Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please Rephrase the Question

Questions asked by the nurse at Helen's nine-month checkup this morning:

"She's sleeping through the night all the time, isn't she?"

"She's not breastfed, is she?"

"She's cruising, isn't she?"

"You don't live in a house built before 1950, do you?"

Because her hemoglobin number was low: "Are you sure she's not exposed to lead?"

[Answers: No, yes, no, yes, yes.]

Anybody else's baby have low hemoglobin results at their nine-month checkup? Tell me about it while I go stuff Helen with iron-fortified baby cereal.


  1. I'm not sure my guys were even tested for their hemoglobin levels. Bart had a "flow murmur" which could have been caused by low iron, but even then he wasn't tested.

    That nurse has a strange way of getting the information. She could be a Seinfeld character.

  2. that sounds like a very negative nurse.

    my kids both had low iron. i've always been low in that area too though, so it was to be expected.

  3. Wow, they definitely need her to reword the questions. They just sound mean. I hate nurses like that. Grr.

  4. My daughter was tested at 9 months as well, but she was fine (high actually - but not as high as she was while in the hospital). But, she does have a cousin with low iron that didn't have any issues (He is now 16). And those questions are just not worded well. It should be: "does she...?" I would say you might want to take some iron pills so she gets it via the bm...

  5. I haaaate that way of wording questions! Oh, it makes me so uncomfortable!

    Henry wasn't tested at 9 months but they tested him at 12 months (when he was no to sleeping through and yes to breastfeeding and no to cruising) and he was low iron. The nurse asked if he would eat meat (he had just started to), and suggested giving him more hamburger and more iron-fortified infant cereal.

  6. Oh, I thought there was something else, and there was: the nurse said _I_ should take iron pills, so there'd be more iron in the breastmilk.

  7. We had to put Miss A on Poly-Vi-Sol (soluble multivitamin) and Fer-In-Sol (soluble iron) supplements. 1 dropperful of each every day until she was 2. She still takes a multivitamin, but had iron deficiency anemia even though she ate plenty of meat, beans, legumes, spinach, etc. I'm a new reader so I don't know if it is Helen with the allergies, but our pedi said sometimes they see this in kids with allergies as moms avoid many of the iron fortified products because they also have allergens like milk and eggs. Just a thought.

  8. I think all medical professionals should have to take a "people skills" class to graduate, don't you?

    So many are just jerks.

  9. When ever some one asked are you still breastfeeding? I would ask when did you start artificially feeding your children? I reported a nurse who encouraged a bottle to my public health nurse, who prommised to investigate her!

  10. That's an annoying way to ask questions, implying that there are right and wrong answers.
    My kids' iron levels were never tested, so I wouldn't know if they were low or not. My nephew did test low for iron when he was 9 months, even though he was drinking formula with iron in it. I think some people are just naturally lower than others.

  11. Mary tested low at 12 mos. Yes, still breastfeeding. Yes, sleeping through the night (by then). I was just starting to expose her to meat, but she just didn't really take to it (the doc said no, but I wondered if she was low because I was "almost" vegetarian then). We did give her some sort of supplement from a dropper, but we didn't have to do it for very long. And even now, she really doesn't eat a lot of meat. It's a good thing she's not allergic to peanuts, 'cause the child eats a LOT of pb.

    Yes, people skills are certainly necessary with a lot of those health care professionals.

  12. Sigh. Yeah, I've been there. I'm glad things have been figured out.

  13. Awww, what an annoyingly frustrating conversation to have. :|

    My daughter had low iron (she was a preemie) This page: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html if you scroll down, had a great list of iron rich foods. Kellymom also recommends giving foods high in VitC which supposedly helps increase iron absorption.

    Anyway, I hope that helps!

  14. My son never had low iron, but his ped had us give him a liquid vitamin with iron because I breastfed (until 14mo) and breastmilk supposedly didn't have iron in it.

    Later I heard a newsblurb that mentioned a previously unknown type of water soluble iron had been discovered in breastmilk. Sorry, no linky, but it really spoke to me about how the science lagged in the breastmilk/formula discussion.

    Btw, I discovered formula has a place since I had to supplement, but I don't like the mindset where it becomes the first choice rather than the second.