Lately we've had quite a struggle with Charlie's doctors with regards to her diet. I've always been perfectly confident of my decision to breastfeed Adrian, and now pump for Charlie. But after the constant negativity from Children's, I've been feeling unsure of myself.
This is a little bit of what I've heard from the doctors and nurses at Children's:
"We don't need a parent's consent to give formula because it's not that big of a deal."
"Your milk probably isn't any good because your older son is nursing and taking all the nutrients from it."
"Breastmilk, much moreso than formula, is lacking in many important vitamins and nutrients."
"Breastmilk starts losing nutrition at 6 months, which is why your daughter needs pureed baby food through her tube."
"Breastfed babies are almost always anemic, which is why they need supplemental iron."
"Breastfed babies have to drink more than formula fed babies because the milk doesn't have as many calories."
Now, I know NONE of this is true. So why am I so unsure of myself? I think it's just because I'm in unfamiliar territory. Tube-feeding is new to me and I worry more about Charlie than I did about Adrian. But I did a lot of research and talked to tons of people and I've decided that the doctors at Children's are a bunch of quacks. Not only because of the horrible advice I've gotten about breastmilk (which is bad enough though) but because I just realized about 1 1/2 weeks ago that they've mismanaged Charlie's feeds!
See, Charlie started out a big baby. She's the record-setter in our big-baby-birthin'-family so far at 10 lbs, 9 oz. But no one can expect her to stay at the top of the charts. Charlie isn't going to be a huge child. You can see that by how she's growing in length. She's fallen to about the 25%, which is no surprise since I'm only 5' 1 1/2" myself. But they've insisted on increasing her feeds every week to keep her weight at the top of the charts, even though her height is falling. So what does this mean for Charlie? Before we even realized what was going on, she got so fat she can hardly move. Yup, her PT said that's why she's struggling to do the things she was previously able to, like holding up her head and pushing up on her forearms.
Now, normally big babies aren't a problem. Adrian was gigantic. But he was also a very, very active baby, and very advanced developmentally. Charlie can't work her muscles like other babies can though, so all that milk is literally just going to her fat stores. She can't burn it off.
And they want to add pureed baby food on top of all that milk, while still increasing her feeds by 1 ml/hour per week. She'd probably end up being 40 lbs by a year!
I've taken it upon myself to manage Charlie's feeds alone, with the information I have at hand. I just don't feel like I can trust anyone else to do it now. I realized I can't possibly screw it up as bad as they have.
So here's the new plan:
Charlie gets only breastmilk and I will give her only enough milk to help her grow at an appropriate rate. I will weigh her myself every other week or so to determine if she needs more or less milk.
Wow, that's just rocket science right there.