Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Losing Faith in Doctors

I want to trust in my pediatrician, I really do. Obviously, this man went to medical school and knows a lot more than me about medicine, the body, human development, etc. But... 

When my older son was born six years ago, my husband and I were beyond super-careful. We checked out everything. We made sure he had a sleep positioner, so he wouldn't roll over and become trapped and suffocate. We outfitted his crib with the requisite crib bumper. When he was a year old, we started him on whole milk, as instructed. The whole fat was so important for his brain development, we were told.

And then... we had our younger son. Five years later. As anyone who's had children a few years apart can attest, things change quickly in the pediatric medical field. Suddenly, it's as if we did everything wrong the first time around.

I accepted this when we learned that our new baby should not have a sleep positioner (It could actually trap and suffocate him!). Or a crib bumper (Waaay too dangerous! He may as well sleep with knives!). But now, whole milk is suddenly unnecessary and could even lead to childhood obesity!

I heard that one and the brakes in my brain screeched to a halt. I just couldn't go along with the program anymore. I stopped listening. I stopped following along. I realized, sadly, that medical care is completely subject to trends. 

Personally, I'm OK with trusting my instincts about a lot of this stuff. In five years, the doctors will reverse their instructions anyway. But I wish there were an authority I could totally trust. 

Maybe everyone wishes that at some point - and not just about doctors and medical care. Maybe everyone wishes someone with all the right answers would appear and give them up. But that's parenting and that's life. You don't always know the right answers and you can't always be sure of your decisions. You just do the best that you can.


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