Sunday, May 2, 2010

Doctor, Heal My Big Breasts Please

That title got your attention, didn't it?

We are talking about breastfeeding today.

There is a great post on Breastfeeding Medicine about how most doctors don't know jack about boobies and why they are such jerks when patients challenge their authority. Really insightful post, on multiple levels.

Note to medical professionals: Learn to say "Let me think about that and get back to you" vs. the passive-aggressive destruction of the patient's credibility which does no one any good.

Also, please learn something about boobies. Please stop failing new mommas.

Breastfeeding is another medical orphan. Lactation Consultants can't prescribe. OBs and other physicians don't know a boobie from a hole in the ground and why would they listen to the Lactation Consultant? They aren't even doctors. So, duh! Clearly subhuman and not worthy of attention. Off with their heads!

When all you want to do is nurse your baby, butting up against a complete lack of knowledge compounded by asinine medical hierarchy is incredibly frustrating. Especially when you can't even find time to take a shower or sleep--anything more complex than that is confounding.

How do I know?

The toddler was in the NICU for a few days after she was born. The antibiotics we both received meant we contracted thrush.

I was hardcore about breastfeeding. Anything I could do to improve her health, I would do it. I know all too well how precious health is. So I breastfed with bloody nipples and pain unlike anything I have ever known.

I thought this was just what breastfeeding was like in the beginning. I didn't really know anything was wrong so I sucked it up, bit my lip and kicked the coffee table every time the baby latched on as a way to distract myself from the pain.

We were eventually diagnosed with thrush by a lactation consultant. I needed medicine.

So I called the OB who, by virtue of feeling up my ta-tas on an annual basis, must know something about how they work, right? Wrong!

The OB gave me a prescription for vaginal yeast cream.

Uh, no. Doctor FAIL.

There are no nipples on my vagina and I distinctly recall talking about my nipples. Nip-ple. N, I, P, P oh, forget it, here, let me just take off my shirt. See? These things. Yes, those. No, not down there. Up here. Good boy!

By some miracle, I finally got the OB to actually listen to me and prescribe the Nystatin cream I needed along with some Diflucan pills.

But this was not enough. You have to treat both parties when it comes to thrush.

So not only did I go around in circles with the OB, I had to dance with the pediatrician too.

Again, I thought, these guys are baby experts, right? Surely they know something about breastfeeding.

No, not really. But they did do as I asked and gave me a prescription for liquid Nystatin for the baby.

It took two rounds of medication to kick the thrush. Very aggravating and I had almost no medical support because none of the doctors knew a damn thing about boobies.

So please, doctors of the world, get some continuing education in boobies. The nursing videos from the 1980s are a hoot--kind of like seeing Michelle Duggar naked. Plus, there will be big boobs. What's not to likey?

My fondest wish would be that pediatricians expand their practices to encompass breastfeeding. Meaning only ONE doctor visit to deal with thrush. Why shouldn't peds be in charge of an infant's food supply?

2 comments:

  1. Right!? You would think doctors would take up the offer to learn all about boobies! I know I would! hahaha! Or maybe they choose not to because they don't wanna learn all the gory details that might ruin their view of boobies. =P lol!

    Maybe not many docs know much about breast feeding these days because it seems more and more new Mommies are going to bottle feeding. Why? Probably, mostly because its more convenient. I mean I know there are many other reasons, but I assume that because girls are starting to have babies younger and younger. Sad.

    IF I was able to get pregnant (doubtful) I wouldn't be able to breastfeed because of the massive amount of medications I would need to be on. And after 9 months of being completely psychotic without my medications I would have to go back on them for the safety of myself, others, and most importantly my baby. Another reason is my nipple piercings (TMI i know, lol) have probably effected my ability to breastfeed. But if I could, I would totally breastfeed.

    Ramble ramble ramble. I am forever leaving big 'ol long comments on peoples blogs! lol

    -Kayla

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh you might be surprised at the meds you can nurse with--assuming you can find a decent doc.

    Dooce, I believe, nursed despite some pretty severe depression.

    M

    ReplyDelete

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