Recently I have had a couple friends dealing with slow gaining babies where doctors are wanting to do lots of tests, interventions, etc. I have had two experiences with slow gaining babies. I thought I would share one of my experiences today (I’ll get to Sue’s another day). Please know I do not mean for this to be any type of medical advice and I absolutely know there are times that require intervention. I am only speaking from my experience.
Caitlyn was 6 lbs 8 ounces at birth. She gained the 1 ounce per day the doctors like to see from the beginning. It was amazing to see how fast she grew. Then at 6-7 months, she stopped expressing hunger. It was weird. I would realize, from looking at the clock, she had not eaten in 5 hours and she was happily playing and doing her thing. So I started to watch the clock a little more closely, but we kept nursing and introducing solids.
Then I took her for her 9 month check up with a new pediatrician. The pediatrician freaked out. I mean freaked. Caitlyn had only gained about 5 ounces since her records showed at her 6 month appointment. The woman told me to wean her immediately and give her whole milk (yeah, at 9 months) and that if Caitlyn did not like the cow’s milk, to put strawberry or chocolate syrup in it.
I was in shock. Really. I asked the doctor questions about how you wean a baby but not much about her idea of cow milk…
Then as I drove home I started to freak out and cry. What was wrong with my baby? How desperate was our situation if I was being told to bribe her with chocolate milk at 9 months old???? I cried for days. I just could not bear to wean her.
By this point I was pregnant with Sue and had a midwife appointment just a few days after the doctor appointment. So, I took Caitlyn with me. I held her up to my midwife and sobbed out my story. How the doctor wanted me to put her on cow milk with chocolate syrup and wanted her assessed for developmental delays.
My midwife, you know the one I adore, said, “she looks healthy to me. Here is the name of my family doctor, call her and tell her I sent you.” I called the next day…try as I could to not cry on the phone, I fell apart. We had an appointment the next day.
This doctor, who I have grown to adore as much as my midwife, looked at my daughter, and said, “yes, her lack of growth is concerning, but no, we are not going to try cow’s milk, nor are we going to put chocolate syrup in anything. And she does not have to be weaned.”
She looked at our entire situation, talked to me about nursing and pumping, and we sorted out I was having low milk supply due to the change in hormones caused by my pregnancy. Not all women see a milk drop, I did. So we did add formula, but only after nursing. Caitlyn and I kept going 2 more months before she weaned herself. And we were both satisfied with the outcome. We had made the choice that was best for us. This time around, due to her young age, and our bonus pregnancy, formula was part of the answer. But it did not have to be traumatic as an immediate weaning would have been.
Did I like the formula route, heck no. Is that always the answer, definitely not, as my story with Sue will show…
What were the main lessons I took from this? It is absolutely necessary to have a doctor you trust. One that resonates with you. Who trusts your intuition. Who knows how to communicate with you so when something is needed, you understand why and are willing to walk that way.
And that is what I stress to mama’s when I share my story, to make sure you trust your doctor. That their philosophy does not always include formula as an intervention. That respects the personality of the mother and the child. It truly makes all the difference, whether you end up needing to intervene with a health situation or you find a solution that does not require intervention.
When have you had to trust your intuition? Have you had to change doctors because you knew something just wasn’t right?Survive til you Thrive!