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I'll Do It My Way

Today was another family doc appointment, during which time we learned that Baby Loquacious is perfectly healthy and sitting at the 75th percentile for weight, height and head circumference.

Then, as my doc asked me about the birth (she was in Maui when it happened) and our nursing adventures, I innocently told her what I was doing to help my little one stay fed.  Bad mistake.  She proceeded to give me breastfeeding advice on what I should be doing and what she wants me to do for the next week, before our next visit.

So here's the back story: on our first ER visit, we learned that we had been underfeeding Baby Loquacious (a feat I didn't think possible considering that I usually overfeed everyone).  The lactation consultant and the attending pediatrician (who, by the way, is the most amazingly competent doc ever, and I wish he was my family doc) both made some recommendations that Hubbs and I tried to incorporate into our feeding routine.  By adapting their advice to suit our little girl, we have helped Baby Loquacious gain about 15 ounces in a week (which is excessive but not ridiculous given that she lost 11 ounces from the underfeeding, and is now only 3 ounces above her birth weight).  You'd think that since things aren't broken, my doc wouldn't want to try and fix them! But of course she would, because like most docs, they think they know best :(

Her advice today was as follows:
  • 1) breastfeed on demand every 2-3 hours
  • 2) don't pump the remainder (even if my boobs are full), thereby possibly reducing my supply
  • 3) breastfeed again if baby continues to root after nursing; make baby work for the milk and nurse until the baby is eventually satisfied
  • 4) skip one evening feed by giving her a "liberty bottle" of formula, so that my milk supply can replenish
  • 5) don't formula feed save for the liberty bottle, period
  • 6) take Dom Perignon DomPeridone to jack up my milk supply
Well, it so happens that Baby Loquacious is not a typical baby with a typical infant's appetite; she will almost always eat the 85 mL recommended by the lactation consultant, and I suspect if I gave her more, she'd gobble that up too (but with pukey consequences).  She also doesn't like to hang out on the boob for a long time; her typical feed length is between 5-10 minutes, which is insufficient for draining my existing supply, putting me at risk for mastitis.  And - when my kid is tired and hungry (which is often late in the evening), she will cry and refuse to sleep or be consoled, and her shrill wailing will leave everyone sleepless and her, hoarse.

Another post-feeding burp expression - trust me, we're not strangling her!
The bottom line is, the awesome doc and LC's recommendations seem to work well (when modified) and have yielded multiple dirty and wet diapers plus a respectable weight gain.  My family doc's advice, which I took for all of 3 hours, left my kid starving and unable to sleep and me miserable and near tears.  No two kids are the same, and even breastfeeding best practice guidelines are just that: guidelines.  So why on earth would I listen to the advice of one doc over the advice of another, when at the end of the day I am the one who knows my baby best?  I think I'll just do it my way, thankyouverymuch.  And by golly, I will pump and supplement!


~Rain``` said…
I agree with you 100%! You are baby Loquacious' Mother, and in the end, you will decide what is best for her. There are hundreds of people out there who will give you tons of advice on what you should do to feed baby. It can be annoying, overwhelming, and frustrating! In the end, the important thing is to feed baby (whatever way works) so that she's happy (relatively so) and healthy AND you remain sane! Sounds like you are doing the right thing!

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