Thursday, May 8, 2008

Good, Bad, Ugly

The good:
My daughter is adorable. She cracks me right up.

The bad:
No weight gain in the past two days.

The ugly:
I'm getting fed up with the SNS since it's impossible to manage Gwen's mouth, my nipple, and a finicky feeding tube which by the way doesn't always work even when you do EVERYTHING right. I'm still using it, but mostly for fingerfeeding after Gwen has a good nurse on both breasts.

I'm not waking Gwen up for night feeds anymore. She hates it, I hate it, and it takes nearly an hour to wake her up and an hour to settle her back down after a nursing session that usually isn't very effective anyway. So I'm done with that. Gwen is getting good at asking for food, so I'm trusting her to keep doing that. Of course if she starts losing weight again I may have to reconsider.

I am encouraged by the fact that a friend's kids took a full month to regain their birth weight. We will get there, and hopefully in a way that is not going to make any members of our little family crazy.


Anonymous said...

Oh, the SNS, you poor dear. It's such a nuisance to get used to - having to tape something to your nipple while a fussy baby is in your lap, then somehow get the whole assembly in her mouth right is a major pain, I know. I found that in the long run the darned thing was worth it, though.

Has your midwife referred you to a lactation consultant? I'm sure your midwife is super-knowledgeable but even so another professional opinion might bring some new ideas to the table. The hospital and/or your public health branch probably has a breastfeeding clinic or consultants on staff that you can talk to. Extra help is especially important to support you when you're using an SNS because the damned things are so frustrating.

It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers game the clinicians will play with your kid's growth. Weight gain has been an issue with Rowan too, and I stress out over it too much (as evidenced by the rented infant scale in my living room). One of your friends said she prefers to look at the baby rather than the numbers, and I agree - if your baby seems healthy and isn't showing any signs of dehydration (peeing/pooping well etc), you might have a feeding issue to address but don't panic - you don't need that stress right now!

Babies will do "catch up" growing, and that gets easier when they're a little stronger. Rowan started out slow once he was on oral feeds, then grew really fast for a while and caught up again. So if she takes a month to get back to her birth weight, she might just grow like crazy in her second, third and fourth months and make up for it. If she's getting demanding about feeding, that's a good sign - things are probably on the upswing. When they're content to go a long time without feeding, that's much more worrisome.

I saw another of your friends mentioning the baby's latch and whether she's getting enough of the hindmilk to gain well. Dr Jack Newman has some helpful instructions on this website for a technique called breast compression that can help Gwen get those last few high-calorie drops without spending so much of her valuable energy: Look for Handout #15 and the accompanying videos. I'm sure you've had good support from your midwife on using that darned SNS, but in case you want another reference check Handout #5 "Using A Lactation Aid" on the same page. Grr, looks like the video for that one is borked :-P

Warning! Dr Newman is pretty loudly opinionated. But he does know his shit, if you can stand the attitude :)

Anonymous said...

BTW - I also want to say, big props (as the kids say) to you for sticking it out through all this and continuing to breastfeed. I firmly believe that breastfeeding is probably an easy, natural thing to do under ideal circumstances... and getting Norwalk right when your milk is coming in is SO NOT ideal!!

You're doing exactly the things I admire in new mothers doing their best for their babies rather than stuffing a bottle in the kid's mouth at the first sign of an obstacle. Go Mommy! :-D

Anonymous said...

are you pumping at all?


Related Posts with Thumbnails