Monday, June 10, 2013

Who to believe?

Well I have to say that I am feeling better.  Our little girl loves to sleep and so getting 3 hours in a row once, sometimes even twice a night is very possible.  This also leads me to worry that she sleeps too much... I guess sometimes you cannot win :).  I took Rosabella to the Lactation Consultant on Saturday to weigh her, she was down about an once from the pediatricians office.  However she was not concerned at all, she said that she looked perfect: no dehydration, pink, alert, responsive etc.  She said that babies gain at their own rate and not to worry.  She said that Pediatricians want fat babies and push Moms to over feed to meet this 1 oz per day of weight gain and then spend the rest of the kids life trying to battle childhood obesity.  She said that I have plenty of milk and there is no need to supplement with formula.  So who to believe?  I have to say that before I had fertility issues and then lost Grace I considered myself pretty mainstream medically, but I have come to learn that I don't think doctors know all that much and that they rely so much on statistics and don't look at the patient.  I still have concerns about who to believe my pediatrician or my lactation specialist, but I lean heavily towards the lactation consultant, because what she says sounds more reasonable, but then I worry that I am disregarding mainstream medical opinion completely.

Then a little after I wrote the first paragraph our weight check with the pediatrician, she is down to 6 lbs 14 oz, despite our marathon of nursing for the last 3 days.  I am discouraged and worried.  He says that we should start giving 1 oz of formula after every time she nurses and then we check her weight again on Friday, if still no gain then blood tests and other diagnostics (stool examinations etc).  I feel such a sense of defeat now, whereas when I leave the lactation consultant I feel uplifted and capable.  I guess that I would like to just keep nursing and add in a pumped bottle daily, but my DH is too worried and wants to start the formula supplementation.  Honestly I will try the mainstream way for this week, it is not intended to be permanent,  but I am not happy about it.  It feels awful like I am force feeding her this mass produced fake food, instead of what nature intended.  I also know that supplementing with formula statistically decreases the chances of long term breast feeding success.  I know that I should just be happy that she is here, would I care if Grace had been fed formula or at the breast if it meant I got to keep her?

To end on a lighter note here is one of the pictures from Rosabella's newborn photo shot from a few weeks ago.

Sisterhood - Grace and Rosabella together


  1. she looks amazingly cute, fat, and adorable...don't worry I would say...but who am I to say. Do the best you can is what I will say instead because, ultimately, the best we can is all we can ever give our children.
    Love to you mama.

  2. One of the things that drove me nutty this pregnancy, and post-natally, is all the conflicting opinions of Dr's and child health nurses/lactation consultants. All in the 'mainstream' and all with different 'it must absolutley be like this' opinions. Crazy making! Who to believe? I ended up just having to trust myself (really not very easy!)..and whatever consultant made me feel positive.

    And then 'mainstream' differs between countries too- here in Australia you'd be hard-pressed to find a Dr who would suggest supplementing with formula, your baby would have to be really underweight and suffering for them to say that. Rosabella looks cute and fat (and as your lactation consultant says, pink, alert everything else fine)!
    Also, 1oz a day sounds quite a lot. Here they suggest 160 grams/5 oz a week.. In other words, if you were living here you'd be getting different medical opinion, and far more support to stay off formula and persevere with breastfeeding, from mainstream Dr's.

    Hang in there, believe in yourself and Rosabella x

  3. Thank you both so much for your support. Via I find in fascinating the differences in recommendations, not only by doctors vs lactation specialists, but by doctors in different countries. I wish that I lived in a country that was more breastfeeding centered. Here in the US I think that so many pediatricians are brain washed by the formula makers, plus it is much easier to have people give a bottle than to figure out what about breast feeding is not working quite right. After a ton of reading and watching her feed, I think that she tends to not suck long enough, she gets tired or sleepy and is not taking in enough milk. The recommendations of 10-15 minutes per side just does not work for her. If I let her nurse when she is awake and hungry she nurses at least 20 minutes per side and then seems satisfied. Also lactation specialists use the weight at discharge from hospital as her "real" birth weight, once she has shed all the edema from being in utero and me having IV fluids during her birth. So based on that measure she is back to her birth weight. If she is not gaining this week or we do not have a plan to transition back to exclusive breast feeding I think that I will consult another pediatrician and maybe even another lactation consultant. There has to be some middle ground!

  4. Rosabella looks perfect to me. I'm sorry for the confusion of the mixed messages and I hope you find the middle ground soon. She is beautiful and looks like her mommy is doing a great job taking care of her!