Losing weight... dr took us off breast. - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,
In need of advice/encouragement/success stories...

My 3-week-old LO had been having weird green poo and had been irritable, but when I called the dr's office and got her sub (she was out of town) they told me not to worry. Today, though, we went in for his regular checkup and found that he has continued to lose weight since birth. Birth weight was 8lb11oz, and now he's down to 7lb 5oz.

I am just sick to death knowing that he has lost this much weight. Dr says that she thinks he's been getting enough breastmilk, since he's been having 5-6 wet diapers a day and he's not showing any signs of dehydration, but that he hasn't been able to get any nutrition for some reason.

Dr told me to stop nursing him for 2 days and give him Nutramigen formula, while pumping and storing "in the hope that we can get him back on the breast." She's coming into her office on Sat so we can get another weight check and see how he's doing at that point.

I went to the appt thinking that perhaps he has a milk sensitivity, since it kind of runs in the family and I had actually eliminated dairy from my diet with DD and it really helped with her irritability, but I didn't expect this drastic weight loss. That couldn't be just an allergy, right?

I also am an emotional wreck -- having 2 EBF daughters, I don't even know how to feed a baby with formula! How much does he need? How often should he eat? Should I wake him up? What about that horrible pacifier that he has in his mouth right now because he won't fall asleep without nursing? !!!

Anyone had a similar experience? Right now I have no idea what is causing this, and I'm worried sick. I'm posting this in both the breastfeeding and allergies forums in hopes that someone will be able to identify with my story and give me some clues.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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I agree wholeheartedly that it sounds worrisome, though allergies would not be one of my first thoughts.

First- do you have more weights than just those two? Some in between? Were those on the same scale? Was either re weighed and checked then and there? Did you have an IV in labor?

good luck!

-Angela
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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Alegna had some good questions. Esp if you had an IV in labor, it could have given him a lot of water weight.

Also, the green poo makes me wonder about foremilk/hindmilk. I don't know how it works, I'm pretty new at this. But how long is he nursing per side? Is he getting the rich hindmilk?

Does he seem in pain? Any spitting up? How is he sleeping? Is he irritable?

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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All I can recommend is going to your la leche league. Best of luck!

Amri- mama to Indica 12.08.06 and Kytan 04.04.10
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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I too wondered about reflux. I'm assuming they checked heart rate, pulse, and temperature? He's seeming alert and seemed to be eating well, right? I'd at least want a consult with a lactation consultant for a before and after nurse weight to check on intake and also to discuss foremilk/hindmilk. That is a concerning drop though. You can try to do the formula with a cup to preserve the suck but my experience with that was that it was very difficult and time consuming especially with pumping while doing so.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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I would do a weigh, nurse, weigh (obviously on the same scale), to see how much he is actually getting.

Frothy green poo is often a sign of a foremilk-hindmilk thing. My daughter had the same thing for a long time - our problem was that she was a quick frequent nurser - like 5 minutes every 45...so she was never getting to the hindmilk. So, (much to my breasts dismay) we would nurse on one side for about 4 hours, and then do the other side..so every 45 minutes I was nursing her - on the same side.

I might also consider having a nurse day - where you lie in bed, skin to skin all day and nurse nurse nurse..this will encourage your body to make more, baby to suck (because its right there) and then he'll realize how awesome it is and want to nurse more....

I would also suggest an SNS if you want to get back to breastfeeding anyways. Given that he is so little, there could easily be nipple confusion or refusal if a bottle is introduced.

Just my suggestions - good luck mama! and remember....some babies are just tiny!

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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I think I would block feed for a bit (3-4 feeds) then switch and see if that helps. It could be a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I have oversupply and MUST block feed (even now, at 15 mos) otherwise ds2 gets green poop. It's been this way for all 3 of my kids. If I don't block feed, I need to nurse frequently so both breasts drain. (If we're home, we can nurse frequently, but if we're out ds2 tends to block feed because he's distracted.)

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:40 AM
 
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I would recommend seeing a lactation consultant before you stop nursing. If you take him off the breast, you may not be able to get him back on.

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone -- thanks for the responses.
To answer your questions:

No IV or meds of any kind during labor.

At birth his weight was 8 lb 11 oz, at 5 days he was 7 lb 13 oz, and at 23 days he is 7 lb 5 oz. At 5 days the dr. wasn't concerned about his weight loss, and he seemed to be getting enough, so she didn't feel the need to see us again soon. Of course, I feel like a total idiot for not noticing that my LO had lost HALF A POUND.

He's not spitting up, but he is irritable most of the time (we get very little awake but not crying time around here) and acts very uncomfortable whenever he has to poop or pass gas. He poops a lot (6-7 times/day) and its always green and has very little body, sometimes looks snotty.

He's been nursing quite a lot... every 2 hours or more, but usually has a long stretch each day where he wants to nurse every hour and then will have one 4-5 hour sleep at night. I try to keep him actively nursing for as long as I can, but its usually only 10 min or so per side. I had read about the foremilk/hindmilk thing, but that wouldn't explain NO weight gain at all, would it?

There's no La Leche League within a 2 hour drive of here, but tomorrow I'll get on the phone with the hospital's lactation consultant and see if she has any thoughts to add...
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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From my reading, the only things that would truly explain that kind of weight loss would be either inadequate milk transfer (for whatever reason, supply, mechanics, etc) or a metabolic issue of some sort.

Were the weights on the same scale?

My next step would be to rent a high grade scale and spend 3-4 days recording EVERYTHING. Weigh diapers. Record time nursing. Weigh before and after. Figure and document intake. Weigh any spit-up. etc. (I would nurse through this)



I have NEVER heard of allergies preventing weight gain to this extent, this early. Not to say it's not possible, just that it is pretty far down the list of culprits IMO.


-Angela
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I have NEVER heard of allergies preventing weight gain to this extent, this early. Not to say it's not possible, just that it is pretty far down the list of culprits IMO.


-Angela
Just because you haven't hear of it - that doesn't mean it can't happen.

I've heard of dairy intolerances causing weight loss in infants. My nephew was one of those babies.

He was always fussy and screamed alot. (So much so that he herniated his belly button at 2 weeks) He was very gassy and seemed like he was in pain when he would fart or poop.

My sister went entirely off dairy, including hidden dairy in things. After 2 weeks his fussyness went away and he was a MUCH happier baby.

If she would slip up and have something with dairy (like a butter croissant once) they would have 72 hours of him being fussy and gassy.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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the lc and LLL will be able to offer you some good help, im sure. i have a few ideas-forgive me if i ramble, though, my ds kept me up late last night. my first thought is a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. it could cause weight gain issues. the hindmilk is fattier and creamier than the foremilk. if all the babe is getting is foremilk, you know?

i had some similar funky poops happen to my dd b/c of that. i was switching her from one breast to the other too frequently during a feed. it stopped once i kept her on just one breast thru let down and after. then offer the other if she still wanted more. and then do next big feed on that one.

the weight loss wouldnt bother me too much just now, as long as there are enough pee dipes. babies all usually lose a lb of their birth weight and then gain it back. not to make light of your ds's extra loss, i know that's worrysome.

the snottiness factor of it...makes me think allergy, too, though. have you tried to cut out dairy from your diet? alot of LO's are sensitive to dairy when it comes thru mama's milk. i had to stop eating cheese and ice cream until my ds was 6 months old because he turned into a gassy, screaming, snotty greenish poo having pitiful mess if i did. he's fine now, at 13 months.. he was generally colicky in the evenings, actually, as well, until 3 months.

lucky you to get a block of sleep at night his nursing pattern sounds fine, pretty normal for his age. i would offer hourly if he's not asking, to get your supply really up.

if you want to give him the formula, (which i would wait a bit on, myself)i would offer breastmilk first, and "top him off" with the formula. also, i would not give it in an actual bottle, use a dropper. they develop a preference for the bottle very quickly at that age b.c. it takes much less effort to get the milk out.

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Old 02-20-2009, 02:08 AM
 
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Wow, wow, I would really recommend joining MOBI if you cannot get to an LC. Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues, http://www.mobimotherhood.org, there are frequently IBCLC's who post and answer questions for moms there. It doesn't sound like a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance to me, because usually babies *gain* in that situation. But wow, how perplexing! Definitely do what your doctor has recommended for now; the first rule of breastfeeding is to FEED the baby, and for some reason your LO is not getting what he needs right now. I'm so sorry mama, I hope you get this resolved soon!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:10 AM
 
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BTW FWIW I do not think that using a bottle is necessarily a death-knell for breastfeeding; my daughter has had no problem switching. Of course every baby is different. But your breastfeeding relationship is something you can always work on later; the important thing now is to ensure that the child is getting all she needs to grow, however that has to happen. So don't feel bad if you do need to use a bottle. Many LCs recommend playtex natural latch bottles/nipples with the latex nipples, for ease of switching back and forth. Again I am so sorry you are going through this!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
I would do a weigh, nurse, weigh (obviously on the same scale), to see how much he is actually getting.

Frothy green poo is often a sign of a foremilk-hindmilk thing. My daughter had the same thing for a long time - our problem was that she was a quick frequent nurser - like 5 minutes every 45...so she was never getting to the hindmilk. So, (much to my breasts dismay) we would nurse on one side for about 4 hours, and then do the other side..so every 45 minutes I was nursing her - on the same side.

I might also consider having a nurse day - where you lie in bed, skin to skin all day and nurse nurse nurse..this will encourage your body to make more, baby to suck (because its right there) and then he'll realize how awesome it is and want to nurse more....

I would also suggest an SNS if you want to get back to breastfeeding anyways. Given that he is so little, there could easily be nipple confusion or refusal if a bottle is introduced.

Just my suggestions - good luck mama! and remember....some babies are just tiny!
: to all of this formula is not the answer more breast for longer periods is. also try block feeding as that is worked for ds and most of my clients.

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Old 02-20-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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sounds to me like it could be a foremilk/hindmilk issue.

also, i would dispense with the pacifier. even if you end up giving formula, you can still comfort nurse. there isnt anything wrong with nursing before and after FF'ing (if thats what you have to do).

i would up my own diet w/ good nutrition and eliminate dairy (lots and lots of protein) and block feed to see if that makes a difference.

i had a pretty big scare with my ds4 early on. he was 9.12 at birth and gained well for a few weeks (up to 12 lb.) but then dropped over 2 lbs. i was FREAKED OUT....he leveled out though and is now 14.12 lbs. at 4 months (only 5 lbs. in 4 months where most of the other kiddos have gained alot more than that). i did notice last week, though, that he has also grown 5 inches (from 23 to 28) in the same amount of time.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northwoodsmom View Post
Hi everyone,
In need of advice/encouragement/success stories...

My 3-week-old LO had been having weird green poo and had been irritable, but when I called the dr's office and got her sub (she was out of town) they told me not to worry. Today, though, we went in for his regular checkup and found that he has continued to lose weight since birth. Birth weight was 8lb11oz, and now he's down to 7lb 5oz.

I am just sick to death knowing that he has lost this much weight. Dr says that she thinks he's been getting enough breastmilk, since he's been having 5-6 wet diapers a day and he's not showing any signs of dehydration, but that he hasn't been able to get any nutrition for some reason.

Dr told me to stop nursing him for 2 days and give him Nutramigen formula, while pumping and storing "in the hope that we can get him back on the breast." She's coming into her office on Sat so we can get another weight check and see how he's doing at that point.

I went to the appt thinking that perhaps he has a milk sensitivity, since it kind of runs in the family and I had actually eliminated dairy from my diet with DD and it really helped with her irritability, but I didn't expect this drastic weight loss. That couldn't be just an allergy, right?

I also am an emotional wreck -- having 2 EBF daughters, I don't even know how to feed a baby with formula! How much does he need? How often should he eat? Should I wake him up? What about that horrible pacifier that he has in his mouth right now because he won't fall asleep without nursing? !!!

Anyone had a similar experience? Right now I have no idea what is causing this, and I'm worried sick. I'm posting this in both the breastfeeding and allergies forums in hopes that someone will be able to identify with my story and give me some clues.

Thanks for listening.
OMG OMG!!!!!!

DO NOT TAKE YOUR LO OFF BREAST!

both of my dc's had this. DEMAND a referral to a ped gastroenterologist and get on VSL immediately.

i am nak'ing and it's hard to type more, but between vsl and some dietary changes our dc's were okay. i'll try to post more later, or pm you.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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I would work on block nursing to eliminate the issue of foremilk imbalance just to see if that's the problem. If it is a food allergy, then you DO NOT have to stop nursing him!!! You can try an elimination diet, or the total elimination diet for 2 to 3 weeks, then reintroduce foods slowly to see what your baby was reacting to.

I was told to wean by pediatricians and gastroenterologists, but I found a site called kidswithfoodallergies.org that has a breastfeeding folder for nursing mothers. Those ladies know more about food allergies than any doctor or specialist we saw for my son's issues, until we saw my son's pediatric allergist. He was fine with me doing an elimination diet and was willing to work with me on the issue, rather than just telling me to wean.

I nursed my son through dairy, wheat, corn, tomatoes, rice, and chocolate allergies. It can be done, you just have to make some sacrifices.


If you want to go that route, start with dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, treenuts, sesame, fish, and shellfish. That site has recipes for people on elimination diets and cooking folders to help you learn about substitutions. It also has detailed lists of ingredients that are derived from common allergens like dairy and soy, which is incredibly helpful when reading labels!

Wife to DH and Mommy to DS(2 yrs) : : : :
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What's VSL??
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:52 AM
 
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My dd had this same issue. She is 5.5 weeks old now but at 2.5 weeks I discovered she was 7.5 lbs. Was 9.2 at birth. Also had enough wet diapers. Also was irritable pooping/gas. Green mucous poop once. It was a lazy latch that was our problem. Worked on the latch and making sure she was nursing/swallowing well. Also recommend lactation consultant before formula. 3 weeks later my dd is 9.7. Good luck!!!!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:55 AM
 
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sorry i freaked out there! most docs don't see this and automatically blame bm. when i started seeing these symptoms in dd (at only a few weeks old), i called my mw, who had never heard of anything like that, and then took her to a ped. because dh has severe ulcerative colitis, and the doc had never seen that in a baby (dd also had blood and mucous in her stools), she referred us out that day to a ped gastro. dd underwent a colonoscopy to determine she didn't have colitis. she didn't, and the super crunchy ped gastro diagnosed her with lymphnode hypoplasia(???) and gave me a very strict diet to follow. it worked!

when ds came along, he had some of the same symptoms, but also severe, chronic projectile vomiting ang spitting up. i took him to the ped, who poo-pood us (different doc) until i demanded she refer us, as dd had the same problems and needed to see the gastro.

when we finally got to see the ped gatro again, she reccomended the same diet, but also prescribed VSL, a powerful prescription probiotic, formulated for those with colitis and ileal pouches. it has 900 billion live cultures per packet, although the website says 450, our rx is 900. i think you can buy it without a rx, but it is pretty expensive.

taking the VSL, i could totally 'cheat' on my diet, every so often, with NO effects on ds. that stuff saved my sanity and poor ds. i highly recommend anyone nursing a baby with reflux/intestinal issues talk to someone who can prescribe it.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:58 AM
 
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also, i did have to block feed with ds, as i have an oversupply. but the vsl was what really made the difference.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:08 AM
 
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just been thinking more about your situation, op, and i think you need to see a different doc before you give baby formula. that was a super fast kneejerk reaction on the docs part. i think so many docs like to say, just wean or pump or whatever, like it's super easy and doesnt affect anything..they have no idea.

i just reread your first post, and i somehow missed the first time that you have 2 other ebf little ones. duh. and you've been thru dairy allergy. so you know the drill.
im sorry for missing that.

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Old 02-20-2009, 04:30 AM
 
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Just wanted to metion that celiac could explain the weight loss looking at it from an "allergy" stand point.

Other then that, I think there is good advice here

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:44 AM
 
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The snotty mucousy poo mmakes me think food intolerance of some sort - definitely some sort of intestinal upset going on there.

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Old 02-20-2009, 06:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PassionateWriter View Post
...ven if you end up giving formula, you can still comfort nurse. there isnt anything wrong with nursing before and after FF'ing (if thats what you have to do).
That's a really good point.



I remember at one of the few WBVs we did, the doc (an ND) "found" some weird weight difference...but it turned out to be a problem with her scale. I *knew* that DS wasn't lighter, and I forced the issue, and it was her scale's problem, NOT my son. So that's where my mind goes to!!!

Also had the same issue a few months ago at an endocrinologist's...first the nurse made an error while going from the scale's kilograms to pounds, the doc believed her even though it meant a 70 lb difference in what the scale said vs what hubby was...and then hubby insisted on being re-weighed, and the scale was still very off...they insisted their scale was perfect, but hubby goes to weight watchers every week and KNOWS what he weighs...they continued to insist he was wrong (yeah, he's 40 lbs heavier than what he thinks...but a scale that's so bad it is mis-weighing him by 40 lbs wouldn't also pick up on .2 lb losses and .4 lg gains, but it does!), but then the doc disappeared, and we heard them recalibrating the thing outside the exam room door, and when doc came back, not another word was said about the weight.

So DEFINITELY make absolutely sure that initial weight was CORRECT, and make sure even that the second weight and the third weight was correct! This is vital, and from our double experience, scales even at the most specialized of specialist offices can be completely wrong.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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Hugs mama! At least the dr had enough sense to tell you to use Nutramigen and thought allergy instead of something wrong w/ you and your milk. I would try a few days of some other things first though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojo F. View Post
Just wanted to metion that celiac could explain the weight loss looking at it from an "allergy" stand point.

Other then that, I think there is good advice here
Baby is too little for celiac. Any allergy can cause weight issues.

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AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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Old 02-20-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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green poops, irratable, and weight loss all point towards the baby getting to much watery foremilk and not enough of the fatty hind milk.

Is the baby showing any signs of getting overwhelmed by a strong letdown?
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we've been on formula for 2 days and he's gained 4 oz... dr sid its OK to get him back on breast, since now she knows thar he is capable of gaining (ie - he's not ill to the point of not being able to gain at all.) After formula for 2 days, I really think it's a low supply issue... what I thought were 5 wet diapers/day now seem like they may have been 5 sort-of-a-little-bit wet diapers. Anyway, dr's first question was "how do you feel about sticking with formula" so I'm not going to get a lot of support there.

So, I've called the LC and gotten her tips on boosting my supply, and we plan on laying around and nursing for the next few days, trying fenugreek, and continuing to supplement so he doesn't start to lose again.

Dr had said that we should nurse, then 2 hrs later bottle feed, then 2 hours later nurse, etc, etc. Thought that seemed like poor advice, so called LC and she said that every 2 hours I should nurse, then supplement, then pump. Problem is that this doesn't seem to be enough time to get everything done, and about the time I'm done pumping it's time to start all over again and my breasts feel so empty! Also, after supplementing he's not hungry enough to be interested in nursing 2 hrs later.

Anyone have thoughts on all of this?

Wish us luck, mamas!
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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Please get in touch with an IBCLC. Get your hands on a good pump (hospital grade if possible). Put baby to breast as often as possible and pump. There's no reason to have discontinued breastfeeding. Sounds like baby does need to be supplemented, but you can nurse first, then supplement. And if you pump you can supplement with the pumped milk.

I can't stress enough, talk to an IBCLC.

Heather
wife to wonderful dh, SAHM to 3 girls (10, 5, and 3) and one boy (3/12/2008)
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