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Should You Do Well-Child Visits? The Crunchy Mama’s Dilemma

on March 1 | in Book Love | by | with 124 Comments

Should You Do Well-Child Visits? The Crunchy Mama's Dilemma
Hey y’all, each week I share a useful tip, insight, or recipe from a book I’m reading. As you might imagine, I get a TON of books to review every month. It’s about time I start sharing the best of the best with you, so let’s get started!

Defensive Parenting

Defensive driving, defensive medicine, defensive . . . parenting? Yep. Earlier this week I wrote about the parents who say Boston Children’s Hospital kidnapped their daughter. With similar stories surfacing all around the country, mom’s and dad’s are taking proactive measures to protect their rights as parents. 

It’s not so strange if you think about  it. Doctors are often accused of recommending diagnostic tests or treatments that are not “necessarily the best option for the patient, but an option that mainly serves . . . to protect the physician” from getting sued. This “defensive medicine” – a reaction to concerns over “sue happy” patients – undermines the trust of parents who want doctors to focus on the best interest of their child.

It’s a broken system.

After hearing of cases in which asking for a second opinion resulted in a loss of custody, even normal, reasonable parents are expressing fears about taking their children in for a checkup. On the flipside, they also have concerns about NOT taking them for fear of being accused of medical neglect. So what’s a parent to do? 

Obviously you are the only one that can answer that question, but here are some thoughts I found helpful.

Pediatrician

The Case for Well-Child Visits

ebooks2In her ebook, A Practical Guide To Children’s Health, Kate Tietje of Modern Alternative Mama outlines the case for and against well-child visits. If you haven’t already picked it up, I highly recommend that you do!

It contains over 300 primary references sources – mostly medical journals – and it covers topics that are important to parents, like:

super foods, special diets, picky eaters, healthy snack ideas, OTC medications, prescription medications, vaccines, herbal remedies for common conditions, sleep issues, a guide to alternative practitioners, organic clothing and bedding, car seat safety, and even education

According to Kate, here are some reasons you might consider well-child visits:

1. You’re planning to follow the CDC vaccination schedule. “One of the primary purposes of well-child visits is vaccinating. Children who follow the CDC schedule[133] receive vaccines at their 2, 4, 6, 12, 15, 18, and 24-month visits (as well as 4 or 5 years, 11 – 12 years, and perhaps immediately before college, as well as annual flu shots). This coincides exactly with the typical well-child visit schedule. If you do plan to follow the CDC vaccine schedule, then you will need to attend all the visits.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

2. You want a good working relationship with your physician. “Another reason for well-child visits is to develop a relationship with a doctor. If a concern about a child’s health ever arises, the doctor will be familiar with the child’s medical history and able to address the concern more accurately than a doctor who is not familiar with the child.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

3. Your doctor may catch something you missed. “In some cases, pediatricians can catch certain developmental or other health concerns early, simply by seeing the child regularly. Screening questions or tests can turn up a concern and allow parents to receive an early diagnosis and early intervention, if needed.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

4. You want to document that your child is well cared for.  “Having a record of well-child visits also protects parents, especially those who choose to follow an alternative lifestyle, from being accused of medical neglect. An ongoing record showing regular well-child visits goes a long way to negate such accusations, supposing they are ever made.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

Obviously, there are many reasons to opt for well-child visits. But there are also plenty of reasons not to.

The Case Against Well-Child Visits

1. You do not vaccinate or  follow a delayed vaccination schedule. “Not all parents follow the CDC vaccine schedule. Some follow an alternative/delayed schedule[134], and some choose to forgo vaccines all together. For parents who do not vaccinate or who delay until after age 1 or 2, taking the baby to the doctor every couple of months may seem like overkill – especially if they are not first-time parents. These parents may choose to skip some or all of the well-child check ups.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

2. You don’t want your child exposed to viruses, etc.  “Every time a child goes into a doctor’s office, s/he has the potential to be exposed to illness – just by the nature of what doctors do. Even with careful hygiene and separate waiting areas (which not all doctors have), children are at greater risk of catching something in a doctor’s office than almost any other place. Some parents do not feel that the risk to their child of getting sick is worth the benefit of the visit. After all, if the doctor is primarily going to weigh and measure the child, that is nothing that the parents can’t do at home.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

Mommypotamus Note: I believe it’s important for children to encounter viruses and such – it’s how their immune systems mature.

3. Doctors rarely spend enough time with their patients to know them, may not take parents concerns seriously, and may have other biases that affect the patient/doctor relationship.“There is also the fact that for a variety of reasons, most doctors cannot spend more than 5 – 10 minutes[135] with their patients. Even the excellent ones can only carve out 30 – 40 minutes for each patient. Seeing patients for this short amount of time every few months to annually is not enough time to really ‘know’ or be familiar with a patient. A parent who does truly know their child would be more likely to notice if something were ‘off’ with that child sooner than a doctor would for this very reason. Doctors also may refer patients or not based on inherent biases and not take parental concerns seriously[136].

(Which is a good reason to have a doctor with whom you have an excellent partnership, and one whom you trust. Then if something ever did seem to be wrong, the doctor would listen carefully to the parent’s observations and instincts and treat the child in conjunction with the parents.) ” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

4. Some doctors give outdated advice and overprescribe medications. “In some cases, doctor choice is limited and parents are forced to see doctors who do not respect their wishes, who are quick to prescribe drugs[137], or who offer bad, outdated medical advice (such as offering solids to a two-week-old baby). In these cases, the frustration of dealing with a doctor who is unhelpful may outweigh any benefits of having a relationship with a doctor.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

5. Parents may need to look elsewhere for relevant information. “Pediatricians, while experts in children’s health, disease, and treating growing and developing children, are not often experts in practical matters that parents really need help with – breastfeeding[138], carseat safety, helping babies to sleep, and so on. Pediatricians are often even less helpful with ‘alternative’ parents, as they do not know much about and may actively recommend against extended breastfeeding, extended rear-facing in the car, co- sleeping, and other common alternative practices.” ( Source: A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

6. Some doctors threaten to involve CPS if a parent doesn’t go along with their recommendations. This one is not from the book, but it does indeed happen.

What We Do

When our first two potami were little we opted out of routine pediatrician visits, and instead chose to see a pediatric chiropractor bi-weekly. (Kate has a section on Alternative Doctors for more about this.) Now we’ve found a pedi that we LOVE, who respects us as parents and who is open to our “alternative” parenting style – co-sleeping, natural remedies, etc. We don’t do ALL the recommended visits, but we do at least schedule an annual visit for each child. (We also still see a wonderful chiropractor)

No one can decide if you should do well-child visits except for you, but I hope you find this post helpful in thinking through your options!

Where to buy A Practical Guide To Children’s Health

ebooks2

If you’re looking for a guide to children’s health that provides empowering information and encouragement, I highly recommend Kate’s book. Her philosophy – which I found I have a lot in common with –  is well supported by research, with over 300 primary sources (largely from medical journals) cited in the book.

All the sources are clickable, so if you want to do more research on your own you can easily use this guide as a “jumping off” point.

Kate has graciously offered a coupon to you, too.

From now through March 10th, you can use coupon code POTAMUS20 at checkout to save 20% off the cost of the book.

(Click here to buy A Practical Guide To Children’s Health)

 

 

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124 Responses to Should You Do Well-Child Visits? The Crunchy Mama’s Dilemma

  1. Jaclyn says:

    Hi! Love your site and all of your helpful information!! Big inspiration for me and my family!
    Our first baby is 8 months old now and the decision making is definitely overwhelming. I am always researching to confirm my thoughts and decisions. I just wanted to let you know that the 25% off code is not working…not sure if its just me but just letting you know :) Thank you!

    • Heather says:

      Hey Jaclyn! First of all, I am so glad you’re here! :-D

      Second, thank you so much for letting me know about the coupon code. I just got in touch with the author and it is working now, but it’s for 20% rather than 25 – that was my typo, sorry!

  2. Megan says:

    I definitely agree with the pros and cons you listed here. This whole discussion, IMO, is part of a larger one surrounding medical care as a product that we are consuming. It’s important to be an educated consumer as much (or more) when it comes to these issues. It starts with vetting doctors before you create relationships with them, and really being steady in your own beliefs and willing to be firm in the face of the medical establishment. Education is key.

    • Heather says:

      I absolutely agree with vetting doctors and a willingness to be firm. Until recently I liked our pediatrician, then something came up where there was a clear choice between a “CYA” recommendation and one that was truly in the best interest of our child. He chose the latter and now I love him! (In a proper, Spockish, really professional way, of course :) )

  3. We took our son to all of his well child checkups for the first few months. We switched pediatricians several times but still had some major issues. The only help offered was antibiotics and one doctor told us very bluntly that CPS would be called if we didn’t vaccinate against pertussis. She also recommended soy based formula. Unfortunately I have yet to find a MD in our area who can offer any help or respect our decisions, so we just visit the ND.

  4. Allison says:

    Oh my goodness, THANK YOU for this post. This is something I have been struggling with just this last week. As a new mom, I don’t want to blow off doctor’s visits, but every time we go we feel SO MUCH pressure to get tons of vaccines and it makes us feel so guilty, so I’ve just stopped going. Do you know of any way to find “open” physicians? Is there a database or something? I would like to have someone I can take my baby to, when necessary.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Allison, one of the best ways I know of to find a good pedi is by word of mouth. A Holistic Mom’s Network group (they have them all over the U.S.) is a great place to ask for a referral, as would be other crunchy parent groups. One of my chiro’s also kept an informal list that was available upon request. Basically, find a place where crunchy parents congregate and ask them :)

      • Allison says:

        Good idea. Thanks! :)

      • Diana says:

        Exactly! When we moved from NYC to RI, I felt lost since our midwife in ny was fountain of information on pediatricians and just about everything we needed info on . But I found a wonderful home birth facebook group for my area and have found that has been a great way to get information and feed back. I still did my own research and had some trial and error And now have an amazing respectful pediatrician who is wonderful. I also took a mommy baby dance and drum class at a studio that shared offices with a nd and was led by a doula and they have also been a tremendous source of info. Crunchy! and so helpful . Check out your community and im sure through your own research and interests you can find what you need. dont settle, just keep going until you find the right one. good luck

  5. Jennifer says:

    THANK YOU so much for this post! When I made the choice to not vaccinate our pediatrician informed me that I could no longer bring my children to her for well visits. I now bring my children to a family doctor who is much more open minded when it come to vaccinations and holistic health.

  6. vicki barber says:

    Ok, so I am not a young mother anymore. I lived off the grid for 26 years and raised 7 children. Three of my own and fostered the rest of the youngin’s .
    We grew and ate our own foods. We ate elk,rabbit,chicken and fish. ” I ” checked my childrens teeth. A clean mouth keeps the body healthy. Hands kept clean and feet kept clean. We daily drank healthy homegrown teas. NO SODAS. Scrapes and booboos , cleaned,and tea tree oil. Lots of exercise outdoors all of us. At night, only one movie, then to bed on a regular schedule. Immunization shots , I took the kids to the health department. Its free or very cheap. Also went to the health department for sports physicals. To this very day, all of my children are very healthy. They are following this path with their own little ones . More to this story,but way to long to go on. Haha

  7. Becky says:

    Good post. I noticed the trend of visits lining up with the vaccine schedule. We luckily found a doctor who respects our wishes about vaccinating and natural remedies. We’ve developed a good relationship. She even told me she loves that I’m not a fussy parent about every little sneeze. She said she knows that when I bring my child in, it’s because there’s something concerning. After working as a nurse in the mid-west, I find more nurses calling CPS and not respecting wishes there, than on the coasts. :( It seems like a regional thing and I hope the other mamas stick up for their rights and don’t let the medical community bully you all around!

  8. Nicole says:

    I’m an RN, and this has been a huge thing for me since we decided to pause vaccinating until I could research more and make an educated decision as to what is best for my family. I wanted a more supportive pediatrician (and a more supportive doctor for me, too, for that matter). Luckily, a friend recommended a doctor for me, and he was able to recommend a pediatrician. Just tried her last week for my youngest’s 9-m well child visit, and she was great. We obviously don’t agree on the vaccination issue, but she’s very respectful of my choices and willing to provide me information so I can make the choice I think best. I appreciate that she treats me like a partner in my child’s care and not like she’s the boss!

    Personally, I try to attend all of the well-child visits even though we’re not vaccinating because I feel like seeing the doctor every few months for the first year or two helps them get to know us (and remember us!) better later when they only get seen once a year.

  9. My kids are 12 and 16 now :). But, I wanted to give you some feedback, this is not a new problem. My first child went to the “best” pedi here in town, who also threatened me when I was not willing to give her ALL the vaccinations on the list for newborns. I switched doctors immediately. Unfortunately, if your kids go to public school, vacs are pushed hard. I took my daughter out in 4th grade, and we are homeschooling ever since. My children have not seen a pedi in 7 years :), they both went a few months ago because we needed to get Tetanus shots. My kids are healthy, have no ailments such as asthma or anything else that needs medical attention. Except as a back up for medical emergencies, we do not need a “doctor” at this point. When I did take my kids in, the nurses & doctor acted surprised how healthy they were, both in mind & spirit :).
    With tthat said, I personally do not believe ALL vaccinations are bad. I research, pick and choose which ones “I” find necessary. I was much more assertive with my second child, as I was a much more confident mama. Sometimes, the doctors try to scare & bully with numbers, and stories that will make your ears curl. They will tell you the worst outcome, or tell you that even if YOUR child does not get sick, they could be a carrier and KILL another person. Remember, hospitals & doctors often have a quota. Unless you live near an independent doctor who does not need to fulfill a pharma , treatment, or xray quota, they will not always suggest things that are in your best interest.
    I am not against doctors or hospitals. Not at all, I am thankful we have insurance for emergencies. BUT, I am very careful what to believe, and do a lot of research. You have rights, and resources, as a parent.

  10. Elisabeth says:

    Another excellent article.

    We found better luck with going to a family practitioner than with a pediatrician. Because the pediatrician spends so much time on well-child visits, they tend to be pushier about vaccination than the family practitioner who sees a wider variety of health and ailments.

    We just scheduled a well-health visit to our physician for a reason that you hadn’t thought about. We have an excellent relationship with our family practitioner that we value very much. We recently discovered that the office has a policy that if a certain period of time passes without a visit, you no longer are considered a patient. If we want to see our doctor at that time, we will need to wait for a new patient opening. Not every physician even sees new patients around here. So, I will be making an unnecessary visit to the doctor, just to preserve that relationship.

  11. Nora says:

    Just a few weeks ago, I took my 11 year old and 4 year old for a yearly checkup. My little one has not vaccinated because of his food sensitive issues. He did have HepB at the hospital and developed a prolong jaundice. So I decided to delay all of his vaccinations until his body is strong enough to handle the vaccines. So with that said, I once again told the doctor that I wanted to wait. He was really mad this time. Even saying things like he had 15 kids died under his care because they refused vaccinations. (I estimated that he’s been in a business for 15 years). Where did he get this “15 kids” from? But he didn’t mention anything about vaccination injury.

    My 4 year old is super small, weighing at 24 pounds. The doctor recommended 5 shots but some are combo of vaccinations. So that day, he would have gotten 7 vaccinations. That was too much. I asked for vaccinations inserts and talked to my husband about it. We both got to think that he should weight until he is bigger in weight. Then my friend (who child was injured by DTaP… became autistic) told me interesting point: If your child was injured by a vaccination, you couldn’t take that all back. Then another friend said this: What is most likely that your child will develop a disease that is no longer a threat in USA? She said she wants to delays all of her kids vaccinations because there is not an outbreak of any deadly disease in here area. (BTW, all of her kids had vaccination injury but not to the point of autism but it really scared her.)

    I really don’t know if I’m doing the right thing by delaying my son’s vacations. But my older one did get his required vaccines because I felt that he was bigger in weight and age. One thing I want to add is that I came to USA from a 3rd world country. There was not yearly checkup. If a child is sick, then a parent takes a child to see any doctor in town. Vaccinations are given to baby while they are at the hospital. As soon as the baby goes home, the parents take over from there.

  12. I’m a british paediatrician and I read this article and the one you mention about Boston Children’s hospital. I’ve never worked in the US and have always been curious as to how the health system works there. I find both this articles slightly horrifying (they’re beautifully written and very informative, it’s the information that’s horrifying.) I think things are different in the UK but as a paediatrician I work really hard to have a good relationship with my patients and their parents and so do most of my colleagues. Re that horrifying story of the poor girl at Boston Childrens I would have treated her as an autonomous adult, at 15, in the UK she’s able to make a lot of her own medical decisions. We don’t really have many ‘well children visits’ in the UK, only when they are very young. Having a good relationship with your doctor or paediatrician is really important. If you don’t trust them or like them, I would recommend finding someone else. When your child is ill, you really do want to go to someone who you know as your child’s best interests at heart. They should take the time to explain their concerns and why they want to do any tests that they want to do. In the UK, we have to have ‘consent’ for everything we do (including just examining someone). Everyone is busy, always, but they should make you feel as if they have enough time to look after you properly.

  13. Ele says:

    Hey does anyone know of any real food ways to help a 2 yr old gain weight? a friend of mine has a picky eater and he is only in the 2nd percentile. Dr wants her to give pediasure or pedialite (not sure how its spelled!) She dosnt want to give her son a chemical filled drink. I suggested smoothies but her son wont eat yogurt.

    • Nora says:

      My son is tiny too. When he turned a year old, I saw a nutritionist. After viewing his 3 days of food diary, she said I needed to give him more proteins and less carb. Beef broth is great. Tell your friend to find bone marrow (cut into 2 inch pieces) and slow cook them all day with a little bit of salt. Cook rice or pasta with beef broth. If her son can drink the broth straight up, it’s best. I sometimes cook noodle (Vietnamese Pho) using the beef broth. The thing was, I changed our diet to more proteins and guess who gained the weight? His older brother and me!!! He only gained like a few ounces. LOL
      I also saw another nutritionist when he was almost 3 years old. She had different approach to his diet. She highly recommended that I gave him more fats: candied bacons (you can find this recipe on my food blog), avocado, lotsa oil and butter. He loved pasta and rice, so she said to add butter or olive oil.
      I tried everything but in the end, I decided that he’s genetically tiny. Both my hubby and I are only 5’4.

    • Alison says:

      NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) is something she might look into. Lots of negative food reactions are unmeasurable by current lab tests, and NAET offers another method for locating and healing these reactions. I’ve seen astonishing change in my chronic fatigue, sleep, and hormones through extensive NAET work. My practitioner says many underweight babies and children have food sensitivities. She says they often have a huge growth spurt after a round of NAET treatments (15-30 sessions). Another possibility could be celiac. I have a friend whose daughter didn’t grow from age 2 to 3. She got tested, came back positive, removed gluten, and grew like a weed.

  14. One thing not mentioned in the article as a benefit of well child visits is getting your child comfortable with the office and provider when they are healthy and feeling good. I stopped them around 1 with my first son after our provider gave me advice about cutting out night nursing I didn’t agree with. When we went in around 3 1/2 to have something checked out, he refused to have his temp taken, for the doc to look into his ears, etc. So it made me think it could have been a good idea to do annual visits at a minimum to keep him comfortable with these procedures. And he sees the chiropractor regularly – but that experience is much different, and his Dad…

  15. Henny says:

    We did the well-child visits until my oldest was almost 5 and my youngest about 2. The pedi (very pro-vaccine) wanted to “catch them up” to the USA schedule. Both spiraled down from that time on, with eczema and behavioral issues. We are now finally healing their guts and killing candida, and they get better day by day, but it took us years. I am grateful in a way, because it opened my eyes to the truth of the medical establishment and CDC vaccines. Don’t anyone trust when you are told they are safe – follow your instincts!! We now have an awesome integrative doc we see annually and a homeopath. We have letters excusing my allergy-probe kids from further vaccines. My kids are on strong probiotics, ferments, L-Glutamine to repair gut lining, and oil of oregano to kill the yeast…they are doing wonderfully, but it was a huge struggle to repair the damage our first pedi left with his “catch up vaccines”…

  16. thecatzpajamas says:

    okay, so I have thought about this one long and hard over the past few years. I’ve concluded that it IS important to go to the pediatrician, and regularly. They catch things that you really just can’t know to even look for, or how. you, as a parent, are not trained to know what neuroblastoma cancer of the stomach feels like, or what torticolis looks like in a 2 week old. You cannot get a referral yourself for a specialist when you need one if you don’t even have a doctor. Pediatricians are not a bunch of evil vipers out to get your children, they are the lowest paid of doctors, and are generally trying to help in the best way they know how. but most importantly, they are trained, and you are not. even if you don’t agree with everything they say, that’s why you choose one that you are comfortable with, that you can discuss issues with, and that will advise you and partner with you for the health of your children.

    Just because people have lived for thousands of years without doctors, doesn’t mean we should say that was the best. We have more toxins in the air, soil, food etc. than our ancient ancestors ever did, and you know, their life spans weren’t all that great even if they did eat all organic natural foods by default. They also didn’t have the world travelling and mass spreading of diseases like we do now. It’s makes all kinds of sense to put up with the hassling about vaccines if you really don’t want them, and take your child in to be checked. it’s not a useless procedure, it does save a lot of grief and pain and definitely saves lives.

  17. Kate Ulrich says:

    Do you mind if I ask, does your insurance company cover all of your alternative healthcare, or do you pay for it out of pocket? This is our number one obstacle to getting professional alternative healthcare. Get our preventative chiropractic care covered is a pain in the neck lately.

  18. Kate says:

    Do you mind if I ask how you deal with paying for alternative healthcare? We would love to but our insurance company doesn’t cover most of it (getting preventative chiropractic care covered is currently a pain in the neck, and a holistic pediatrician is just a dream). So does your insurance help you out or do you end up paying out of pocket for a big chunk? You can respond by email if you want.

    • Elisabeth says:

      While your insurance doesn’t cover a chiropractor, it probably covers an osteopath. Many osteopaths have practices that resemble that of a family physician. In our area, they are viewed the same way as an MD, even though their work is similar to that of a chiropractor. One important difference is that they prescribe drugs.

      • Rebekah says:

        And for those wondering about how to find them, look for a doctor with “D.O.” instead of “M.D.” after their name:)

      • Leah says:

        Are DO’s really any different than today’s MD’s? Just curious as I see a mixture of MD’s and DO’s working together in the same practices. Maybe it just depends on each individual?

  19. Kate says:

    My son went to his last well child visit at age 11 months. He is now 2 1/2 and hasn’t been back. He has never been vaccinated. Best decision I ever made. We have a great working relationship with a naturopath, which works well for our whole family. We are super healthy and happy!

  20. Family Doc says:

    Well child visits are easily the best part of my day! Getting to know children and their parents at these visits and orienting them to office procedures is extremely helpful if (heaven forbid) they do fall ill and occasionally we pick up problems that could cause long-term problems and would have otherwise been missed.

  21. Portia says:

    I am curious how people get around getting their kids into summer programs such as camp without a medical history signed off by an M.D. If my kids haven’t been to a doctor in over a year, I have to take them for a check up just to get them in to camp. Nobody seems to care about the vaccines, they just want to see that my kids have been seen by a doctor within the past year.

  22. Farah Gainey Vann via FB says:

    oh my thank you!

  23. What a great post! I was just trying to decide whether to schedule a 2 yr checkup for my daughter.

  24. Jama Harris via FB says:

    Very informative!

  25. Sarah says:

    Maybe I am just fortunate, but I don’t feel threatened by voicing my choices to our peds office, which is a pro-vaccine office. We do a delayed schedule (side note- I have delayed MMR and was planning on delaying past our 2 year well baby, but we’re experiencing an outbreak of measles regionally, and my husband works right in the epicenter. Sorry, but we’re going ahead with the and we don’t do the influenza vaccine, but it’s always been respected. We faced issues with our first child, a now healthy but ‘string bean’ skinny boy, and the peds questioning his weight, and they recommended various tests when he was an infant. We obliged to a point; being new parents we were concerned that maybe there was a medical issue that we weren’t qualified to notice. If I could go back I’d insist on waiting it out and not doing bloodwork on a baby, but either way, by the time he was a year old we insisted that he was a healthy, thriving baby and they agreed that it was likely a matter of genetics. I apologize, but the very unfortunate stories that we hear about are mostly a product of information age hysteria, or maybe I really am extraordinarily fortunate.

  26. Claire Barker via FB says:

    We do but majority of the time I refrain from vaccines.

  27. My advice to all new parents matter your parenting style is find a pediatrician you like and trust! I got lucky because my first choice for my boys turned out to be perfect! He never pushes medication when a natural remedy will work! I hate pills from a bottle! He also encouraged us to home school and kept up with my boys progress over the years. My boys are now 16 and 14. They have had annual well-checks.

  28. Tonya Scarborough via FB says:

    On my 7th kid and finally saying no. And I would advise my children to just forgo altogether when they have kids. It has been a complete annoyance and waste of time and money. The few times I actually needed help with something, it wasn’t at a well-child visit.

  29. Valerie Biggs-Hernandez via FB says:

    We don’t go to them but I don’t want them to catch viruses for no reasons. I get their immune systems ready but not in that fashion….just MHO

  30. Courtney Kafka via FB says:

    As homeschoolers in a state that doesn’t even require that we report that we are homeschooling (NJ) I want to be “on the grid” in at least one respect. We check in at our annual (more often for babies) visits to show the doctor that our kids are healthy, happy, well-fed, learning, etc. We are opting out of vaccines for now, but with a doctor that we trust and with guarding some info (I haven’t told them we drink raw milk and don’t plan to.) I am happy to check in and have a record of my children’s well-being somewhere in the system. :)

  31. Melanie Straub de Jesus via FB says:

    Honestly, just find a ped who is also a crunchy mama. We’ve been lucky to find two over the years.

  32. We didn’t do them because I never really saw the need to, and we didn’t have insurance. My two kids were 17 and 18 years old before they ever had an antibiotic.

  33. Tori Loveless Sackos via FB says:

    Lindsey Leyda Fryant

  34. My last two kids have never gone to one. The impact: there hasn’t been one. They have never had to go to the doctor. They are 3 and 5.

  35. Jenny Elsea Woodman via FB says:

    We do them. Our trust our pediatrician. Insurance covers them and the kids get vision and hearing screenings every year.

  36. Rebekkah Smith via FB says:

    We go, because 1) there have been several instances where my Dr caught something I missed (i.e. a cyst in my son’s neck that will need to be removed in the future), 2) I usually have something I’d like to discuss (i.e. is this sleep habit normal? Any advice on potty training?), and 3) I like getting to spend 30 minutes talking about my kids to someone who seems very interested. My pediatrician loves to listen to you talk about your kids. He will forever. He’s also very informative. We don’t agree with everything, but I love him.

  37. Yes. You need an unbiased professional opinion who has agreed to be a partner in your child’s health. I am a physician, and thanks to our wonderfully observant doc, my daughter is happy, healthy & alive today.

  38. Debbie Koziolek via FB says:

    My son will go to his 1 year. His last one was his 6 month. He is not get vaccines, so I feel no need to go every 2 months. At 6 months he was in excellent health and right on with his weight and height. He has never even had a cold.

  39. Debbie Koziolek via FB says:

    I do have an excellent doctor who has accepted my position to not vaccinate. She is very good with advice.

  40. Our pediatrician caught our son’s hip dysplasia as an infant. I’m thankful for well checks.

  41. Kyla Festerly via FB says:

    This is a big dilemma for us also. Although I think we might have found someone our area. Great post!

  42. Molly Grasso via FB says:

    I think they’re very important to catch things parents aren’t trained to look for – if you don’t get any value from them perhaps find a different doctor!

  43. Karyn Gano Chapman:
    I didn’t quite understand your previous comment…???

  44. Megan Johnson via FB says:

    Unless you’re a medically trained professional, how are you to know if there are signs or symptoms of something going wrong? My mother is a RN and I was spiraling deep into type 1 diabetes warning signs before I was diagnosed by my pediatrician (at age 18). I went in worried about strep throat and swollen lymphnodes. My doc caught the T1 the minute she looked at me. Just because you love your child and want the best for them, doesn’t mean you actually know what would be best. My mother has been practicing medicine for 30+ years, but even she didn’t see the signs (not to fault my mother AT ALL; we had also lost my grandfather (her father) the month prior to my diagnosis so we were all a little distracted, but that’s why you have a team of medical professionals on your side for well checks and other needs).

  45. Why would you not go? Even if you don’t vaccinate , which I do, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t. My twins are three and I have a six month old and I always do our well checks. I love my pediatrician and appreciate the conversations we have about my children at our visits.

  46. Nicole Saur via FB says:

    Thank you for covering this. :)

  47. Jennifer McFloyd via FB says:

    There is NO debate in my opinion. You take your child to to doctor each year. Don’t wait for an ER experience to be your first trip to the doctor. Why would you not take your child for Well Visits? Check their weight, height make sure there is nothing you cannot see – eye, ear, blood pressure problems any thing at all…but most of all you are reaffirmed that your child is fine and is not traumatizes by going to the doctor and waiting in the waiting room for hours!

  48. LOVE our pediatrician, always respects my decisions and research and I always love hearing his professional opinion about any concerns. Our well visits are always 30-45 minutes I can’t imagine places where they are 10?!

  49. Cant afford to takw them when they r sick never mind healthy these people should run for office out of touch

  50. I didn’t immunise my child. Pre school check was done at preschool . I don’t trust doctors or government .

  51. We haven’t done vaccines but still want a relationship with our MD, while we also see a naturopath.

  52. Surata Wood via FB says:

    My DD (5) sees our herbal TCM doctor when needed. We see our chiropractor every 2-3 months.

  53. Michelle Pope via FB says:

    I’ll go, because for the first 2-3 years they’re done my a midwife and they’re free in Australia. Just be informed. Make your own choices.

  54. Carrie Gaze via FB says:

    Sure…..with a grain of salt and if it jives with our plans for that day. lol

  55. Amie Burl via FB says:

    We had a wonderful pediatrician for 7 years but when we decided to stop vaccinating, we were asked to leave. I haven’t been able to find another practice who will see us.

  56. In Germany everyone goes. There is no discussion about it. I think in this times where kids spend less time with their patents its important to go as you might not know if something is missing . Also not Every mother has a good intuition about the health off her child and even if she has she cannot check eyes or ears etc. over here in the first year you go a couple of times…

    • Elisabeth says:

      The German government has researched herbalism and validated alternative care. Who wouldn’t go under that system?

  57. Courtney Roybal via FB says:

    I didn’t even know that this was a “thing” I’ve avoided them except for one a year simply for the hassle a doctors visit creates in my small town. We only have one D.O. which I plan to take my kids to instead.
    We had the most amazing pediatrician in Colorado but now here in Washington state in our smaller town I’m not getting the same open minded doctors point of view.

  58. Brandy Vaughan via FB says:

    I stopped going when my son was 18 months because our ped started to give me a hard time about not vaccinating my son. He’s three now and hasn’t seen a doctor since. I don’t see a doctor regularly either. I don’t really see the point when I feel good about the preventative approach that I take with him. Our immune system is there for a reason. If it were an emergency I would take him but otherwise, I trust my instincts and other measures. But to each their own. :)

  59. Grace McNally via FB says:

    It has its advantages. A well visit detected what was causing my daughter’s speech issues, and the problem was remedied with a simple surgery.
    I’m still not dragging all 4 of my children to frequent visits without my own intuition leading me that direction.

  60. Elizabeth Law via FB says:

    I stopped taking my son after 18 mos because he was given all the shots by this age and he never gets sick his dr also told me he’s obese and needs a diet Uhmm no he’s just heavy not fat. When he was 7 months old he caught rubella and pneumonia from taking him to a well baby check up.

  61. Elizabeth Couliard via FB says:

    I take my DD because I would like her to be familiar with our Doc (a naturopath/”allopath” type who does vaccines but does not push and is a GP, so she sees me as well) and so no one can say she has no record of being a healthy, well-adjusted, happy child. We are no vax and we have been attending all the regular visits, with exception to her 15 month that the doc said “wasn’t needed since she’s so healthy; we’ll see you in 6 months”. my DD has so far been above and beyond all milestones and what a former friend Dx as a “possible ear infection” turned out to be her just pulling on her ears because she was teething (which I told said friend several times, and she treated me like I was nuts because she has 6 vaxxed kids who are always sick with something and acts like she knows it all). She is also meeting with me to identify any possible issues and handling them like my Dx of gluten intolerance that she, after 4 docs and 2 years, confirmed I have and finally put in my chart. So far I see her every two months as a check-in and with any questions. I can’t wait until I only need to take my DD in for just annuals, it will be a lot easier, but I am glad to have a doc. Like this article pointed out, there are too many cases of children being taken, and I would rather be able to wiggle a patient folder full of visits than not have it at all. Also, i am not concerned about the germs at the dr office (hospitals are another story…) as i figure it’s just as bad as taking her to the local tourist spots, one of which i work at lol. :) germs are everywhere, and sensible exposure is what makes the natural immunity grow stronger! we’ve only had two cases of sniffles and runny noses here and she’s only 14 months.

  62. Rachel Cherry via FB says:

    In the UK you generally go and see a health visitor (nurse trained in child development etc) for getting weighed. It’s completely optional. We only go to development checks at 9 months and 2 yes. For vaccinations you go to the GP surgery. They also do the 8 week development check with the first vaccination. We really only go to the Dr’s for serious illness. If you need see a paediatrician you have to be referred by the GP

  63. Minnie Cypha via FB says:

    Weren’t we just having this discussion MaryAnne Monzon

  64. Kara Carpenter Yeckley via FB says:

    I was informed by my wonderful doctor friend that they are essentially insurance against government attacks since I do not immunize. If there was ever a “situation” where they wanted to tell me I am medically neglectful, it would be hard since they see the doctor regularly, I think it is ridiculous to go when a child is perfectly fine, but again, insurance…

  65. Pam Falaguerra Riddle via FB says:

    This is just taking the whole thing too far. Yes to well child visits! They cover all the basic milestones I want to know if my child is hitting. Oh and I also take my kids to the dentist too, the horror! No fluoride but we were recommended xylitol. My decision from here thanks.

    • Kate says:

      Thank you for a rational response! Well baby visits are there to make sure that your child is healthy and growing well. I cringe when I hear people talking about not vaccinating or not taking their children in for well visits because their “intuition” tells them not to. These are medical professionals and I’m sorry but their degrees give them more authority in making some decisions then your feelings which are most situations. As far as over prescribing, if you are given something like a decongestant or something like that that isn’t entirely necessary, just don’t use it. I’m sorry but as much as I like my chiropractor, he’s not a substitute for seeing an actual doctor!

  66. Lea Dozois via FB says:

    No

  67. Julia Viehland via FB says:

    Stephie Ann Burton

  68. Bobbi Rasmussen via FB says:

    my provider is starting to do something where, yeah, you have the option of making the well child appointments, if you don’t have any concerns you don’t have to……..

  69. We had a great pediatrician in NY that was super supportive so we did do all the well visits. But now that we moved to Laurel, MD I haven’t been able to find one yet that is non vax. Really need to look into chiropractor. If any of you ladies happen to be in my area, I would love a referral.

  70. Ashley Besser via FB says:

    We do, certainly doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost us anything. That’s the only time my kids go… they’ve never even had an ear infection in 8 years.

  71. Janelle says:

    I actually just decided to not bring my 15 month old to his well visit this time. We are only behind on one vaccination (I wish I didn’t have to do those but we chose to go that route) and I really don’t think its that big of a deal to delay it. Hes never been on an antibiotic because when he gets sick we use homeopathy and are not afraid of a fever. We’ve been through a few minor colds and sixth disease, but otherwise he is super healthy! His old brother was on prescription drugs until 2 and antibiotics from 0-6 months and off and on until he was 2. He was CONSTANTLY sick and now has allergies to gluten, dairy and dogs. Its all the medical intervention that makes these kids patients for life. Now I avoid that stuff at all costs. Antibiotic free for 4 years now!

  72. Quit going unless I have a concern….because everytime they went they caught something from the sick kids in the waiting room. Usually a cold.

  73. I’m a doctor and I take my child to the pediatrician who caught something potentially serious that I missed. They went to school and have extensive training in KIDS and see them everyday. Just find one you like and you trust. A pediatric chiropractor…as an ER doctor I have some stories about chiropractors so I’m biased. And I know we all want the best for our children but I’ve never understood why people trust blogs, the media and Jenny McCarthy over medical professionals. It’s unbelievable!

  74. Esther N Scott via FB says:

    The concern with well baby Visits here in America is that they want so many. If u miss they ? Why. When u go they push vax vax vax when our law states it’s parents choice.
    The doctors & staff have switched to this mindset that mothers, parents are uneducated & not qualified to be in control of their child’s care.
    Idk.

  75. Melanie Karatkiewicz Balk via FB says:

    Wow. Totally neglectful to just flat out not take your children in for checkups because of your own objectives. Things that may not present to you as a parent can be caught before progressing too far by an EXPERIENCED physician.

  76. Ellen Gaskill via FB says:

    This is a great article. I don’t believe in taking a child to the doctor if my child isn’t sick!

  77. Tonya says:

    I think the pros and cons you list are spot on. Geography, in my opinion, makes a huge difference. I live in a county where we have consistently led the state in deaths from pertussis and RSV for a number of years — and we have annual outbreaks of polio, measles, hepatitis, etc. among children — which makes me as a parent feel that benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks for our child in most cases. That said, I run into a lot of insurance vs. doctor issues. Our doc will not vaccinate any child who shows any symptoms of illness (runny nose, fever, etc.), which means there are well-child visits where no vaccines have been given. Our insurance company doesn’t require a patient co-pay for well-child visits so they only cover one every 12 months (to the day), and they won’t classify a visit as “well-child” unless vaccines are given. So we get in this weird space where the doc’s business staff (schedulers) discourages coming in for the well-child visit if sick and possibly unable to be vaccinated, but the doctor’s medical staff is calling to encourage you stay on your check-up schedule for development, and the insurance company dictates how that all overlaps. We are fortunate that we have a doc who gives us a lot of latitude because she trusts us to trust her when she pushes her point of view, and I feel like she gives us the same respect. Example: I questioned the Hep B vax at birth (hospital protocol). She explained the hospital’s reason for its protocol and then said since our daughter wasn’t going into child care, she was willing to remove the order from her chart if I agreed to have another discussion about it at her 6-week check-up. We had that subsequent discussion and both of us agreed that the vaccine did not make sense for my daughter at that time. No conflict. No compromise. Just fact-based agreement. I’m sorry so many of you are not as fortunate but I am grateful there are sites such as this one that offer advise and direction for those in less friendly situations.

  78. Rene'e says:

    I have had issues with my pediatrician. I have a 13 month old daughter who was 12 weeks early. I wanted to follow a delayed schedule but due to her prematurity, I was afraid to not follow the norm. Now since she is older, I have asked not to give her certain vaccines and to hold off on others. She said she would call CPS for medical neglect and went on about mumps and polio coming back and killing children. She and I got into a heated debate over this and I was told that I need to have a educated reason why I don’t want to follow office procedure by her 16 month visit. Simply stating that it’s not what I want for her is not enough. I’m not offered insurance through my employer, therefore I have her covered under Medicaid. I live in Charlotte, NC and it’s unbelievable that in a large city like this I am having a hard time finding someone who will take her as a patient AND respect my wishes. I do want my daughter to have some of the vaccines (the ones I got as a baby in ’83) but definitely not all. Most of the “newer” shots are just ridiculous. They may as well add one in to immune children from developing a sense of entitlement and being spoiled lol. But again, it is the way those parents raised their children! If anyone can give me advice on what to do, or if someone out there lives in Charlotte, please help! Thank you:-)

  79. Krista White via FB says:

    For those of you up in arms about those of us who don’t go to all the well visits I just want to point something out. It’s hard for people to trust “doctors” that give terrible medical advice. In my area all doctors recommend vit d drops and give you a package pushing formula. My sons ped also pushed CIO. Most US peds have no experience in handling intact boys and will pull back the skin which can cause a myriad of issues! And so on and so on. It is impossible for me to take anyone seriously who gives such terrible advice and pushes for formula companies. And the MAJORITY of doctors are like that. Not to mention they push vax on those of us who choose not to.
    I would rather take my son to a naturopathic doctor if there was one where I live. For now he hasn’t been to the doctor since he was 6 months, just turned one yesterday.

  80. We looked and looked for a supportive doctor. We read reviews websites and tried out 4. All 4 turned out to be overbearing, unsupportive and completely undereducated or over doctrinated. We gave up. I track my children’s growth and development. I do have a list of natural docs we would investigate if a need ever arises. Since leaving the well child visits behind us our children have had a great decrease in colds. In 4 years we have never had a need for one.

  81. Jamie N Greg Pease via FB says:

    We go once a year. In and out quick and easy. It’s good to have a great doc who respects my decisions as the mother and she doesn’t push me to do anything I don’t want to do. But it’s peace of mind to have their little bodies checked close up to ensure there is nothing that I am missing. After having a brother who battled pediatric cancer, and having one daughter who was born with heart problems and one dead kidney, I want more than just my opinion on their little bodies.

  82. Anya says:

    Thanks Heather for an interesting read! Disturbing too – yikes! We take our kids to our family D.O., not a pediatrician and she’s not a regular MD. And though sometimes, I feel like she does seem to rush through our visits, overall she’s great because of this: she’s very supportive of our lifestyle: no vax, raw milk, our decision to homeschool, among other things. She is also an acupuncturist in that same clinic. It’s a great balance for us and for her practice (our insurance picks up the tab). It would be great to have more doctors like her throughout the country – if anything, to make a statement to Big Pharma that people are making big changes to their lifestyles!!

  83. Lisa Pitcher Conard via FB says:

    We don’t.

  84. Kerrie says:

    Anytime I read articles like this they hit home. Almost a year ago a friend sent a message to you for me (before I read your blog, etc.) and you posted it for input from your readers. My son was never above 10% on weight and never deviated from his growth curve. For six months I asked about his tongue and was pushed off by his doctor who was also a DO (I had horrible mastitis/he couldn’t stick it out to his teeth) My husband felt the doctor was a professional and we should leave it at that and listen to her. (He now feels very guilty which is unfortunate.) The last time my son saw that doctor she threatened to call CPS due to his weight (12 months, we went to ALL well visits) if I didn’t comply with multiple tests she wanted to run after I again questioned her about his tongue. I kept my mouth shut and left. I then spent the next month phone interviewing doctors about the situation. I found one that was open to a more alternative outlook and is also a clinical professor for children’s hospital. Once I committed to taking my son there and his records were transferred I took my son in every two weeks for two months to cover myself from the old doctor. The new doctor said after my sons first visit there was absolutely nothing wrong but after knowing who the old doctor was they made it very clear I needed to protect myself without stating anything to legally put themselves at risk (they obviously had dealt with this issue) Your readers gave me input to also protect myself which I will forever be grateful for. This is unfortunately SO common! :( In addition to finding a doctor that I know is looking out for our best interests in all aspects he referred us to a ENT specialist for my sons tongue. My son had to get his tongue clipped at 15 months (put under due to his age). They ended having to release (clip) it 1.8cm which is around an inch. His eating improved but I will forever feel guilt for not pushing back before I was threatened. I see my son every day and I know when there is an issue. I respect that all doctors have gone to school but I REALLY respect doctors that respect my opinion as well since I interact with my child ever day. I am thankful we avoided more serious issues some families incur due to doctors but it angers me how much power doctors have from their opinions. Any way THANK YOU for providing an outlet with information for your readers to interact and provide help for each other. It has changed my outlook severally and provided peace from helping me be informed to protect my family. THANK YOU!

  85. Amy Couch via FB says:

    I’m surprised to hear so many strong opinions about folks forgoing. Once I realized my kids only got sick after well visits I cut down A LOT. We are delaying vaccines so what is the point of bringing them in every 2-3 months just to get sick? It’s the ONLY time and they see plenty of germs. If there were any concerns I would seek medical advice. Otherwise, once in a while seems plenty.

  86. Amy Couch via FB says:

    Don’t take your new baby anywhere germy, except the pediatrician’s office several times. Lol. Ack. I’m an ‘ass long as it’s an informed decision’ kind of gal. But some serious hypocrisy on the topic. Another common one is ‘why risk babys health by not vaxing?’ from someone who would never consider nursing. Whaaaa?

  87. Deborah Davidson via FB says:

    I took my kids when they were babies. I’m a registered nurse – I stopped taking them once they were in JR high. I didn’t see the point sitting in a waiting room full of sick kids for the doc to tell me they were healthy. I’m more confident in my own assessment skills than a doc who sees them once a year.
    This idea of a “well visit” to me is bizzare – especially in healthy children. Parents have an intuitive nature on the health of their children. It makes me sad that society has told us we are not smart enough to know when our child is sick or not. I don’t have blind faith in the medical establishment. I imagine if we didn’t have to go to so many well visits and have so many screenings for the cancer industry – we might see a drop in health care costs – then maybe people who NEED health care can receive it.

  88. Henny says:

    I think the key is to find a ped whose style suits your own and whom you trust. Our ped would NEVER refer us to CPS and supports our choices. We respect his views and experience. We don’t always agree with him, but we do feel he has our children’s best interest at heart. My kids have been sick (since bad reaction to vaccine “catch ups”…we are now excused) so much we never did schedule a “wellness” visit..we half lived cat the surgery, it seemed…..but they are finally healing…this will be our first year for a well visit :)

  89. Lori Lamb says:

    Great article and just this week a friend of mine called me after her daughter took her grand daughter to a well baby visit. She is 6 months old, breast fed, very healthy looking with some chunky thighs. The Dr. is concerned at 6 months that she is not rolling over and questioned her repeatedly about how she plays with her and asking the same questions over and over. They wanted to send a child specialist to the house, completely covered by insurance, of course to teach her how to roll over. I was shell shocked! I had never heard of this. My grand daughter at the age of 9 months could not rollover because of her chunky thighs and today she is soon to be 5, tall and slender. This to me is an absolute waste of insurance dollars and the parents time. I told her to go with her gut and let her baby be a baby. She is sitting up, laughs, coos, and is fine. Parents need to not be intimidated by their pediatrician and if they elect not to vaccinate and the Dr. threatens to not see them anymore they should consider that a favor and walk out! Well baby visits are hardly that. Before a babies immune system even gets a chance to kick in they are injected with toxic chemicals. A baby has no chance of getting HepB unless they are sharing needles with each other in the nursery and I highly recommend keeping your baby under your watchful eye at all times, or unless the Mom has HepB. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to test all Moms before delivery? Choosing to vaccinate or not is a very personal choice and you shouldn’t be guilted into doing anything with your baby that you are not comfortable with. And, Moms need to do their research on soy formula for their babies. Keep in mind that MD’s have a total of 1 week of training in the area of nutrition. They are pushing products on you that are not healthy for your baby. Chhose organic in whatever you decide to feed and breast feeding is your best option. The majority of the soy is genetically modified and soy as a whole is NOT a health food. It is linked to thyroid issues, infertility issues and breast cancer.

  90. MommaJ says:

    My spouse was in the Army when we had our first two children, many years ago, and vaccines were not optional, but there were about 1/3 as many vaccines as what is now required.

    With out third child (many years later), she was discovered within 24 hours to be carrying a genetic immune deficiency that is common in my family.
    I have to say, our choice of pediatrician was wonderful.
    I only wanted to choose vaccines that the disease is fatal (such as tetanus, or when I was exposed, Rabies vaccine).
    Our doctor continued to follow and test for immunity every month, and spaced out vaccines so that only one vaccine would be given at any visit (how can you know what your child is reacting to, if they are given 5-7 vaccinations at once??).
    There are a few vaccines that I have investigated, and the associated side effects are actually worse than the disease that is being prevented.
    While I think every parent should have the option to choose what goes into their child’s body, in reality, many children get sick, and even die from such germane illnesses as the flu. So DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!

    As my daughter grew, and her immune system matured, I continued to nurse her, much longer than the one year I nursed the older children.
    By age two, her immune system kicked in, and she was well.
    She is now a very well, happy, healthy 11 year old, and I feel like I made the right choices along the way for her health, and to avoid the many issues associated with vaccines. Some vaccines we gave on a very delayed schedule, a few we skipped entirely, and some we considered a necessity.
    Since we travel world-wide, I am glad for the choices we have made, as she is able to travel without needing extra vaccinations, except an occasional booster shot.

    All in all, every parent should have the right to choose for their child, but in those choices, be very informed.
    If your child could die from no vaccines, that is your choice, but be aware of the symptoms and signs of potential illness, and get treatment as soon as possible, so you don’t have to deal with the loss of a precious child.
    My ideal was to vaccinate for illnesses that can cause death, and skip or delay vaccines for illnesses that only occur in college dorms, or as young adults that become sexually active.
    Even with the vaccines I decided were necessary, we would only allow one vaccine per month, and a full recovery or no reaction before any future vaccines were scheduled. Thankfully, our pediatrician was not only fully supportive, he had many suggestions to keep our child healthy.

    Parenting and medical practice are both “arts” and each child is different. Do what is right for you and your child, and find a physician to help you gain your goals for raising a healthy, happy family!

  91. ^^^seems to happen EVERY time we go!

  92. Esther says:

    Thank you for this! As a subscriber, I find your posts always on point! After reading the last article on Justina’s case, I began the debate about well child visits again with myself- wondering pros and cons. That article really got my wheels turning and here you go posting a very helpful follow up along those lines. Thank you! We have quite a lot in common with parenting and lifestyles and I appreciate you sharing so much that I can learn from and put to use! :) keep up the good work. It helps!

  93. Tammy says:

    Great pros and cons list. I personally do not take my kids to well visits unless their school requires a physical to be done. They are happy, healthy kids- and I do my best to try and take good care of their health. I am very alternative/holistic. Most doctors in my area are not. There is definitely always a need for them and I do use them when necessary, otherwise its me and my natural medicines. : )

  94. Leah says:

    Can I ask more about you taking your young children/babies to a pediatric chiropractor bi-weekly? What did a typical appointment look like and/or what the chiropractor do for your babes on such a frequent basis? Also, I liked this article as it is something my husband and I have been battling with since our first son was born in 2012. We didn’t really have a choice in not taking him to well-child appts. as he had serious health complications at birth, but thankfully we found a pedi who at least somewhat respects our alternative ways– not vaccinating, especially as we were turned away at other doctors for this choice. We are due with number 2 very soon, and if all is fine and well, we plan to not do well-child visits and hopefully eventually find a holistic practitioner who we can see instead:) A list of reputable, holistic practitioners around the United States would be soooo helpful as it seems like these sorts of “gems” are always hard to find!

  95. […] is a good article about the “crunchy mama dilemma!” In this article she talks about this great book, “A practical guide to […]

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