Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Do You Suffer From PEDSPHOBIA?

No, it’s not the fear of feet! That’s podophobia. I am talking about PEDSPHOBIA - fear of your baby’s pediatrician. If you have never heard of this condition, it’s because I made it up! For the simple reason that I see it often in my practice and feel it needs to be finally documented.

I bet you are wondering, OMG is Maria talking about me? Am I a PEDSPHOBIC? Well, only you can answer that. Let just say that if you ever dreaded an office visit because you were afraid of being yelled at or looked upon with disgust by your peds or his staff, then yes, you suffer from PEDSPHOBIA!

PEDSPHOBICS typically possess the following traits: choose to trust Mother Nature more than the AAP or FDA (the nerve!). They tend to question advice that doesn’t make sense (what are they thinking!). Their children don’t do what the doctors own child did (shocking!) Their baby doesn’t follow suit with the “baby in the book.”(go figure!) For example, their baby is off the growth chart or was never on it. Their baby never taught itself to sleep, doesn’t eat 3 meals a day by 6 months (hates cereal), doesn’t use a pacifier and doesn’t like shots. (unfathomable!)

OK. It’s time. Come on PEDSPHOBICS, stand up and be counted! You’ve been chastised by your child’s doctor or his staff for one or all of the following: your child isn’t fat enough or is too fat, their head circumference is too big or too small, you let your baby “use you as a human pacifier” (one of my favorites!), you don’t allow enough “tummy-time”, you allow too much “tummy-time”, you are the dreaded “co-sleeper”, you make your own baby food or decide not to use cereal as a sleep aid, you decide not to give Tri-Vi-Sol or fluoride vitamins, you choose not to use formula or give bottles, you choose not to vaccinate, split or spread vaccines or basically question (as you should) everything they say and decide not to do any of it. You have been chosen as a contestant in my new reality series, Fear Factor-it’s Mom’s Turn!

It saddens me that the professionals who have the most influence on new parents, the ones who parents rely on most for information and advice choose to intimidate, instead of educate. Using fear to subdue, short-circuit and control parents’ behavior is so commonly used by doctors that we have accepted this as the standard of care, choosing to go back for more, over and over.

Being coerced or forced to make decisions you are not comfortable with or not ready to make is wrong. Being scared half out of your wits for no good reason is wrong. Being spoken to like a child is wrong. Being given misinformation is wrong. Being meant to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office is wrong. Being set-up for failure is just wrong.

So, my advice, don’t be a PEDSPHOBIC. Be a MOMINATOR instead, someone to be reckoned with.

*Side Note: Did you know there is a phobia to phobias?  phobophobia!  Yikes!