I bet your doctor (or should I say, your current doctor?) is used to formula-fed babies. If you compare formula-fed babies and breastfed babies, the breastfed ones gain weight more rapidly during the first 6 months or so, and more slowly during the second 6 months. It's actually very normal for a breastfed baby's rate of weight gain to decrease as time goes on, especially as the baby becomes increasingly mobile and starts to devote more calories to action than to fat stores. My pediatrician claims that this pattern happens in part because "breastfed babies can't walk around with a bottle hanging out of their mouth all day long".
If you check out this chart for breastfed baby boys: http://www.kellymom.com/images/growth/growth-bfboy.gif you will see that the slope of the curve really flattens out as time goes on.
Oh, and breastmilk never loses its nutritional value. In fact, at least one study found that after a year, breastmilk has increased caloric content: http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/con...16/3/e432.full
Neither of my girls were big eaters at 9 months. Nursing yes. Solids, no. I have no idea why your doctor would be suggesting you wean.
20 pounds = 9.0718474 kilograms which puts him at the 50th percentile as per the WHO growth standards. He's meeting his milestones. Why change anything when he's perfectly healthy?
Personally, I'd blow off the appointment and change doctors. Or, you could come to the appointment armed with the WHO growth charts and the various milestone expectations and have the doctor explain to YOU why you should change anything for a perfectly healthy child. Feel free to tell them that you think their advice is poor and that you won't be changing your childs diet at this time. :refusal
I would suspect this recommendation is at least partly due to the mistaken idea that the baby is "filling up" on breastmilk and consequently would gain better if nursing less and eating more solids, and the idea that the weight gain for your baby is somehow inadequate. Even if (or perhaps especially if) your babies weight gain was slow, this would still be very questionable advice, as the calorie content of breastmilk is very high, higher than most suggested first foods.
This suggestion runs directly counter to even the mildly supportive of breastfeeding recommendation of most (all?) MAINSTREAM child health organizations recommendations on infant feeding. Including the AAP. Their 2005 policy on infant feeding reads (in part) (emphasis mine):
Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth. Infants weaned before 12 months of age should not receive cow's milk feedings but should receive iron-fortified infant formula. Gradual introduction of iron-enriched solid foods in the second half of the first year should complement the breast milk diet. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.
I suppose one could quibble with what "gradual" and "compliment" mean, exactly, I think it is left intentionally vague. However, I think “complement” was chosen specifically, rather than using “replace.” Notice that it says "complement the breastmilk diet," implying that the mainstay of baby's nutritional needs will be met via breastmilk even after the introduction of solids. Notice also there is no specific suggestions on how much solid food or how many nursing sessions. So I am curious where those numbers you were given came from. Certainly suddenly reducing daily nursing sessions from 8 (a perfectly normal frequency) to 3 a day at this age could very likely lead to lowered milk supply and early weaning, even weaning prior to a year.