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1194973 tn?1385507504

Need help! I think I have to wean.

So I went back to the doctor today, and my weight is down to 94.6 pounds after eating. My doctor didn't say anything about it, but medically it's looking like I will have to for my own health. No matter what I do or how hard I try I can't put on and hold weight, and I'm assuming I'm dropping so much because breastfeeding is using more calories than my body is getting. For people who don't know I have Gastritis, Lactose Intolerance, GERD and he suspects IBS.  It doesn't take much to fill me up now, and I have to watch closely what I eat or I'm extremely ill. I do not want to wean at all, but I'm getting very concerned about this. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm desperate for help, and don't know what to do. I'll be devastated if I have to stop now, not to mention her bottle and formula rejection.
24 Responses
1158221 tn?1327976203
I am sorry to hear about your dilemma.  I know you want to breastfeed because it is so important to your baby, but I firmly believe it is more important for you to be a healthy Mommy!  A lot of children drink formula as infants.  I was one of them and my son drinks two formula bottles a day.  I include expressed breastmilk in the bottles with the mixed formula and he gulps them right down.  LC said as long as he is taking the whole bottle this is perfectly fine since he is getting all the BM I include.  

SO this is my thought.  Why don't you start supplementing a few of your feedings everyday.  If you have some expressed milk saved then start to use some in a bottle just to get your little one used to a bottle.  I used the First Years Breastflow bottles.  They have a large nipple and LO has to suck the same way he does on the breast to get the milk out.  Once he is used to the bottle then incorporate a few formula/breastmilk bottles each day.  Currently I nurse 4 times a day and give 2 bottles.  Maybe you could try that.  That way you wouldn't have to give it up completely, but you wouldn't be doing it as much which would help with the amount of calories you could hold on to.

If you have to quit all together then so be it.  Your little one will be just fine and will grow up to be strong just the same.  One thing my mom always told me....If Mommy is happy and healthy, baby will be happy and healthy.  Just be sure you are not upset when you feed the bottles, babies can sense that.  Be supportive and very optimistic with your LO about the change.

I wish you the best in whatever decision you make.  
689528 tn?1364139441
Wow Clysta, that is a low weight, I'm assuming you're average height? What was your weight before?
I've heard you say before that she refuses the bottle and I'm wondering if you've tried having someone else give her the bottle and you leave for the time being? I guess a lot of babies have a hard time with taking it if mom is still even in the house. Or tried different types of bottles with her? My son doesn't do well with breastmilk in the bottle but fine with formula...but maybe it's the other way around for your girlie. I guess it would take some time and I agree with need_answers, that it's more important for mommy to be healthy so don't feel so let down if you have to completely wean.
As for your weight, have you had your thyroid checked out? That's terrible that you have all these issues and are unable to eat just anything. Are you able to take in nutritional supplement drinks like boost or ensure? Those are higher in calories and I would think would help a bit. I hope you get this figured out soon.
1194973 tn?1385507504
My height is 5'2" and pre-pregnancy I was 147. When I delivered I was 145 and after delivery I was 130 pounds. My sister kept Kylie for a few hours and she refused any bottles, no matter what was in it. She doesn't take it from anyone no matter who it is. She's been this way since she was 3 months old. I've had blood work done for everything and my thyroid he said was fine. I'm going to get the blood work results and see what all they say. I've not tried those drink things, but we're going to get some and see if they help. They say you're supposed to get 2500 calories a day when BFing, and I figure I should be getting like 3-4000 to get up to a proper weight.
127529 tn?1331844380
Oh I am sorry to hear this, it must be so tough. I hope you find a way to work this out, your health is so important, Kylie needs a healthy mommy and will be just fine on formula, you have given her a great start with all the breast milk she has recieved. It sounds like it is going to be tough to get her on the bottle but keep trying, different times, different bottles etc. I found it easier to give my baby a bottle if he was really sleepy. I would snuggle him in close as if I was going to nurse and then slip the bottle in. Best wishes.
171768 tn?1324233699
have you tried a sippy cup? my little ones couldn't do it, but i have heard many ppl report that when their older babies refused bottles, they were able to get ebm or formula into them via sippy.

If I were you, I would ask for a referral to a dietitian or a gastro (or both). Especially if you want to try to continue to BF. Of course, your health comes first and you have definitely given her a great start. Formula at this point would not be detrimental, because she is starting solids. Exclusive breastmilk is most beneficial before 6 months because of the virgin/immature gut. (not saying it's not beneficial beyond 6 months, just that formula at this point will not take away from the immuno benefits that they get in the beginning)  But I know how strongly you feel about breastfeeding, and how much you love that bond. A dietitian may be able to help you find ways to get those healthy calories in :)
1169162 tn?1331235953
I know how miserable you have been with your GI issues - I feel so badly for you.  I agree with everyone else that you have to put your health first and that Kylie would be just fine if you do have to wean now, specially since you made it to 7 months and she is now starting solids.  However, I am not so sure that weaning is necessarily that answer to putting on more weight.  I know that you have been to the doctor about this - is it your general dr or a gastroenterologist?  Most GI docs have nutritionists - I would met with your dr. or the dr.'s nutritionist to get more information about high calorie foods that you can eat. I would just hate for you to go to the trouble of weaning and then still not gain weight.  

I would do a couple of things now:  

1) start pumping to get a supply going of small store of expressed milk - in case Kylie takes breast milk better than formula and this milk can help her during a transition to formula (you may also want to consider goat's milk - more similar to breastmilk)

2) begin introducing solids more regularly.  Finn loves solids and his consumption of breast milk has dropped a bit now that he is chowing down on solids. Many babies need less bm/formula once they begin solids, and this will help you whether you wean or not.

I know how hard it is when your little one refuses the bottle - trust me.  Finn absolutely refused a bottle at first and I had to return to work - it was heartbreaking.  If you do wean, I can share my experiences.  He is now taking bottles like a pro.  I like the tired's suggestion of trying a sippy cup.

Good luck!  
1194973 tn?1385507504
Well I've been seeing a GI specialist for around 2 months now. He's never made any mention of my weight loss and never said to stop. I just worry I may have to because of how low it is. She takes breast milk decently from her sippy cup. I think I'll definitely look into seeing a dietician though. (I never even thought of talking to one!)

Thank you as well for the advice Nola! I would be crushed if I weaned her and still didn't put weight on as well. Things just seem to be changing too fast and I didn't expect to be put in this situation for awhile longer. I really wanted to make it to at least a year and a half or longer and I've not had hardly any BFing issues at all. (Good latch, perfect supply, etc) I refuse to give up yet though. Not until it's my only option left.
231441 tn?1333896366
with your GI issues and weight loss you need to be seeing a dietician on how you can boost your calorie intake dramatically.

You need a high fat, protein, and carbohydrate diet.  You should be eating very energy dense foods.  And snacking on these constantly.  See if you can get help on your diet.  Can you also drink food drinks (sustagen / ensure/ etc) to add calories, instead of water.  This would be a better solution than weaning from the sounds of your situation.

How many calories do you eat each day?
1194973 tn?1385507504
Well I just started keeping track today, and today I took in around 1700-2000. I found a calculator online and after imputing all my info it, it showed that I'm burning around 2138 calories per day while lactating. If I weren't, I would burn around 1738 a day. (Rough estimate, but it's nice to have an idea) By my idea, I should be eating double what I ate today to help gain proper weight. We're also going Friday to look at different drinks and such (like Ensure, etc) when we go to the store. The problem is just that I never actually feel hungry so I have to force myself to eat.
231441 tn?1333896366

Another thought.  Have you been tested for celiac.  Many people with celiac have the symptoms you describe.  If you have malabsorption, this will also make it hard for you to benefit from the foods you eat and to gain.  Many people with celiac also have lactose intollerance.

If you can be tested for celiac, please get tested.  if not, you might want to trial a strict gluten free diet (this would need to be adopted for at least 1 month to see if it could help or not) and see if it can help.

You need to estimate the number of calories you are eating / day and make sure you are getting at least 3,000 (as a starting point).  To eat 3,000 calories a day you need to eat high fat foods as these are very energy dense.  Natural high fat foods like avocado, cheese,  butter (may still be ok even with lactose intollerance), eggs, cream, are all excellent.  Use natural oils as far as possible.  Cold pressed. Fruit and vegetable juices (freshly squeezed if at all possible), dried fruits, nuts are all energy dense.
1194973 tn?1385507504
I have indeed been tested for Celiac. That was the first thing he thought. The only things we found are what I've been diagnosed with.
231441 tn?1333896366

it's possible to get a False negative for celiac.  Please consider trialling a gluten free diet for a month or so to see if it helps.
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