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Thread: Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Southern California
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    Default Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?

    Hi all -

    Sorry in advance, because this is going to be a bit of a saga. Breastfeeding has been one of the hardest things about being a new mom but I'm very committed to it. When she was born, my daughter was 7 lbs even, but her weight fell to 6 lbs, 6 oz in her first week. I took her to a hospital clinic that urged me to supplement because of this weight loss. I was a bit suspicious of this advice since it was very different from what I had read and learned from the breastfeeding class that I took. I got ahold of a lactation consultant who visited me at home several times and got us on track with breastfeeding.

    However, ever since then, my daughter's weight gain has been slow. She currently gains about 4 ozs a week pretty consistently, and now, at 14.5 weeks weighs 10 lbs, 13 ozs (we bought a scale to monitor at home because it was a concern). Sh has also grown from 20 inches at birth to 23.5 inches now.

    She seems very alert, is very strong (great head control and can almost sit on her own), and seems the normal amount of fussy. She eats every 2-3 hours during the day, and we co-sleep at night so that she can breastfeed whenever she needs to. We use cloth diapers, and she typically has at least 6 wet diapers a day (sometimes even up to 10) and 1-3 watery poops a day. I think she seems pretty healthy, and is maybe just going to be petite.

    However,her pediatrician has been pressuring me to supplement. She says that my daughter should be gaining at least two lbs a month. I also went to get a second opinion, and this pediatrician said the same thing -- he said that I should mix rice cereal with my milk (which sounds really bad to me).

    So far I have been ignoring their advice. My lactation consultant seems to agree with me that my daughter is fine and healthy, but obviously I wouldn't want her to not be getting the calories she needs. Also, as a further blow to my confidence, I've recently gone back to work, and pumping has not been good. I am rarely ever able to pump more than 1.5-3 ounces, so I need to pump more frequently than DD eats in order to have enough (I do have a good, double electric pump). I know pumping output isn;t always indicative of supply, but since we were worried anyway, it has me wondering whether my supply might be low.

    I really don't want to supplement, since I know that could end up leading to further supply issues, and I was really committed to at least making it to 6 months with exclusive breastmilk. But, obviously my daughter's health is the top priority. What would you do if you were me? Would you supplement?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?



    Sorry you're doubting yourself mama! I can't believe that one of those pediatrician's recommended rice cereal mixed into a bottle! It's a choking hazard and if you needed to gain weight - would you eat rice to do it?? Crazy suggestion!

    If she is pooping and peeing just fine, then she should be getting enough.

    How long are you away from her during the day? How much is she drinking when she's away from you?

    According to this link, http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/ her weight gain is in the range of normal.


    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,940

    Default Re: Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?

    just what I was going to link Tracie
    Sounds ok to me too.
    I also had to add in pumps whenever I could just to get enough milk for myy dd when i was at work. She was on the 'small' side and I was told to supplement but did not.
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?

    You might ask your lactation consultant if she can recommend a pediatrician who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding. It sounds like you are doing everything right and your daughter is growing and is within normal range. According to the WHO growth chart she is at 5%ile, which is on the small side of normal, but the key word is normal. Especially since you are getting plenty of wet and dirty diapers and she is happy and healthy and meeting milestones. Keep watching it, but don't worry and I don't see a need to supplement yet. Even if you did get to the point where you felt you needed to supplement you could start with pumping after nursing and giving that as a supplement, which would avoid formula and also give your supply a boost (assuming that is necessary). I absolutely would not give cereal and especially not put it in your baby's bottle that is counter-indicated by the AAP as a choking hazard. I seriously can't believe a pediatrician would say that!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?

    Thanks for these responses. It does make me feel better about our choice to carry on with exclusive breastfeeding. As a compromise I did decide to start trying to pump for an extra 5-10 minutes after each feed, to give DD the extra. Unfortunately, she must be a pretty efficient eater -- after she eats I can usually only pump an extra half ounce. Is this something to worry about, or does that just mean she's getting what she needs?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pediatrician recommending supplementing.What to do?

    Nothing to worry about, that's about right for pumping right after nursing. You will probably find that she'll either start nursing longer or you'll start pumping more as your body gets used to that process and starts increasing supply to meet the new demand.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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