponsored by formula and pharmaceutical companies, which is a good indicator of their desire to push formula. The practice I chose had nothing on the walls or tables with company names on it. In fact, they told me at the interview that they have a policy to not provide formula samples to breastfeeding pairs.


    ETA: I agree that you need to make a distinction between medical advice and parenting advice. My doctor has never once asked where she sleeps or told me to give her cereal or any other solids.


    Jacob and Melissa | Sept. 3, 2007 | Riviera Maya, Mexico

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  • You ladies rock! Thanks for helping me funnel my thinking! I appreciate it!
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  • I know you've had a lot of people respond already, but I just wanted to suggest that another thing you might consider is finding a pediatrician that practices integrative medicine.  Since they usually have a holistic element to their practice I think they tend to be very AP friendly. 

    Our dr. is very supportive of BLW, alternative vaccination schedules and the like.  Even if she has a different opinion, she never judges and lets us make the final decision, so that's been really important to us.  Hope that helps.

    GL with your search!  :)

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  • The thing that made me feel comfortable with my pedi was when he unprompted said something like "we want you to BF, we will encourage you to BF. We will provide you with the resources to be successful at BFing. But if you don't want to BF, that is your are the parent and we will support you in making whatever decision works for you and your family." it made me feel like he wasn't judgmental and understood medical vs parenting choices.
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