A Story of Supplementing
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September 29th, 2011, 10:23 AM
Proud mama of 2 girls
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
My birth experience was long and traumatic. I was induced at 41weeks 6 days. It was a Thursday morning, and baby girl did not come into the world until 4:33pm on Saturday afternoon, via c-section. I was absolutely exhausted, and had a newborn baby.
The first few weeks were incredibly difficult. Avery had a huge weight loss (dropped from 8lb 5oz to 7lb 1oz) and everyone was concerned. I did my best to keep breastfeeding her, but I had a sleepy baby who had trouble staying awake to get the calories she needed.
I used all the resources I could. Kellymom.com, this board (thank you ladies!), the public health nurses, and my local La Leche League. Still, at 3.5 weeks old baby girl was still not gaining.
I was sent to the city to see a breast feeding specialist (a pediatrician who was also a lactation consultant), and she told me I needed to start supplementing right away, with enriched breast milk or enriched formula. I was devastated. I felt like as a woman I could not provide for my baby, and it was very hard to take. I was also prescribed a drug to help increase my milk.
We started to supplementing with a syringe, and tried a feeding tube as well, but in the end it was just too cumbersome. So, for the past couple weeks, baby girl gets offered a bottle after breastfeeding. She took anywhere from .5oz to 2oz after feeding at the breast. The specialist said to use medium flow nipples (saying that a baby who needs the calories should not have to work hard to be nourished). I shared with her that I was so afraid to ruin breastfeeding- and she said it wouldn't. That it is just theory- and in my case she was right.
After I began to supplement, I had a different baby on my hands. It was a HUGE relief. In a way I felt like I shouldn't give her the bottle, but she has no problem going from breast to bottle to pacifier and back, and I am so glad I did it. I wish I had done it sooner. Poor baby was just so hungry. I now have a baby who is growing well and sooooo much happier now that she has a full belly.
Avery does not always take the bottle either. 2 of her 3 feedings overnight last night were just breastfeeding. I can feel the drug working- my breasts to start to feel heavier when it has been a while, especially at night time, so the drug is working. It looks like I won't have to supplement forever either- I just need to keep at it.
I just wanted to post this for other women who might be faced with supplementing. I felt so upset and defeated about it, like my body was broken, like breastfeeding was over, but it is not. Don't feel bad that you have to supplement- just remember that what is important is a healthy baby who is growing and well nourished- no matter how that nourishment gets to them! 5 years from now, no one will know if the baby was breast fed, bottle fed formula, or a combination of the two, so give yourself a break and do what is best for your baby
Proud mama to:
Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011)
Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
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