Feeding Issues? Update... forced to wean? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 01-04-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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Count me in among those who don't want to second-guess your team but feels it's a bit odd to suggest weaning a child who isn't eating... do they really think that will get her to eat? Why? (Maybe they have some solid reasoning behind it, who knows??) To me it makes the most sense to continue nursing her until she is eating well. That doesn't mean you can't extend the time between nursing sessions (so maybe she's more hungry when it's food time??) or encourage her to eat solids before nursing or whatever... but what will they suggest if she still doesn't eat, and your milk has already started drying up or she's forgotten how to latch? You'd have to start formula/Pediasure/whatever, right?? Just thinking aloud here, maybe you've already thought of all these things & asked all these questions...

I'm not sure if I shared my experience upthread or not, but in case I didn't... DS really didn't eat until he was 2. At 14mos he was still basically exclusively breastfed (occasionally put a bite in his mouth & even less frequently actually swallowed it)... At 18mos we started really pushing food and he started eating very very small amounts... maybe half a banana and a piece of broccoli, for the whole day. Sometimes other people (DH, friends) were able to get him to eat a bit more, but still far less than even a typical picky toddler. I just kept nursing him, 20+ times a day. But suddenly at 2yo (almost to the day!) he started eating normally. It happened almost overnight (something must have changed within him -- he also started sleeping way better at the same time). I was able to cut back on nursing a ton & he continued to eat better & better... He's just about 3yo now, still nursing 1-2x/day, and he eats better -- both quantity & variety, he'll eat just about anything!! -- than any other kid I know. For us, continuing to nurse was definitely the best path nutritionally, but also emotionally, because he *needed* nursing so much to be at peace in the world.

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#32 of 42 Old 01-05-2012, 07:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Count me in among those who don't want to second-guess your team but feels it's a bit odd to suggest weaning a child who isn't eating... do they really think that will get her to eat? Why? (Maybe they have some solid reasoning behind it, who knows??) To me it makes the most sense to continue nursing her until she is eating well. That doesn't mean you can't extend the time between nursing sessions (so maybe she's more hungry when it's food time??) or encourage her to eat solids before nursing or whatever... but what will they suggest if she still doesn't eat, and your milk has already started drying up or she's forgotten how to latch? You'd have to start formula/Pediasure/whatever, right?? Just thinking aloud here, maybe you've already thought of all these things & asked all these questions...

 

yeahthat.gif

 

It sounds like a theory to me (if she isn't nursing she'll get hungry and then she'll HAVE to eat) and not an evidence based practice.


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#33 of 42 Old 01-05-2012, 11:18 AM
 
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Oh, big, big hugs.  If you search through the archives from 5 and 6 years ago under my name (if they archive things that long!), you will see that I have been through this journey too.

 

The "FEEDING TEAM" told me I had to wean.  The nutritionist said that breastmilk's 20 cal/oz wasn't enough- that everything that went into my kids mouth had to be at least 30 cal/ oz.  The child psychiatrist accused me of causing my child's failure to thrive by continuing to breastfeed.  The GI doc told me that if I didn't wean my kid would have to have a feeding tube. 

 

I called my mom in tears, who reminded me that "weaning" means slowly slowly stopping something.  So when the next therapy appointment came, I told them that I had weaned, because, well, I WAS slowly stopping nursing.  whistling.gif What I actually did (this was at about 14 months) was drop to nursing him three times a day: nap, bedtime, and first thing in the morning (which we continued until he self weaned at 2.5 yrs).  And you know what?  When I took away most of the breastmilk, he didn't eat enough solids to replace those calories.  His growth plateaued and he ended up with the feeding tube.  For two years.  Even though he had a big jump in the charts and then plateaued at the 10th percentile after only 6 months.  There were good things about the whole journey too.  He went from being perilously thin with tertiary malnutrition to being in the 10th percentile for weight.  He had a feeding therapist he liked, and he learned to eat independently.  His reflux was ID'd and treated.

 

I don't want my story to freak you out, and I DO want to join the general chorus of taking the long term view.  Eventually, your kid will eat.  Eventually, your kid will no longer be nursing.  You love your kid and your kid loves you, and there are many ways to be close, so no matter what you decide on this one issue, there is so much more to your relationship than the nursing relationship.

 

If you want to continue nursing and you think it's best for your kid, you're the mom.  One thing I did (at the suggestion of mammas on MDC) was put a big dollop of heavy whipping cream in my son's breast milk bottles to bring it up to 30 calories an ounce.  That way, you're getting the caloric punch of formula without the nasty stuff in formula, and WITH all the benefits of breastmilk.  If your kiddo prefers it, you could add coconut oil.

 

Today my son is 7.  He eats independently, and while he still has some sensory problems with food and is picky, he is at a healthy weight and we don't have to track calories or ounces of liquid anymore!  You should see that kid wolf down pizza.

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#34 of 42 Old 01-05-2012, 06:00 PM
 
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Aaaaaand I'm back.
At 20 months, DD is 20 lbs, 4oz. Her overall intake of solids and liquids from a cup is very low, but she still nurses a few times/day and a few times/night. The general consensus, from the ped and two SLPs, is that I have to wean her in order to get her progressing in the feeding department.
I'm heartbroken. My first had weaned by this age, but DD is going strong and is still a sweet nurser, not the acrobatic circus act toddlers can be. I don't want to undo or counteract the, literally, HOURS of work we're putting into feeding therapy and practice; but I can't stand the thought of forcing premature weaning. I'm trying to come up with a way to encourage her to eat more during the day, maybe night-weaning for starters? Ugh, I can't think about this more or I'll cry, again. bawling.gif

This is exactly what they were telling me...to get DS to eat, wean him. I didn't believe it, and thankfully so. When he started eating enough solids, he weaned himself down pretty quickly. The last ones he wanted to give up were at night, and I didn't even night wean until he was eating enough solids and had already day weaned himself. So I'm suggesting that you DON'T wean yet! Weaning does nothing to help get them eating. It just doesn't work that way.

When everyone was telling me to wean DS, I had just read on this SN forum a post from another mom who took all the doctors' and therapists' advice, weaned her son, and lo and behold all he would eat was....waffles (which I believe he was already eating before he was weaned).

ETA: I'm remembering that what I did instead of weaning was to offer food first, before nursing.

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#35 of 42 Old 01-19-2012, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As usual, y'all are right. blowkiss.gif

After posting, I spent most of the next 2 days crying and obsessing over this decision; and ultimately I decided I can't wean. Not now, not cold turkey, not the way THEY want me to. They even recommended Ferberizing! Like you all mentioned, it just didn't seem right at all, and I know it feels wrong. I look at the role nursing is playing not just in her nutrition but in our relationship and I just can't fathom how painful it would be to both of us to just stop. We did start trying to space out and eliminate a night-feeding or two, and we had gotten them to almost 4 hours apart until she got a tummy bug last Friday and of course it was open season on nursing as long as she was feeling lousy.

And the thing is, her feeding skills have improved SO much. Yes, the quantities are very low and yes, there are a lot of textures she still won't do just yet; but compared to where we were 6 months ago, this is a HUGE improvement. Chances are that in a month or two, she'll be eating more normal quantities; and I just don't see why right NOW, this is the hill they want to die on. If it means more therapy for a longer time, that's well worth the extra security and nutrition she gets from breastfeeding, imo.

I know I have my work cut out for me in defending this decision to her feeding and health teams, but it helps so much to hear your experiences and to have your support. In the meantime, I'm adding calories to everything I can, we're still working on introducing new foods, and we'll get there when we get there.

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 

 

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#36 of 42 Old 01-19-2012, 05:58 AM
 
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Remember that YOU are in charge and receiving services from THEM... so I know you still feel like you'll need to defend yourself to them, but you are the parent and you have every right to make the decision you're making. If you state your choices with confidence & that 'don't argue with me' attitude, hopefully they'll respond in kind and move on to what THEY can do to help.

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#37 of 42 Old 01-19-2012, 08:13 PM
 
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Hi Mosaic...

 I just wanted to mention that while i was reading your earlier posts I noticed that you mentioned that your dd has a very high palate.... so does my dd.  I had thought that it was just one of those things that my kids had.... until I met with the dentist who lasered my dd's posterior tongue tie.  I had been dealing with some crazy stuff with my dd for the first year of her life...she screamed for most of her first year.  We had her lip tie clipped when she was 10 days old and that allowed her to latch better, but then we didn't realize that she had a posterior tie until she was 5 months old, it was clipped and it helped initially and then she regressed into screaming again.  When she was almost a year old we went to a dentist who specializes in lasering ties and it was an intense change in our dd.  She had been choking with all foods that went in her mouth past the tip of her tongue....she would be unable to move them effectually in her mouth and would refuse to eat.  She has had trouble with all fluids in her mouth, she could always manage thicker gruel type textures better than anything else.  When we spoke to the dentist he explained the issues that having a posterior tie will create.... in utero the fetus cannot press the tongue to the roof of the mouth and therefore they have a high palate (which in many cases makes the child unable to clear foods from that area of the mouth).  The baby cannot easily maneuver fluids in the mouth when the posterior of the tongue is held tight, they are forced to just chance swallowing and choke. 

 

When our dd was lasered it was an immense change immediately, she went from only eating two foods ( veggies chips that would dissolve in her mouth and not gag her and rice that was boiled to a paste texture) to eating all textures of foods.  Her breastfeeding  changed as well, I did not have to hold her on the breast any longer, she could maintain her latch without my supporting her or my breast. She still has some issues with liquids but it improved somewhat, she is not choking with every bite or swallow of food and drink.  I had not been prepared for her to have any improvement with the lasering, i was just trying whatever we could to help her in any way.  Our dd does have many sensory issues that we are working on, we do have a vibrating brush and a vibrating oral stimulator but she is not as happy with those as a regular tooth brush ( as long as she is the one maneuvering it). 

 

We went to 4 doctors to ask about her tongue tie.....none were familiar with a posterior tie and when we questioned them they all said that it didn't seem to be a big deal.  We were told that there was no way that a tongue tie that was not to the tip of her tongue could cause her oral issues..... when we finally got to the dentist he sat with us and discussed all of the issues that he had found common in kids with posterior ties.   I am so glad that we decided to research and have this done.... it has helped our dd so much.  Now we are able to concentrate on her sensory issues without being confused by the tie. 

 

Hope that you find answers soon!! If you would like any more info feel free to ask:)


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#38 of 42 Old 01-19-2012, 10:49 PM
 
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Mosaic- You sound really clear about your path.  Yay!  banana.gifThat's the hardest part for me- just deciding what direction to head.  It's easy for a feeding team to suggest a solution, but I doubt they have solid research to back what they say, and you are the one who lives with the whole, real, child in question. 

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#39 of 42 Old 01-20-2012, 06:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fiddlefern View Post It's easy for a feeding team to suggest a solution, but I doubt they have solid research to back what they say, and you are the one who lives with the whole, real, child in question. 

 

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#40 of 42 Old 01-20-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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We went to 4 doctors to ask about her tongue tie.....none were familiar with a posterior tie and when we questioned them they all said that it didn't seem to be a big deal.  We were told that there was no way that a tongue tie that was not to the tip of her tongue could cause her oral issues..... when we finally got to the dentist he sat with us and discussed all of the issues that he had found common in kids with posterior ties.   I am so glad that we decided to research and have this done.... it has helped our dd so much.  Now we are able to concentrate on her sensory issues without being confused by the tie. 

I've been wondering recently if DS actually has a posterior tie. He does have issues with food getting stuck, as well as moving food around his mouth. Wondering if it's possible/desirable to clip it now, at age 6. ...just thinking out loud.



Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#41 of 42 Old 01-20-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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My son was born with a birth defect that required a colostomy.  Over the summer and fall *something* happened, we're not sure *what*, that caused 'dysmotility' in his colon.  (In plain terms, he quit pooping)  I could hear what I later learned was the liquid stool inside his distended (gigantic) colon, moving around, but not coming out. 

 

He ended up with a GI specialist, many, many tests, 6 weeks all told in the hospital, eventually a feeding tube and a colostomy revision.  (In plain terms, that means they made the colostomy hole larger.)

 

I did temporarily wean twice.  Once when he was becoming horribly distended in the hospital with even 5 cc's an hour slowly dripping into his system via feeding tube.  But I made it CRYSTAL CLEAR that I was doing this only because I could see he was not tolerating ANYTHING, not because I agreed that it had anything at all to do with breastmilk.

The second time was after the revision surgery--what happened before that surgery was this:  He was doing well.  Then, the doctors changed a few things at once.  One thing was nursing.  So, after the surgery, we *slowly* added things back in.

 

I however INSISTED on resuming nursing, to my GI doc's dismay.  He actually said "He's had enough of 'that'"..

 

 

I knew what I knew.  I KNEW I had a healthy, thriving baby from birth up to 6 months.  I knew things changed around the time we started solids.  I didn't know if that was a coincidence or not, but I knew that if it was related to breastmilk, we would have been back at that hospital with issues at 9 WEEKS, not MONTHS.  Many nurses, a doctor, and even my ped though he wouldn't come right out and fully disagree with the GI doc....I could just tell he also could see my point.   Anyway, now my son is almost 14 months.  He is on a feeding tube 15 hours a day.  That's a dramatic improvement over 24!   We were just allowed to start solids this week.  He does eat, he does not appear to have trouble with chewing or aversions or anything.  He is simply inexperienced.  In the beginning, that's what we thought we were dealing with, then the health issues made themselves hugely obvious.   And we ARE ARE ARE nursing.  On demand.  His weight gain is excellent and the feeding tube, yeah it was a surgery, yes it is formula.  No, it was not a big deal.  I simply kick myself for not going back to his surgeon before the GI doc.  I think he would've figured out the true issue with his bowel and saved us a lot of tests.  Not to mention that supposedly, according to a scope, my baby had evidence of irritation to his esophagus and that meant reflux and Zantac.  I question this now...he just got retested because we need to switch his feeding tube---there's NO evidence of it.  There also was no evidence that he refluxed on his earlier upper GI tests.  He also was never a fussy baby and NEVER spit up.  Go figure.


lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#42 of 42 Old 02-07-2012, 08:48 PM
 
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I have a dd who also  has feeding issues, had a tongue tie clip, has a high palate, and slow weight gain. I was told by the feeding therapist to always make sure she ate solids first before she nursed (I think she was around 18 months at that point), which is kind of like pushing weaning. I tried but it didn't work very well. I still wonder if I should have tried harder, as she is still behind, but felt that I just couldn't watch her cry for milk when I made her breakfast. Anyway, what about giving breastmilk in an open cup fortified with concentrated breast milk?


Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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