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Old 12-31-2012, 11:18 PM   #11
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Re: Help! I can't make a decision regarding supplimenting

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Originally Posted by WeeEssentials View Post
I love that this is coming from an RN (did I read that right?) It's especially reassuring, hearing it from a mom AND a baby medical expert. I think my biggest fear is that I'm harming her by withholding formula, that somehow she is starving, but your post made me realize that if that was true, I'd likely be seeing it - have a sickly baby on my hand, not the alert, content (mostly!), satisfied little thing I have.

Thank you all, ladies. I'm feeling a bit better, though I don't like confrontation very much, so I have a feeling Wednesday's check in might be hard when they ask if I used formula. My husband said, "if it doesn't feel right, then there might be a reason. When they ask, just tell them - you don't have anything against formula, but it just didn't feel right to do it." I told him that when I think about giving her formula, my muscles tighten and I feel very "on guard" - definitely my instinct kicking in, but I can't figure out exactly what it is that is bothering me. I am more concerned with Abby's health than whether I breastfeed or not, so it's not about principles...
Yes, you read that right I don't blame you for being uneasy about formula. It may be fine, but it could also introduce a whole other set of issues. I think you know your doing the right thing, and hopefully she will gain more weight this week!

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Old 01-01-2013, 07:34 AM   #12
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Re: Help! I can't make a decision regarding supplimenting

I was in your shoes with DD. She was a very slow gainer the first 6 weeks. She had jaundice at first so she was super sleepy and didn't eat much. She lost about a pound during the first couple weeks too. I just kept at it. Nursing on demand and if was 3 hours I offered. Also feeding one side for two feedings then switching really seamed to helped. Our ped was really good and never suggested formuala. we just went in for lots of weight checks. Fineally about 6 weeks she started gaining a bit faster and now is 13 pounds at 3 months.

I would not supliment with formula yet. Couple other options--pumping the other side and giving that before formula or pumping off a bit of the foremilk so she gets more of the hind milk.

Just remember that all babies are different and the reason there is a scale is that some babies are small and some are big. Each baby (even in the same family) grows at a different rate.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:49 AM   #13
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Re: Help! I can't make a decision regarding supplimenting

Sometimes those bigger babies are big because of nohing to do with baby's natural body weight and size. My sister's middle child was born at 10lbs 13oz. She didn't actually double her weight until around 24 months of age. She fit rearfacing in her infant seat until around 18 months when she outgrew it by lenght not weight. She is now a very petite little one. At 2 years 10 months she weighs less than my 18 month old son. He was 7lbs 7oz at birth. Her doctor is unconcerned as in every other way she appears healthy.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:51 AM   #14
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Can you visit a lactation consultant (IBCLC)? They might be able to give you a better idea of whether what you're experiencing is normal. I've gotten flack for various parenting decisions from the nurses at my Dr.'s office; sometimes I think they blindly follow the health plan's recommendations without taking the individual child into consideration. Just my experience (we love love our ped though, so we stick with them).

My DD was a slow gainer too, do I know how scary it can be. She's still a tiny almost 3 yr old, so I wonder if that growth rate was what was just normal for her?? My DS was off the charts though. He's a tank.

Good luck mama; trust your gut, watch your babe, and do what you think is best.

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Old 01-01-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
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Re: Help! I can't make a decision regarding supplimenting

I would ditch the weight checks and just keep breastfeeding for now. If your baby is happy and seems healthy, weight is not an issue. It's easy to get hung up on numbers, but remember that it's only ONE number. By itself it means very little.

I also agree with the others- if you got fluids in labor, the baby's weight could have been some fluid that she lost. Studies have shown that one of the biggest problems with women getting fluids in labor is that it leads to breastfeeding problems, either in engorgement or baby losing weight initially and the mother being pressured to supplement.

However, with my first I had no fluids and she still lost 12 ounces by 5 days. She was only 6 pounds 14 ounces at birth, so that was a lot for her. I didn't go back for a weight check and soon she was gaining super fast.

You are producing enough milk, and she is getting plenty. I'm not sure why it would be a good idea to FORCE her to gain weight? If you want to focus on the quality of your milk, not by drinking more water, but by eating more nutrient-dense foods. Coconut oil and milk are great to add, because they're so high in lauric acid, and this easily passes to breastmilk and baby. Butter, grass-fed meats, greens...etc. Eating these foods might help. But, you can't look for an immediate result, and I think that any doctor that scares you into thinking that you baby MUST gain weight right now or you should supplement is not being responsible.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:28 AM   #16
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Re: Help! I can't make a decision regarding supplimenting

Thanks, guys! I got a few fluids about 2 hours before I gave birth, but everyone I've talked to in person says it wasn't enough to make a difference, and even so, the slow weight gain is now the issue rather than the amount she's lost.

I think I'm going to try the feeding on one side twice, and pumping the unused breast. I also noticed that nighttimes she tends to fall asleep and snack a lot (I side nurse with her) so maybe I need to get my butt up and turn on the lights to make sure she isn't doing that.

I need to trust my instinct. Thursday I get to see our doctor, so one more weight check before that (tomorrow). She is Indian and a bit more traditional so I'm hoping I'll get more support from her. I'm also going to seek out a lactation consultant. The NP I spoke to yesterday seemed to think that as part of my insurance "package" for L&D the hospital included an LC after birth.

I feel better now that I have a plan and you all have affirmed me, thanks! I'm really frustrated that the medical officials I've spoken to seem to not have correct information - at least I'm guessing that the WHO website (and AAP and mayo clinic, who all say the same) is correct! But then again, I realize pediatrics is a vast field...
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:05 AM   #17
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Op, how is your baby doing?
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:25 AM   #18
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Re: Help! I can't make a decision regarding supplimenting

Thanks for asking. So much has happened since I posted!

First of all, I finally got to see the pediatrician a week from yesterday. She's breastfeeding her 5th child - and she was fine with what I was doing. Yay for great doctors who know about breastfeeding! She is still concerned about the weight gain, but not pushing me to supplement.

Late last week, it occurred to me that her stools were all green and seedy, and still not turning the nice yellow breastfed color. I don't know why it took me so long to realize, (or why no one at the doctor's office had asked such a basic question...) but that's a sign of a fore/hindmilk imbalance - oversupply. I did think it was strange that I wasn't producing enough milk with Abby, since my other kids would choke on the breast from my let down, and it was obvious I had enough.

Anyway, I actually worked on reducing my supply and block feeding. It took me going to one breast for about 8 hours at a time in order to get the nice yellow poop, but we managed it over the weekend. We've been going in every two days for weight checks, and between last Thursday and Saturday she had gained 4 1/2 ounces! But then Tuesday, it was only one ounce. (Admittedly, I had reduced the block feeding to two feedings in a row on each breast before switching and the poop was turning greenish again.)

So we are getting there. After the one ounce gain on Tuesday, she is up to 8 lbs, 8 ounces. 7 more ounces and we'll be at birth weight...

I have to say, though, I'm really disappointed that no one bothered to ask me, when they were telling me to supplement with formula, about her poop, her wet and dirty diapers, etc. They just pushed the formula at me and assumed that my breastmilk wasn't nutritious or bountiful enough.

On the plus side, my experience has made me really want to become a breastfeeding advocate, possibly a Lactation Consultant. I just wonder how many women gave up thinking they couldn't produce enough for their babies at my clinic, especially if they encountered one nurse in particular, who is not well educated (or at least not recently educated) on many fields but yet the most vocal, scary nurse to come up against.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:29 AM   #19
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What a great update! So glad you found a good pedi.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeEssentials
Thanks for asking. So much has happened since I posted!

First of all, I finally got to see the pediatrician a week from yesterday. She's breastfeeding her 5th child - and she was fine with what I was doing. Yay for great doctors who know about breastfeeding! She is still concerned about the weight gain, but not pushing me to supplement.

Late last week, it occurred to me that her stools were all green and seedy, and still not turning the nice yellow breastfed color. I don't know why it took me so long to realize, (or why no one at the doctor's office had asked such a basic question...) but that's a sign of a fore/hindmilk imbalance - oversupply. I did think it was strange that I wasn't producing enough milk with Abby, since my other kids would choke on the breast from my let down, and it was obvious I had enough.

Anyway, I actually worked on reducing my supply and block feeding. It took me going to one breast for about 8 hours at a time in order to get the nice yellow poop, but we managed it over the weekend. We've been going in every two days for weight checks, and between last Thursday and Saturday she had gained 4 1/2 ounces! But then Tuesday, it was only one ounce. (Admittedly, I had reduced the block feeding to two feedings in a row on each breast before switching and the poop was turning greenish again.)

So we are getting there. After the one ounce gain on Tuesday, she is up to 8 lbs, 8 ounces. 7 more ounces and we'll be at birth weight...

I have to say, though, I'm really disappointed that no one bothered to ask me, when they were telling me to supplement with formula, about her poop, her wet and dirty diapers, etc. They just pushed the formula at me and assumed that my breastmilk wasn't nutritious or bountiful enough.

On the plus side, my experience has made me really want to become a breastfeeding advocate, possibly a Lactation Consultant. I just wonder how many women gave up thinking they couldn't produce enough for their babies at my clinic, especially if they encountered one nurse in particular, who is not well educated (or at least not recently educated) on many fields but yet the most vocal, scary nurse to come up against.
Good for you mama. I find this lack of education regarding breastfeeding is everywhere. It has made me check into becoming a LLL leader. like you i want to help nursing moms be successful!

My 8 mo had reflux and 2 people in the same day told me I may have to switch to formula. Had this been my first and I wasn't as educated as I am now about breastfeeding I may have done it. But I knew that wasn't best and still happily nursing at almost 8 months .

I have oversupply and with my first dd and this one both, I always nurse only one side per feeding and the issue worked itself out for me. Good luck to you and your baby!
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