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Thread: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    I just got done with my daughter's six month appt. and am somewhat confused and frustrated. Looking for advice and/or support from any other mom's that have maybe had similar issues with their exclusively breastfed babies.

    For reference, here are my daughter's weight measurements:
    Birth - 8 pounds 2 ounces
    1 Month - 9 pounds 2 ounces
    2 Months - 10 pounds 7 ounces
    4 Months - 12 pounds even
    6 Months - 12 pounds 7.5 ounces

    My pediatrician has never expressed concern about my daughter's thin (long and lean) frame or weight gain up until this appointment. She also did not express any concern about any developmental issues or other health issues other than just weight gain. But she said that due to her poor weight gain between 4 and 6 months, she wanted me to exclusively formula feed her for two weeks straight and then come back and weigh her again to see if that helped. That my milk did obviously didn't have the caloric content that she needed. I questioned her about other alternatives (perhaps nursing more frequently, or pumping and measuring how many ounces she was actually getting) but she was very adament about formula being the only option.

    I should also note that I breastfed my son (now 3 yo) til about 20 months old and that he was also quite thin and long and lean but there was never any concern. My daughter also began crawling a week or two before she was 6 months old (which I believe usually results in some leveling off of weight gain) and is incredibly alert and active. I had not supplemented with any rice cereal or solids before the appointment and just breastfed on demand.

    My daughter sleeps well, laughs, smiles, crawls, babbles, plays and has no other health or developmental concerns. I am confused as to why the doctor is so adament about me stopping breastfeeding to use formula if there really doesn't seem to be a problem other than the fact that she is slender. I am obviously not wanting to ignore any possible health concern related with her lack of weight gain - but am not sure if I even need to be worried at all or even do anything to begin with, let alone quit breastfeeding! I already charted her weight gain on the WHO chart and her percentages have obviously dropped - but they have done that every month since she was born - but she has never lost weight and still has an upward trajectory (currently at about 5% on the WHO chart).

    I already have an appointment tomorrow morning with a reccomended pediatrician that is supposedly more breastfeeding knowledgable/supportive and am anxious to see what she has to say.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,501

    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    Kepp on keepin' on, and ignore the ped's horrible advice.

    6 months is waaay early to start crawling, and no doubt that is skewing your baby's results. But it's no reason to stop breastfeeding!
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    Glad you are getting a second opinion. I suggest you NOT tell the new ped what your old ped suggested if you have not already. Some doctors do not like to directly contradict previous opinions.

    Usually a baby who is not gaining well on breastmilk is simply not getting enough breastmilk. Also some moms who have gotten this advice continue to nurse and also pump and supplement with the higher fat milk they pump, but I am not up on this technique at all so hopefully someone else will chime in.

    And are we sure about this weight? Have all weight checks been done all on the same scale, is it possible teh scale was recalibrated between appointments?

    Kellymom article on fat content in breastmilk: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/change-milkfat/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    I think you're doing the right thing by getting a second opinion. Hopefully you'll get some more breastfeeding-friendly advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    i agree you should get a second opinion! my dd just had her 1 yr check 3 weeks ago and her dr. was fine with her weight gain( birth- 7lbs. 1 oz. @ 1 yr check- 17lbs. 8oz.) she is TINY! but if your dr. is on the same page as you about ebf, then it is so much easier on moms. good luck and i say keep up whats best for baby and you, ebf sounds like its working well for you both!

    audrey.SAHM to 3! ds 1/03( bf 10 wks/ff) dd 8/07[bf 4.5 months(cleft lip repair 1/08)/ff] dd 6/25/11 ebf my tiny toddler!

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    It sounds like your daughter is doing great! I hope the appt tomorrow is helpful. I would definitely not put her on formula for 2 weeks since your milk is what she needs. The crawling probably is a factor in her burning extra calories. Some kids are just more active. If her energy levels are good, I'd say she's probably getting enough to eat.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    My DS Dr. told me my son was to since at his 3 month appointment he was 12.4 and at his 4 month check up he was 12.8. Hes like your daughter supper active he was crawling and rolling all over and to top it off I had a bad sinus infection and the meds made him have a sour tummy. She told me that I had to give him formula. I decided not follow advice since my DD was a slow gainer and I followed there advice only to have her stay small and become very unhappy.I figured he was happy very active never acted hungry. Now my DS is 5 months and put on 2 pounds. He decided 2 weeks ago he wanted to go back to eating every 2 hours I am starting to think he has a alarm clock he hides to keep on time. You know your kid better than the Dr. who spends 10 mins with them. If you not really worried about anything being wrong than keep doing as you are. If you think there might be cause for concern get a 2end opinion.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Glad you are getting a second opinion. I suggest you NOT tell the new ped what your old ped suggested if you have not already. Some doctors do not like to directly contradict previous opinions
    And even if they don't mind being contradictory, sometimes just hearing what the previous opinion was can add weight to that possibility, in the doctor's mind.

    It's absolutely ridiculous that your pediatrician suggested that your milk is calorie-deficient. Calorie content of human milk doesn't vary that much from woman to woman. When there's a problem with weight gain, the issue is usually one of insufficient milk quantity, not quality.

    You do have a smaller baby, and that's fine, because it sounds like she's an active and perfectly healthy kid. However, now that your LO is 6 months, having a smaller baby does give you an opportunity to make choices with solids that are a little different from average. Instead of offering fruits and veggies and cereals, you can focus on offering the higher-calorie solids like meats, whole-milk yogurt, avocado, and beans, and maybe adding a little olive oil to the lower-calorie fruits and veggies. Of course, nurse on demand until a year (or longer, if you so choose), because your milk provides more balanced nutrition than any solid food.

    Just one question: are you nursing on demand, and if so, how many times a day does your baby nurse?
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    It breaks my heart when I hear stories like this. The doctor is making a massive decision based solely on weight. What about height and head circumference? Are they on track? What about developmental milestones? Have they all been hit? Do you have your son's measurements from the same months to compare to? There so may other criteria that your child should have monitored.

    Crawling will definitely slow weight gain as they're using all of their energy to move! The minute that happens, you often see little chunky babies lean right out.

    Let us know what the other pediatrician says. I'm curious what a more BFing friendly / knowledgeable doctor says.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    New York
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    Default Re: Dr. Told Me To Switch to Formula?!

    I know a woman who was also told to switch to formula when her LO was slow to gain.
    It turns out her daughter had an inherited human growth hormone deficiency completely unrelated to nursing.
    She laments her decision to stop breastfeeding because it had nothing to do with her daughter's condition.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

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