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Thread: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Anchorage, AK
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    Default Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    I don't know what to do and a friend recommended this site. My baby is 5 weeks old and was 7lbs 3 oz at birth. In the few weeks he lost down to 6 lbs 6 oz and has now gained to 7 lbs 8 oz. This has put him in the 3rd percentile. When he first started losing, my pediatrician and lactation consultant team ran tests and have not found anything wrong. My supply is good and he is happy, alert, healthy, and a good eater. They told me that my milk probably didn't have enough calories to support his growth and they wanted me to supplement with formula. We have been supplementing with formula for several weeks, to the point that now I nurse him until he passes and we have to wake him back up and get 3 oz of formula in him each time. This is what has gotten him up to his current weight.

    Now my pediatrician and LC want me to completely stop nursing because they say he is burning too many calories doing it. I am totally against this. I have done everything they have asked me to except for this. Has anyone ever heard of nursing burning too many calories? Also, is there a way for them to test my breast milk to see if it has the appropriate calorie content? It seems like everyone is just guessing that this is the problem and I don't want to stop nursing for a guess.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    Hi Mama! I'm in a similar boat. My DS wasn't gaining weight or pooping so I was also encouraged to start supplementing. My doc also said that my breastmilk probably didn't have enough fat content. I'm not a doc, but I call BS. When I take my milk out of the fridge I can see the thicker creamy milk separated at the top. In my honest opinion, I think docs try to say anything to lessen the blow of our milk potentially not being sufficient. (I say potentially because breastmilk is almost ALWAYS sufficient.) I would question ANY doc that tried to discourage breast feeding absolutely, especially for that reason. I personally don't make enough, but that's not very common, and you say you have a good supply.

    There are many options that do not involve weaning. I would see an IBCLC to ensure that the baby is latching and transferring milk well. IF supplementing is really necessary, she can help you come up with a game plan so you don't have to wean.

    Also, supplementing with 3 oz seems like a lot. Im not a professional, but I believe 3 oz is a complete meal for a baby that age.

    In my experience, there are quite a few non-certified LCs that don't know what they're talking about. I STRONGLY encourage you to see an IBCLC.
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; September 12th, 2012 at 05:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,920

    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    Can you seek another medical opinion? You can also see an IBCLC that is a good idea, but even IBCLCs often have a hard time countering advice a mom has been given by an MD. But usually if a breastfed baby has slow weight gain, it is due to not getting enough milk-either because mom has low milk supply, or baby is unable to transfer the milk effectively, or baby is not nursing frequently enough- and NOT due to the fat content of the milk. Also i do not see how an otherwise healthy baby who nurses well would be using up so many calories nursing. What tests were done? ever any before or after nursing weight checks?

    What was the actual weight history? were weigh ins all done on the same scale? What about poop output and how does baby look to you?

    also-how frequently-about how many times total each 24 hour day-does baby nurse? and are you supplementing 3 ounces as well at every feeding?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,361

    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    with the PPs. I have heard about babies being unable to gain weight because nursing burns too many calories- but the babies in question are very small, very weak premature babies. A full term baby should be plenty strong enough to gain weight from nursing alone, provided that he takes in enough milk. As LLLMeg said, it's quantity of milk that's important, not quality.

    Additional questions for you:
    - How many times per day does baby nurse?
    - How many wet/poopy diapers was baby producing before you started supplementing?
    - What color were baby's poops prior to supplementing?
    - Was baby extremely sleepy at the breast, perhaps nodding off within a short time of latching on?
    - Was baby jaundiced at all?
    - How does nursing feel? Is it at all painful?
    - ideally you'd supplement with breastmilk rather than formula. Do you have a pump, and have you been using it?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  5. #5
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    I have considered seeking out a 2nd opinion from a different pediatric group bc all the pediatricians and LCs in our current group seem to agree that I should stop nursing him.

    We did the before and after nursing weight checks when he was about two weeks old and he was gaining an ounce and a half after feeding. I could pump and get 3 ozs at a time, although my supply is not as good now with since we started all the supplementing.

    He had jaundice the first two weeks, so we had lots of billi tests and they went ahead and did a full CBC with metobolic testing and everything came out normal. Initially when we started supplementing the formula he would have projectile spit up, so now he takes Pepsid everyday which has alleviated that problem.

    Yes, the same scale is used each time. He pooped about 8 times a day before we started supplementing, but now he maybe poops once a day. He is very bright eyed, has good focus with his eyes, and when he nurses he stares into my eyes, smiles, and sometimes will copy my expressions (widening his eyes or opening his mouth.)

    We are nursing about 6 times a day now and we have to give the 3 oz after each time (poor baby looks so bloated after and you should hear the burps.) Our dr says he needs the 3 oz every 3 hours whether I nurse him or not.

  6. #6
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    Anchorage, AK
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    - How many times per day does baby nurse?

    He is nursing about 6 times a day. Before we started supplementing he was nursing about 10 times a day.

    - How many wet/poopy diapers was baby producing before you started supplementing?

    About 8 poopy and 10 wet diapers before supplementing. Now he only has about 1 poopy and 8 wet diapers.

    - What color were baby's poops prior to supplementing?

    Before they were yellow and seedy but now they are brown and pasty.

    - Was baby extremely sleepy at the breast, perhaps nodding off within a short time of latching on?

    When he had jaundice he was extremely sleepy and we were waking him up every 2 hours to nurse. After the second week, he was much more awake and now is very alert during nursing until he gets done. When he is done he pulls off and passes out, but we have to wake him back up and feed him the bottle.

    - Was baby jaundiced at all?

    Yes, for the first 2 weeks.

    - How does nursing feel? Is it at all painful?

    Not painful at all. It feels fine.

    - ideally you'd supplement with breastmilk rather than formula. Do you have a pump, and have you been using it?

    We started off supplementing with breastmilk, but he wasn't gaining weight. Then we tried half breast milk and half formula, but he still was not gaining. Then we went completely to a formula supplement and he is slowly gaining. I have a very nice Medela pump that I was using. I stopped pumping regularly, though, bc between the other feedings I was not having much time to pump.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

  7. #7
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    I'm just throwing this out there... Only you know your son, so this may be way off base, but my son was spitting up a lot initially after nursing-supplement feedings, but it was because he didn't stop eating from the bottle when he was full and he was therefore eating way too much. If your son was nursing AND getting 3oz, he may have been spitting up because he was eating too much. Perhaps it stopped because his stomach has stretched.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    Oh, I forgot the weight history.

    8/7/12 (birth) 7 lbs. 3 oz.
    8/13/12 6 lbs. 9 oz.
    8/21/12 6 lbs. 12 oz.
    8/27/12 7 lbs. 3 oz.
    9/4/12 7 lbs. 2 oz.
    9/7/12 7 lbs. 3 oz.
    9/10/12 7 lbs. 8 oz.

    Oh, and his PKU tests both came back normal.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    alilwest,

    I agree. I think that we are overfeeding him, but I am not sure what to do when he doesn't gain weight. I have been trying to do what the pediatrician tells us to, but I feel like we are getting further and further away from what is natural.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Pediatrician Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding

    Well, the weight chart is interesting. Baby had jaundice and was very sleepy the first two weeks, but babies weight gain, while slow, was better...more normal- in the first three weeks then later. The weight checks suggest that there was an initial drop of almost 10 percent of birth weight, (within the norm for a hospital birth) and then baby had jaundice and was sleepy, yet even so, baby was back to birth weight by three weeks, which, while not ideal, (ideally, baby is back to birth weight by two weeks) it certainly is not terrible-baby was gaining, on your breastmilk, slightly slowly but gaining. Where gain seems to have frozen is from week 3 to week 6. When did the weight gain concern get raised?

    But here is my real surprise-the nursing frequency. It's not enough! -Baby is 5 weeks old, and baby was nursing 10 times a day, but now only 6? 10 times per 24 hours is the MINIMUM frequency a baby under 6 to 8 weeks old should be nursing. So I wonder how the situation could have been improved by nursing a little more frequently once weight gain started to stagnate? In any case, since it sounds as if you have kept your supply up with pumping despite not nursing frequently enough, you can certainly start nursing more often now, if you like. You could also try breast compression while nursing to try to get more into baby at each session. See http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17

    Yes, a before and after weight check of 1.5 ounces gain is a little low (for a baby over two weeks of age) but not all that bad-the general hope is to see a transfer of 2 ounces at least-AFTER two weeks of age, before that age, less would be normal.

    I also do not understand how a baby can be pooping 8 times a day and not getting enough milk. Where was all that poop coming from? Are we talking poops about the size of a US quarter-or bigger? Or little streaks? The poops have to be about the size of a quarter or bigger to 'count."

    Anyway, IMO there may be a combination of issues here, none of which would mean you need to stop nursing. Here is what I am thinking, what do you think?

    1) Baby is not nursing frequently enough.

    2) The weight checks are possibly not completely accurate if they were done on different scales and/or perhaps not done correctly. (baby always undressed or in a dry diaper only, always on the same scale, measurement checked (in concerning cases, double checked) and written down carefully,

    3) Baby has some milk transfer issue that makes feeding a little on the slow or non-productive side. (this would be what an IBCLC could be working with you on-identifying if there is a latch or sucking/swallowing issue and improving latch and sucking if needed.

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