Mum shares her story in the hope that it helps other women struggling through a similar situation.
Mandy gave birth to a baby boy weighing 2.86 kilograms. In her blog post on Fed is Best, Mandy shares that she had problems getting her son to latch due to flat nipples, so she was given a shield to help with breastfeeding.
The shield seemed to help, but Mandy noticed that it would be full of milk after her son was done feeding. She also noticed that he wanted to eat for very long periods of time and didn’t seem to ever be settled during or after feeds.
Friends in mothers group told her that his activity was normal and he was just cluster feeding.
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But by his one-week visit with the doctor, Mandy’s son wasn’t back up to his birth weight. The doctor wasn’t concerned because the baby was still having wet and dirty diapers.
Fast forward to her baby’s one-month appointment, Mandy’s son only weighed 2.88 kilograms.
In his first month of life, her son had only gained 20 grams. Mandy’s doctor suggested she see a lactation consultant.
The lactation consultant weighed the baby, then Mandy fed him, and then they weighed him again.
The results from the scale showed that Mandy’s son had only eaten 20ml in an hour-long feeding.
She suggested that Mandy start supplementing with formula and put her on a pumping schedule to try and increase her supply. They went home and immediately began the routine and at the next week’s visit he had gained nearly 1 kilogram.
The nurse’s response was, “Wow! He must have been hungry.” He wasn’t just hungry, he was starving!
“Restlessness turned into full-on screaming.”
Mandy continued on this routine and her son continued to grow and thrive, but Mandy’s breast milk supply didn’t seem to increase. Not only that, whenever her son would nurse it would lead to “restlessness turned into full-on screaming.”
Mandy explains, “My mom called me one day, and I was on the verge of a mental break down when she said, “he needs you to be healthy and sane far more than he needs breast milk.” It was in that moment that I felt a little bit of weight lift off my shoulders. I made an appointment to talk to his doctor about not breastfeeding. I was having a really hard time accepting it and was worried that she might push me to keep breastfeeding.”
Her beautiful response:
“You’ve tried harder than 99% of the moms I’ve worked with to make breast feeding work, and it’s totally OK if you stop and exclusively formula feed.”
Mandy said, “I have felt so guilty, and it took a tremendous amount of courage for me to write my story.
At the same time, I am so thankful my baby is now thriving and feel it is extremely important for other moms to understand that if your baby is not gaining weight, it is critical to figure out why and not assume everything is normal, no matter what popular breastfeeding mom groups on Facebook might say!”
“Bottom line: I could have lost my baby and my own sanity. For me and my baby, #fedisbest”
A very important message and something all mums need to be aware of. Thank you for sharing your story, Mandy.
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