Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Doctor's Advice

At today's doctor's appointment, after seeing that Amelia has only gained 2 ounces since last week, the doctor has advised me to supplement with formula. Specifically, he said if, after trying to get her to nurse and actively eat and swallow from both breasts, she's still fussy, I should give her a supplemental bottle of formula. Can I tell you how shitty I feel about this?

I'm upset and worried enough that she isn't gaining the weight we'd hoped to see, and on top of the breastfeeding struggles, now my fear is that she's going to start holding out for the bottle because it's easier and/or start preferring the bottle over the breast. I know the doctor has said I'm doing everything right and everything I can do, but that doesn't make me feel any better. It doesn't take away my hurt. In fact, it just makes it all worse because I feel like I've done everything I can do and it still isn't good enough. I'm pissed, discouraged, depressed, and I really don't have a good feeling about how this will turn out. Of course I want her to gain weight, I want her to be healthy, and he said she looks great....but I feel like everything that's happening is out of my control, like I'm being forced to give up, to some extent. This isn't fucking fair, and I hate it...but I don't know what else to do.

6 comments:

canuck_grad said...

Ahh, that sucks. I know how hard breastfeeding was at first for me and it came pretty easy, so I can only imagine how hard you've been working!

Can you call your lactation consultant and ask about where you can get a feeding tube thingy for supplementing. I'm not sure what they're called... there's information about them on the Jack Newman site I referenced after the last post. You put one end of the tube in the bottle of formula and the other end attaches to the side of your nipple, so she's getting the formula without the bottle... and it actually promotes good latching/breastfeeding instead of working against it because when she starts getting more food it will encourage her to stay awake and suck more, which will stimulate your milk production.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

LD said...

I'm so sorry. Nursing is hard enough without wondering if you're not doing enough. I'm telling you, though-- nipple shields. They turn your breast into more of a bottle shape. She even if she holds out for the bottle, you might be able to fool her with them and then wean her back to just nursing. I wish you luck, though. It's hard enough those first few weeks...

kenandbelly said...

Ugh, I'm sorry. If she looks good, though, keep that in mind and try not to let yourself get discouraged-- you're just still getting to know her and things will keep changing. Breast feeding doesn't have to be all or nothing-- you don't have to give up until you're ready. Do what you can to keep your supply up meantime (I was happy with my Lansinoh electric pump, fwiw...) and if you need to, freeze your extra for later...

AcadeMama said...

canuck_grad: I've heard about and seen pics of the tube thing. I'm thinking of it as a last option simply because it looks really complicated. I can't imagine trying to use it anywhere outside my home either.

LD: I think we're going to get some nipple shields today. I tried them when I was having difficulty nursing my second daughter, and I never could get the hang of them. It always seemed like they were three times bigger than her little mouth. I'm thinking I might take them with me to the lactation consultant and see if she can help me use them successfully.

LD said...

good luck :)

Mana G said...

My husband and I had to supplement for a while when my son was first born. I can totally sympathize with you... If you're looking for other options...Our Lactation Consultant suggested we try finger feeding. She gave us a simple syringe with a tube attatched, and we filled the syringe with either formula or pumped breastmilk. The tube would go into his mouth, along with our finger, (freshly-washed hands, of course), and we'd lightly press on the syringe, just to keep him sucking and the milk flowing. Sometimes I'd do it, but usually my husband would supplement. He thought of it as a bonding experience. Two months later, we no longer need to supplement, and he's breastfeeding so well that he's refusing to take a bottle!