Thursday

boob job

If the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization all agree that breastfeeding is optimal, why does it seem that doctors are always trying to push f*rmula? I received f*rmula samples, coupons, and gifts from my doctor, the hospital, and from the f*rmula companies in the mail. I gave birth at a birthing center in a hospital with a midwife and was clear about my desire to breastfeed, but I still left the hospital with a goodie bag from a f*rmula company instead of information from a lactation consultant, as they no longer had one on staff.

When Dylan was two days old, the nurse insisted she was hungry and the pediatrician instructed us to supplement with f*rmula until my milk came in (the next day.) I knew that newborn stomachs are tiny and that small amounts of colostrum are all they need in their first days of life, but nonetheless I left the pediatrician's office feeling awful, like I was starving my brand new baby.

We took Dylan to see a GI specialist today. She isn't gaining weight, and the doctor asked if I thought I was producing enough milk. Yes, I think I am producing enough milk. I feed her every three hours, and we're fairly certain they she's not gaining weight because she has been vomiting for the past two months. The doctor prescribed medication for reflux, ordered another upper GI series, and said to hold off on solids. Jim asked if we should give her anything like Pediasure to offer more calories, and she said, no, that's for older kids, but that it might be a good idea to supplement nursing with f*rmula.

Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that supplementing f*rmula for a child who nurses on demand is a good way to decrease the demand for milk and in turn decrease the supply. In that scenario, I'm fairly certain my milk supply would diminish. What the heck, doc?

I still get f*rmula coupons in the mail, even though the companies know I am am breastfeeding; (you fill out cards.) They spend a lot of money and effort trying to entice breastfeeding moms to give up nursing, and many do, especially during the first few weeks when breastfeeding can be difficult. Sadly, once a mom decides to switch to f*rmula, the freebies and coupons dry up faster than her milk supply, and she must then foot the bill for pricey f*rmula while new coupons are sent to breastfeeding moms instead. It's a shame. Obviously, f*rmula companies are looking to recruit customers and increase profits, but I wish doctors would stand by their recommendations and really support breastfeeding instead of joining the chorus of voices pressuring women to doubt themselves, their bodies, and their instincts.

6 comments:

Luke and Trisha said...

I too was pressured into supplementing with formula in the hospital and then a few days after (which Sam refused anyway). I am not sure why though, my colostrum was more than enough for his tiny, tiny belly for those few days until my milk came in...but I was a new mom who wasn't about to argue with the hospital pediatrician! I would think that introducing formula to Dylan now would only make her stomach problems worse because her little belly is so used to breastmilk! What did you decide to do?

suzannah said...

thanks so much for sharing your experiences, too.

dylan has willingly taken formula occasionally when jim has had to put her to bed and we didn't have any expressed milk, and i wouldn't want to imply judgment for women who choose to formula feed their babies, but i just don't like feeling pressure from doctors. you are right, they do have a lot of authority, and we aren't encouraged to second guess their expertise!

dylan continues to nurse well and happily, so we do not intend to supplement with formula. thanks for asking about her:)

annie said...

hear, hear!

the pressure from formula companies and pediatricians continue to amaze me. when our daughter when in for her four month check-up she was in the 95th percentile for height and weight...and the doctor said we needed to supplement! when our daughter was experiencing serious constipation issues, the solution our doctor came up with was to mix formula with apple juice. and i love the coupons and freebies i get in the mail: "a nursing mom's friend" or "we know you want to give your baby the very best, which is why we fortified our formula with vitamins found only in the breastmilk you so lovingly give her but now you don't need to because we were so kind as to send you a free sample of our new chemically-produced cocktail that only simulates the best food your baby could ever need." they say it more succinctly.

i'm glad dylan is eating well and happily! i pray her weight climbs soon! :)

Baby Tunnel Exodus said...

Remember God gave your babies to YOU, not their Doctors. You know what's best for them; stick to your guns.

We had a Very similar situation with our daughter - Turned out she was really allergic to cow's milk. Once I removed Every Trace of it from my diet, she THRIVED. It was not easy, dairy (milk, whey, butter, etc.) is in a Lot of foods, but it can be done. We found out when she was 2 months old (constant throwing up!) and I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months old.

Now I'm a nursing fan, but did I ever say, I want to nurse after she can walk? Um, NO. But her allergies were so fierce, breastfeeding was exactly what she needed and the only thing that didn't make her sick.

We had her allergy tested and the tests were long, painful, and "inconclusive." (Are you kidding me?!) Her pediatrician recommended I keep altering MY diet until we found what was harming her.

Good Luck & Blessings, Whitney

Jon Daley said...

@annie: very funny! If only the formula manufacturers were that honest.

suzannah said...

thanks to everyone for your comments and encouragement! it's good to hear other voices.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...