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 Post subject: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:45 am 
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Okay so my youngest had her two year appt yesterday and I have kept her on whole milk while the rest of the family switched to soy, just because I didn't want to go against the whole milk suggestion from 1-2 years. So when I told him she was switching to soy milk he had no problem. But later in the appt when he put two and two together and figured out she was vegetarian/vegan, he seemed really taken back. He was always so good with my breastfeeding and delaying some vaccines, but this he has a problem with. And the worst part is, he didn't seem to care what she did eat, he was concerned about no cheese, yogurt, and eggs. My two-year old is like the best eater ever. We shared a whole grain bagel and bowl of black bean soup at panera yesterday, and I had to fight for my fair share of the soup.

Oh well, I was just a little bummed and then questioned all my reasons for striving to be as plant-based as possible. At least husband agrees that drs don't have that much knowledge in nutrition and that our daughter is probably ahead of the game when it comes to eating right.

Anyone else have issues with a pediatrician?

I should say that her statistics stayed equal to what they have always been. 50% for weight, 50-75% for height, and 75% for head circumferance.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:56 am 
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I'm sure you'll hear from the parents on the PPK.

My experience as a vegetarian kid (my family wasn't, just me) and a vegan adult is that doctors often aren't happy with that choice. Some are, but I've had more tell me that it isn't healthy and blah blah blah. Doctors get very little in the way of nutrition training, my doctor friends have admitted as much to me. I'm sure your daughter is doing great and is super healthy!


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:02 am 
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If a doctor has a problem with something you or your child is eating/not eating, I'd always just ask "What are you worried about?" If they can tell you, "I'm worried your child is not getting enough calcium, protein, fat, whatever" then you can have a conversation about where your child gets those things - if your doctor is not being totally impossible, you can even brainstorm about possibilities for sources of those nutrients. You can suggest going to a nutritionist (dietician) to make sure the diet is healthy and complete or more frequent bloodwork to catch any deficiencies.

Obviously there are lots of kids who have extremely limited diets for health reasons rather than ethical reasons and those kids do fine because their families and doctors put energy into making sure they're healthy - your kid deserves the same amount of respect and concern and her diet is not really so limited!


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:04 am 
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P.S. I've never had a doctor, midwife, nurse, or nutritionist give a crepe about my veganism. If worse comes to worse, find a different doctor, because they're not all behind the times.

And you can give your doc this: http://www.eatright.org/about/content.aspx?id=8357


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:08 am 
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Yes, if your kid is hitting all the milestones and there is no developmental concern, I don't know why you'd give much credence to what your ped said, esp if he can't point to any specific concerns.

As far as issues. My ped thought I should put my NB on a BFing schedule. She isn't a lactation consultant and that doesn't work for our family (tm Ariann :) ), so I ignored her. Peds aren't nutritionists, behaviorists or LCs. They do have good experience and should be used as a resource, but like any resource, its up to you to decide what info to believe and how to act on it.

And you know that :) I totally get wanting to vent about it :) It sucks when people try and motivate you by fear. Someone in a mothers group I belong to had to admit her daughter to hospital for failure to thrive because she is so little and was bullied into supplementing with formula even though all the tests showed that her daughter is fine healthwise and fine in terms of length and head circ, she is just thin. So now they're supplementing and she's still thin.

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Last edited by Tofulish on Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:11 am 
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My doctor, in the same sentence, has said that I can't absorb iron from food, but I'm anemic because I'm vegan. Okay. Then she scheduled my hospital procedures to find the cause of the internal bleeding responsible for my recent severe bout of anemia.

I'm happy with her, but I'm not taking nutritional advice from here. I think it's just an automatic knee jerk reaction.

If you are actually worried, you could always seek a referral to a pediatric nutritionist.

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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:13 am 
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It amazed me that he spent the whole time saying how great she is growing and meeting milestones and then when he found out it was like "oh, really, hmmmm". He knows that she has been in the office like once in two years for being sick, and it was just to make sure she was getting better, not because I was concerned about the sickness.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:40 am 
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Enmommy, I hope your wee girl turns out 100% normal because in my personal experience, any anomaly is blamed on veganism.* Beetroot had wonky legs that grew out straight, but we were sent from the health visitors to a paediatrician (both the paediatrician and health visitors thought he should have dairy and lack of dairy was to blame) to a dietitian to an endocrinologist/paediatric orthopaedic surgeon (a very handsome one, at that)/geneticist before the last 3 declared that there was nothing wrong with my boy. Mind you, the latter 3 didn't even mention the 'v' word and the dietitian said our diet was fine. Beety had gave him x-rays, blood tests, pee tests, tested for kidney and liver function, all sorts of shiitake. For, like, 2 years, we had to keep seeing people until we got the all-clear. The higher-up people were cool, but our local surgery and the paediatrician were a bunch of motherforkers and practically went on a vegan witch hunt. We filed official complaints and everything because they were so irrational.

I could go on and on, but I won't because I get too worked up. Ugh.

* I once joked that Beetroot liked books so much, he ate paper and the health visitor flipped out and declared it was due to low iron because he didn't have dairy.

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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:51 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Peds aren't nutritionists, behaviorists or LCs. They do have good experience and should be used as a resource, but like any resource, its up to you to decide what info to believe and how to act on it.

Right here! Unless I'm hearing nutrition advice from a R.D. I won't listen to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Sorry you're dealing with this...our original pediatrician for our now-3yr old had no problem with vegetarian but was concerned about no dairy. He said stuff like "But whole milk yogurt is a complete protein!" so I knew he was like, stuck in the 70s or something. He did have us get her iron checked twice; the first time it was a little low so we started giving her a Vegan Kids Multi. And honestly, since then, she hasn't been back to the dr at all because well, she got all her vax and just hasn't gotten sick beyond a little cold.
+1 to everyone who said anything ever is always blamed on veganism. Total bullshiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:55 pm 
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The craziest part of all this of course is that the most common nutrition problem kids have is anemia. And what food exacerbates anemia because its calcium blocks the absorption of iron and parents give too much of it and give it at mealtimes when it conflicts with iron-rich foods? Dairy.

Our ped said "You know about protein-combining, right" (okay, so a little 70s), but then she also said, "We advise people to limit milk (any kind) to 16 oz. a day when people switch from BF/formula to milk, because it causes anemia." That's advice that actually made sense to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:25 pm 
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I have actually talked to a RD about 3 months ago and she was impressed with what I already knew about nutrition. And my 2 years olds iron at the time was awesome. I guess I am just really bummed that our pediatrician was so taken back because he has always been really cool about things. Like I breastfed my first born and she was 5lb3oz at birth and went down to 4lb15oz. Never did he even mention supplementing to me, and that was my indication that he was a keeper.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Nearly a decade ago, my sons pediatrician had an issue with his not drinking cow's milk. I printed out a whole bunch nutritional information, dropped it off, and he later apologized and said he learned a lot.

Now, with my younger son, I just rapid fire answer questions and shut the conversation down. WIC appts are especially fun. The nutritionalist there always has a coke on her desk she's Sri king by wants to question my kids protein intake. Haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:32 pm 
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I smile and nod at dietary advice from pediatricians. I think what you have to understand is that they deal with ALL KINDS of people each day. All backgrounds, all education levels, sensible people and crazy people. Their job is basically to address the craziest, dumbest, most ignorant person they come across, and assume that you know nothing about nutrition or balance or keeping a child alive.

I used to think this was really patronizing and annoying of them, but talking to my best friend who's a nurse and some of the people she talks about, I can sort of see why they do it. Doctors don't usually have a lot of time to discern how much YOU know about nutrition, so they're trying to dumb it down as much as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
If a doctor has a problem with something you or your child is eating/not eating, I'd always just ask "What are you worried about?" If they can tell you, "I'm worried your child is not getting enough calcium, protein, fat, whatever" then you can have a conversation about where your child gets those things - if your doctor is not being totally impossible, you can even brainstorm about possibilities for sources of those nutrients.

Yeah, I think it's important to ask the Dr to get specific-- figure out exactly what they are concerned about. If all they can say is that they just don't think that a kid can be healthy without milk, well, that's pretty easy to ignore.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Lucy is being raised vegetarian, for now, but has an egg allergy and doesn't like milk (she drinks almond milk). So she's mostly vegan. When she was falling off the growth chart around 18 mos, our ped was very concerned that she was nearly vegan. She suggested one of those kids' nutritional drinks that are laden with sugar. I just nodded and smiled and went out and made an appointment with a pediatric dietician - and got much more helpful suggestions that were consistent with our food choices. So, I don't think it's rare, but I choose which battles to fight. I love just about everything else about her, so this is something I just smile and nod through if it's raised.

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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:43 am 
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annak wrote:
I used to think this was really patronizing and annoying of them, but talking to my best friend who's a nurse and some of the people she talks about, I can sort of see why they do it. Doctors don't usually have a lot of time to discern how much YOU know about nutrition, so they're trying to dumb it down as much as possible.


I can understand this. My daughter's current office, which she's been at since she was 18 mo is a group practice where she sees a few different doctors/RNs (I can request the same one, but don't always do so) and they've never had a problem with it. Whenever diet comes up I tend to ask pointed questions about specific concerns, so maybe that sets the stage for them to assume I've done my homework. Also, kiddo has met all of her milestones so when I asked about checking for any deficiencies, the doc said there was no need because at her age it would show up somewhere. Of course they check for iron as part of the regular visit, but she's always been at the high end of normal.

Funny enough, since I guess "Vegan" isn't officially in her record, they've told me to avoid dairy with her because of asthma/allergy related issues, and not blinked when I say she's never had it. They've also expressed positivity toward soy milk, so yay!

By no means do I live in a progressive, vegan-forward area (mid NC!) so there are doctors out there who don't freak out at the V-word. Or like others have said, if you otherwise like your pedi, just avoid the topic and it shouldn't become an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Pediatrician not happy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Ok, I feel a little better. I will probably just ask him next time why he is concerned that she is vegetarian/vegan. I might even write down a few days of her food intake and show him to make him less concerned. I mean, there are days when I high-five my kids for eating their dinner because I am just so proud of the things that they try and eat. By no means do I make the same things over and over, so I am impressed with them.

Also, since someone mentioned it, it was at the WIC office where the RD was so nice to me. She even told me about the soy milk package that they had and that all I needed to switch was my drs signature, which is how my dr found out about my daughters diet, it was the WIC form I needed him to fill out. Like it wasn't hard enough letting him know we are using WIC. Anyways, she was the one who told me I knew a lot already about nutrician and thought that was great.


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