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Thread: Pediatrician Recommending Supplementing. What would you do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Southern California

    Default Pediatrician Recommending Supplementing. What would you 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

    Default Re: Pediatrician Recommending Supplementing. What would you

    I'm going to suggest a few options rather than say what I would do because I think in these situations it really is best for the mother to follow her instincts. Option one would be to take more time off from work simply stay home with baby and nurse more often day and night and see if that in any way improve the situation as far as weight gain. Option two would be to give some formula supplementation but only do so when you are at work when baby is getting a bottle anyway, while continuing to pump as frequently as you can at work and doing what you can there to increase pump output. What you are pumping is not way outside of normal depending on how often you pump. I would also suggest making sure that your caregivers are giving baby enough but not too much while you are at work. Option three would be to keep doing what you are doing and looking around for another pediatrician who is fine with baby gaining 4 ounces a week. While that is on the slow side, my understanding is it is on the slow side of normal. Whether it is enough for your baby in particular would have to b a call made by you. Even if you do need to supplement I question medical advice that says a baby should be gaining some very specific amount as of course all babies gain slightly differently and I certainly would also question the idea that rice cereal would be helpful or even safe for a child this age.

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