Crying Over Un-Drunk Milk

| Working | July 22, 2017

(While I know people have differing opinions whether cow’s milk is an important part of our diet, I personally feel it’s important for a growing child. For the first year of his life, my son drank nothing but breast milk, straight from the tap, since he refused to take a bottle. When I tried to introduce cow’s milk into his diet at age 12 months, he would have none of it. I did a lot of online research and tried everything I could think of, but nothing was working. I continued nursing, and I brought it up with the doctor at his 15-month well visit. Note: we are military and do not have a designated pediatrician. We attend the medical clinic on base and receive care from whichever doctor is available that day. I’ve interacted with this particular doctor before, on a sick visit with my other son, and I wasn’t impressed with her.)

Doctor: “Everything looks great. Do you have any questions or concerns?”

Me: “Yes, I’m having a hard time getting him to drink milk. I know it’s important, so do you have any tips?”

Doctor: *horrified* “Oh, he NEEDS to drink milk! It’s vital for his growing body!”

Me: “Yes, I know that. That’s why I’m concerned. How can I get him to drink it? He won’t drink anything but water from his cup.”

Doctor: *lecturing* “Now, milk is full of calcium and protein, plus he needs the fat to help his developing brain.”

Me: “Yes! I know! He won’t drink it! I’ve tried mixing it with chocolate milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk; nothing is working.”

Doctor: “No! Soy milk is NOT the same thing as cow’s milk. That is not sufficient. He needs COW’S MILK.”

Me: “That’s not what I said. I said I tried mixing cow’s milk with soy milk. I figure, if I can just get him to drink SOMETHING, I can then gradually change the ratio of cow’s milk to ‘filler’ until he’s drinking plain cow’s milk. I wish I could mix it with breast milk, but I stopped pumping once I realized he wouldn’t take a bottle, and I donated what I had in the freezer when we moved six months ago, plus gave away my pump.”

Doctor: “Oh, you’re still breastfeeding?” *I had indicated that on my intake paperwork AND mentioned it previously during the exam* “You should stop that. He’ll start drinking the milk then.”

Me: *shocked* “No… No, that’s not a valid reason to wean him. I only nurse him a few times a day, plus there is no evidence that one is connected to the other.”

Doctor: “Well, he needs to drink cow’s milk and he needs to drink it soon.”

Me: “I agree!”

Doctor: “He should be drinking 8-12 oz a day! You’re telling me he’s not drinking any, at all?”

(Long silence while we look at each other.)

Doctor: “Please get him to drink milk.” *starts to walk out the door*

Me: *as she’s leaving* “How?!”

(I returned home, fired up Google, and finally got him drinking milk. He’s now 2.5 years old and loves milk so much I have to ration it. The military has offered us many opportunities over the years, but there are some simple things of which I’m envious — like forming a relationship with a medical provider and receiving continued care over the years.)

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