Re: Baby lost weight again...now what?
I'm sorry to hear that the doctor visits are undermining your confidence. She should not be bashing the quality of your breastmilk or discouraging you from using your expressed milk for supplemental feeds!
One thing to remember about weight checks is that each one is subject to a variety of uncontrollable factors that may slightly impact the accuracy of that one reading. The best way to know that a baby is growing well is to look at the entire history of weight checks over several weeks, not just one number. And, of course, to look at the baby, to evaluate her behavior and developmental progress.
I would also caution against any simple measurement to evaluate the quality or nutritional content of your breastmilk. The fat content of breastmilk in particular varies substantially over the course of the day for many mothers -- if the one sample sent to the lab happens to be mostly foremilk, you could be told inaccurately that your milk is "too thin." A mother has to be seriously and chronically malnourished before the basic make-up of her breastmilk would be altered -- and even then, the problem would simply be too little milk, not "poor quality" milk.
I think you are wise to look for another doctor who is better educated and more supportive about breastfeeding. In the meantime, there may be a clinic or an IBCLC nearby who could help you do weight checks and, more importantly, help you evaluate the results of those weight checks. My one caution about using a home scale is to be wary of letting the scale come to define your entire breastfeeding relationship. Weight checks are just snapshots that reflect one aspect of a complex reality.
Glad to hear you are hanging in there, being proactive and determined. Keep up the good work, and keep us posted.
Re: Baby lost weight again...now what?
You are doing a wonderful job! Some things that have helped me in the past to build up my supply (in addition to pumping) are oatmeal, extra fluids, you may want to fill a container with water in the morning and be sure you finish it by bedtime, mother's milk tea, and lots of rest. In many cultures new mothers are encouraged to rest and recieve care from relatives the first few months postpartum. In our culture new mommies are often cleaning the house, running errands, dieting and exercising just a few days postpartum. I would encourage you to let everything else go for a few weeks or ask for household help until your baby's weight gain is where you want it to be.
A nutritionist I met with once when I was going through similar issues told me that breastmilk is actually more calorie dense than formula. That made me feel terrific at the time. I never had to turn to supplements with that child because I was able to work on my milk supply and increase nursing. At the time she was about sixteen months old and had been ill a lot over the winter so her weight gain was off.
I have had my babies gain as much as a pound in just a few days! The only thing we did was nurse during those days and nothing else. I stayed in my nightgown so that the entire family understood that I would not be doing any work that day. My husband waited on me hand and foot and did all the housework and childcare so that I could focus on the baby. The weight gain came after times of illness and then leveled off again to less rapid gains.
The best advice I have ever read on breastfeeding and the hardest to follow IMHO is that "if there are breastfeeding issues take your baby and go to bed until they are resolved". I know that may sound too simplistic but I have found it to be really true because as stated previously too often in our culture we feel the pressure to do too much postpartum and our bodies can react to that stress in ways that compromise breastfeeding.