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Thread: Feeling lost

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Feeling lost

    I don't have a question I just wanted to share my feelings. My son is 13 mo and although I have loved the nursing experience so far I really cant help but wonder if it really did my son any good. He is rather small and has slowly been dropping from his curve since he was 4 months. At his one year visit he was completely off the charts and anemic. He is a happy and active child but he is still not walking. Everyone including the pediatrician suggested that I should wean him and give him real food. I just stuck to my guns and convinced myself that he is getting the nutrition that he needs from me, but I feel defeated now when I see other babies who are big and eating real food and the moms don't have to put their lives on hold just so they could nurse their baby 15 times a day. I have nursed him every 2 hours, day and night for more than an year and I am really proud of the fact that I did not give up even when there was no strong support from anyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    NY
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Wow, kudos to you for doing that for over a year!

    Second, breastmilk shouldn't be the only diet for a 13-month old. At this point, your baby should really be eating real foods along with breastfeeding. Also, not all babies have to be walking by 13 months! For the record, I began walking at 18 months and my development was fine

    I used to doubt the breastfeeding because my baby was in a very small percentile and also kept dropping (though the pediatrician was never concerned about weight gain), and everyone else's babies (breastfed and formula-fed) were always bigger than him. And people made comments like, "what? you still nurse him at night?" and all that unhelpful advice. But now I really feel that it's worth it. And it's not jsut for him, it's for me as well. I gain a tremendous amount from nursing him. And he still gets all the benefits. Every time he has a cold or ear infection, I feel so good knowing that he gets the best of the best, nutritionally and emotionally. Now that he is 1, I am also giving him 3 meals a day, but I cherish the moment at each nursing session (especially because I know that he can stop at any time).
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  3. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Great job breastfeeding so long but yes, you should be offering other foods to him in addition to breastfeeding at this age. Generally starting at around 6 months it is recommended to start offering other foods to baby so they can learn to eat and get some of the nutrients that they need more of like Iron.

    I would recommend the book baby led weaning.
    AND
    Ask for a prescription for an iron supplement since he is anemic.
    Keep breastfeeding but offer other foods as well.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Thanks! I do offer other foods but he does not care much for them. He takes a couple of bites and that is all. I guess he is not hungry because he nurses so frequently. He only eats spicy food if I feed him with hand. I also give him cows milk and he drinks 1-2 oz and then wants to nurse. So he is pretty much surviving on breast milk at this point.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Then I would say definitely see about getting an iron supplement for him because of the anemia. Possibly also look into multivitamins as well. Many babies don't eat much other than breastmilk for quite a long time and as long as you are offering solid meals with a variety of healthy foods for him to choose from he will eat when he needs to.

    Weaning him won't necessarily make him eat more solid foods or make him grow more and cow's milk is NOT better for him than breastmilk at this point

    I'll also recommend the book "My Child Won't Eat"

  6. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    I agree with the PP'S!

    If he isn't interested in much solids then denying him his favourite source of calories is likely to make his weight gain worse!

    That said at this age I would try to offer solids at various times so before milk instead of just after if you've only ever done it that way around.

    Keep having food avaliable without pressure and he will eat eventually!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Feeling lost

    You did not ask a question, but I do have some thoughts on your situation. But first, I think you have every right to be be proud you have stuck to your guns and I just want to clarify why I think that and what you may want to think about going forward. But you did not ask- so please feel free to ignore the following!

    Has the anemia been properly treated? Severe iron deficiency is possibly going to cause all kinds of issues, including poor appetite. Since you know baby was iron deficient, I would also wonder if baby is deficient in some other vitamins or minerals. Has your child been tested for any other issues? Or has it always been assumed breastfeeding is the problem? And what about breastfeeding is suspect to your baby's doctor- do you know? - the milk quality or quantity? Or is it thought baby prefers the sensation of nursing to eating and thus is voluntarily not eating despite being hungry? Of those, the only one I would think may fit with a child who is nursing 15 times a day but not gaining normally, is an issue with milk quantity-not enough milk- either a milk production issue, or a milk transfer issue. Any signs of either?

    Breastfeeding does not cause nutritional issues or other health issues. Here is what the science currently suggests: Breastmilk is the only biologically normal food for all babies, up to 'around' 6 months. After that point, it is typically suggested to slowly and gradually introduce complimentary foods while continuing to have breastmilk be the primary source of nutrition for a year or even longer. Even after a year or so, or after a child is eating lots of other foods, breastmilk continues to be a normal and healthy part of a child's diet.

    Your child may be or may not be having issues, but this is not because breastmilk isn't doing much good! A child being breastfed gives them the best chances of a lifetime of better overall health. After 6 months or so, it is typically suggested that complimentary foods be introduced. But if a child will not eat what they are offered, that is not the fault of breastfeeding. Either the child needs no other complimentary foods (one of mine did not eat solids until 14 months yet was entirely healthy) OR the child does need other nutrients but for some reason is not taking them. Blaming breastfeeding does not solve the problem, should there be one.

    Also as pp points out, it is entirely normal for a child to not be walking at 13 months. The age range for onset of walking is very wide.

    If a child needs more than what they can get breastfeeding and from the food they are willing to eat, something else is wrong, and nutritional supplements may be needed. This does not require that a child stops nursing.

    It sounds like you wish your child nursed a bit less, but are not necessarily ready to stop nursing altogether? This is a pretty typical concern and very understandable. Again I would wonder if there is some issue with milk production or milk transfer.

    I second the book suggestion My Child Won't Eat.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Has the anemia been properly treated? Severe iron deficiency is possibly going to cause all kinds of issues, including poor appetite. Since you know baby was iron deficient, I would also wonder if baby is deficient in some other vitamins or minerals. Has your child been tested for any other issues? Or has it always been assumed breastfeeding is the problem? And what about breastfeeding is suspect to your baby's doctor- do you know? - the milk quality or quantity? Or is it thought baby prefers the sensation of nursing to eating and thus is voluntarily not eating despite being hungry? Of those, the only one I would think may fit with a child who is nursing 15 times a day but not gaining normally, is an issue with milk quantity-not enough milk- either a milk production issue, or a milk transfer issue. Any signs of either?
    I have started giving him iron supplements from just a couple of days and yet to see a change in his appetite. Everything else came back normal in his one year blood test. He was seen by a feeding specialist who suspected reflux and put him on Zantac. It has not helped in anyway and I feel his rejection of solids is more behavioral. He loves nursing and never took a bottle. It took me months to get him used to a cup and he doesn't drink more than an ounce from it. Even if I put the sugary Pediasure he takes a few sips and starts pulling my shirt asking for the real thing

    It never really occurred to me that my supply could be low. He seems satisfied and I know he is never going hungry. Your question had me thinking though, is it possible that he is not getting enough milk but he is not making do with it. It could be the reason why he nurses so frequently. How can I tell and should I really worry about working on my supply at this point? Because you are right

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    It sounds like you wish your child nursed a bit less, but are not necessarily ready to stop nursing altogether?
    I want him to eat other healthy foods as I plan to get back to work soon but would still love to nurse him when I am with him.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2014
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    Louisville, Kentucky
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*abysmom View Post
    I want him to eat other healthy foods as I plan to get back to work soon but would still love to nurse him when I am with him.
    This may have been touched on higher up in the thread, but have you done any short-ish trial run separations? I'm thinking maybe long-enough that he would typically have nursed once or so during that time if he was with you, and long-enough that he may be hungry for a snack, but not long enough that it would be incredibly stressful for him, or stressful for you, and not long enough that you'd need to bother with a pump. I don't know what this would be for you-- maybe two hours? Would your little one sit down for a small snack and drink with a trusted care-provider if you weren't present?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Feeling lost

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*abysmom View Post
    It has not helped in anyway and I feel his rejection of solids is more behavioral. He loves nursing and never took a bottle. It took me months to get him used to a cup and he doesn't drink more than an ounce from it. Even if I put the sugary Pediasure he takes a few sips and starts pulling my shirt asking for the real thing
    This sounds so much like my second child, my daughter who is 23 months. She was a normal weight, but she strongly disliked solids until she was probably 18 months old. Even now, the best way I can get her to eat is to just offer bites as she runs around! She's not a sitter, she's very active so I think eating is pretty boring for her. She also never had a bottle. She only regularly started wanting breakfast around 18-19 months, before that it was very sporadic.

    If you think that this is behavioral and he's already taking iron, then I can only suggest to wait it out. Someday he will want food! It just might be on his own schedule. My daughter is getting better, and I do feed her lots of high calorie foods to make up for the fact that she likes tiny amounts and still drinks about 12oz breast milk a day...which I only know because I just went on my first trip away from her and that's how much I pumped, so she likely drinks even more than that.

    And I wouldn't necessarily say that he's nursing frequently because there is so little milk...perhaps he just loves nursing for comfort as well? My daughter would nurse like 10x per day if she could, she loves it for milk and comfort. I think if he were hungry he would be very cranky and let you know!
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; November 9th, 2014 at 06:00 PM.
    and Mama to two little girls

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