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Thread: I think we're recovering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    9

    Default I think we're recovering

    I'm interested in getting an opinion on how things are going for us...

    I have an 8 wk old ds. He was born 7lb 2oz, dropped to 6lb 11oz, and was back to 7lb 5oz by 2wks. Things started going awry at 4wks with a bout of mastitis complete with 104 degree fever and antibiotic treatment. Before I even finished the meds, we went for thanksgiving at my folks. My father is a lover of SAGE in his turkey dressing (I mean a WHOLE 2oz jar in one recipe) and not remembering that sage is renowned for drying up your milk, I enjoyed the dressing two days running.

    Well, I'm sure this lowered my milk supply, because by the tuesday after thanksgiving, his wet diaper output dropped to 4-5/day. He also hadn't had a bm in 2wks, but wasn't uncomfortable. He had previously been alert when awake, but was now lethargic. We only have a bathroom scale accurate to the half lb, but I was getting only 7.5lb at 5.5wk! He had always been a pretty constant nurser - maybe a half hour break between sessions - but he took two good naps/day and slept a 4hr stretch at night, so I was all right with that.

    Thursday, I called the LLL leader in my area. She told me to take a nursing vacation - no chores, no cooking, just me, ds, water, fenugreek, and constant nursing. Within 36hrs, diaper output was back to normal (~10/day wet) and we had a bm after 17 days. He did a 180 imo, and came back to himself and better. By the following Thursday, at our midwife, he weighed 8lb 2oz. Scrawny, but I knew by my scales he had grown and had improved.

    The midwife freaked, even when i explained what had happened. She said, "If you had brought him in last week, I would have sent you to the hospital. you MUST supplement with formula." I cried and cried, but got a quart of formula and started offering a bottlefed 2oz formula after each feed. In the first 24hrs, he took in 9.5oz formula, but spit up half of it and spent the day zonked. The next 24hrs, he only took 5oz, and still spit up half. the third day, he had figured out how to stop the flow of the bottle, so only took 1oz formula.

    Two things happened almost simultaneously this last Saturday: what had previously had been a very weak suck with very little swallowing (probably from low supply and lack of energy for his part) suddenly became strong and capable, and secondly, he started licking the breast later in the day. I freaked and called LLL again. She was pretty po'd with my midwife for not seeing the positive swing my lo had had the previous week and insisting on formula. She told me, not only could my supply be in jeopardy again, but the licking meant possible nipple confusion and to get him off the bottle immediately.

    I took him off the bottle and went back to the nipple - for good measure, I was also taking milk thistle and hops in addition to the fenugreek. I'd been pumping while giving formula, worried for a supply drop, but stopped and just put him to the breast again. We've been almost constantly at the breast since then, except for he's back in his "schedule" of two naps and a long stretch at night.

    He seems so happy, smiling and active during his wake times. But, the midwife was so adament that I supplement and insists that I come back every week for a weight check to monitor his gain. I'm ok with the weight checks...(tho she wants 8oz/wk and I'm concerned we might not get that), but I'm freaked that when I say we stopped the supplement because he refused it and nipple confusion, she'll insist we go to the hospital.

    Any thoughts? I don't want to supplement, don't think we need to, but am scared of my midwife's call in this situation. I think we're recovering...

    thanks,
    Lindsay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    I'm kind of surprised that your baby is under the care of a midwife. Is that usual for where you live? I just wonder what a pedi would say about the situation. And I agree, 8 oz/week seems like an awful lot to expect. Maybe she would feel better about you deciding not to supplement if you bring a feeding/output log with you for the week with how many feedings, wets and dirties per day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    To me, it sounds like you were doing fine without the supplementing. If I were you, I would find another midwive or pedi who was more supportive of breastfeeding and more understanding of your wanting to maintain a good breastfeeding relationship. Also someone you are more comfortable with. I am sure others will jump in with similar situations and more advice. You are doing a great job and giving your baby the best start in life!
    Loving mama to S - 11/06, and F - 1/09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    412

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    i too am shocked by the response of your midwife. i would be looking for another health care provider. i would also be getting rid of the formula.

    do not worry about the naps and long stretch at night. my lo has always had a long stretch at night too. just enjoy it! as long as baby is gaining and having appropriate diaper output, you are doing fine. and keep in mind that many bf babies go for days between BMs. unfortunately i didn't get one of those... we have blowouts almost daily! and if he does skip a daily bm, we will have a mega blowout the next day. ah the joys of parenthood!

    j

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    Well, ds isn't specifically under care of the midwife. The 6-week check-up would have been our last if not for the weight monitoring. Dh and I are non-vaxing, and will homeschool, so werent planning on regular well baby visits with a ped, though we have one picked out that we know if care is needed. We're considering ordering a baby scale so we can keep track of ds's weight ourselves.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    Here are some links that might be of use to you.

    Normal Growth of Breastfed Babies (links)
    Weaning from formula supplements

    I agree with the pp's, I would find a new health professional for my baby. Insisting that you supplement after the diaper counts returned to normal is like putting someone on antibiotics after they've already gotten over their illness. It doesn't make any sense, and personally I would no longer trust that person for reliable breastfeeding advice.

    Good work reaching out to the leader and getting help, sounds like the nursing holiday really turned things around.
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    I was beginning to think that I was the only one with a crappy midwife.

    I'm in New Zealand and here the theory is that you can dump your midwife at any time and get a new one, but in practice I was scared that if I tried to ditch her, my midwife would call Child Youth and Family Services on me (the govt. branch tat deals with child neglect and takes abusaive parents' children and stuff). She had already got me practically auditted by a social worker when I was still in hospital and referred me for a psych evaluation to rule out Post Natal Depression. She offered me no help breastfeeding (I didn't even know that was supposed to be one of the functions of post-partum midwifery support) and expected me to do all my own research at every step of making my healthcare decisions.

    Looking back, of all my regrets, letting her tell me what to do is the greatest. I should have ditched her the first time I tried to contact her and she took 5 days to return my call.

    If you have the resolve I suggest that you do whatever it takes to get her to leave you alone. Perhaps talk to your LLL support person to discuss who you should see to get a second medical opinion if you feel you need professional backup.

    Hang in there!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,399

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    A medical profession who is overreactive will cause you to doubt yourself and create more problems than solutions. If you don't feel comfortable with her (and you shouldn't), get a "second opinion" - a new care provider!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    Thank you for your encouragement to get another opinion! I'm hesitant, generally, because this is the bible belt of east Texas, where drugs and the man-made are the answer, rather than the natural course of events.

    Thursday i went for the requested weight check at the midwife. According to her mechanical, unbalanced scale on a wobbly table, he only gained 2oz. then again, the week before, he was weighed with a 40"x40" receiving blanket on, this time naked with only his sleeper! I think he gained more than 2oz!

    They basically admitted that they are pushing formula as a CYA measure and told me to get him to a ped asap. I left and got an appt the next day with a chiropractor - one my pastor's wife advised I try myself. He's certified to work with infants. He gently looked over ds, found the usual subluxations out in the back, and also found a cervical vertebra out in the neck. He adjusted it so gently, ds didn't even stir from his sleep! The Dr. told me that it's not a miracle cure, but often, that vertebra can affect suckling. He also mentioned that ds looked healthy and not to worry about his weight, as long as he was gaining.

    Upon getting home, we sat down to nurse. Rather than the usual small open mouth, he opened wide and got a good, deep latch. I felt the difference as correct immediately. then, rather than his habit of suckling for 5-15seconds before swallowing, he had a consistent "suck-swallow, suck-swallow!" He seemed to take to the breast as though he had just discovered it!

    For 24hrs, he nursed - when awake and asleep! by Sunday, ds settled down, taking breaks between nursings. Dh is feeling justified, as he always disliked the midwife and told me again and again, "She's a fool. You're the mother. Follow your instincts. BM is all he needs."

    Today - Monday - we're going to an Osteopathic Ped. for a weight check and another opinion on ds's growth. I have a gut feeling that ds has grown in just these few days because of his improved ability to feed. I'm so glad I'm getting other, professional opinions and help for ds. Thank you all again for your encouragement to follow my gut and do my best for ds!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: I think we're recovering

    erebus -I had the same kind of trouble with my mw in pregnancy! When I got heat exhaustion at 5mo and had fever and vomiting - I called her "emergency" number, and did not hear back for 2 days! at my next appointment, I was chastised for getting ill. For goodness sake's, I knew I'd done poorly, I didn't need a talking to! What I had needed was advice and care when I was ill to ease my worry and let me know I was at least doing the right thing to get better.

    You're right - hindsight is 20/20. Next time, I'm not going to take the advice of a person who doesn't take my health actively and seriously.

    I hope good care for you and your lo, as well.

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