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Thread: Help for step-daughter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    8

    Default Help for step-daughter

    Hi all ... I'm an LLL Granny! My youngest nursling is now 21 and expecting her own in December. I also have 3 step-daughters, one of whom is nursing her newborn.

    Her babe was born July 2 weighing 9 lbs 7 oz. BIG strong boy! Big strong suck too! Bless her heart, she has made it through some incredible nipple soreness and is sailing right along. But she had a pediatrician appointment today and got some not-so-good news - babe has not yet regained his birth weight, he weighed 9 lbs even. They want to see him again next week and if he isn't gaining, they will want to supplement.

    She is eating and drinking well. Plenty of energy and other than the usual new mommy lack of sleep tiredness, she feels pretty good. Babe is having plenty of wet and dirty diapers and is nursing every 2 to 3 hours for at least 30 minutes. He is very alert and active, but is shaping up to be high need - must be held nearly constantly. (Reminds me of my youngest, whom I had to wear for the first 6 months!) Often the only way he will sleep for any length of time is at the breast.

    I've told her to get extra rest and nurse for as long as possible. I'm encouraging her to be extra sure to get plenty of good quality protein and natural fats to eat (I still have my copy of Whole Foods for the Whole Family!) She lives here with her father and me, so has few household duties and we do the cooking, so she is getting good quality, nutritious meals, and can just lay in bed with baby for now, nursing and resting.

    When her milk came in (in abundance!) she pumped several small bottles worth and froze it, so if we do need to supplement we can start out with that, and I will push for a tube system rather than a bottle. He refuses a pacifier, so I am not sure he would even take a bottle.

    Any other suggestions? Any new tips or tricks to help babe gain some weight and keep the pediatrician happy?

    Thanks!
    LLL Grandma! My nurslings are 21, 24 and 25 ... I was a Leader back in the day (some of YOU were nurslings then!) Now I'm supporting my (step)daughters nursing their babes!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    A few questions: was she given IV fluids during labor/birth? What was baby's lowest weight? What is baby's diaper output in a 24 hour period? Is baby weighed on the exact same scale every time.

    This doctor may well be freaking out over nothing and supplementing is a quick way to BF failure. If you answer the above questions we may have more specific advice.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    She did have an IV during labor (12 hours) but vomited a lot so it was barely able to keep up her hydration at TKO. Baby was 9 lbs even at discharge, and at his one week check up. He was seen again today because he had not gained, and still hasn't. I presume the two doctor visits were on the same scale.

    I'm not worried. This kid is amazing - strong, alert and active. I know a healthy baby when I see one, and I also recognize failure to thrive (my 2nd babe had this challenge). But to keep the doc off her back, we need to get a few ounces on this kid. (I'm not above taping a couple quarters to his back! ) Unfortunately, the baby is on state medical so she doesn't have a lot of choice in pediatricians.
    LLL Grandma! My nurslings are 21, 24 and 25 ... I was a Leader back in the day (some of YOU were nurslings then!) Now I'm supporting my (step)daughters nursing their babes!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    Couple more questions:
    Is she feeding the baby on demand, or trying to stick to some sort of schedule?
    Is the baby sleepy at the breast?
    What does his poop look like- yellow and seedy, or green and watery? And how many wets/poops is he producing in a 24 hour period?
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    She's feeding on demand ... and he is very demanding! Sometimes he nurses every 30 minutes, the longest he's gone between is about 5 hours. He is very wakeful - and nurses vigorously and well. He has lots of wet diapers, and several poopy too, classic breastfed baby poops - yellowish with a mild smell and visible curds.

    In the last couple of days though, he has been getting quite gassy, with some reflux. Probably a different issue, but it is increasing his need to nurse due to the discomfort. He was awake most of the night last night. Bless her heart, she's getting to the end of her rope. I fear the doctor's pressure to supplement might be enough to discourage her. *mumbles some unkind words about formula pushing doctors*
    LLL Grandma! My nurslings are 21, 24 and 25 ... I was a Leader back in the day (some of YOU were nurslings then!) Now I'm supporting my (step)daughters nursing their babes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    It sounds like she is doing really well! At this point, I would just encourage her as much as possible, tell her what an awesome job she is doing, and offer to help around the house. Throw in a load of laundry, fix a meal, bring takeout...
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    If she's nursing on demand, he's a vigorous nurser, and he's having plenty of wets and poops, then it does sound like everything is probably fine.

    If all's otherwise well, I'd be inclined to think the weight thing has to do with IV fluids and timing. So he was 9lbs 7oz at birth, 9lbs at discharge. At how many days postpartum was she discharged? When did her milk come in? It's possible that the baby was inflated at birth and continued to lose a little after discharge, especially if her milk had just come in or hadn't fully come in yet. I'm also guessing that the one week weight of 9lbs was on a different scale (at the doctors office) than the discharge weight (at the hospital). If that's the case, then you're really only looking at a reliable lack of weight gain between the two doctor visits, which could be accounted for by a full/empty stomach and/or diaper (unless they weighed naked, which not all doctors do).

    I'm not trying to minimize the situation - we all want to see newborns gain weight. I guess I'm just saying that I'd give it another week or so before considering supplementation of any kind, especially since all the other stuff (nursing frequency and diapers) seems fine.

    It sounds like you're doing a good job of encouraging and supporting her, so I'd just say keep up the good work! I wish I'd had a former Leader in the house when I was learning how to nurse


    ETA: you can also remind her that she's the mother, and it's ultimately her decision whether or not to supplement, regardless of what the doctor says. I vividly remember being told (not advised, told) to supplement an ounce of formula after each feeding by the staff pediatrician while we were still in the hospital because my daughter had lost 10% of her birth weight. This was the 4th day, and my milk didn't even come in until later that afternoon. I smiled, said "ok", and then went on my merry way of nursing and NOT supplementing It's her decision, not the doctor's - especially when you're talking about a baby who isn't obviously ill or spiraling into FTT.
    Last edited by @llli*firefly; July 20th, 2011 at 08:55 PM.
    Elizabeth, mama to Lillian - 10/03/10


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    Thanks all! Babe had a better day today, and night ... so far. She was getting concerned that he was nursing so frequently and crying so much. He was a lot more settled today, so her confidence is back. Today. Tomorrow is a new day.

    I'll be hanging around some ... re-learning the Womanly Art. I have two more grandbabies on the way!
    LLL Grandma! My nurslings are 21, 24 and 25 ... I was a Leader back in the day (some of YOU were nurslings then!) Now I'm supporting my (step)daughters nursing their babes!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    Well, babe went back to the pedi today ... and all the steaks, eggs, cream and butter we fed to mama paid off. He gained 8 ounces since last week!

    He is also sleeping for longer stretches, and staying awake longer while nursing. He had been falling asleep after only about 10 minutes of nursing, so I was a bit concerned he wasn't getting enough of the creamy hind-milk. But they are doing great now.

    Thanks again for all the advice and support!
    LLL Grandma! My nurslings are 21, 24 and 25 ... I was a Leader back in the day (some of YOU were nurslings then!) Now I'm supporting my (step)daughters nursing their babes!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Help for step-daughter

    Reviving this topic ... my step-daughter is needing lots of help now!

    Baby is still not gaining weight like the doctor would like, and has been diagnosed failure to thrive. Born 5 months ago weighing 9 lbs, 7 oz, he is now only 12 and a half pounds. Mama and babe have been referred to a gastro doc who is very anti-breastfeeding and pro-formula. Her appointment is Friday. I intend to go with her. (We would simply refuse to go, but babe is on state medical and there have been cases around here of forced medical intervention in such situations. For now, we will play along to get along.)

    They want her to start giving him 8 - 12 ounces of formula a day and start cereals and applesauce. and then take him to the gastro to rule out digestive issues, allergies and food intolerances. (Arrrgghh ... yeah, I know.) I've backed mama away from the cliff edge and she's back on track with staying exclusively BF for now. But she is terrified the state will intervene if she doesn't follow the doctor's orders. (baby daddy has been absent, now hit with CS orders and is threatening custody battles or other forms of harassment).

    I call BS on FTT as he is very alert, active, zooming past developmental milestones ... he nurses well and has plenty of W&P diapers. He is very slender though, but his skin is firm, soft and utterly luscious. He is the picture of health, if a bit skinny. One of MY kids was FTT, and I know what it looks like. This kid ain't it.

    My concerns ... babe found his thumb a couple months ago and LOVES it. He doesn't nurse down to sleep any more, preferring to soothe himself to sleep. He also would rather comfort himself with the thumb than the breast. Mama has also gone back to work waiting tables 4 evenings a week, and is pumping her milk for her sister to feed him. I don't think it's a question of volume, but rather quality. He doesn't stay at the breast longer than 10 minutes per side, so I wonder if he is getting much hindmilk. She is also very stressed and tired most of the time, and I don't think her diet is all that great - lots of empty, convenience food calories. She does drink a lot of milk ... I mean a LOT, a gallon a day or better ... and I know there have been babes intolerant of that much casein and it causes absorption issues. There could also be other issues with her diet causing problems for baby. I don't know that she has the patience to do an elimination diet though.

    Help me help her, and if I could be directed to medical journal articles with which to advocate for exclusive BF with this pro-formula doc, I surely would appreciate it!


    (My daughter had her baby a week ago today, I got to be present at the birth (joy!) and they have taken to nursing like ducks to water. My heart is near to bursting with pride and joy!)
    LLL Grandma! My nurslings are 21, 24 and 25 ... I was a Leader back in the day (some of YOU were nurslings then!) Now I'm supporting my (step)daughters nursing their babes!

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