A friend of mine had a baby 3 weeks ago via emergency c-section (placenta previa with sudden bleeding) at 37 weeks.
He's doing well. Except he's not gaining weight. He's not back up to his birth weight of 7 something pounds.
He's also a bit fussy after he nurses and in the evenings. The evenings, to me, sound pretty normal, actually, for most babies. She was telling me in the evenings he nurses every hour, but I explained that was pretty normal, and even more so for a 3 weeker who could be hitting a growth spurt any time.
Her ped told her that if he's not "better" (i.e., gains at least 1 oz and stops being fussy after eating) she HAS to start supplementing with formula. They go back this week for a weight check. The doctor thinks he's sensitive to something she's eating, and thus he wants the baby to have 50% formula and 50% breastmilk (not in the bottle together). IMHO, that's a slippery slope, and she's not happy about it -- she says it's silly, since she has plenty of milk, is more work because of dealing with the bottles, and she has to pump to keep her supply up.
Currently, they have her pumping and feeding at least some of the meals so they know how much she's making and so they know how much he's getting. She says her breasts feels softer after nursing, so he's obviously getting milk from her. She can pump 1-4 oz total after nursing, so there's probably plenty there. His latch is good (surprising to me, since I know what bottle she's using, and it's not an ideal nipple) and she's feeling like the nursing part is going OK. It's just the fussiness . . . I think it's getting to her . . . . and I think the doctor's concern about his weight is bugging her, particularly since the baby is doing well otherwise. Lots of wets and poops, alert when awake, sleeping OK.
She does not eat dairy already, as I suggested cutting dairy, so that can't be why he's fussy. She says she doesn't eat much that's wheat-based.
Here was what I suggested:
- Continuing building her supply by nursing at the breast. Pumping's OK, but . . .
- Babywearing (I gave her a sling, but it was too small. I'll fix that in the next couple of days.)
- Keeping a log to see if she can make any connection between what she's eating and when he's fussy (or if there isn't really a connection). I suggested contacting LLL or an LC to get information on an elimination diet
- If they make her supplement, to use breastmilk and not formula. Or to not bother and just keep nursing and monitoring the situation!
- Contacting our local LLL before his weight check appointment, if at all possible. (I have a feeling she won't, because she's terribly shy, so that's why I'm posting here. So I can pass along information.)
- Nursing on demand.
- Asking WHY and WHAT the supplementing is supposed to do for him, since he's otherwise healthy. Press the doctor, but I'm not sure she'll do that either
- Gripe water. Might not help, but it might. And then she may feel like she's doing more for the fussiness, along with the tips I gave her from my experience with super-fussy baby Ian.
Fortunately, she's good friends with another friend of mine who has exclusively breastfed her 8 kids and has seen a lot of stuff. Her mom is pro-breastfeeding too. At least she has some breastfeeding support.
But the other friend had the same suggestions I had . . Anything we missed?