20 Oct 2005

Weight? Check. (and breastfeeding rant)

Posted by AC

We went to the pediatrician yesterday for a weight check. She did pretty good. Last time we were there, she was 5lbs, 3.9 oz. (birth weight was 5lbs, 3.5oz). This time, she was 5lbs, 8.6oz. Apparently, the rule of thumb for this phase of life is “an ounce a day.” 4.7 ounces was apparently close enough for 5 days. We’re still a little stressed about her weight gain though. As I think I mentioned, we’re supplementing her intake with formula, and we increased the quantity some in the last few days to make sure she’s growing. The breastfeeding books are very down on that idea. They say ”

You will know you can trust your body, and that it is making enough milk, because the transition [to not using any supplement] has been made without misery or hunger and when the bottle was gone, the baby didn’t miss it.”

That’s all good and well, but what if baby’s weight fails to gain (or, heaven forbid, falls off)? What if baby is miserable or hungy? So many people (and books) seem to have this idilic view of breastfeeding. Maybe it’ll get that way. But for now, it’s not. And I mean NOT.

  • Sam is frequently fussy getting started. She’ll fight at the breast for upwards of half an hour before “submitting”. It got so bad, Carolyn has described it as feeling like she’s attacking Sam with her breasts.
  • (Slow let down?)

  • Sam will sometimes nurse for looong periods of time.
  • The pediatrician says “20 min per breast, then switch. Don’t let her use you as a pacifier.” But she can go 45 min or more in what seems to be an active feeding phase.

  • The pediatrician says “Get rid of the shield; It’s trouble.” But Sam doesn’t get the cue to suck without the shield tickling the roof of her mouth

Glorious, happy, bonding time, my ass. Plus, I mean, do the math. 30 min of fighting before getting started, plus 90 min. feeding — that’s 2 hours. She’s supposed to eat every 2 hours. That means this cycle could simply repeat forever were there not the small matter of eating, sleeping and miscellaneous other bodily functions to attend to.

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2 Responses to “Weight? Check. (and breastfeeding rant)”

  1. I can’t imagine how frustrating this must be for you. I’ve heard similar worries from several new mothers — one even quit breast feeding: the baby was too impatient at her breast because he was so used to how fast the bottle fed him. Another went to see a specialist (I can’t remember what they are called — some sort of breast feeding coach). Good luck!!! Et courage!



  2. Carolyn and AC-

    Breastfeeding is NOT idyllic!I threw my La Leche book on the floor in a fit of despair once and cried for an hour.And Maria was a pretty “good” nurser.

    To let you know, Baby Maria most often nursed 30-60 min. per side.What is wrong with being a “pacifier”?, unless Ca’s breasts are too sore.I personally think nursing was often very cosy time and probably stimulated the milk.Sometimes I had trouble sitting still, sometimes not!

    Here’s renita’s bottom line-Do what is best for Mama. If nursing is a fight that leaves Mom and baby exhausted and anxious, try the bottle. I share the thought that I finally know that I made many mistakes with Maria ( and still will).All I can do is just keep doing the best I can. Love is really the only important food.Let the culture/parenting/good mom and dad police go sniff and let the love flow-all else is truly secondary.

    So much for rants! lots of love -renita



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