During your pregnancy, shop around for a pediatrician. You should have the opportunity to meet with a potential pediatrician one-on-one or in a group setting before your baby comes. Every pediatrician will say he supports breastfeeding, but here are some specific questions to ask to find out just how supportive your pediatrician really is.
- If formula is medically necessary for my breastfeeding baby, how will you help me to make sure I am able to return to exclusive breastfeeding as soon as possible?
- Under what circumstances might you recommend formula supplementation? Will you provide me with specific instruction to protect my milk supply or refer me to a specialist that will provide me with this education?
- Which infant growth chart will you be using to track my baby’s growth? I prefer you use the World Health Organization’s growth chart for breastfed babies.
- What is your expected rate of gain for my baby from birth to four months of age? Six to twelve months? I have read that breastfed babies are expected to gain at least five to seven ounces per week from birth to four months and at least four to six ounces from six months to twelve months. Do you agree?
- What is your stance on starting solids? The AAP believes solids should be introduced around six months. Do you agree? Why or why not?
- I’m not sure how long I will breastfeed, but if I choose to nurse my child when he or she is a toddler, will you support and welcome this decision? Do you believe there is a benefit to breastfeeding past one year? Two years?
- Do you work with an IBCLC? Can you please share her contact information with me? When would you refer me to her?
I love a pediatrician who is a breastfeeding supporter, but I do not love a pediatrician who claims to be a breastfeeding expert. Read a little more about how to manage making your own medical decisions for yourself and your baby with a doctor’s guidance.
If you aren’t able to join me live, check out the online education program I created- The Pregnant Mama’s Guide to Breastfeeding Success
Come see me or one of my fabulous colleagues at The Birth Center in Wilmington, DE. Let us take the time to teach you about your own unique baby and breastfeeding relationship during a one on one consultation.