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Thread: Struggling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    25

    Angry Struggling

    I have been bf for a little over two months now and am discouraged to say at my lo last doctors appointment, last week, my pediatrician told me he had not gained as much weight as he was suppose to.. She then proceeded to suggest I supplement with an ounce of formula after I breast feed. Needless to say it hit me hard, I put a lot of work into getting my supply and keeping it up so I could nurse my little man. We attempted to do what she asked but he wont take a bottle... He hates the taste of the formula and I don't want to give it to him because he has a casein allergy which is the 3rd ingredient in a formula that claims to be for infants with dairy allergies that the pediatrician gave me... but thats not my biggest concern.

    I do pump about 3-4 times a day so I have a good amount of frozen breast milk for any occasion. Just two weeks ago I left him with my mother and he sucked down the 5 ounces I left for him, but last week he refused to take a bottle from her when i went to an appointment... He is thirteen weeks old, and this last week I have tried everything to get him to take a bottle so my mom can care for him when I need to get things done, or spend time trying to find work.. Last night I realized that the nipples on the bottles I was using were 0-3 months, so I changed them to the 3-6 month nipples hoping it would help, much to my surprise it did. However, he didn't even finish 2 1/2 ounces before getting very frustrated and refusing to take any more... Help, any suggestions??

    His pediatrician says he should be eating 4-5 ounces at every feeding and sleeping 3-4 hours, this is not happening at least not the 3-4 hours of sleep. I can't gauge how much he is eating when I breast feed, but after 10 minutes on each side he is full and usually sleepy, I'm lucky if I can even get him to nurse a full 10 min on each side.. Any suggestions as to what I should do?

    I can't get him to eat a full 4 ounces from a bottle and I can't get him to sleep 3 hours through the night, he is literally up every 2 hours and its now making it impossible for him to sleep in his own crib.. If I don't have him in bed with me then I don't sleep at all. This whole sleeping with me thing is great but I'm worried he wont learn to self sooth and put himself to sleep when I do move him to his crib..

    I'm so frustrated, I don't feel like his pediatrician is right to push formula on him that he wont take, when he wont even take a full 4 ounces from a bottle that has my breast milk in it.. I'm so tired from complete lack of sleep, and I just feel lost. Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Struggling

    Mama, calm down, you are doing ok!

    I havE some questions and some suggestions:

    How much weight has LO gained?
    What was her growth percentile at birth and now?
    Has she grown in length, head circumference, and is she meeting her developmental milestones?
    How many wet diapers does she have per day?

    My suggestions are:
    Don't feed formula, I am betting baby doesn't need it and you have pumped milk anyway IF you need to supplement after feeds, which I'm not convinced you do.
    Discussions about how much your baby sleeps have nothing to do with how she eats, whether she gains weight, etc.
    Don't switch to 3-6 month nipples. Always slowest flow for bf babies so they don't start rejecting your slower-flow breast!
    Your doctor does not sound bf friendly at all. I would switch pedis if you can. 4-5 oz is for formula fed babies. My dd never took more than 4 oz even to this day. Bf babies eat less more frequently.
    It is so hard to go back to work, I understand the anxiety.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Struggling

    We have had every kind of weight gain issue with my son and I am now on my 3rd pediatrician because the first two tried to force me to switch. I did supplement for a while and it didn't make a difference. Breastmilk is higher calorie than formula.
    I currently am pumping out the foremilk before most feedings. It is kind of a pain especially if he is really hungry, but it has made a HUGE difference and it isn't that much. I just pump until the milk goes from clear or thin looking to a thicker looking white. My lc told me no more than an ounce, but most of the time it is not more than a few tablespoons. www.kellymom.com has some other good suggestions. My pediatrician says we should be gaining 3-6 ozs a week. He fluctuates between 3 ozs to 7 ozs. a week.
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html
    They also recommend if you have to supplement to use breast milk and give it before the breast. Breast massage while feeding can help bring more of the fat down to the front.
    Good luck! You are doing the best thing for your baby.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Struggling

    Sorry, my post got messed and I had to submit. Anyway I wanted to end with , you are doing ok. My dd also did not like bottles, she nursed more when we were together.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Struggling

    with ooky- please post a weight history on your baby to help use gauge whether the pediatrician is on the right track.

    A lot of what you mention sounds very normal. Breastfed babies often prefer small, frequent feedings to large, infrequent ones, which explains why your baby isn't interested in eating 4-5 oz from a bottle. Your pediatrician is absolutely wrong that 4-5 oz is what a baby "should" be eating, and is also wrong about the baby's sleeping pattern. Some 2 month-olds are sleeping 3, 4, 5, even 8 hour stretches at night- but certainly not all!!! My kids were both nursing every couple of hours throughout the day and night until close to a year, and they were by no means skinny babies. Finally, don't worry about the self-soothing thing. Self-soothing is totally oversold to new parents, like it's something they must train their babies to do or else their kids will be in bed with them forever, and will never get to sleep on their own. Hogwash! When you are ready to move your baby to a crib, and feel the baby is ready to self-sooth, you will get there. But 2 months is just too early to force that enormous transition.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Struggling

    He was 6 pounds, 14 ounces when he was born, he was 10 pounds his second visit and this last one he weighed in at 11 pounds. He is in the lower weight on the growth chart, and my mom told me I was too when I was a baby if that makes any difference.. His length when he was born was 20 inches when he was born and the last two visits he has measured in at 24" but I strongly feel that they didn't measure him correctly this last visit and they didnt want to remeasure him. He goes through about 10 diapers in a 24 hour period and they never told me if his head cercumfrance was off or anything of the sort, they always assured me it was ok.

    I mentioned that he might be teething because of how much he sucks on his hands, chews on my fingers/toys and his general irritability at times but she insisted that I must not be feeding him enough and that he jut needs to nurse more. When I tried to do as she suggested he would latch, nurse for a minute or two then pull away and get irritated.. After that it I couldn't get him to try again so I don't think he is as hungry as she is saying. I am very diligent about nursing on demand and I know when he really wants to eat and when he is bored, sleepy, or fussy.

    If I keep him on the 0-3 nipples he refuses to eat and I can't continue to just sit at home ans nurse. I have to start working and being able to leave him with my mom ever so often.
    Last edited by @llli*Lakers; July 4th, 2011 at 02:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Struggling

    Ok, yes he is on the low end of the weight chart (even for BF babies) but that in itself does not mean he needs formula. He has gained over 4 lbs in 3 months, which means he's gaining on average at least 4-5 oz a week, and he's clearly getting enough based on wets. The best thing you can do is try to nurse as much as he wants/will nurse, and if you supplement I would do so with pumped BM so your supply doesn't take a hit and he's still getting the good stuff rather than a lot of casein. Teething can make them irritable and make them nurse less too as you pointed out.

    As for the faster flow nipples, I don't mean to sound all alarmist but from what I've heard that is kind of playing with fire. If he starts to prefer that nice fast flow you could be dealing with a nursing strike later. I know it is scary, my DD has never liked bottles, but she got used to taking what she needed while I was away - the first couple of days though she only took like 2 oz in 9 hours. I felt so bad for her and then she was just perma-latched when I got home. But she got used to it and took anywhere from 5-10 oz while I was at work for the next year, and made up for it with evening, night, and morning nursing sessions. All in all I have kind of been flattered that she so clearly prefers me to bottles. It would much rather have that then the opposite issue, kwim?

    Good luck mama, and keep us posted.
    Last edited by @llli*ooky; July 5th, 2011 at 12:03 PM.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

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