Nov 052012

“The baby is a parasite. It’ll take what it needs from you. Don’t worry about the baby.” – OB to mother who was worried that the digestive upset, vomiting and diarrhea she was experiencing would affect the baby’s growth.

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 November 5, 2012  OB  Add comments

  16 Responses to ““The Baby Is A Parasite…””

  1. This is especially horrific in the context of the larger story, hmm? “Oh, the baby will be fine, and YOU and YOUR pain don’t matter at all.”

  2. Where the Hell did this doctor go to Kindergarten. Is anybody else thinking of the poem about everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten about being nice and holding hands when you go out into the world?

  3. By definition (in a biological sense), a parasite is a different species than its host.

    Pretty sad when someone with an English degree (me) knows more biology than an OB.

    I had this exact concern when I was pregnant with my first child, and the nurse I spoke to put it a much better way. She said, “The baby is so small right now that he or she can still get all the nutrients he or she needs to grow from you, even if your nutrition isn’t optimal.” That’s a MUCH better reply.

    • Incorrect, a parasite does not have to be a different species:
      Direct definition: “an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.” No where does it state it has to be another species. So no, you don’t know more about biology in terms of this conversation.

  4. This is me again. I guess I shouldn’t have given away the whole story in the previous post, I didn’t realize we’d be quoting this convo over multiple posts. But it’s just so quotable! Unfortunately. For the whole story, see my comment on the previous post.
    Sort of connected to this quote is one from later in this ordeal, when the ER doctor (not an OB) tried to allay my fears about taking lots of pain meds before/after my appendectomy, and having general anesthesia, by saying “Honey, heroin addicts have perfectly healthy babies all the time. A little morphine or vicodin won’t hurt your baby.” Awesome, thanks.

  5. Yeah, I’d beg to differ with that last quote. My mom spent the last 15 years of her teaching career working with special-needs kids, some of whom were born to drug-addicted parents. Heroin addicts do not have perfectly healthy babies all the time… not even close. Idiotic.

  6. While technically correct, a fetus is basically a parasite (An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense), actually CALLING a baby a parasite just seems gauche.

  7. Damn people are so damn over-sensitive these days. Yes, by medical definition, a fetus is a parasite. Doctors DO use medical terminology since it’s, you know, their jobs!!!

    • Wow. Rude much?
      As a healthcare professional, allow me to assure you that calling a fetus a parasite is not remotely a medical term. Besides being simply incorrect, it is quite inappropriate and disrespectful of the patient.
      The care provider who made this statement requires some retraining, especially considering he glossed over significant assessment details and missed a major diagnosis in his haste to be condescending by using incorrect terminology.

    • I see what you are saying, and as a nurse I occasionally referred to my much loved babies as parasites, or in the case of the second while I was trying to re over from some really challenging midpregnancy complications, a “highly vascularized tumor.” However neither of those definitions are really correct and I would never apply them to someone else’s baby, unless they were a friends who shared my own slightly twisted.sense of humor.

    • Pregnant women tend to be SENSITIVE. If you can’t accept and respect that then don’t go into OB care. There is no such thing as over-sensitive. In the first place it would be “overly” because it is an adverb not an adjective. In the second place there just simply is no such thing. A person who says this is just being judgmental.

  8. Way to be rude and trivialize a Mom’s concerns there, doc!

  9. Oops I ve said this many times trying to reassure women that there baby will be okay I usually add the baby will take what it needs for the next 30 years. Inappropriate comments or the silent treatment whatever is said will be taken wrong by someone perhaps buck up is a better response

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