Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breastfeeding Wars

I've been stuck in a battle between the Lactation consultants at the hospital and my nurse practitioner at my pediatricians office. The lack of breastfeeding knowledge at my pediatricians office amazes me. I wish I had checked my comments left from my previous post much sooner because I have been in breastfeeding hell.

As I previous posted,Gavin was struggling with weight gain for the first two weeks of his life. He's a sleepy feeder and in the end I just wasn't waking him up often enough to get him to eat what he needed. He went from 7lbs 3 oz's at his two week check up to 8lbs four days later because I started supplementing with formula and I began pumping as instructed by the nurse practitioner. Here is the messed up part: at the two week check up, the nurse handed me a sheet that had the number of ounces he should be taking in per feeding. According to the sheet, from newborn to two weeks old, Gavin shoud be eating 2-3 ounces every two hours and 4 ounces from age 2 weeks to 2 months every 2 1/2 hours. It freaked me out to hear this because I was barely able to pump an ounce to an ounce and half so I thought I had low milk supply.

I went home and began feeding him three ounces per feeding session but Gavin began projectile vomiting after the first few feeding sessions. I thought he might be allergic to the formula but his vomiting stopped after the first day. As ok'd by the nurse practioner, I began allowing Gavin to sleep through the night again. While this was going on, I kept seeing my supply go down. After a week, I was only pumping out an half ounce per pumping session. I frantically tried nearly everything: power pumping sessions, waking him up every two hours around the clock, diet supplements, etc. Nothing seemed to be working.

After a week of trying to improve my supply, I became so frustrated I finally sucked it up and went back to the lactation consultants at the hospital to see what else I could do. The first thing she did was weighed Gavin. In six days he gained another 6 ounces. I explained the back story and the progression of his weight gain. She said there was something wrong with him gaining that much weight in such a short period of time. She asked how often I was feeding and how much formula I was supplementing with. I felt like such a bad mom when she got this horrified look on her face. Thankfully, I brought the feeding amount sheet that the nurse practioner provided me with so I could show the lactation consultant. The lactation consultant was so mad when she saw it. She told me that the sheet was grossly wrong and that I should not be feeding him more than an ounce or two and now that I had been giving him four ounces per feeding I probably stretched out his stomach and am definitely over feeding him.

I was pretty pissed about the whole thing because in the end, my supply was completely fine until they told me to start pumping and supplementing. The nurse should have told me to just step up the number of feedings. After spending an hour with the lactation consultant, we came up with a game plan to try to get my supply back to normal.Because I stopped supplementing completely, I ended up feeding Gavin every hour for nearly three days straight before he started to get back to eating every two to two and half hours. I was exhausted but it was worth it in the end because my supply is back up to were it should be.

If this story can prevent another woman from having to go through this, I will be very happy. I stopped back in to see the lactation consultant yesterday and Gavin has gained another 3 ounces in six days which is much more on target and just shows that I do not have low supply after all. I'm just so happy to get this all straightened out because a week ago I was ready to throw in the towel.

Here are some pictures of Gavin. He is one month old today!! Wow time flies. He is still such a good baby. He only cries if I take to long for a diaper change or when he is getting out of the bathtub. He is starting to smile in his sleep, he just found his voice and has started to coo. He is so alert and observant.

Gavin and Cooper taking a nap together.

I'm this big!

The beach is this way ladies.


Tiara said...

I'm so glad you went back to the lactation consultant! How frustrating to receive incorrect info from your ped office & for you to have to go thru all that stress & worry!

But my golly is Gavin a gorgeous little guy!! Love the photos!

Kristina said...

He is the cutest baby ever!!! I love the pic of him and the dog sleeping too.
So glad you figured out the breastfeeding issues - so lame they gave you the wrong info!
Thanks for all the pics - it makes me more determined to be a mother. :)

Little One said...

He is a sweetie...I'm so glad you got things worked out. It can be exhausting at the beginning until you figure out what is going on.

Abby said...

What a cutie!!!

that is so WRONG that the pediatrician's office is handing out that info!!! how many other babies are having problems as well??? that's an obscene amount of milk for a newborn!


but the pictures are awesome and the captions make them 100 times funnier, especially the last one!