Re: Need help - anti -BF doc and slow weight gain on baby
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! I'm sorry you've had such a turbulent time surrounding the joyous arrival of a new baby.
You're correct that it is possible to nurse a baby with just one breast. But I also think your doc has been at least partially correct about the need for supplemental feedings- a full pound of weight loss is more than the normal maximum (10% of birthweight), and while babies are expected to regain birthweight by their second week of life, it sounds like your baby was still only 1 oz over her lowest weight at 3 weeks of age. Now, I don't think that means you need to exclusively formula feed- it sounds like things may be turning the corner at this point because you got her to put on 4 oz this week. But I do think that some sort of supplemental feeding may still be in order, because normal weight gain for a newborn is 5-7 oz per week (reference: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/). Even if your baby is genetically destined to be closer to the 5 oz/week end of the scale, she has a week or more of slow gain to make up for, and I personally would want to err on the side of overfeeding- at least for now.
One thing I noticed from your health history is that you had hypothyroidism, and being hypo can compromise your milk supply. Since it's really common for thyroid problems to come on after pregnancy, particularly in women who have already had thyroid problems, I really encourage you to see your doctor and ask for a repeat thyroid panel. Adjusting your medication may be in order. And please note that being hypo doesn't mean you make "low-calorie" milk- there's no such thing. When a baby isn't gaining weight on breastmilk, the problem is almost always insufficient quantity of milk, not insufficient quality- and hypothyroidism can affect quantity.
I'd also strongly suggest a visit to the lactation consultant, preferably one who is an IBCLC. She should be able to evaluate your baby's nursing effectiveness- make sure she does a weigh-feed-weigh session- and connect you to any supplies you might need as you get this figured out. I'm thinking a hospital-grade pump and correctly sized breast shields would be good- by pumping after feedings you could get the milk you need for supplementing, and build your supply to the point where supplementing becomes unnecessary.
The third thing I'd love for you to get is a different pediatrician. Your current guy sounds like he's not particularly knowledgeable about breastfeeding and isn't working with you to find a way forward. When you're in an adversarial situation with your doc, that's not going to be good for anyone, right?
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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