November 18, 2008

Size Matters

I've been nursing babies for 80 months of my life. That's 6 2/3 years. You'd think I'd have it all figured out by now. I thought I did. The first three kids nursed happily and with no problems.

When my fourth child was six months old, I discovered he had dropped off the weight charts from a normal mid-range percentile for his first several months down to the first percentile or sometimes below. We started stuffing him with extra calories, adding formula to his cereal and other foods. He still gets Carnation Instant Breakfast along with his regular meals, but he's stayed tiny. He seems more than healthy and robust enough.

My fifth child is now doing the same thing. She was over 9 pounds at birth and at four months only weighs 12 pounds 2 ounces.

Am I just too distracted to feed the kids any more? Is there something wrong with them or with my milk? I just don't know. The doctor wants us to start supplementing with formula, which makes a happy breastfeeding mama very unhappy. But if a baby needs to eat, I'll see that she gets fed. I'm also going to try to get in and get my thyroid and other things checked out. I hope to get some answers and find out why I can't seem to feed the little ones any more.


The sentiments expressed here remind me of feeling so helpless on the day my little one decided that he did not care to breastfeed and shortly thereafter that he did not care for my pumped milk and immediately after that that even formula was not going to be a part of his diet.
I was frustrated, I loved breastfeeding, I enjoyed the time... I think he did too but in the end, who knows what it was. Perhaps my age? I never even thought about my thyroid as being a possible culprit though, I figured he was just done.
I hope you figure it out!

Posted by: blair at November 18, 2008 10:02 AM

With all of life's demands, are you eating enough yourself, AND are you getting enough rest? I'd start there with the solution. I know you're busy with the homeschooling...maybe it'd help of you stop working so hard. I give you permission to take life a bit easier. :)

Posted by: melissa at November 18, 2008 11:17 AM

I do think there is something in the fact that you are busier than ever and worker harder than ever now (more dc etc). Have a friend who hit the same issues with her 7th child; and for her it really was simply that she was rushing round too much, working too hard and not resting enough; she felt her body didn't get a chance to make enough high-calorie milk.

She mixed fed him, and her next four dc - but I remember the shock she had when she realised that at 3 months he'd hardly gained any weight. He's perfectly healthy now - and average sized; and she never did have any medical issues, other than being worn out.


Posted by: Henrietta at November 19, 2008 07:21 AM

I'm sorry to hear that! Maybe they're both just small? It couldn't hurt to get some rest, make sure you're getting plenty of fat (I highly recommend ice cream!) along with your nutrition, etc. As though I have any business advising you!! Could it be something recent correlated with the sleep interruptions?

I, too, hope you figure it out quickly if there's something wrong!

Posted by: Lenise at November 19, 2008 07:48 PM

Want me to ask the Mrs.? She is now officially a Certfied Lactation Educator, so there's documentation behind the expertise.

She might find out about the blogging, but for a friend...

Posted by: skinnydan at November 20, 2008 08:36 AM