Diary of a non-breastfeeding mama – Episode 2

Previously on “Diary of a non-breastfeeding mama – Episode 1“…

24 hours after we left the hospital a nurse came home to check on the baby and to make sure that we were doing fine (I know! Canadian system is just amazing!) and she gave me some bad news… Baby had dropped more weight than expected so we needed to keep an eye on that. She referred me to the postpartum lactation group so that they would help me and I got an appointment for the next day. I was shocked and glad with all the support that I was getting so I was confident that everything would work out in the end…

Episode 2 – The lactation consultants

The night after the nurse came home I could not sleep at all. Baby had lost more weight than expected and that got me really worried. I knew that babies are supposed to lose some weight after they are born, but they usually get it back quickly so the fact that he had not gained at all after leaving the hospital made me raise one eyebrow… If I would have had a normal-weighted baby then I would have felt differently but taking into consideration that he had been only 2.6 kilos (5.15 pounds) the idea of him losing weight was not easy to digest.

Next afternoon we headed to the South Calgary Health Center for our appointment with the lactation consultant. She explained to us that she would see me feed the baby and then she would provide some tips and suggestions to help me with the latch and the breastfeeding process. After that we undressed the baby and she weighted him and I could immediately see by the look in her eyes that there was something wrong. She told us that my little one had lost a bit more weight since the nurse was home so we were four days after his birth and he was right under the 10% weight loss mark. For those of you that don’t know, if a baby loses more than 10% of his weight at birth then he has to be supplemented to make sure that he is able to gain the weight back within 7 to 10 days.

I was devastated and the lactation consultant might have notice how concerned I was because she told us right away not to worry and that she would recommend to continue breastfeeding for one more day and come back to see her the next day. She was adamant about not introducing any bottle yet: Introducing the bottle will mess things up and make the breastfeeding an uphill process - she said. Click To Tweet She assured me that baby was safe as far as he would not continue dropping his weight so I felt a bit better.  She also gave us a list of places where we could rent a hospital-grade pump and recommended me to start pumping so that my milk supply would increase.positiveedited

And so did we! As soon as we left the health center we went to the closest location in the list and rented the Medela swing double pump. I was officially in double duty: breastfeeding and pumping!

As you may imagine already, I spent that evening and most of that night trying to pump the heck out of me but my milk had not come in yet so all my efforts were worthless. I was determined to have my little baby over that 10% mark on the next day though so I also breastfed him non-stop. Good news is that he seemed content every time that we were done breastfeeding so at least I had him to reassure me throughout this madness!

The next day came, Saturday, and we were ready for our appointment in the afternoon. I stayed positive and tried to keep my mind free of worries so I planned a get together with a good friend of us to watch a Spanish soccer game final during lunch. That was supposed to be the plan to keep my mind out of the breastfeeding and weight increase stress but, to be honest, I ended up the entire game hiding in my friend’s bedroom feeding the baby… I couldn’t help it! We were getting close to the appointment and I wanted baby to be safely over that 10% mark!

In the afternoon we were back to the health center again and I have been feeding baby so much that I was confident that the weight was going to be within the normal parameters! Although I was worried, I tend to be a very positive and calmed person so I went into the room with a big smile and ready to see the results of the last 24 hours efforts.

The lactation consultant was different from the one that attended us the previous day so we went through my baby’s history one more time before  proceeding to the weighting and breastfeeding session. As the consultant was talking to us I was looking at the damn scale with the corner of my eye….

Oh, the ironies of life! Always fighting against the scale, trying to lose weight and now I was more than ever fighting against it hoping to see the weight go up…

scaleeditedWe finally finished reviewing all the information and we proceeded to weight the baby. To be honest, the initial conversation with the lactation consultant was barely a few minutes long but I was so impatient to see how much the baby has gained that it felt like years to me!

Undressed baby, put him in a clean diaper, put him over the scale, take out the diaper and….. He had not gained the necessary weight… My jaw dropped to the floor and so did my positive attitude. How was that even possible? I had been breastfeeding him like there was no tomorrow! My breasts were sore, my nipples were sore and my confidence was now sore too... Click To Tweet

I told the lactation consultant that I was worried for the baby well-being at this point and she agreed that it was time to supplement him. Moving forward we were told to top him up with formula and make sure that he would be on his way to gaining the weight back by the time that we had our next appointment. As you may know, as soon as you introduce the bottle to your baby you have a higher probability to have him refuse breastfeeding since feeding with the bottle is way easier for them than the breast so she provided us with some good tips to reduce this risk and make sure that the little one had to “work” with the bottle as hard as with the breast.

Lactation consultant provided us with tips so that the little one had to work with the bottle as… Click To Tweet

If you want to get more details about our panacea introducing the bottle to our little one, don’t miss out the next episode of “Diary of a non-breastfeeding mama”! See you next in the next post!

Did you have to go to lactation consultants too? Please share your experience and your thoughts about breastfeeding in the comments section below!

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