When I became pregnant with my oldest (almost twenty-years ago, gulp) I was still a baby myself! I took a home pregnancy test but didn’t believe the results. Can you say “naïve?” When I went to my OB appointment, I remember asking the doctor, “Am I really pregnant?” and he replied, “You took a test at home?” When I nodded he said, “Then you are.”
After the exam, which hurt, by the way, he asked me how I felt about having a baby. I told him that I was scared about labor and delivery. His response, “Most women DO have more than one child; it can’t be THAT bad.”
I found a new doctor.
When my son arrived, I had difficulty breastfeeding. I don’t know if it was due to a previous surgery, but this very natural thing did not come naturally. There were many nights of crying and very little sleep. Oh, and my baby was crying, too.
After calling the hospital and the pediatrician I was told DO NOT GIVE HIM A BOTTLE! I felt like a complete failure. They said I could hire (for hundreds of dollars) a lactation consultant to help me. That was not an option for me.
The pediatrician asked me how nursing was going. I told him that I was still having issues, that I wasn’t sure if I was doing it correctly, and how I didn’t even like it (it felt weird). He asked me to unbutton my shirt. He reached for my breast, squeezed milk out and said, “You have plenty of milk; this shouldn’t be a problem.”
I never saw that physician again.
Yes, I know that women typically have more than one child (I have three). And, the amount of milk was NOT my issue. These were moments when my doctors were not listening to me. I chose to take my business elsewhere.
We need to be in control of the care that we receive and not afraid to get a second opinion or find another option. We need to be our own advocates. I know it’s not always easy, but we deserve it! Don’t accept anything less.