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Good advice on Breastfeeding from GP

(11 Posts)
TitaniaP Fri 09-Sep-11 18:23:18

Seeing as GPs normally get a bashing for their Breastfeeding advice I thought I'd post about a positive experience.

Took DS to the GP as his weight gain is really slow and he's now under the lowest centile for his age. I've been (very reluctantly) topping him up with formula as I was so concerned about his weight.

GP told me that I should stop worrying, continue to BF as that was the best for him (top up if I wanted to but no need). That I should get him weighed less frequently and to come back in a month and we'd review it then. It's taken a weight off my mind!!

He also asked me if I minded speaking to his medical students about pregnancy, birth and babies. They follow a baby for 6 months apparently. So looking forward to telling them all about my home birth and dispel any breast-feeding myths they may have!!

SlinkingOutsideInSocks Fri 09-Sep-11 19:36:57

That's fantastic - so practical and takes the worry off. I bet he has/d a breastfeeding wife.

Good luck with speaking to the students!

crikeybadger Fri 09-Sep-11 20:01:40

Brilliant- so good to hear a GP being knowledgeable and encouraging about bfing.

What a great opportunity to speak to the medical students- what you tell them will probably be more informative than any training they do. (no pressure then wink).

TitaniaP Fri 09-Sep-11 21:17:30

Crikeybadger- In that case I'd better give them the bet info possible. What would be the keys points that you'd impart?

I'm thinking:
1) newborns feed all the time it doesn't mean mum doesn't have enough milk
2) supplementing too early (or in some cases at all) can be damaging to supply
3) co-sleeping when done safely (following UNICEF guidelines) can be a great way for Mum to get more sleep
4) point them in the direction of kellymom!
6) what else...?

Obviously what they're after is my experience (they'll be following more than one baby). But what would you tell them given the opportunity?

I also want to talk to them
about my home birth but that's another topic altogether.

I'm stupidly excited about this opportunity. (brain appears to have stagnated somewhat since DS was born) I may be totally overestimating how much impact I can have, but if my info can help just one woman it'll be worth it.

Haggisfish Fri 09-Sep-11 22:05:02

thrush treatment for boobs requires a lot more than just topical cream. Direct them to the breastfeeding network site for further info.

And that it often gets easier after 6 weeks and then again at 6 months (ime).

JimmyChoo17 Fri 09-Sep-11 22:32:44

^ imaging to check this out as we have mild thrush and just have gel and cream in guessing there will be more info.

I hated that all classes and info was about successful breastfeeding nothing about problems so no wonder women give up feeling a failure f they haven't been given support and info....

Not really constructive post from me especially as I have been fine other than thrush but thought I'd post above opinion, what a good opportunity smile

JimmyChoo17 Fri 09-Sep-11 22:33:40

Imaging should read I am going to....stupid 1fingered typing and predictive text don't mix!

crikeybadger Sat 10-Sep-11 09:18:36

Your list sounds great TitaniaP

Breastfeeding Network website is a good idea too as so many GPs seem to tell women that they need to give up bfing as certain medecines are incompatible with bfing, when in actual fact they are fine.

I think talking them about your experiences with slow weight gain would be useful and how important it is to make an assessment of the baby based on many factors and not just the scales.

Unicef babyfriendly website would be a good one to point them to as well.

The usual bfing myths that just seem to keep cropping up such as things like eating protein, drinking more milk, resting more, will make your milk creamier, more flowing etc etc.

Sorry- all fairly random thoughts as the moment, will try and ponder some more over the course of the day.

I'm sure if you posed this question as a new thread, you'd get a heap load of answers, but they'd probably be related to other people's experiences tho.

TittyBojangles Sat 10-Sep-11 10:17:09

Yes definately mention the lack of knowledge about medicines you can safetly take while bf... the sources they usually use are unduely cautious.

And that they should make it their job to find out who their local bf expert is (lactation consultant/infant feeding coordinator etc etc) so they can direct women to them. Also when and where the support groups are. Too many women think they are getting good bf advice from gps when really they would be best directed to someone else, but they often dont realise this until too late. If women don't get the right support and quickly it is very hard to get back to bf and most don't. Waiting a week for a referral can ruin bf chances.

They need to know about TT and how it can effect successful bf and that it needs to be sorted QUICKLY. A wait and see option is not usually helpful as in the meantime supply/latch issues will effect milk supply/weight gain.

Agree with the bf myths too.... drinking LOADS of water wont make a difference, the hindmilk thing, that the baby needs water too (doesnt even if its hot/ill).

There are loads of things that would be useful. Remember that medical students get virtually NO bf training, so this MAY be the only chance they get to understand some of the principles so no, I don't think you should underestimate the impact your words can have. They will probably come flooding back to them if they become a GP and have a woman crying cos she is struggling. You can really make a difference here.

I did a similar thing with a medical student, felt a bit like I was being one of the 'brestapo' but wanted to get as much info across as possible and he was really cluesless, but as a 20 year old kid thats not suprising, I just hope he rememebers some of what I said.... I did say a lot, felt a bit sorry for him when I'd finished blush

TitaniaP Sat 10-Sep-11 12:25:09

Have a feeling I may overwhelm them a bit too, they come to my house apparently and will want to see the cot (and other baby paraphernalia) which is currently being used for storage as my DS won't sleep in it - he'd rather be next to me.

Shall I also show them where we put up the pool for the home water birth??

Innocent minds to mould - how exciting!

Jergens Sat 10-Sep-11 14:02:20

A great opportunity.
I remember as a medical student we actually learned a lot about breastfeeding but mostly with regard to the physiological aspects and health benefits. I think the students would benefit from the practical that you usually only learn once you've breastfed.

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