Dear Dr. Palmer,
I am at my wits end what to do about nursing my baby boy. After struggling immensely to get breastfeeding going (flat nipples, really bad latches, Raynaud's syndrome making my nipples extremely painful in between feedings and a hx of sexual abuse leading to some triggers when breastfeeding), I was finally able to exclusively breastfeed my son by about week 8 with only mild pain during feedings. Before that I had been feeding both formula and breast to help me cope with all the pain of feeding him and still give him nourishment.
However, when he was at a checkup this week (week 13) he weight in at 10.6oz - the first percentile for weight by age. He was born a healthy 7.14oz at home, my second child. At our 6 week check, he had gained about 1.8 pounds and was deemed on track. Now he barely gained half a pound in the past 7 weeks, and what I thought was colic crying (he always cried in the evening for about 6 hours- despite me offering the breast) actually seems to by cries of hunger. After finding out his weight percentile I offered formula in addition to breast again and he has since been eating about 2 oz every hour, consistently eating every last drop offered. I am devastated thinking about not recognizing that my baby was basically starving.
I was breastfeeding him 5-6 times a day and pumping 2 times during work. During the past 3 days I have been breastfeeding at least every 1 hr 45 min (3 hrs at night) and pumping every 2 hrs at work for at least 10 feedings per day. I pump several min beyond when flow stops. I offer him the breast at every opportunity when we are together, and I let him use me as a pacifier when he wishes. Despite all this I still don't feel I have any more milk. I pump at most 2 oz at a time, and was previously pumping 3oz when going in 3 hr intervals. When he nurses, he empties both breasts in 10 min or less and wants more.
I am not on any medication, don't use any substances, eat healthy, drink at least 3/4 to 1 gallon of water a day, and don't have any health issues I am aware of. Menstruation has not returned and I am not using any hormonal birth control.
Do you have any insight about what might be going on and any other suggestions of what I could try? Thanks a lot.