This week the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine released a revised protocol for Breastfeeding Friendly Physicians Offices. This document offers physicians 19 suggestions that they can implement to ensure that their practice is breastfeeding friendly. Many of the physicians in the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine are also International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.
I asked a colleague who happens to be a pediatrician as well as a lactation consultant to pen a guest blog on this topic. The ABM protocol is great, but it's really written specifically for physicians, not for moms. I thought it would be good for our moms to know what to look for when they are doctor shopping!
Wish List for a Breastfeeding Friendly Doctor
by Traci Lynne Brewer, MD, IBCLC
|Dr. Traci Lynne Brewer with her|
husband and new baby.
In light of my eminent delivery I have been asked to describe my wish list for a breastfeeding friendly doctor for my daughter, due any day now.
Wish #1: The doctor will want to see me and my daughter 48 hours after discharge from the hospital. Sure, it's a pain to get the baby and the gear loaded up and make an appointment on little to no sleep, but breastfeeding issues identified early are easier to work on than problems that can develop by 2 weeks of age.
Wish #2: If my daughter has jaundice, I want breastfeeding to be given a chance. An elevated bilirubin is not an automatic indication for formula feeding.
Wish #3: If I encounter a breastfeeding issue that requires more specific knowledge or time than my doctor has, I want to be referred to a board certified lactation consultant. Evaluations for lactation issues take time, something that doctors frequently lack, even if they are comfortable with breastfeeding advice. This includes recommendations on how to return to work while continuing to breastfeed. While I'm wishing, I'll wish for a lactation consultant working in the doctor's office.
Wish # 4: I would like a doctor that doesn't put a endpoint on breastfeeding. Finding support for breastfeeding past a year can be difficult. Wouldn't it be great to have the doctor on your side?