Failure to Thirve
After a slightly disappointing nursing relations ship with ds1, I decided that I would have another go at breastfeeding with ds2.
Jamie was born at term after a speedy labor & delivery. He latched on well, much to my surprise. I bugged the heck out of the nurses while I stayed in the hospital, but each time I was told that we were doing great. Then when the midwife came to discharge us from her care on day 14, she was concerned about Jamie's jaundice levels and sent us back to the hospital. Luckily his levels were just low enough to keep us from being admitted. But then the hassle started, not from health professionals, but from family and friends (my dh was great though). I think that I found this harder to deal with than anything. I was looking to these people for support. The jaundice dragged on and on, but our ped wasn't worried, so I wasn't worried. We were told that it was called breast milk jaundice and that it is harmless. My family (namely MIL) kept telling me that it was my fault he was so yellow and that I should give him formula.
I carried on nursing Jamie inspite of what everyone else said and he did well until he got to about 4 months when his weight gain had slowed and slowed, until he stopped gaining weight at 14lb. Jamie stayed at 14lb, give or take a few ounces for another 4 months. My family/friends got on my case again, even dh suggested that I supplement with formula. In this time Jamie was admitted to the hospital twice for investigative tests and was diagnosed as Failure to Thrive. While in the hospital for the 2nd time, Jamie finally started to eat stage 1 baby food. He was 8 months old. He has finally started to put some weight on and currently weighs 16lb 1oz. As we stand at the moment, Jamie is STILL exclusively breastfeed. I am so glad that I stood my ground and didn't give up at the first hurdle.
Low birthweight baby
Tramuatic labor which led to C-section
I had opted for a natural birth. Instead ended up with a cesearian. The hospital wouldn't allow me to see her right away. It was nearly 4 hours before I could hold my sweet baby girl. Fortunately, they followed our birth plan and did not give Desmina any glucose water, pacifers or formula. Luckily, Desmina had a great latch from the beginning. She was like a baracadua, enthusically nursing.
I had a difficult recovery, recovering from long back labor and major surgery. It was hard to get around. The disappointment of my c-section added to my PPD. I was a mess for months! Desmina had to stay in the hospital longer than I had to because of the jaundice. I had to go up there every 2 to 4 hours to schedule my feedings. Because she was jaudncied, she slept most of the time. We were fortunately able to get home health care and we were able to do therapy from home.
Unfortunately, I was given poor advice and I didn't do my research. I was told to schedule my feedings every 2 to 3 hours. Which I did. Desi was sleeping most of the times anyways, so I had to wake her up to feed her.
Desmina gained her birthweight back by 2 weeks. But her doctor was still unsatsifed since she was a small baby. Every visit we had, he was unhappy with her weight gan, although she was gaining the recommeneded 4 ounces a week. Instead of looking at the baby he would look at the charts. This caused alot of unneeded stress in our lives. And added to my depression as well. Finally after 4 months of BS from the doctor we switched. The new doctor looked at me and said she is small becasue you are. She said Desi looked perfectly heatlhy.
At this point, Desi started dropping in her weight gain. She still is very small. She is a year now and still under 12 pounds. Her cuurent doctor has never said anything about it. Desi is still going strong and nursing! I have never supplemented with formula. I am proud of our breastfeeding relationship.
No Milk supply in mom
When my DD Megan was born, they used a vacuum to get her out, causing a big bruise on her head. She didn't want anything to do with sucking because it probably hurt her. She was also fairly jaundiced, and very sleepy, so attempts to feed her in the first 4 days did not work well.
I did not have any colostrum, so the nurses had me pumping at the hospital every three hours, as well, we put Megan to my breast every three hours, all to try to encourage my milk to come. I left the hospital after 4 days, still with no colostrum and no milk.
I continued pumping every three hours at home for the next few weeks, and my DH would feed Megan formula (good thing he was off work). I went and saw a lactation consultant when Megan was 6 days old. She put me on domperidone, and got Megan to latch using a nipple shield. I returned to the lactation consultant every two days for the next month, and she increased the dose of domperidone that I was taking each visit until I was taking 4 pills 4 times a day, which I continued taking for months.
When Megan was 8 days old she starting Breastfeeding using a nipple shield, but we were supplementing with formula because my milk supply was so low. When Megan was 2 weeks old we got her to latch without using the nipple shield. As a result of the milk being "forced" it caused me to have very painful letdown every time that I breastfed.
We slowly decreased the amount of formula, and I was 100% breastfeeding when Megan was 2 months old.
Megan is now 7 months old and still breastfeeding (although it is starting to decrease as solid foods increase). I am still taking 2 domperidone pills a day because my milk supply still has some problems.
It took us 2 weeks to get both of us working together, but we finally got it.
I had an amazing lactation consultant, and without her, I might not be breastfeeding my DD.
Holli & Zoey's story
Let's see...Zoey was born premature by C-Section on April 1st, 2005. She was immediately taken to the NICU where she stayed for 2 weeks. We weren't allowed to even hold her the first week. I pumped starting the second day and she was given breastmilk through an NG tube (a feeding tube inserted through the nose). I didn't try to breastfeed her in the NICU, except for once, because I didn't want her to burn any extra calories while eating. She went from her birthweight of 6 lbs 9 ozs down to 5 lbs 5 ozs. So they didn't want her to have to "work" at eating. She didn't get her NG tube out until the day before she came home. Our first "real" session of breastfeeding was the day we brought her home from the hospital at 2 weeks old. We used a nipple shield for the first 2-3 months. We did use a lactation consultant at home for the first week.
She is now almost 9 months old and she is nursing like a champ. You would never know that she had a rocky start. I was really scared when she was about 7 months old because she had to have surgery. I was afraid she would try to wean herself. But as soon as she woke up she wanted her mama milk. I know when she was in the NICU and I couldn't even hold her, I felt like pumping my milk for her was all I could do for her and it gave me a lot of peace. After we brought her home it was really hard for me to bond with her because we had seen her so sick I was terrified of losing her and wouldn't allow myself to bond. Breastfeeding really healed me and allowed me to fall in love with my daughter and make her mine!
wife to Jesse, July 2000
mama to Jon David and Zoey
Come visit my myspace page: www.myspace.com/allthenamesipickaretaken
Pumping while returning to work
Never having B/F before & not having a clue, LOL
Ainsley was born on Oct. 27, 2005 at a whopping 9 lbs. 6 oz. After trying for a natural delivery, I ended up having to have an emergency c-section. Thankfully she was born in a hospital where they believe the breast is best and do not try to give the baby a bottle of formula behind the mothers back. She latched on like a champ, but her birth weight had fallen by 10% when we were ready to leave the hospital and the nurses were encouraging me to supplement. When Ainsley's pediatrician visited us in the hospital she put her foot down and said no- that she wanted to wait a few days to see what happened. Thank goodness she did because Miss A was back up in weight by the end of the first week.
We battled tears and soreness for those first weeks because Ainsley wanted to nurse practically 24 hours a day, but we made it! The best thing that I did was set a goal for myself- first it was 6 weeks, then it became 3 months, now it is 6 months, and I am sure it will become 1 year! Knowing that I had a goal made the hard times better- workign towards something really helped me.
At about the month and a half mark I started pumping and freezing to go back to work because I knew I wanted to B/F as long as possible. I am now back to work and we have a great routine established- I wake Ainsley at 5:00 to B/F before I shower. I pump on one side at the same time. She then B/F's again at 6:30 before I leave for work. She gets bottles of EBM from Daddy (who she is with while I am at work) until I fly over (literally) at lunch to B/F her & pump. She then gets another bottle of EBM from Daddy before I get off at 3 and then she is BF for the rest of the day.
Best part is that I am able to produce enough pumped milk to give her fresh-not frozen milk each day, and still be able to freeze another 10-12 oz each day.
Parker was born August 9th 2005, I had tested positive for the Strep B, and when I went into labor I was dehydrated and showing signs of infection. So when Parker was born they put me on the antibiotics and tested him for infection as well, he showed positive for infection. Worried that he had become exposed to the Strep B they put him on antibiotics and IV. The hospital was not anti-brestfeeding, but with babies who were in the NCU ward it was more difficult. They would take him to give him his IV of antibiotics and then they wouldn't bring him back on time to feed him... then when they did finally bring him back they would tell me "You HAVE to feed him, RIGHT NOW" and then they would test his glucose levels because they worried he wasn't eating often enough... even though it was their fault... after that my husband and I would go to the NCU and get him to feed him and take him back when they needed him. After 48 hours they released me, but Parker they kept because he was still fighting off the infection.
I stayed in a nurses lounge with my husband as they ran out of rooms for the nesting mothers. Parker ended up fighting off the infection - which turned out to NOT be Strep B at all - we where just plain old "sick" most likely the flu or something else. When they were about to release him they noticed he had turned yellow and started becoming sleepy and unresponsive... it was heartbreaking, I couldn't stir him awake to feed him at all he was so limp. The doctors told me he needed to go under the blue lights to help him kick the jaundice. They said he could not be away from the lights for more than 20-30 minutes for me to feed him at a time... By this time I was at the hospital 4 days, exhausted, emotional. I tried to nurse him in that window but it was just too hard and he was too sleepy, so I gave the nurses permission to suppliment him and give him whatever they needed to keep him happy while he was getting better.
We finally got to take him home, and I had so many problems with his latch, and with him kicking and arching. Then I had so many visitors and we were going everywhere... it was so difficult getting him to eat but he was taking the bottle okay. So we supplimented him, and I pumped and pumped and pumped. I kept offering him the breast when he wasn't so fussy and more willing to accept it... and after about 6 weeks he took to the breast like a champ and it was going great, my supply exploded I had plenty for him nursing and for work pumping and we've been BFing for almost 7 months now. Parker prefers me to the bottle hands down and it's just so heartwarming to see him want just me.
I figured I'd post my breastfeeding histnry:
With my son, I had an unexpected c-section and he had no trouble latching on. He nursed great and nursed often. My job which I was returning to when he was 9 weeks old was not a job where I could pump so I started to supplement formula to get him use to a bottle since he was nursing so much, I couldn't build up much of a supply. Once I went back to work, he refused to nurse at night and in the morning like I had hoped and basically self weaned from breastfeeding.
The second time around, I was not returning to my job and I was determined to breastfeed for at least 6 months. I had another c-section and my daughter had some trouble latching at first. Once the lactation nurse at the hospital and I figured out how to get her to nurse, all went well. I nursed her for 13 months total. During that time, I rarely pumped because she'd refuse a bottle if I wasn't around. I think she only drank 3 bottles the whole year.
Right now I'm successfully on month 7 of nursing my youngest daughter. I had a 3rd c-section with her and she latched on with no trouble. I was really lucky with how smooth it all went for me this time around. I've pumped more this time around as my son's in a co-op nursery school where I have required volunteering to do so I want to have milk here for her when I'm not but she'll only drink 1-2 oz if I'm not home and then "wait" for me to nurse. All is going well and I plan to make it to her first birthday and then start weaning.
Mommy to Sean (12/01), Hannah (10/03), and Kayla (08/05)
Great free LC (hospital-sponsored)
Great support (Mom & Step MIL bf'd)
Compared to the stories above, I don't think my bf journey has been all that bad so far. However, here's my story just the same.
Immediately after Jacob (my first) was born, the nurse put him on my stomach and said now lets get him latched on to breastfeed. I was a little overwhelmed having just pushed him out for over an hour and twenty minutes with an epidural making me numb from the waist down. She helped me latch him on to each side.
As the days went on, I tried and tried to get his little mouth to open wider and get him to pucker his lips out, especially the bottom one. I had sore nipples, but they weren't cracked or bleeding... and, I used the lansinoh religiously after every feed.
When my milk came in around day 5 or 6, I was very engorged. My breasts (pre-pg size A) wore swollen up to my collar bone - it was not a pretty look! I called the LC at the hospital (whom is definitely worth her weight in gold). She had me work on the engorgement by putting Jacob to my breast and had me massage the breast tissue while he sucked. I nursed him for 40 minutes in her office that day and completely emptied one side - nearly ending the engorgement in my left breast. The right one took a little longer, but through ice and heat and baby I got through it.
Because the massage (compression technique) worked so well at getting the engorgement out and keeping Jacob awake, I continued to use it at every feeding for about the first 3-4 weeks. (This may have helped keep me from getting clogged ducts as I was always massaging my breast tissue .) I finally stopped all of that, to let Jacob suck, at around 4 weeks.
Then, the thrush came around 2 1/2 - 3 weeks. I tried the Gentian Violet and that made it go away. Then, it came back at 4 1/2 weeks. So, we tried the GV and oral Nystatin for Jacob and it went away.
During this time, Jacob was spitting up a lot and vomitting occasionally. I was getting discouraged because it seemed as though he was spitting up everything he was getting from me. The pediatrician diagnosed him with "baby reflux" and prescribed baby Zantac (0.8 mL) twice a day. This has helped us tremendously. He spits up a considerably less amount, he has hiccups much less often instead of after every feed, and he seems much happier since he started the medicine a month ago. At four months, the pediatrician wants to start to wean him from the zantac.
FAILURE TO THRIVE
PUMPING/RETURNED TO WORK
When Cypress was born, he had the cord wrapped around his neck, which had been causing some dips in his heart rate. But once he was out, he was great, and had an awesome set of lungs! On the day we went home, his bili was up (10), and he was a bit sleepy, and didn't seem to want to nurse. The ped on call said that we needed to take him on Monday (this was a Sat.) to see his reg. ped. That night I knew something was wrong bc he wouldn't nurse at all. By the next morning, we took him to the ER and they admitted him for severe jaundice and dehydration. We had only been home for 13 hrs. In the hospital, we met our angel, the LC on staff who was our advocate. I don't know if I would have continued nursing w/o her support. The first hospital visit, Cypress was in for 4 days, and was released. The second time, he was in for about 5 days, and was diagnosed with GERD and labeled "Failure to thrive" as he hadn't gained any weight in two weeks. The third visit, he had an endoscopy, a PH probe, and other tests. That one was about 3 days. By the end of the third time, he had been placed on a fortifier to my BM to try to help him gain weight. I really felt like a failure. He vomited constantly. Milk allergery was ruled out, and he was just labeled with severe GERD and "failure to thrive" (horrible name). I felt like I was letting my baby down. The LC was wonderful though. She told me to stick with it, and that it would get better. We had to weigh Cypress before and after every feeding, we saw a speech therapist (he had a weak suck reflex and latch), and I had to end up pumping for quite awhile. But it got better. Cypress's reflux started improving, with medication, and he was able to get off the fortifier (added to BM in a bottle), and I was able to nurse him more. Eventually, he was able to nurse without having a bottle, AND he started gaining weight!!! I had to return to work when he was 10 wks old, but I had a huge stash of frozen BM, so I knew that I could keep pumping. My DH is with him during the day, and he would bring him to me at lunch so I could nurse him. It really helped to solidify my resolve to continue to breastfeed w/o supplementing. I knew that if I could deal with all the reflux problems, then I could BF and work. So, now, we have been nursing for almost six months. And NOW, he is almost 15 lbs! So much for labeling my baby "failure to thrive"!!!!
My three munchkins
Post Date: April 21, 2006
Baby Birth Date: Feb 18, 2006
All my family FF'd
Overcoming my own feelings about BF'd
Used nipple shield
Here's my story:
Today I was just thinking about my pregnancy and my feelings toward breastfeeding before I got pregnant and now. They are very different! Pre-preggo I was one of those girls who thought I would never breastfeed. I had tons of excuses ...."my nipples are too sensitive, formula is easier, it will make my boobs sag, etc."
However, over the course of my pregnancy, my feelings began to slowly change. I could feel this little person inside and I loved him with all my heart. One day near the end of my pregnancy, my breast leaked, and it triggered something inside me that made me realize I want to give BF'd a try.
The day I delivered, I was nervous about BF'd. I actually thought that if the nurse didn't offer to help then I would just let him be FF'd.
Wow! It's hard to believe I actually thought that way two months ago because now I can't imagine giving my baby anything besides my milk! It's amazing how having a baby changes you. The bond is so strong, and I get such an emotional connection when I nurse him. I know that no-one else on earth can give him what I'm giving him, and it makes me feels so warm inside. I know he feels the same when he looks up at me with those big blue eyes.
We did have to slowly overcome several issues. David was born at 36 weeks preggo. He had a weak latch and he was a lazy eater. I had to pump in the hospital to get my milk supply going, and I finally had to use a nipple shield to help David with his latch. We still use it every now and then, but he has learned to latch onto the bare breast most of the time.
Why am I posting this? Well, honestly, I needed to reflect on my huge change in emotions over this time. Also, I wanted to send out a great big THANK YOU to all the ladies who work to make people more aware of breastfeeding. Without all the changes that have taken place over the past 20-30 years, I would never have given it a try. I would never know the joy and connection I get when I nurse my son. I know a lot of the ladies on this board work with LLL and work to get the information out to the public. So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for all the hard work you have done! You informed this Mom!