Friday, February 11, 2011

The Breastfeeding Booby Trap That I Avoided

I know breastfeeding isn't for everyone, but I hope this will be helpful for someone dealing with what I have.

My daughter was born a pretty good size baby, weighing in at 8 lbs 2 ozs and she was around 19 1/4 inches long. I exclusively breastfed her just as I had planned too. By the time she was a couple of months old she was below the 10% in weight and they had me do weight checks. She ultimately dropped below the 3% but was still growing well. It was suggested that I should supplement with formula because maybe she wasn't getting enough or my milk wasn't good enough for her etc. I had been through a similar situation with my 4th son. I truly felt she was getting enough milk and that the milk my body was making for her was exactly what she needed nutritionally. Despite me increasing how much I nursed her she remained below the 3% in weight, she was however still growing well otherwise.

I am her mother, I am an experienced mother and at this point, I feel comfortable going with my intuition. I introduced solids between 7 and 8 months. She still nursed often and ate solids 2 - 3 times a day. She remained below the 3% for weight (they called it the 1%... whatever). She breastfed and had solids (refused cups, bottles or anything other than mommy) until almost 14 months old. At that time my milk supply was suffering because I am pregnant for our 6th. She finally took to a cup and has been drinking whole milk, a little bit of water and eating 3 meals a day. She's quite the eater, I must add!

At her 15 month appointment earlier this week, she weighed a whole whopping 18lbs and is still below the 3% despite the whole milk and large appetite. She's healthy, growing well and quite beautiful as well ;). So, my point in this is, I didn't let anyone let me doubt myself, doubt my experience or doubt my mothers intuition. I knew she was getting adequate nutrition from my breastmilk and did not supplement when it was suggested. She is just a small girl like I was. I am only 5ft tall and before having 5 children I was thin. This is just who she is!

I am very thankful the Nurse Practitioner our children see has confidence in me as a mother and did not give me a hard time at all when I did not supplement. We don't always see eye to eye, but overall I am very fond of her.

Suggesting that the mother must not be making enough milk, that their milk must not be adequate or that the baby is even allergic to the others milk (this is SO rare that it's ridiculous that it's suggested as often as it is.) are huge traps so many mothers, especially new mothers get caught in! The best thing you can do is arm yourself with information. Do your research, educate yourself and don't doubt your ability. There are truly woman who can't make enough milk, but this is rare and not NEARLY as common as woman are led to believe. The times that I felt my supply may have been lacking, More Milk Plus was something I felt really worked. Pumping, nursing more often, mothers milk tea, more milk plus... there are so many options to increase your supply! Just don't give up :)

I've said many times before, mothers intuition is amazing. I *knew* Cameron had food allergies despite drs. blowing that suggestion off for years. He was diagnosed with a ton of allergies when this Nurse Practitioner listened to me and sent him for tests, even though she didn't think that was the case either... but she listened to me! With Alex, I *knew* he had a growth issue when he went from being a large toddler to nearly falling off the charts. After 18 or so months of seeing an endo he was diagnosed with Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency and is now on HGH therapy. When you feel in your gut there is or isn't an issue, don't let drs. blow you off or scare you.


Unknown said...

I'm glad I didn't fall for this trap too. I'm sure you remember me asking for your advice on this problem with Natalie. With us the problem ended up being probably the nipple shield. Once we weaned off that and onto bare breast she gained a whopping 2 lbs almost instantly. She's still only 17lbs at 10.5 months, but our Doc doesn't worry about her now that we got a supportive Doctor who encourages breasfeeding.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trevsnavywife said...

I am the previously deleted comment...did it under the wrong email.

You are awesome, I am glad you were able to successfully and wisely nurse your daughter! You are a rock star mama!!