I sat in her office. My five week old baby beside me.
Her medical degree hung on the wall. Her knowledge of how the brain works and how to get me through life despite the obstacle of OCD, well for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
“Well, your nursing so at least we won’t have to talk about introducing birth control until you are done. You can’t get pregnant while nursing.”
Cue sound of screeching tires in my head.
Immediately my respect for her went out the window. The same way it does when even the smartest people I know say “alls” (as if “alls ya have to do..”) Or someone cheats at a board game or life, whatever.
All I could think about were all of the materials I read, videos I watched and advice provided to me by my OB and lactation consultants: you can get pregnant while breastfeeding.
It flashes as the beginning of all those videos, right next to the FBI warning about copyright. It is that important.
It is at the top of just about every pamphlet, paper and info sheet about breastfeeding I have ever read.
The doctor basically screams it at the six-week postpartum appointment. Mine makes her patients tell her how they plan to avoid getting pregnant. And if you look at your amazing little bundle of sleepless nights and smile, she will slap you upside the head and tell you to get real. And then she will remind you again that you can get pregnant while breastfeeding.
Apparently my psychiatrist missed that day of med school.
Maybe she doesn’t have children. Maybe she does but she chose not to, or couldn’t, breastfeed them. Maybe she is way older than she looks and that medical advancement and discovery had not been made yet.
Maybe it is just a good thing I know better.
But it just continues this cycle I see around me all the time. The idea of breastfeeding is being pushed to new moms with the assumption that everything will click right away, there won’t be pain involved and it’ll be so good for the baby.
That happens in about like 2 percent of the cases.
What they really need to be teaching is the art of establishing a good supply, how to get rid of a plugged duct and what to do when the baby believes mom is its pacifier and it won’t. let. go.
They need to teach moms how to find help once they leave the hospital. They need to teach moms that while dads can’t feed the baby, they can certainly help, not just physically but emotionally too. And, I think, there needs to be a push for moms who want to do it and moms who have done it to team up. Ask questions no matter how weird it sounds coming out. Lean on those who can cheer from the sidelines and provide some advice.
If I didn’t have three young children, a job, a husband and a jam packed schedule, I would love to figure out how to make that happen. I think it all starts with moms though. If you have breastfed and know someone doing it now, say a little prayer for them and then buy them so lanolin (or a glass of wine…it’s basically the same). If you are thinking about or are breastfeeding, ask your friends for advice and use the stuff that works for you. There is no harm in having too much information.
And for all that is good, just know YOU CAN GET PREGNANT WHILE BREASTFEEDING.
One thought on “Doctors don’t know everything”
“your nursing so at least we won’t have to talk about introducing birth control” It is “you’RE”, as in “you ARE”, not as in possessive.
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