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Old 05-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #1
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Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

Sorry this is so long! Hopefully some of you can get through it (and hopefully it makes sense).

Is it possible for your milk to not have enough calories for your baby? And if so, are there ways to fix it?

I'll try to keep my story short, but I'm open to any advice I can get!!

I nursed my 2 1/2 year old for almost 2 years with no problems (weaned when supply went down because of second pregnancy). He was always on the small side, but he stayed on the same "curve" on that stupid chart.

Now, this baby is a totally different story. He was 6lbs 5oz at birth, down to 5lbs 13oz when we left the hospital. My milk came in before we went home, and he was a great eater, so 3 days later, he was back to his birth weight. At his 1 month check up, he was only up to 6lbs 14oz, but nobody said anything about it. At his 2 month check up he was only up to 7lbs 2oz. This time they got concerned and checked him out. They found a hernia, we went to the childrens hospital to get it popped back up, and he had surgery 1 week later. He healed for a week, then he felt better and started gaining weight.

Since then, he's been gaining 1 lb a month. The Dr is always happy with that, but last month he had us go to the Diagnostics department at the Childrens hospital for "poor weight gain and developemental delays (because he wasn't sitting by himself at 5 1/2 months?!?)". They checked him out, took a bunch of blood, and said an LC from nutrition would be calling me to set up an appointment (because my son apparently nurses to much-- every 2-3 hours during the day?? What is wrong with these people??). So, I'm curious as to what the LC will have to say about that, but no one has called me back yet, and it's been 2 weeks. I'm assuming that they would have called right away if the blood work had shown something bad.

Ok, that's the background, here's what's going on now...

I bought a baby scale back when this started so I could be sure that he was gaining weight after his surgery. Every single time I've put him on it for the past two weeks, it's said 10lbs 11oz. After eating it goes up to 10lbs 14oz or so, so it's not broken. I know it's a home scale and not perfect, but it still worries me that it's not going up....

I have enough milk, he's always smiling when he stops eating, and if he pops off at the right time, he gets sprayed. He's peeing every 1-1 1/2 hour or so.I started taking fenugreek just in case though.

I was supplementing with 3oz of preemie formula each night since his surgery (only because it has more calories than breastmilk), but I stopped that Thursday because he had been crying for like an hour each night before falling asleep and I figured his belly just didn't like it anymore.

Since then I have also been trying to block feed in case he was just getting too much foremilk.

I'm also going to try to get him in the nursing in bed habit starting tonight. He prefers to sleep at the boob so he can eat when he wants, but he wants to do it while laying on the boppy, and I can't sleep the whole night sitting up, so if I wake up and he's not eating, I'll put him in his bed.

If anyone has made it this far, do you have any other suggestions? Our next regular ped. visit is on the 29th, and I hate it when I leave there feeling like I'm doing something wrong. (they're good Drs, and say I shouldn't feel that way, but I can't help it!)

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Old 05-18-2008, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

Two of my younger children staring loosing weight. I could tell cause their fat rolls were disappearing. If he is not fussy and you are feeding him as often as he wants you should be fine. Not sitting by himself at 5 1/2 months is normal. My almost 4 mo. old nurses every 2-3 hours too. I think you are doing a fine job.Try not to worry.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

The supplemental formula may have caused a temporary reduction in supply. I can't imagine that your body won't make what your baby needs eventually. I would also see if you have a La Leche League volunteer nearby in addition to everyone else to help you out. Every time formula is fed at all from what I understand, your milk supply will decrease a tiny bit. I would feed and pump like mad if it were me to try to build my supply plus eat almonds, oatmeal, get Mother's milk tea ingredients (fenugreek) and drink tons of water and give it a few weeks. My guy is doing great and didn't sit up until 6 1/2 months. I'd also go ahead with a cosleeping arrangement and wake the babe to eat every time you wake up. Your body will catch up! Good luck! And let us know what the LC says.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

My LO was 6 1/2 months before he sat on his own when plopped down, before he actually SAT UP was the same day he stood up at like 10 months.

My sons did not double birth weight (8lbs) until 10 months, so that is not a lot of weight gain. (16lbs at 10 months is less than a pound a month for them.)
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

forgot to mention that both children are normal, no delays or issues
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

From what it sounds like, he is following his brother in being small.

As for the sitting up, mine didn't until he was about 6.5 months. Also, is he developing faster mentally? Babies usually focus on one aspect at a time:mental or physical. As for the sitting, don't worry, one day he just will do it. I worried about my son not sitting up because I saw no signs of it, then one day, I put him down and he was sitting! Just like that, lol.

Also, breastfed babies grow differently than formula fed babies. They tend to be skinnier. This makes sense since breastfed babies won't take in more than they need, whereas with bottle fed babies, it is easier to get them to take more.

Just make sure you are eating lots of healthy, nutritionally dense foods and good fats (olive oil, butter, etc), and don't worry about it too much.

His growth could also have slowed down due to energy being diverted towards healing after the surgery. Little babies require lots of energy to grow, and any small strains can lead to less growth.

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Old 05-18-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

It sounds to me like you have health care provider's who aren't up to date on breastfeeding information. Nursing every 2-3 hours is totally normal. Your baby could just be following his own curve, as long as he continues to gain weight and reach milestones I wouldn't worry. Feeding formula is going to decrease your milk supply, as I'm sure you know. As long as his pees are good, don't worry too much. If it were me I would run, not walk to a new pediatrician. The fact that they're saying he's not gaining enough, but eating too much, is a huge red flag to me that they're bonkers. I would also be worried that they're using growth charts for formula fed babe's and not breastfed babes, as it sounds like they are. Kellymom.com has a lot of good information on infant growth.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

Thanks, I just needed a little reassurance! I think a lot of my problem is that the Drs just can't make their minds up. They agree with me that babies should nurse at least 8-10 times a day, but then they say every 2-3 hours is too often. The last time I checked there was only 24 hours in a day... They're thrilled with him gaining a pound a month, but he's still "too small". Of course he's small! He was sick and missed out on the bigger weight gains most babies have in the first month or two! But he's gaining pretty steady (except for the last week or two) and a pretty happy baby that's already a little joker. I just take it personal and feel like I'm doing something wrong. I can understand why so many women give up so easy. I nursed my older DS almost 2 years, so I know what I'm doing, but I can still feel like that.

Yeah, my older DS was always somewhere between the 5th and 10th percentile (jumping up to the 25th at his 2 year checkup). He was delayed in a lot of things. Didn't walk until 17 months (even though he would walk lightly holding your finger at 12 months) and just recently started talking (his first word was "brother" right after Jake was born). Doesn't say sentences yet, but loves pointing out letters and numbers. I think he just didn't see a need to be a "big boy" before the baby came. Hopefully we won't go through all that with Jake because he'll want to be big like his brother.
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

i have smaller slower starters too
both averaged a lb a month for the first 3 months then they tended to gain 1.5- 2 lbs or even more in the case of my second -
birth 6, dropped to 5.5lbs, then got back to around 7 lbs at 6 weeks - then is has rsv - enters picu at 2 months and just shy of 8 lbs - leaves picu at 3 months old and 7.5lbs! The kid at a yr was over 20lbs!!!!

i told my dh i dont want to nurse another baby in this country - the stress is overwhelming

aounds like he is fine and you are doing everything right - and 6 lb baby doesnt not weigh what a 8.5 lb does at 6 months and esp. not at 2 weeks!
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions, advice... milk not good enough?

Take a peek at yours and your husbands info from the first year if your moms have it. I looked at my DH's and my girls are following him pretty closely.
Oh, I was 6lbs 13oz at birth (in 1975 ). At one year old I only weighed 15 pounds. I was only breastfed for 6 weeks, then they put my mom on meds (to save her life) and she had to quit. I was on formula and had that slight gain. The docs were concerned, but I am still here! I am all of 5' 2 1/4" tall and just was never meant to be all that big.
I think your kids may be following something from you or your DH or both, it could be genetics, can't fight that!
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