Post # 1
OK, I’m sure I will get a ton of hate for this, but I just had a really disturbing experience.
I went to visit my friend yesterday whose baby is about 9 weeks old. She had told me she had some trouble establishing breastfeeding but that “everything was fine now.” I got there and her baby looks like a newborn. She is teeny teeny tiny. I woud guess about 8 pounds. (And she was born at 7 pounds, full term.) My friend told me that her daughter is in the bottom 1% in terms of weight, and that her pediatrician had told her she HAD to supplement with formula, but that she hadn’t (and wouldn’t) do it because she thought her daughter was starting to “get the hang” of breastfeeding. Her daughter cried and fussed almost the entire time I was there, constantly batting at her mom’s shirt and opening and closing her mouth in that way babies do when they’re hungry. My friend and her husband never sleep more than an hour because the baby wakes up to cry and feed…
Apparently my friend is not producing enough to feed her daughter, but she won’t supplement with formula. My friend is a big “hippy crunchy” person and I just feel like her devotion to breastfeeding has gone too far. She is so devoted to the idea of breastfeeding that she won’t make sure her daughter has sufficient nutrition!
How can it be better for a baby to be constantly hungry than to be fed formula? I can only imagine the physical and emotional consequences for her.
Post # 3
And I am half wondering if I have a duty to say something… to someone…
I am honestly worried about her daughter…
Post # 4
If the situation is as bad as you think it is…that’s scary. If I were you, I’d give her info about something called a Supplemental Nursing System. http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/breastfeeding-devices/51/supplemental-nursing-system-sns this allows her to continue the motion of BFing while supplementing so her baby doesn’t get confused or develop nipple preference to a bottle. If her baby is in the bottom 1%, that’s bad. Her pediatrician needs to be made aware. There are also recipes online for organic goats milk formula if she wants to try that (since you said she’s kinda hippie.)
Post # 5
Also, it sounds like she needs to understand that her daughter NEEDS nutrition and she CAN supplement while continuing to Boyfriend or Best Friend. It sounds like she isn’t producing enough…not that her daughter isn’t “getting the hang of it.”. Her daughters nutrition needs to be her priority. Maybe she will be ok with the SNS. If I were you, I’d buy it for her and make her consider it. Also, I don’t know why you’d get hate for this. Youre genuinely concerned for her daughters health…I think that is commendable.
Post # 6
hmm that’s a tough one! my baby is almost 4 weeks and i’m exclusively breastfeeding…even though i took classes, read books, and felt generally prepared, i had no idea how challenging it would be! newborns need to eat so often that you pretty much end up nursing all day and night. plus “sore nipples” doesn’t begin to describe the pain i experienced the first two weeks! (it got much better) not to mention the potential for too little milk, too much milk, thrush, mastasis…it’s a HUGE commitment and can be stressful!
but of course we all know that breast milk is best IF mom is able to. i don’t want to judge your friend, but i understand your concern since the health and well-being of the baby is THE MOST important thing. maybe you can suggest to your friend to consider exclusively pumping and feeding her baby bottles of expressed breast milk? if nursing isn’t working out anyway there might not need to be as mch concern about nipple/flow confusion, and the baby will still get the benefits of breast milk. plus pumpng could help increase her supply, or at least make it apparent if shes not producing enough.
otherwise, she might just need to ditch her decision to exclusively bf…theres nothing wrong with formula!
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2018 - Our home and the two acres it sits on
Eeek. I think a sit-down is warranted, though she might not hear you. I’m in the middle of the bf’ing extravaganza, and I can see that you could cope by either overcommitting (like her) or feeling like giving up (like me). Either way, though, I’d feel better if I were you if I at least tried to talk to her.
So sorry! Poor baby!!
Post # 8
Yikes, that doesn’t sound good at all. I definitely understand her devotion and committment to breastfeeding, but if it’s at the cost of her baby’s health/development it’s obviously not worth it. Are you sure she’s gone to the pediatrician? I feel like they’re going to more closely monitor a baby who isn’t thriving the way they should be. And I doubt they’d allow her to just refuse supplementing without intervening if it’s as bad as it sounds.
Post # 9
Tell her to call a local La Leche League leader. They’re pretty crunchy and at least in their book, Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, have good ideas on how to supplement while building your milk supply. They might be a trustworthy source for her and can hold her hand more than a pediatrician has time for while she figures things out.
Post # 10
I can’t believe I am reading this! She is starving her child! It is common for mother/child not to have the chemistry enough to make it work. You don’t starve them until they get it! Hippy chic or not, that is no different than child abuse. Poor little baby!
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Post # 11
this is pretty scary. If the baby has truly only gained a pound or two in 9 weeks, I think you might have to risk your friendship for the good of this poor baby. It sounds like she is starving her child and I can’t believe her peditrician is not more concerned. (eg demanding to see her every week until the baby is on track).
Post # 12
Touchy subject. It’s hard to balance “breast is best” with doing what is best in your situation for your infant. Encourage her to get in touch with a lactation consultant that can help her get her milk supply established. Her local La Leche League can help her immensely and give her some really good support, while helping ensure the health of her little one. Most LLL leaders will be able to give her a call back today especially in her situation.
Also, you may want to pick her up some Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle from GNC. They are supplements that can boost your supply dramatically in around 24-36 hours and are safe for her and for baby. I’ve used them with both of my boys, one that is still nursing at 19 months that I can’t kick off.
Post # 13
Honestly, that is child abuse. If you are not feeding your child enough and they are hungry and underweight, that is abuse. I would risk my friendship (as sad as that would be!!) to try to be sure that her baby was taken care of. Not sure what I would do, though, but I would just have to do something. She certainly should be supplementing with formula. I hope you figure out something and maybe you can talk to her again and she’ll listen. What does her husband think? That is just so, so sad. The poor baby…
Post # 14
Also, I do agree that it is bordering on abuse, if not abuse, but I wouldn’t alienate them both by attacking her. At least at this point.
Right now, she sees the pediatrician as the enemy.
If you get a bunch of qualified hardcore hippy crunchy breastfeeders on her tail, I think it will mean a lot more coming from them. Also, having lactation consultants and La Leche League girls who tell her it’s okay to supplement, it will give her the permission to do so.. but you NEED to help get her connected asap.
That little one needs you.
Post # 15
I would encourage her to pump her milk and see how much she is actually producing. It may be a shock to her to see how little is actually coming out (this was the case for me). After I pumped and realized I was not making enough it was a wake up call that I needed to use formula. Before that it was easier to just go along “hoping” things would work out.
Post # 16
Yes. Say something. If she truly cares about the baby’s well-being, there are plenty of hippie-crunchie-approved ways/sources for supplementing breastmilk, so that’s not an excuse at all. No way should the baby starve!