Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Weighty Matters

Samara was 7 pounds, 10 ounces at her one month pediatrician appointment yesterday. For those keeping track, she gained 8 ounces since the last one 10 days ago. She was supposed to have gained one ounce a day for a total of 10 ounces. So she is still behind.

It was a pretty depressing appintment. We are not yet at the point where I need to supplement with formula. But we need to take steps to increase my milk production. To that end, I am now taking fenugreek twice a day and drinking specially formulated tea. I am also pumping after she eats each time and then feeding her the pumped bottles as one additional feeding. I am determined to keep her exclusively breastfed, but it is so frustrating that she is not thriving. As I sat in the doctor's office, making excuses--"I was also a scrawny kid"; "Maybe she just has a fast metabolism"; "I think she might just poop all her food out"--I had my first heavy dose of the mother guilt. And ouch. It was pretty bad.

On the walk home, I talked to R and we both got a little angry. She is only 2 ounces behind and I think she really DOES have a fast metabolism. Aside from her slow weight gain, she is a totally healthy, perfect little thing. I don't understand why she has to fit within these rigid standads of weight gain. I would swear she poops more than other children since I am changing her at least 15 times a day. Maybe she will never be a chubby baby. Neither R nor I were partricularly chubby either. But the dr. said those kinds of genetic factors do not come into play until the child is at least 15 months.. so I am left feeling inadequate like I cannot feed my child the amount she needs, like I am failing her.

For now I am following the doctor's orders, feeding and pumping until my nipples are raw. I just hope it works. I am not really excited about going back to the doctor's office to be shamed again.


Kristi said...

I think it's unfair that your doctor is seemingly overly concerned with her weight. Isabella is on the small side for weight (15th percentile at 4 months, and now the 25th percentile at 6 months) and my doctor continually tells me "she's perfect and petite." My doc also tells me that it's not so much about how much she gains, but that she's consistently gaining. So, don't worry too much about it, which I know is easier said than done.

Chantel - mother of 2 said...

Always remember you are her mother and are with her all day long. Go with your instincts and DO NOT let that DR make you feel inadequate. My sister just had her little one and is having the same problems with breast feeding. I am appalled at how un supportive they are to her. I am inspired by you. I have already sent my sister your blog to read everyday.

halloweenlover said...

I agree, and frankly I think it is ridiculous that the doctor says that you shouldn't look at genetics. Gabe has tracked my growth to within an ounce at every visit.

Don't let the doc make you feel inadequate. You are doing a great job!