Thursday, July 15, 2010

Current Situation...

On Tuesday, we had Lizzy's six month doctor's appointment. And I was quite surprised to learn that not only had she not gained weight from her last appointment, but she had actually lost a few ounces. I really had no idea--she's fitting into bigger clothes now, getting more little baby rolls, pooping and peeing, and is a generally happy baby (especially now that TWO teeth have popped through).

The pediatrician was obviously a bit concerned, and we talked about several scenarios that could be at play:

(a) My supply has tanked for whatever reason, or was not great to begin with and is no longer sustaining her.
(b) Lizzy is extremely active for her age, and I have a difficult time getting her to nurse--even in a dark, silent room, she is constantly pulling off to look around, sit up, etc.
(c) Something else medically.

The pediatrician has had me pumping several times over the last few days to try and gauge my supply, which is incredibly overwhelming to me. First, I don't have a good pump, which means it is time consuming, and also a pain in the butt to wash and clean several times a day. It's just an added stressor for me, because I'm already stretched on time to get the house in order for wedding guests that are arriving today. Anyway, the last few times that I've pumped, I've typically gotten 3-6 oz, which makes me feel pretty confident that it isn't entirely my supply, since I know that she's more effective than the pump, and is likely getting far more than that.

The pediatrician also gave me the go-ahead to increase solids, which she IS interested in. Before, they were wanting us to introduce solids just to get her used to flavors and textures. They had recommended no more than half of a stage one baby food container at a sitting. Lizzy always wanted more, so I'd try to nurse her. But she wouldn't nurse. So I figured that she wasn't really THAT hungry, she was just having fun with the solids. Mom fail, apparently. Now, the pedi wants me to feed her solids until she's no longer showing interest. Last night, that meant 1/4 cup whole cooked green beans, half a tortilla, and a jar of stage two baby foods. Apparently, my girl likes to eat far more than she likes to nurse.

Additionally, we've had to give her a formula bottle for the last feed of the day for a variety of reasons. My supply seems much lower by evening, so maybe this is a good thing. Also, can I say that giving Lizzy a bottle last night was the first time that feeding her was actually enjoyable? I know that a lot of breastfeeding moms feel that it's great bonding time, but it never has been for me--it is a constant struggle with all the latching and de-latching to look around.  

Anyway, I'm not really sure where we'll go from here--I guess it just depends whether or not next Tuesday shows a weight gain at the doctor. I hope that it does.


  1. Un-latching multiple times in a feeding can be incredibly annoying...especially at her age. So I don't blame you for feeling that way at all! I think she looks tiny in pictures (not like sickly a cute-little girl tiny), but I would have never guessed he had lost any weight. Hopefully after all this food she's gaining! Yay for a solid-loving girl! It's probably so fun for kids to start trying new food!

  2. You are such a normal mom, and it sounds like your daughter just really needs more solids. My mother-in-law often tells a story about my husband, who at 6 months, was drinking thick chicken soup from a bottle. As a toddler and young boy, he loved food (and still does). I nursed all my 3 children, some longer than others- one 15 months, one only 6 months as he just did not want my milk anymore- never figured out why really. Good for you that you have stuck to he nursing through all the struggles!

  3. I hope solid feedings continue to go well for you and Lizzy! I'm not a mom yet so I can't relate, but I'm sure that knowing others go through this will help in any situation that I face when I do have kids. You sound like you're doing great with her!!

  4. Wow, I would have been really surprised by that too! It sounds like this girl does love to eat, just like me! :) I hope you are able to deal with the pumping and agree that it doesn't sound like it's your supply.

  5. it's hard to get kids at this age to sit still long enough to eat so i can see how hard is it. I am glad that feeding her a bottle was enjoyable for you, and maybe you are right, she just needs some more real food! I have a kid that prefers real food to mushed up food and milk too so it can be a struggle to get so much in him in a day! :) Good luck and keep us posted!!!

    i think that if she is taking that much food, she wants it! I don't see anything wrong it that, i like to eat too!!!

  6. I hope she gains some weight. Sounds to me that she's just an active, interested girl who wants to know what's going on around her.

  7. I'm just gonna throw this out there...ignore me if you'd like. :)

    It's completely normal for a 6 month old to either stop gaining weight or even to lose a bit of weight. There are SO many more factors that just weight. Did she grow lengthwise? Also, you said she's peeing and pooping like normal, plus I know from previous posts that she's developing right on track (ahead of track, actually). So the weight really isn't that big of a deal. Not only that, but pumping is not in any way shape or form an accurate measurement of what baby is getting at breast. A baby is much more efficient than a pump. Really, pedis just aren't that knowledgeable on breastfeeding in it works, how to increase supply, how babies's just not something they are taught in school. And most of their expectations are based on a formula fed baby, not a breastfed baby. And those are two totally different animals. A lactation consultant or counselor is going to be able to give you a lot more accurate information and guidance at this you have a LLL in your area?

    You mentioned that you enjoyed giving her a bottle, and if you aren't that interested in continuing BF'ing, then by all means, do what makes you and your family happy! I just wanted to give advice in case you are interested in continuing your BF'ing relationship and getting rid of a formula bottle.

  8. It's strange to me to hear that your doc wants to gauge your milk supply by pumping - it really doesn't yield as much as nursing, so it's not a good gauge.

    My son was 8lb 8oz at birth (I had to be induced 2 weeks early) and by his first birthday he was in the 0.5% for weight. That's right, 99.5% of babies his age weighed more than him. But my doctor never questioned it because he was hitting all his targets, growing in length and was overall happy and healthy.

    We all come in different shapes and sizes, and Lizzy sounds like an active and happy baby. Please don't let the numbers on the chart worry you! Trust your instincts most of all.

  9. I hear you on the pumping! It is tough work! Like Kristal, I wonder if you can see a local lactation consultant? The hospital I had Colton in has two lactation consultants you can see with no charge as long as you are breastfeeding. I was also able to rent an $800 hospital-grade pump from them for $130 for a year. If you decide to pump and bottle feed, this might be a good option.

    But, either way, I'd look into seeing a lactation consultant. Both of the ones I've seen have been wonderfully supportive, informative, and helpful in increasing my supply.

  10. Brayden never lost weight, but he did all of the sudden become disinterested in nursing and totally into solids. It doesn't sound like it would be your supply though. Hang in there!

  11. These little babes sure do keep us on our toes don't they? I bet all this change is going to work!

  12. I'm totally with you on getting frustrated during breastfeeding. The very few times I have given Annie a bottle it was just much easier. She also is a VERY distracted nurser, no matter where we are. Sidelying sometimes works the best. Lately she'll eat in like 5 minutes total and just be done. The last feeding of the evening is always a battle too - a lot of screaming, unlatching...... I do sort of think it is my supply and let down at that time of night... I've been tempted sometimes to just give a bottle of breastmilk instead but I am already pumping 3x at work and I don't want to pump anymore. I am starting to enjoy breastfeeding much more now, but it definitely isn't something I love yet... however, I am cheap and will continue to do it up until a year unless my supply tanks :)

    Anyway, I have no advice obviously, but I agree w/ Kristal that the weight probably isn't as big of a deal as the pedi is making it out to be. She's happy, developing, and a MOVER - she sounds like she's doing just fine. I have heard that lots of babies lose weight once they become mobile - Lizzy just did that earlier than most! I'd freak out too though, and I'm glad she loves her solids! I'm scared to start Annie on solids because she's been such a crappy eater thus far. Hopefully it goes ok. Good luck - you're doing awesome!

  13. My Lillian was just like that. At around 1 year old, she fell off the growth chart. But she's SUPER active and just plain petite! I mean, I couldn't FORCE her to eat. She's just fine. Though we have her 3 year old appointment next week and she's barely 24 lbs. We'll see what the doc thinks then!

  14. I'm sure everything will turn out fine. Lizzy looks like such an active little lady, so I'm sure that will have something to do with it!

  15. Doctors are always quick to blame the mother's supply, when it often is other - sometimes very minor and harmless - issues. I saw this a lot when I used to cover women's health. Don't panic and just keep feeding her what you can and increasing solids. She'll gain weight back before you know it!

  16. Ansley is at the "too busy to nurse" stage too. I nurse he to sleep, and she nurses occasionally at night to make up. Your supply matches her demand. So, it doesnt sound like an issue from that side. Lizzy sounds like super baby with her skills. So, I'm guessing she is just burning up that baby chunk! Good luck, and follow you momma instinct!

  17. I have no advice, friend. I can tell you though that Jaxon has had the "de-latching and looking around" problem since day 1... It often takes me more than an hour to feed him! I feel your pain. It can be so frustrating!

  18. Oh boy. Hang in there momma. You're doing AWESOME! I had this *exact* same issue - but when Lovie was a week old. You should be super proud you've come this far- and you're always doing what's best for Lizzy so don't fret.

  19. One thing with the pumping and the cleaning/washing hassle....I found that you can stick the pump parts in a zip-lock bag in the fridge for the day and reuse then wash at night. That was SUPER helpful when I was pumping for Noah. It was a PIA to clean everything after each session - they survive in the refrigerated ziplock just fine for the day and I only had to wash once.

    Not that pumping is a good gauge on supply but it does show that you at least have if you can get 3 oz, she's probably getting twice that.


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