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Thread: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

  1. #1

    Exclamation Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    I have been having issues with the doctors at the base hospital where I live. It seems as though I have been targeted because I breast feed my son who is 9 months old. I know multiple people with very young children in my son's age group and NONE of them were breast fed at all. I was harassed after his birth because we couldn't keep his blood sugar level stabilized and the doctor (who was never in my room more than 5 minutes) decided that the problem was me and I could not properly breast feed. 9 Months later and I am still having issues with doctors. I had a lactation consultant visit me daily and she was pretty impressed that I knew different holds and how to get my son to latch properly all on my own. Long story short this is where I am now:

    He is 9 months old and is 28.5 inches long but only 16.8 pounds. He is under the 5th percentile on the weight chart that this hospital uses (CDC) and because these doctors apparently never deal with babies who are breast fed I have been having an incredible amount of stress from them. My last doctor told me that all breast fed babies are fat and are always bigger than formula fed babies. (NEVER in any case I have seen. I have 12 nephews and neices and that was never the case) I introduced solids at six months and I just introduced meat at nine months. He started teething just over three weeks ago and started refusing food. I feed him three meals a day plus snacks and he breast feeds five times a day. I pumped to see what I am producing and I get 6 ounces with the pump and at least another 2 manually.

    His doctor told me that he is considered to be in the "failure to thrive" catagory and if he doesn't gain a half a pound in two weeks they are going to hospitalize him and put him on formula and force feed him and if he refuses to eat they will put a G-tube in him to feed him- formula. I am doing a food diary to track his calories but his doctor is putting a lot of pressure on me to force feed my son. I feel like I am torturing him and he cries when it is meal time now and tries to cover his mouth with his hand. I have talked to a ton of my friends and all of the ones with small children say that even when their weights bottomed out their doctor never hassled them so much.

    There has been no support for me breast feeding my son. One of the higher ranking officers told my last doctor to use the WHO Growth Chart because they sample more babies who are still breast fed after six months- he falls at about the 10th percentile on that chart.

    PLEASE help me. I do not know what to do and I am grasping at straws.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    Hi there mama

    My son weighed 18lbs at 8 1/2 months but he still had a little double chin and pretty thick legs. I understand that breastfeeding your child might make some doctors doubtful, specially if they havent BF their kids themselves or havent seen their wives do it. I would recommend you stick to your guns. You have to consider that your child might have a fast metabolism. Like grown ups, not everyone has the same metabolism, why should babies all be the same? Which state do you live in? I know a practitioner who has been very easy going but yet watchful from the start, specially because in the beginning we did have weight problems. I tried switching practitioners but, like you, i got scared into the whole "if he doesnt gain so much weight we'll have hospitalize him". I'm sorry but unless the child is really anorexic-looking there's no reason to. If i was to go to a pediatrician right now, they'd probably tell me the same but my child is coherent, has reached major milestones and he is kind of chubby. He looks heavier than what he actually is but that's ok.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    They should be using the newer charts, i know yo mentioned this was brought up so what was the response?

    I dont know anything about military... are you able to get other doctors? you should seek another opinion.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    Thank you ladies. I did bring up the newer charts MULTIPLE times with my previous doctor and until one of her higher ups said something to her she passed it off. After her higher up said something to her she said that she accepts that but she still wants him to gain weight or he would be hospitalized. That is when she decided to attack me and blame the low weight on me. She told me that I am a hypocondriac (which is funny because I think he is just fine and is perfectly healthy despite having low weight). My husband was on duty and missed this appointment and when I told him what happened he was infuriated. He is a corpsman so he went to his command and had his medical officer contact the hospital. So our first doctor is being reprimanded by her command for our treatment. The biggest issue now though is how fast word travels. In three days word had traveled through both clinics and one of the receptionists was commenting to another about my son's size.

    BOTH doctors have commented on how well he is progressing and how great he looks in general. He is in the 56th percentile for length so apparently he is growing. He even has the little "rubber band marks" on his legs and upper arms.

    I some what understand why these doctors act the way they do. It is VERY common for military wives to be uneducated. Involving CPS is a common thing also. I was raised around children though and I have taken care of plenty of children by myself. I raised my brother's children from the time they were about two until they were ten.

    Our first doctor did NOT breast feed. She even made a comment to me about being a "hippie" because I breast feed and we chose to use cloth diapers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    I wish that I had advice to offer, but all I can send is a hug. My 8 month old breastfed twins are not far off from your LO in height and weight, and our pediatrician is thrilled with where they are. DD is about 28.5" tall and weighs 18.5 lbs. DS is about 28.5" tall and weighs about 17. DD is thicker and more sturdy and DS is lean as a rail, complete with little ribs showing and everything. Our ped is not worried as they are both active, happy, and thriving. There are loads of wet and poopy diapers. They're meeting their developmental milestones in a timely manner. That's the important stuff!

    Keep your chin up... If you can get another opinion, I would definitely do it!
    Mom to amazing twins! Both nursed happily until 3y6m.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    My husband is also in the military and we see a pediatrician off base. Is there any way you could switch your child to an off base PCM? I know we were told by our tricare office here that until age 2 we were allowed to see an off base pediatrician if that was our choice. I do not know if that is a tricare wide policy, but I would definitely check into it. Changing PCMs is not hard, just go to the tricare office at your clinic or hospital and ask to change, you don't normall even have to give a reason. I have been very unimpressed by military doctors, hoping that our next base is better.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Issues with Weight/ Doctors PLEASE HELP!

    i suggest seeing a lactation consultant, there should be a few at the hospital your doctor is threatening to have your child hospitalized! LC s can be your biggest advocates, and they have more experience even with older breastfed babies than some doctors.

    as long as you are feeding on demand, and there is no medical reason for not gaining weight, i think you are doing the right thing. also, relax, babies and children can feel stress and anxiety from their caregivers especially mothers, so if you are not feeling well maybe that is having some effect on your child...

    also remember that you do not have to listen and hospitalize your child just because your doctor says to. you and your doctor should be partners. feel free to seek a second opinion and/or file a complaint.

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