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Thread: Weight gain freak out!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Weight gain freak out!

    Hello! I'm Jenny, mom to my sweet little 12wk old boy.
    We just came home from our 3rd meeting with the LC 2 days ago, and I'm super discouraged!
    Our nursing relationship started out pretty good despite the jaundice and bili blanket and my milk waiting til day 5 to come in. I thought I had a good supply and he a good latch. Then when ds was about 1 mo the nipple pain was bad, I was treated for yeast (and ds too), but pain came back so LC at my OB's office sent me to the LC at the hospital (2 counties away).

    When I went to see her about the nipple pain, she wanted to focus on ds's weight and weight gain (ok she did offer some latch tips to improve ds's latch and offered to look out for yeast, but no yeast treatment even though my nipples were still so red). But she wanted me to weigh him regularly, pump after every feeding, nurse frequently, start fenugreek...

    Admittedly the pediatrician almost got on me about ds's weight gain just the week prior at his 2 mo check. He had only gained 1lb above his birth weight by 2 mo. (His birth weight was 6lb 14oz and at 2mo he weighed 7lbs 15oz and today he weighs 8lbs 9oz.) But I pointed out that my dh is tall and very thin and ds gained over 3 inches since birth and seems to take after dh. So the ped let it rest but did point out that he wasn't staying on the growth curve.

    So, I left the first LC visit armed with a pump and started all the things she said. It was discouraging and stressful. After the second visit I went home with a scale. Now I could see how little he was eating--less than an ounce per feeding. But some feedings at night were over 3 oz! But in the end after this week's visit (10 days after starting all this intervention) she says even though I've increased my supply a bit and he's gaining weight a little faster than before, it's not the 21oz per day that he needs and he's not gaining up to the right amount per day...so he needs formula to make up for it.

    I am so torn up about this! I don't want to supplement with formula. But I don't want my baby to go hungry!!! I'm nursing and pumping and giving him every drop that I pump after he's done. I've added blessed thistle to the fenugreek I take starting 2days ago.
    But until my milk supply gets up to what everyone says he needs, will he be ok?! Am I starving him!
    Is he going to be ok? Do all babies need to eat the "recommended amount" in order to thrive?
    He has the right amount of wet and poopy diapers every day.
    Will a few ounces of supplemental formula after he's finished nursing sabotage any milk supply increase efforts? I thought the #1 thing to do to increase milk supply was stop any supplementing. I've considered if I give the formula, only give it with the SNS.
    If he starts formula will I ever be able to wean him off it? I feel like if I start formula now, I may increase supply, but I'll always be behind. But I don't want to keep the formula from him if he needs it!
    I thought LCs were supposed to be so supportive of bfing?! But I don't feel like I've been given enough time to build my supply back up. Is that because my baby's at risk if I give it another week to see?
    (Before the stress of having all the kids home for Christmas break, I had an oversupply--over active let down, leaking all the time, painful fullness between feedings. Can stress really do a 180 on my milk supply! )

    I also left this visit with a treatment protocol for yeast (finally!). So I'm stressing about that too! How can I effectively kick this yeast (clean and sterilize everything) while I'm constantly either breastfeeding or pumping?! And DH is my big time advocate/support/helper and he has to leave on a trip for 6 days next week and ill be home with the 5kids!

    I'm a wreak! Just great for milk production I know!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    It will be okay. You can do this. You already are doing it. You're going to be fine.

    I'm with you, I'm not totally sure your baby actually needs supplementation. Having the right number of wets and poops, being happy and healthy, meeting milestones, gaining (even if slowly), all lean toward your baby NOT starving.

    What is his current weight?
    “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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    212

    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    It sounds like the LC is so used to dealing with weight gain issues that everything looks like a weight gain issue to her. Imagine that you never had a yeast issue and never saw LC#2. Would you, independent of her freaking out, be worried about your baby? A bit concerned or totally freaking out? If baby is producing diapers and growing in length and behaviorally seems okay, I would not think that one week of waiting should be a danger to your child. If you have had oversupply in the past, extra pumping doesn't seem like the best idea either. I would try to get the baby to the breast as often as possible, watch output, and ride it out.
    All the best

  4. #4
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lehall View Post
    Imagine that you never had a yeast issue and never saw LC#2. Would you, independent of her freaking out, be worried about your baby? A bit concerned or totally freaking out?
    I just recently thought of this. And I think I would start to be concerned, but only in the last few days as he nears his 3mo mark and still is not up 2lbs from his birth weight. And because of so many strangers' remarks about his size/age--oh, how early was he, was he just born, look a brand new one!

    But you're right, I don't think I'd be freaking out!

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    If you would be concerned but not freaking out, I would keep nursing as often as possible and not jump to formula too quickly. Can you use a sling for skin-to-skin contact? you could pump one side while baby nurses on the other a couple of times each day and use that milk to supplement? It seems entirely normal to me that some feeds would be bigger than others. If you can get him to nurse an extra time or two, that could really up the daily total. It sounds to me (and I am NOT A DOCTOR) like you're moving in the right direction and if you continue to be diligent about it, you can give your efforts some time to pay off. Remember, he is having adequate wets and poops. He is growing (even if slower than ideal). He is not in immediate danger.

    On strangers' comments: Strangers don't have any idea what they're talking about. I don't think I have ever heard a stranger say "that looks like a happy, appropriately sized baby" People tell me my baby looks big (even though he's about 25% on the WHO charts). Then he fusses just the tiniest bit and someone tells me I'm starving him. Don't brush off your own concern, but don't take on theirs.

    On formula: If you do end up having to use it to supplement, you can return to ebf. lots of mamas here have done it. It's not easy and it's not ideal. But if you do end up short-term supplementing while you get things squared away, that's not the end of the world. Or of breastfeeding. (I don't think you need to rush into it, I just wanted to respond to your concern)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lehall View Post

    On strangers' comments: Strangers don't have any idea what they're talking about. I don't think I have ever heard a stranger say "that looks like a happy, appropriately sized baby"
    That is so true. Everyone commented on how small my daughter was. And then commented just as frequently on how big my son was.
    “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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    I just have a couple questions-how often does baby nurse, (how many times a day) and does latch/nursing still hurt?

    It sounds as if you have only seen hospital based and doctor office based lcs. Many of these are wonderful, of course. But they do tend to come to lactation consulting from a medical background, which can sometimes make them much more focused on things like weight gain than on helping a mother with latch. (of course, both are important.) Many hospitals will only hire LC's who are also RNs, for example. Also, some places give thier RNs a course on breastfeeding and call them lactation consultants.

    please understand, I am not bashing lactation consultants who have a medical background, nor am I bashing the lcs you saw. I have no idea if thier suggestions are appropriate in you or not. But you are clearly frustrated, so I suggest-

    Contact your local LLL Group or breastfeeding usa chapter if you have one. They may have suggestions for local lactation assistance.
    Consider hiring a private practice lactation consultant who YOU choose.
    Before hiring, Call at least two and ask them about thier experience in helping mothers with latch pain. Ask about thier background. Make sure they are either an IBCLC (board certified) And/or, come with a good reference from other breastfeeding mothers.

    Before and after weight checks are very sensitive things, and hard to do. If baby poops or pees in between it gets off. If diaper is on or off it gets off, etc. They can be useful tools, but need to be taken as one part of the evidence, not the entire picture.

    A LC is not a doctor. They cannot prescribe medical treatment. Formula supplementing of a breastfed baby is medical treatment. Maybe not legally, but scientifically. If you don't want to supplement with formula, I suggest discussing it with the pediatrician again.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    "that looks like a happy, appropriately sized baby"
    I have got to start saying that!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    I am also interested in how many times a day you are nursing? I am pretty sure we can get you back on track by just adding in some sessions or having you pump to up your supply.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Weight gain freak out!

    Thank you all! I'm now nursing 9-10 times in 24 hrs. That's up from 7-8 plus pumping after 6 if not every feeding. If I nurse more frequently he seems to get the same amount of ounces per feeding per day?? I weigh him before and after feedings without changing anything--same diaper, clothes, etc.

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