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Thread: sudden weaning for medical reasons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default sudden weaning for medical reasons

    My daughter is 12 mo old and not gaining weight. She is in the "failure to thrive" clinic at our local children's hospital, and lost another couple of ounces in the last two weeks, mainly due to an ear infection and teething. The hospital asked me to keep a food diary for a few days including weighed feedings, and I discovered that she is only getting about 5 oz at her first morning feed and 1-2 oz at the 3-4 other feedings throughout the day. She can be picky about her solids, but has a decent appetite and eats solids okay most of the time. She eats 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Since she has refused to take a bottle since she turned 4 months and hasn't learned to drink from a cup/sippy/straw (we've tried every product known to man) yet, they're worried she is starving herself at the breast. They've done this before and say that she'll have a couple of miserable days and then she'll accept the cup.

    I'm very sad that we have to wean before we want to (my daughter and I are happy breastfeeding), especially since it was so hard for us to get to this point (I had to pump and bottle feed for 2.5 months before she got the latch, and then I had mastitis for over 6 months, thank goodness for lactation consultants!). And I'm worried about what will happen if in two or three days time she still isn't drinking from a cup. On the other hand, she clearly is not getting the calories she needs to grow, and I worry about her health if she continues not to gain weight.

    Has anyone been through something similar? Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    TX
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Oh, mama, I'm so so sorry you guys are going through this.

    I don't have any medical training, and I don't really know enough to contradict your doctors, but it just seems outrageous to me that they are insisting on removing her one source of reliable nutrition because she is not eating enough! If you don't want to wean, and your daughter does not want to wean, can this be address any other ways? Can't they find other ways to get extra into her, instead of taking this away from her?
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
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    Maine
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    Oh, mama, I'm so so sorry you guys are going through this.

    I don't have any medical training, and I don't really know enough to contradict your doctors, but it just seems outrageous to me that they are insisting on removing her one source of reliable nutrition because she is not eating enough! If you don't want to wean, and your daughter does not want to wean, can this be address any other ways? Can't they find other ways to get extra into her, instead of taking this away from her?
    how about supplementing on top of what she's already getting? I don't think that weaning sounds like good advice -- five ounces in the am is a really good amount, and it's normal to get much less after the morning feeding. I, like Teal have no medical training, but I would definitely just try to up high fat/calorie foods like avocado, beans (my ds LOVES black beans) -- anything that's calorie dense. I really would second guess a recommendation to wean -- i think you could try harder introducing a sippy cup with water and maybe a splash of OJ mixed in so it's more appealing.

    Could you go for a second opinion?
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  4. #4
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Just in case it seems interesting to you, I want to add one of my favorite links. http://mangobounce.blogspot.com/2007...ice-cream.html
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,120

    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Mama, that all sounds SO SCARY! I'm with the other llladies- it seems to me that weaning just removes a reliable source of complete nutrition from your kid's diet, and I don't see how that is going to make her eat more. It's not like breastmilk is a low-cal food- according to this resource it's higher in calories than formula or whole cow's milk.

    ETA: I can understand completely if you prefer to take the doctors' and nutritionists' advice over ours. If you do, would you like weaning advice? Or perhaps some alternatives to weaning, like pumping and offering breastmilk via cup? One thing some moms do when their babies are having trouble with weight gain is to offer double-cream milk- you pump a bottle, let the milk settle in the fridge, and then skim the cream off the top and add it to a second bottle. (Or cup, or stir it into some oatmeal, whatever.)
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; May 3rd, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Thanks for the support everybody. The reason they're asking me to stop is that they think by snacking a few times on breastmilk throughout the day it's dampening her appetite for higher calorie foods. She's just not willing to take in enough volume, so every oz counts. They do want me to use pediasure, but there's a better, organic product called pediasmart that I'm more comfortable using. Pediasure and pediasmart have 30 cal/oz as opposed to breastmilk which has 20 cal/oz and cows milk which has 18 cal/oz. They also think that removing breastfeeding will motivate her to learn to drink from a bottle or cup and therefore give us more options for supplementing her diet. I talked to the nutritionist this evening and convinced her to let me keep nursing my daughter once in the morning and once in the evening, provided she learns to drink from a cup during the day very soon. They'd even be happy if I could pump and add supplements to my breastmilk to give to her in a bottle. Unfortunately, I've tried everything I can think of and am running out of time, and the speech pathologist (the one who would help get her drinking from a cup) can't get us into the schedule until the end of the month.

    Anyone have any brilliant ideas for bottle/cup/sippy/straw drinking? I think I must have tried every kind of bottle and cup ever made...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    sixyearplan - I know, which is why I talked the dietician into letting me continue nursing at least 2x/day.

    On the other hand, my daughter isn't just not gaining, she's actually losing weight, so it's kind of an urgent situation. I'm not sure what to do about it. I suppose I could pump for a while and see how she does off breastfeeding, but I'm not sure when I'd pump that she wouldn't see me and get furious that she couldn't have any. I also would HATE to go back to pumping, since I had to do it exclusively for the first 3 months. Ugh.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    How about the double cream bottles (or cups) like someone mentioned?
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Have you tried a latex nipple vs. a silicone one? That's all my DD would accept early on.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  10. #10
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: sudden weaning for medical reasons

    Is there a possibility of increasing the number of times a day you nurse instead of decreasing? My DD was a big eater at that age and she still nurses an average of 6+ times a day. Also, is she night nursing? Many kids take in most of their calories that way (ask me how I know) CoSleeping will help with that too.

    This link has very little science behind it, but it has some good ideas about fattening up food.

    I am not saying you shouldn't listen to your doctors, just ask them questions. I did a quick search on the internet and I found nothing that said you should wean for FTT though lots on supplementing (and I have yet to meet a kid that wouldn't prefer ice cream to the vast majority of other foods - to harken back to duckpond's link)

    mama - that is a tough place to be.
    Last edited by @llli*durhamgrrl; May 4th, 2011 at 12:26 AM.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

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