Today we had a consult appointment with a woman named Dr. Penny Soppas who might end up being Sophie's pediatrician. Dr. Soppas is part of Drexel Hill Family Pediatrics and she was highly recommended by several of our friends as well as mommy websites and forums in our area. Dr. Soppas was very sweet and extremely patient. We waited a bit to meet with her and there was another couple (expecting in January) who came in to do the consult with us. We got to take turns asking her questions and it was actually nice to hear the questions of the other couple. We asked about the following and here were her answers:
Vaccines: Dr. Soppas seemed to think overall it's good to vaccinate but that if parents chose not to then, that is ok with her. She explained that the connetion between autism and vaccines is not really accurate but people have blown it out of proportion and the rumor has spread. She said it really was only one type of vaccine (MMR) that might have even had any connection but even so none was ever proven. She explained that autism is extremely hard to diagnose since it is primarily diagnosed through observing language skills and most babies don't have more than 1-2 words when they are one year old. Autism is not easy to diagnose until at least 1 1/2 years old. And, the first does of MMR vaccine is given around 12-15 months so people have assumed it was that vaccine but that is not true. Autism is largely genetic.
Co-sleeping: Dr. Soppas recommended safe co-sleeping as the best way to be close to baby and for mom to get more sleep. The concerns about co-sleeping are due to beds with too much bedding or parents who go to sleep drunk or otherwise unable to watch out for their babies.
Omega3s: Dr. Soppas recommended additional Omega3s if we were not eating enough fish. She advised either supplements or flax seed oil.
Flu shots: Dr. Soppas recommended flu shots for the mother and anyone else in the family who would be in close contact with the baby. She explained that all of their vaccines at Drexel Hill Pediatrics are mercury free except the flu shots because they come in bulk packs. We can request an individual dose flu shot which would be mercury free and she can write a script for one which we could pick up at the pharmacy and then bring to the office to take. I'm a bit nervious about flu shoots since I've never had one but it seems like we both will need to do this in January to ensure that Sophie girl doesn't get the flu as it could be extremely dangerous for her.
The other mommy asked what her experience and background was and she replied that she's been in pediatrics for 25 years and trained at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. You can't really do much better than that, in my book! Additionally, Dr. Soppas is a certified lactation consultant and is also affiliated with the Bryn Mawr Birth Center, so these are very big bonuses as well.
Overall, I was very impressed with Dr. Soppas. She was kind and answered all our questions very thoroughly and thoughfully and never seemed rushed. We spent about an hour with her, which I think is pretty impressive! She seemed very down to earth and kind and had a great attitude about things. I'm guessing that we will go with her when the time comes so apparently, all we have to do is give a call and schedule our two day old check-up for Sophie after she's born.
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