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Thread: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    i had the exact same problem and know that it can be extremely stressful and frustrating..

    my ds dropped almost a pound in the first 3 days (6 lbs 12 oz to 5 lbs 14 oz) and I received horrible advice the first couple weeks which i think affected my supply.

    the LC that I saw recommended I do the same...feed for 10 min and then offer the second for the same. if after this time, he was still hungry offer 1 oz of supplement (EBM or formula) and then pump for 10 mins. It is extremely time consuming and I did it with the help of my mom. He did gain 10 ozs that week and was taking about 5-6 ozs of supplement a day.

    the 10 min recc seemed strange to me for the reason the pp's have all stated but the LC's opinion was that he was not actively sucking and was not effectively transferring milk even though I would see some swallowing, etc. he was a laid back baby and would bf all day if you'd let him. if he fell asleep at the breast I was to take him off and let him wake up and keep doing this until he was awake.

    I will say that this did help him "get down to business" and eat effectively and then I could comfort nurse him as needed. he defintely sucks much better now.

    We are still supplementing at 8 weeks and the best thing I have learned in the process now is not to feel gulty/bad that you have to supplement. I think there is a lot of stigma around this issue and it can be hard not to feel like you're letting everyone down. I have tried everything short of prescriptions (acupuncture, herbs, diet, etc.) and I do know not that stress doesn't help the supply issue!

    I pumped after every feeding and i can only get 1/2 oz per session on a good day so don't let your amounts stress you out. I just try to pump when he gets a bottle just to keep the stimulation up.

    Hang in there! The best thing you can do is feed your baby and be a happy mom! these boards are extremely supportive.

    PM me if you have any specific questions..this has been most of what I've been thinking about since he was born!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,273

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    Hi there! I just wanted to say that my OB's assistant also said 10 minutes on each side and I chose to ignore her! After being on this site and doing more research I realized this wasn't right and she probably didn't have enough training or experience in breastfeeding. Good luck!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    We had a very similar situation. Ds was born 7lbs 6oz and went down to 6lbs 10oz. The Dr told me I was not making enough milk and she gave me all kinds of stupid reasons. She sent me home with all kinds of free formula and instructions to BF for only 10 min. I immediately called the LC from the hospital. She said that the Dr basically needs to get reeducated. I listened to the LC instructions because I knew in my heart she was right. I BF on both sides until baby dropped off. Then I pumped and fed him the expressed milk. Most of the time he would spit up the extra expressed milk because it was too much. The next week we went in to see the DR and DS gained twice as much as he should have. The Dr looked at me in amazement and I told her that I did not use one drop of formula. I'm still ticked off at that Dr and refuse to see her. DS has been in the 90th percentile for growth and is now 6 months. I still have all the formula in my cupboard.
    C:\Documents and Settings\David Lawrence\My Documents\My Pictures\DSC00970.jpg
    Mommy to Alexander
    Born Oct 6,2006


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    Similar situation. Birth weight dropped 16%.

    Except it was the LC and not the Dr who, when he was 4 days old, told me we'd be supplementing for two days, maximum. My son is now 8 weeks old, we're still supplementing, and my milk supply is dropping. It's getting lower than the 1 oz per feeding it used to be!

    I would say to avoid formula if at all possible.

    If breastfeeding keeps going badly, don't blame yourself, because otherwise you'll end up feeling pretty depressed. I try to take a lot of photos of him and enjoy whatever breastfeeding time we have together.

    And I tell myself that in a year, there will be other things to worry about.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    Let me preface this by saying that I am not a breastfeeding expert. I have no credentials. But, my understanding of the "limiting time at the breast recommendation is this:

    As a general rule it is not recommended to limit a baby's time at the breast. Sometimes, though, babies do not gain weight because they are not latching or sucking effectively. This can be caused by a tight frenulum, a small mouth paired with a large nipple, a birth injury, or other unknown causes. When this happens the baby may spend a lot of time at the breast but get very little reward for their efforts. They then wear themselves out, using up too much energy trying to eat without getting enough calories. In that situation, it can be recommended to limit the time at the breast and offer a supplement which is easier for the baby to take. Once the baby gets some more calories and starts to grow, they will be stronger and able to nurse more effectively. In that situation, it seems that a recommendation to limit time to 10 minutes a breast might be appropriate.

    However, there are a variety of possible reasons for poor weight gain. Other possibilities include a sleepy baby that falls asleep before finishing or doesn't "ask" to nurse frequently enough, not staying on the breast long enough to get hindmilk, or a low milk supply (which could have medical causes) among other things. If the problem is one of these things, rather than an ineffective suck, then limiting time at the breast is not likely to be effective, and my be detrimental.

    This is why it can be beneficial to get help from an IBCLC. She can evaluate the baby's latch and suck, weight the baby before and after a feed to see how much milk is being taken, and advise on breastfeeding management and management of supplements if they are needed.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    I just want to say that my LO went down almost a full pound from his birth weight. The doc had suggested that I supplement, which I did a couple of times, but I felt so guilty about it, so I decided that I was going to feed on cue, but never let him go for more than 3 hours. If that meant that I would have a baby attached to one breast or another so be it. I also resolved to the fact that if the breast wasn't what he wanted I would pump and pump and pump.
    We went to the doc today for his 2 week check up/weight check, and he's finally back up to birth weight!!!! Horray!!! I am so happy and relieved. The thought of not being able to BF made me so sad.

    Keep trying, stay positive, sit in a comfy chair with the remote and nurse, nurse, nurse!!!!!!!!! Good luck

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: No weight gain - Doc wants me to supplement with formula

    I took 3 weeks for my LO to get back to his birthweight. I think you need to allow your LO to stay on one side as long as possible. The hindmilk is Uber important. I remember nursing for an hour at a time and thought it would last forever, but eventually they get good at it and it takes less, but they should not be limited to ten minutes.
    Danielle

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

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