Pediatricians for hippies

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    Well, I have about 3 months, so I need to find a pediatrician. How the EFF does one do that? Apparently by coming to the WS blog forum. Please be nice :)

    I’m looking for a WS based doc, family or pediatrician practice, that is a regular MD (not interested in naturopathy currently) that isn’t super western-medicine-oriented. We’re co-sleeping, bed-sharing extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, homeschooling hippie types, or at least are going to try to be in our parenting and I want to find an easy going physician who will be down with that stuff. Any recommendations?


    tom kelley

    I can’t help with the doc rec but Pink Floyd in utero would get that kid off to a great hippie start.



    Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your wee one!

    Did you ask your OB for a pediatrician recommendation? Also, you could start with your health plan and research online bios from there.

    Do you have the book Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn? I think it would be a good book for you.

    Now, I have a strong opinion about co-sleeping with a newborn but I won’t get into it here. However, if you are adamant (I don’t mean that negatively) about it I just wanted to mention that there are different ways to co-sleep that you can research online.

    As for in-utero music :-) Amniotic fluid is a good conductor of sound so not too loudly, eh?

    Oh, and best advice I EVER received as a mama-to-be was, “Forget what everyone is telling you to do, just follow your instinct and you’ll be fine.”

    Kids are more than fun. They are hilarious. Enjoy!



    I highly recommend the family practice dr.s at Swedish. They are more in line with western medicine than you’d like, because well, they practice western medicine, but I’ve had good luck with them.

    As for how you choose to raise your child, I’ve never understood talking any of this over with one’s dr. I visit them for vaccinations, well baby visits and the occasional ear infection. I never discussed any type of baby lifestyle choice with them other than my dr making sure breast feeding was going OK and we were happy.

    Good luck!



    We love Arika Dortero at West Seattle Natural Medicine. I feel like it’s a great mix of western and holistic care. We get our vaccinations there but also get great advice from her about food and possible related issues, breastfeeding help earlier on, etc. I appreciate how when there’s a diaper rash (or any issue) she doesn’t immediately prescribe a cream or pill but helps figure out what might be the cause. Got both kids with Arika now and couldn’t be happier! Good luck with your new little one!



    I don’t have a Dr. rec. but just wanted to say Bravo to you for following your parenting gut.

    My fellas are 13 and 16 now. They both co-slept, extended breast fed, cloth diapered and we tried homeschooling but over the years found alternative ed to be a blessing for us. This family lifestyle of bonding early set up the framework for so much open communication. Now I am a single mom to these two fabulous teens that are *SO* grounded in who they are, amaze me daily with their mutual respect for each other and myself. They both are very unique, confidant, self starters that are excelling in school and testing the norm just a smidge in their social lives.

    I had so many people tell me if I let them sleep with me, self wean ect they would have a hard time finding their way, separating when appropriate from mom ect.

    We’ve had the exact opposite! My boys are self assured, explore the world, blunder here and there and every day tell me honestly what their thoughts are and challenges. Our family is a team, there are not crazy teen issues, secrets for mom, sneaking around ect and I know in my heart its because we started with an ultra bonding experience and just kept going from birth to now with the message that no matter what they can always climb back in the safe place ( my bed) and tell me every little thing that’s on their mind.




    Hey, ‘Miss’ – sorry not to have a doctor to suggest, since our hippie-esque baby-raising days are way behind now, BUT I did want to be sure you know that there is a business in West Seattle all about supporting nursing moms, WSB sponsor Nurturing Expressions, – and they might even have a recommendation for you if you want the longest possible list of docs to check out.

    I remember the recommendation of pre-interviewing, and even though we were tethered to a specific downtown-headquartered HMO way back then, we did it among their ranks and were happy to find one who was quite supportive. Good luck!




    I *just* went through this a year ago when my daughter was born. I used a midwife my entire pregnancy and wanted to continue that type of “alternative” care for my daughter, but also wanted to see an MD. I took her to a naturopath the first few times (in West Seattle) and it just wasn’t a good fit. They don’t see a lot of kids and they try and sell you A LOT of supplements. My kids really needed an MD…

    We ended up taking her to Swedish Children’s Clinic because literally every child in West Seattle seems to go there. I’ve seen a few different doctors there and, by far, the best fit has been Dr. Franklin. He’s very laid back and encouraging of whatever works for our family. He has her on a delayed vaccine schedule at my request and was very supportive when I needed to stop breastfeeding.



    Thanks everyone. My midwife has recommendations, but not in our hood. I’m considering Swedish. I just don’t want to have to hide any of my parenting practices from a doctor if they happen to come up, that’s why it matters. I want a healthcare provider to be another part of my support system.

    And for the long post of recommendations and negativity on co-sleeping infants, if you think I haven’t done reading or research or have many things in place for the safety and health of my child, that’s ridiculous. I’m due in 3 months. I’ve done a ton of research. I didn’t ask for parental advice, I asked for doctor recs. I absolutely DO NOT understand why people feel the need to give unsolicited advice constantly.




    I am sorry if I offended you. I was only trying to be helpful. I won’t post again.




    Hi Missaudreyhorne, We have a 7 month old and are a lot like you. We co-sleep (and yes, I did my research as well and found this to be the best arrangement for us), breast feed, baby wear, and cloth diaper for the most part. We do vaccinate though. We also follow something called baby led weaning when introducing solids, something a lot of pediatricians would probably be leery of. We see Dr. Hott at Swedish Children’s, and have also seen Dr. Kumasaka. I found both of them to be great. Dr. Hott is very up to date about infant nutrition and follows the same beliefs we do. She also supports baby led weaning. I am not sure how either of the doctor’s feel about co-sleeping though. We never brought it up with them. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And congrats to you!



    Dr. Okorn at Swedish Physicians West Seattle has been a great fit for my family. She’s a family practice physician, not a pediatrician, but I love that because she was my PCP through pregnancy, she delivered my son, and now she’s his PCP as well. She’s a great mix of “crunchy” and traditional, with knowledge of the latest research and science. This works great for us.

    I do hope that “hippie” for you does not mean anti-vaccination. That is one parenting choice I cannot support, because it affects so many outside of your own family.



    Another recommendation for Swedish West Seattle. We see the family practice doctors (Dresang and Dagg), and have been very happy with them. In addition to what was said above, I just wanted to also chime in on their awesome on-call service.

    I’ve found that as a parent, all of my scary questions (i.e. OMG, he just fell off the bed! Oh no, he is running a really high fever!) come after hours. With Swedish, I’ve placed a call to their answering service, left a message for the on-call doc, and I’ve always gotten a call back quickly. The doctors on call are helpful, provide useful/rational advice, and are reassuring. Most of these doctors I’ve never met since, but I’ve usually had a nurse call and follow up on Monday to see if all is okay and if I need to schedule an appointment. So, just something to consider as you select your practice.



    I also rec Swedish West Seattle Children’s. I have two small children and have had nothing but great experiences. Our primary care provider for the kids is Dr Altemeier, but we have seen many docs in the practice (and I especially like Dr Hott and Evans, too).

    We extended breastfed, and are vegetarian, and everyone’s been cool with it and very happy with the BF’ing (Dr. Hott even told me about her own breastfeeding experiences). Also, they are SUPER responsive. You do not want a doctor who you can never reach or has weird hours when you have an infant and a medical question. I’ve never had trouble getting an appointment with the Swedish pediatricians same-day, and they have a nurse answering service that is very helpful.

    Also, though they are western medicine, they are very hands-off if possible. On of my kids has an ongoing issue that we are just “watching and waiting” and I was very pleased with that approach (multiple doctors in the practice agreed with it, too, but googling showed this was not always the case). Also, my other child had to have minor surgery once and it was a seamless experience going to Swedish First Hill for it, and we were treated very well (a pediatric specialist even gave me his cell number in case I had questions in the night).

    Anyway, we’ve been very pleased. I would not go anywhere else.



    I want to throw out something that really helped me when it came to seeing medical professions. They are there to help you with medical issues and give medical advice, they are not there to give you parenting advice. We co-slept, we did baby-led weening and I found that those were not topics I chose to discuss with my doctor. I did the research and knew how to do those things safely. I felt like they were working for my daughter and that I didn’t need my doctor to weigh in on those topics. When I did mention topics like that with different doctors at Swedish, I was met with a lot of resistance. Once I stopped mentioning my personal parenting decisions I had a much easier time just discussing her overall health with them.

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