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Thread: Need help - anti -BF doc and slow weight gain on baby

  1. #1

    Default Need help - anti -BF doc and slow weight gain on baby

    A bit of history first: I have four beautiful boys: Jack (11), Ryeleigh (9), Ewan (8) and Rhyse (6). My little girl Korra was born on 07 December. I had a LOT of complications in this pregnancy (including but not limited to: ) Diabetes (had 9 shots of insulin a day and was still majorly out of control), hypothyroid, SPD, Fibromyalsia and at 31 weeks I was diagnosed with Angiosarcoma (Cancer in the lining of my blood vessels). I had a mastectomy of my left breast on 29 October (at about 33 weeks pregnant). Korra was born 3 weeks early due to all these complications, and unfortunately had difficulties breathing on her own. My heart stopped during the c-section and I was given atropine. History Done

    Breastfeeding problems: When we left the hospital my little girl had dropped a pound (she was born at 7 pounds 15, and dropped to 6 pounds 14). Her doctor acted as if this was the worst thing ever and told me with just one breast I can't breastfeed and I need to formula feed. I know this isn't true, and although I understood it would be a challenge, I had breastfed four others, including the younger two at the same time. A week later at her check up, she had not gained any weight and I explained to the doctor that my nipple was swelling up at night, and because of this her latch wasn't right and I felt my milk supply was dropping because of this. He again told me to forumla feed. But gave me antibiotics for mastitis. A few days later, my little one was feeding like normal... and I did give in and offer her two formula bottles AFTER a normal feed. She took only 1/2 an ounce from each. The next night I only needed to offer it to her once, and again she took the 1/2 ounce and fell asleep. At thee end of week three she put on an ounce. Again the doctor told me to forumla feed. I went back on Monday. Korra put on four ounces this week. She is so contented after feeds and looks around so much. She is alert and healthy looking(strangers comment to me about these things)...yet her doctor insists she is starving. He told me I should breastfeed ( at 2) then bottle feed her an hour later, and repeat. He told me my milk doesnt have enough calories. He told me there is no way I can tell my baby is happy ... when I suggested you can tell because she isn't crying all the time he tried to tell me she was too under nourished to cry (he hasn't been there for the 20 minutes of crying she does on a drive home from the store... or everytime I'm not holding her.... She is trying to lift her head... He has now told me if I refuse to give her formula and she isn't up to her birth wieght by next week he is reporting me to DFS. I just don't know what to do! Last time I checked it isn't healthy for a newborn to gain 10 ounces in a week - which is what she needs to be up to birth weight. Please, I need some suggestions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default 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?

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