Friday, June 20, 2008

to breastfeed or not to breastfeed...THAT is the question!

OK....we have some catching up to do! A few days ago Avery started to refuse breastmilk bottles. When I tried to feed her Wednesday morning, after I breastfed her, I gave her the rest of the milk by bottle, as usual, and she started to shake her head and pull away. Normally, she gobbles up anything close to her mouth! I kept trying and she started screaming and pulling her neck away and trying anything to get away from the bottle. I wondered if my supply was back up and she had got a full feeding, but I didn't think it was b/c I haven't been engorged, or even close and when I've been pumping I'm definitely not getting 5 1/2 oz, which is how much she eats... So...I tried a formula bottle, and she gobbled it down. I thought it was strange, but she probably just didn't like what I ate the day I pumped that milk. Well, she did the same thing for Charlie and Gran-gran on Wednesday and Thursday. Then Thursday, she didn't want to eat from 6a-2p which is not at all like her, she is always eating every 4 hours. Then she finally took a full bottle at 2, wanted another at 5. Ate from 5-6 then wanted another at 7 and again at 9. She basically had 3 bottles in a row. At 9 o'clock (before i realized she was hungry again) she had a FIT and it really scared me. I had laid her on the bed and was doing 'bicycle' b/c I thought she had gas and she was SCREAMING and arching her back so much that she was lifting herself off the bed! I gave her Mylocon for gas, but it didn't really help and finally I realized she wanted ANOTHER bottle, she ate the whole thing! If I tried a bottle with milk though, she just wouldn't eat it. She would suck about twice then shake her head and pull it away and eventually cry out of frustration. I was getting nervous about it all, so i took her to Dr. Khanfar today. She weighed 11 lbs, 1oz which is ok but not near where she needs to be. (There was another 5 month old was in the waiting room and I asked what he weighed and it was 16 1/2 lbs!) Dr. Khanfar said she is not gaining weight quickly enough, in his opinion, and the weight gain is vital, so he said I should stop breastmilk and feed Neosure every feeding. This is NOT what I wanted to hear. I guess I just wanted to hear "This is normal, just do such and such and she'll start drinking the milk again".

So now I'm faced with a hard decision. (At least I get to decide though - and not the NICU Dr's!) I will feel extremely guilty if I quit breastfeeding altogether b/c I know she needs the antibodies and all the other things the breastmilk can give her. But I love Dr. Khanfar and trust him and I know that he has years more experience and education with taking care of preemies. Also, if I ignore his advice and she doesn't start gaining weight well, I'm going to feel guilty too. I also still have the problem that she is not eating breastmilk right now. One other tidbit - if I actually breastfeed her, she'll take it, but if we put expressed milk in a bottle she won't. (The bottles and nipples for formula and milk are the same, so that isn't the problem.) Sorry this is so long but I just want any and all advice that you have. Right now, I've thought about it and prayed about it and I think I may breastfeed before work, after work and before bed. My supply is low so that she may only get 4-6 oz but thats better than nothing. So, WHAT DO YOU THINK! Thanks in advance for the advice to this scared new mommy!

By the are some pics from this week...

This child is a daddy's girl!

I took her to the Olive Garden with some friends from work and was an ANGEL the whole time!

This is Jaden and he is 1 month older than Avery...he looked like a giant compared to her!

Avery ate a ba-ba (bottle) while mommy ate some shrimp - now that's talent! ha!

Happy Birthday Da-da...GO CUBBIES!

Avery's first trip to the was a spur of the moment thing after grocery shopping, otherwise she and I would've been dressed for the occasion! As you can see, all that shopping really wore her out!


Jenna said...

Hey girl, I really think that it is definitely your decision. If you decided to stop breast feeding, Avery will get all the things she needs through the formula. Ava at 4 months old only weighed 11 lbs 4 oz. and she is now 13 months old and weighs 18 lbs 2oz. You will make the right decision just trust yourself.

Cristi said...

I agree with Jenna. Whatever God shows you to do -DO IT and all will be well. Love you, Mom

Curran said...

If it's feasible, maybe you could EP & resume giving BM/nursing when she starts gaining weight better. It's all about Avery & what's best for her, so I know you will make the right decision.

Stormie's mommy said...

This is my advice! I think that when you give her breast milk mix it with the formula I was told to do this if I ever gave formula by the nurse pract that Jenna works for. KAPPY. She said that when you mix the breast milk and formula it will equal out meaning not give gas. I am not sure if this will work because Stormie is still on just breast milk she has never had formula and she is 10 months and 19.5 lbs. I hope this will help good luck!

jennifer said...

New to blogging, but I read about Avery through Jami's site, and I too had a preemie that I breastfed, so I was interested. At 3mos, Michael my 8 wk premature infant, weighed 9.2; 10.10 at 4mo; 11.6 at 5; 13.5 at 6; 19.4 at 12mos! He was strictly breastfed & did go through refusal of expressed bottled breast milk after I was home for 2 months from months 6-8, but then we offered in sippy cups which worked. If you are totally against formula, keep strong & try the cup, she may take it or she will eventually decide she is hungry enough & take the bottled breast milk. It's so tough being in that position!! You want the best for your child which we believe is breast milk, but how many children do great on formula?!! I strictly breastfed for 12 mos (VERY DIFFICULT), but I was DETERMINED!!! Now I'm on child number 2, a 38 weeker who weighed 6.14 & has taken well to the breast & is gaining weight quickly (up to 7.2 as of last week). Good luck & I know how difficult it is to be in your situation. My preemie, now 3yrs, eats like a horse (full meals every 2-3 hrs) only weighs 32lbs.

Stacey said...

You don't have to stop breastfeeding...Just give her a little bit of breastmilk from you (not expressed) whenever you can, and when you are not there to give it directly, let the caretakes feed her from the bottle... Keep expressing, ask the doctors if maybe puttinga tiny bit of breastmilk into the bottle to supplement it will help her get the antibodies + fullness that she needs...just a thought