Many of you probably remember that back when Shira was 4 months old, I was informed that her slow weight gain is obviously and without a doubt caused by me not having enough milk; and I was told to switch to formula.
, tossed away the advice of formula-feeding, and continued to exclusively nurse my baby. Supposedly, if the pediatrician's theory was correct, I was to expect a major leap in weight gain once we started solids, but it never happened. La Leche League
I never returned to see that pediatrician again, but if I did, I would dearly love to hear her explanations on why my child is still gaining slowly now, when my breast milk is no longer her primary source of nutrition. Perhaps it would make her think twice next time she's about to tell a young mother she "doesn't have enough milk".
Our current pediatrician made the ridiculous and insulting suggestion that we're underfeeding our child. For the record, Shira happens to be an exceptionally good eater. She'll eat practically anything and has an excellent appetite. She's healthy and very active. When we said so, we were told to stuff our child on bottles of milk and cornflour. I was also recommended to wean my baby so that she would eat more (quite a ridiculous bit of advice, as breast milk is high in calories, but especially ridiculous considering the fact that our daughter is already eating a wide variety of foods). Our pediatrician actually told us with all seriousness that "you can't add cornflour to mother's milk."
Now, that was one of the moments when I was very happy to have 4 years of nutrition studies under my belt. As I pointed out to our pediatrician, there are so many ways to boost a child's diet with healthy, calorie-rich foods, when it is really needed, especially when a child is not a picky eater. Truly, some pediatricians desperately need to upgrade their knowledge on both breastfeeding and children's nutrition.
Some days later, I happened to get together with two neighbors for a chat. It turned out that their children (aged 12-18 months), too, were labeled as not growing fast enough, and their concerned mothers had a whole array of frightening suggestions thrown at them, from various absorption problems to growth hormone deficiency.
I do believe that if a doctor suspects something serious is responsible for the child's slow growth, it's better to perform the necessary tests (though I personally wouldn't rush to do invasive procedures) and rather be safe than sorry. However, I must ask myself, if so many healthy children happen to be off the growth charts, might it be that the charts, not the children, are at fault?
The comments below the posts are very informative as well.