We met with a new pediatrician today. She is a holistic pediatrician.
I thought our current pediatrician was pretty holistic, along the spectrum of holistic approaches—only having limited experience with pediatrics, of course, and limiting our search to a reasonable drive from our house.
This doctor completed her pediatric residency at a major medical center, then worked in the pediatric ER for seven years.
According to her web site, “After looking for more natural healing practices for her patients and her own children, she became a Reiki practitioner and trained in Craniosacral Therapy. She finds Craniosacral Therapy and energy healing to be wonderful practices that promote the body’s own amazing healing ability.”
Mind you, this doctor comes highly recommended by top-tier doctors in their respective fields—even though what she recommends could possibly put them out of business—a healthy diet free of dairy and gluten (if problems warrant a change in diet, those are the first suspects in the firing line; this is gaining credence across health fields, with tons of new books being published about gluten-free “lifestyles”); no vaccinations, due to the complications they are known to produce in the body, a lack of coordination between vaccination schedules and likely onset of illnesses such as pertussis, and a false attribution of the decline of major diseases to vaccination, when first-world diet, hygiene, and access to medical care could also in part account for disease rates falling off. Also, she says, “If I were injecting my patients, it would be hard to get them to lie down for a half hour of body work.” I’d like to see Adela lie still for a half hour of body work…
I asked the doctor what she thought the best way to take an infant’s temperature is, since the subject of fevers came up. The doctor doesn’t measure the degrees of a fever, only attends to whether or not fever is present. She says someone can be very ill with 101, and not as ill while fighting with 102.6.
Suffice it to say, alternative medicine means almost no synthetic medicine at all. She believes acetaminophen and ibuprofen tend to prolong an illness, sometimes carrying it out two to three days, when a fever doing what it is meant to do in the body could pass in 18-24 hours. She recommends homeopathic remedies such as aconite, belladonna, arnica, and chamomile for common ailments, and would give careful instructions on how to administer these.
I choose homeopathic remedies for my own common ailments, such as allergies and stomach upset, so this agrees with my already existing model. But, as for advice that might go against the grain, or have us change our lifestyles significantly, she seemed skeptical about patients’ families’ willingness to commit.
An important criterion for choosing a pediatrician is the doctor’s bedside manner. She spoke and moved very slowly, which challenges our normally impatient/hurried/harried style of rushing through appointments. She was also quite passive, not recommending anything too strongly, and even saying, “I remain neutral…” I reflected on this after the appointment, and realize her neutral stance forces us to THINK and decide for our own child. I like that. Though, the responsibility can be intimidating.
Then again, so was the 11-page waiver we had to sign in order to have a home birth. For us, the benefits outweighed the risks. We strove for as natural a birth as possible, and natural pediatric care is a logical continuation of this practice.
Laboring in our own back yard
Laboring with birth ball on a blanket in the back yard
Laboring in birth tub in living room with doula support
Daddy holding newborn, only minutes after birth
Midwife weighing baby in our bedroom, an hour or two after birth