Breastfeeding FAIL.

Linnea turned three months old this week, and as of her weight check at the doctor she still only weighs a whopping 7 lbs. 12 oz. When people see her the first comment is usually,"Oh, look at her! She's a brand new one, isn't she?"

Nope. She's three months old.

When she was first born, at 6 lbs. even, and 5 lbs. 6 oz. when we left the hospital, she was pretty tiny to begin with. I was on a mission to exclusively breastfeed, simply because it was the best thing for her, and at first things seemed to be going pretty well. The doctor said she was "perfect" at her two-week checkup and said that we didn't need to come back until her two-month checkup. I continued breastfeeding and had no idea it wasn't working until we went in at two months, and she only weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz.!

I felt awful. A-W-F-U-L, awful.

Leading up to the arrival of our daughter, we had decided that we were going to keep her on a feeding and sleeping schedule- we had read the first of the Babywise series and it sounded like a good plan for us. We knew some families who followed the Babywise plan and it was working well for them, plus we agreed with the principles presented in the book, so we were going for it. But after Linnea arrived, and we fed her every three hours 24 hours a day for a while (which is pretty typical for every child at first), we noticed that she was pretty fussy, pretty often. My parents insisted that she was hungry, but I insisted on keeping her on a schedule. Turns out they were right. (When is mom ever not right? Someday Linnea's gonna learn that about me. Ha!) I wasn't producing enough milk for her (only about an ounce at a time)
but I had no idea because, needless to say, I was ignorant. It's been
such a learning process but it's been amazing.

So we started supplementing with formula and she became a much happier baby. Her skinny little legs are filling out and her knees aren't so knobby anymore. She's also pretty much outgrown her newborn clothes- finally. She's much more alert and content- and even though I never wanted to have to give her formula because it's the second-best thing for her and not the best, her health is much more important. While formula is much harder on our wallets, I'm not gonna lie- it's much easier to deal with bottle feeding in public than it is to nurse anywhere outside our home. 

On that note, I've pretty much transitioned completely from breastfeeding to formula. I still try to breastfeed her at least once or twice a day, but unfortunately it just isn't working anymore. As a mother, it's surprisingly difficult to have to let go of that ability to nourish your child the way God intended, but on the flip side it's also somewhat of a relief. This motherhood thing can be a crazy ride- no doubt this is only the beginning!

So anyway, here are a few pictures of Cody and Linnea last weekend.

Burps:

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Try and resist me:
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Look at my loooooong eyelashes like my Daddy's:
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Linnea loves Daddy! He's the best.
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26 thoughts on “Breastfeeding FAIL.

  1. Breastfeeding is such a hard job! I am having the opposite problem with Baby April, I have tons of milk but she is NOT interested! We’ve made it 6 months but I’m seriously considering starting to wean soon. Guilt seems to be part of mothering and either way its a tough call. No matter what if your baby is healthy, you’re doing it right!

  2. I’m so sorry this happened to you! But it’s not a breastfeeding FAIL – but a Babywise one.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics has actually issued at statement warning about the use of Babywise. It’s potentially very dangerous to babies and has been linked to FTT (failure to thrive) in many instances.
    See here: http://www.ezzo.info/Aney/aneyaap.htm
    I hope you can save your supply and glad your baby is okay.

  3. Yep it’s not breastfeeding fail at all. So angry at people who give out completely wrong advice and then it’s the poor mum who ends up feeling bad.
    I’m a trained breastfeeding supporter in the UK working for the NHS. Babywise’s breastfeeding “advice” goes completely against how it actually works.
    There are receptors in breasts, they are “switched on” by milk being removed from the breast. The more milk removed (so baby feeding) the more of them that are turned on. These help control your supply, they tell your breasts how much to make. Scheduling means not enough (and not frequently enough) milk is removed. Supply suffers.
    It’s not too late! Go find a qualified breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant to get you back on track.
    You are rather lucky, in the UK some babies have ended up in hospital because they were fed on schedule and dehydrated.
    Throw the book away and just get to know your unique new special person.

  4. Sounds more like a Babywise fail. If she’s hungry, feed her more often. If you’re not making enough milk, feed her more often. Babywise = baby neglect. I’m sorry yo0u cared more about schedules and your inconvenience than your baby.

  5. Aww, that’s harsh. This mama clearly cares about her baby, but she’s not the first to fall foul of the Ezzo’s bad advice. The books should be banned.

  6. People should actually read the Babywise book before they make judgements on it. It never says to feed ONLY on schedule and neglect your child! Give me a freakin break! I know Andrea well and know that she didn’t care more about schedules than Linnea. That’s ignorance speaking. Andrea, you’re doing an awesome job! Breast feeding is hard and doesn’t always work for everyone! Same with schedules and Babywise! You’re doing the best you can for you and Linnea, and that’s all that matters! I wish other women wouldn’t be so quick to judge or point out flaws of other moms. At the end if the day, we are all doing the best we can. And what works for my son might not work for your daughter! And it’s OK. Babywise worked great for me- I nursed Cruz till 7 months when I decided to stop. He was 8lbs when born and 12lbs at one month. It worked for me. It’s ok it didn’t for you! You’re doing great! Keep blogging and ignore useless comments from people who don’t know you and who think they’ve got it figured out. I can assure you, they don’t!! I love you! Can’t wait to hang next week! **getting off soap box now** 🙂

  7. Trace – You should think about getting a life and actually read the post before writing something stupid like that. Did she not say that she didn’t know she wasn’t making enough milk???
    And way to go, casting lofty judgements on someone you’ve never met before in your entire life….super classy.

  8. Scheduled feedings work for some mamas, but not for others. My issue with these books is they are a “one size fits all” system. Not all babies and mothers are the same, and some babies will need to feed more often than every 3-4 hours. Mine were 1-1.5 hourly feeders, there is no way I could have stretched them out!
    I’m glad the books worked for you Jessica, I know other people that swear by them too, but there’s a reason why the AAP speak against it, because it is potentially dangerous to infants. What works great for one might just end another baby up in hospital with dehydration 😦

  9. Jaydubbs, Maybe you should read the comment before you respond to it? Trace was placing the blame fully and squarely on the Babywise advice, NOT on Andrea. Trace explained that DUE TO THE INCORRECT ADVICE from Babywise, Andrea was not producing enough milk. Trace never blamed Andrea for this nor told her she should have noticed it — she merely explained what happened, to point out the problem with Babywise’s advice.

  10. From what I can see, Trace said “I’m sorry you cared more about schedules and your inconvenience than your baby.” Which looks to me like she’s blaming Andrea.
    Andrea, you’re a terrific mother, and you know that. You’ve got great friends, and great support. Do what’s best for you and the baby, even if it means doing something like feeding her formula (gasp!) instead of breastfeeding. My sister formula fed both of her kids and I’ve got a very healthy, very normal nephew and niece!
    I love you. And I miss you. Keep on truckin momma!

  11. The comment formats here are bit confusing.
    Criss – Jaydubbs actually meant his comments to be directed at “Babywise kills babies” and not Trace. The format just made it look like Trace had left the comment.
    Babywise kills babies- You’re an idiot; especially if you think insulting and judgmental comments will make any difference. Also, learn to proofread your comments before posting them. That gives you even less credibility (if that were even possible at this point).
    Andrea-You’re awesome and I see how you love our little girl every day. We’re figuring out what she needs from us and what we can do for her.
    To the rest. Thank you for your comments! This certainly got more heated today than expected.

  12. Maybe I’m wrong, but I *think* Jaydubbs actually meant to reply to the anonymous coward who had the nerve to come on my blog, where all I ever write about is how much I love my child, and tell me that I didn’t care about her enough to deal with the “inconvenience” of demand feeding vs. the Babywise schedule. Quite frankly, that judgmental idiot can go to hell. It’s one thing to disagree- I have no problem with that- but as soon as you start insulting me and deciding for me how much I love my child or what kind of mother I am based on my (in)experience as a new mom… that’s when you become the one with the problem, not me. Your e-mail address is you@badmom.com? Really? Are you sure it’s not me@everythingwrongwiththeworld.com?
    Now, with that out of the way, I had no idea the can of worms I would be opening- although Jessica did warn me about this way back when she started her journey with her son. I have nothing against Babywise, and nothing against people who choose not to do it because they don’t agree with its techniques, but like Jessica and Claire both said, what works for some families doesn’t work for others. Babywise worked great for Jessica’s family, and not so great for mine. And that’s OK. All I wanted to share here was my experience with breastfeeding (I literally wasn’t producing enough milk- I believe that if I DID produce enough milk that perhaps Babywise may have worked for us) and that’s it. I appreciate everyone’s (non-judgmental) opinions and advice and I welcome it- I like options, what can I say- but in the end every family will ultimately do what works best for their children. There is no “one-size-fits-all” feeding program, but there certainly shouldn’t be a need for moms to attack each other because of different choices- we should definitely be supporting each other more than we do.
    So. Since writing this post (a few days ago), I decided that I’m still going to try with breastfeeding- no matter how futile the effort. If I can turn things around, it’s worth a shot! And hey, if it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world either.

  13. Well said Andrea!! I’m super proud of you! You are doing awesome, no matter what you decide (formula or breast feeding). At the end of the day, that little girl knows how much you love her and she’s secure in that! I know this first hand- I see you guys all the time!! Love you! Here’s to warding off nonsense comments! lol

  14. Yes…my bad. I meant to respond to the comment from the “Babywise Kills Babies” numbnut.
    Trace, my apologies…I thought the comment name was BEFORE the comment.

  15. “I literally wasn’t producing enough milk- I believe that if I DID produce enough milk that perhaps Babywise may have worked for us”
    Andrea – it’s not as simple as “mothers that produce enough milk can make babywise work – mothers who don’t cannot.”
    In your case I am willing to bet that your not having enough milk was directly related to the scheduled feeding. One of Ezzo’s claims that bothers me a great deal is that he reckons demand feeding actually REDUCES milk supply. This flies in the face of all that scientists know about how breasts work and supply and demand. The more you put baby to the breast, the more you’ll produce. If you restrict feeds to every 3-4 hours or so, you’ll produce less.
    Some mothers have breasts that store less milk, and actual milk composition may vary from mother to mother. For this reason, it’s difficult to take a system that works for one mother/baby dyad and apply it directly to another. With demand feeding however it’s easier because the baby just tells you when they are hungry.
    My babies were frequent feeders – I had a doctor try to tell me this was because I wasn’t making enough milk. There was no way they would have waited 3 hours between feeds. they were yelling for the next one after only an hour! But they both gained weight very well. I’m obviously someone that needs to feed frequently, so who knows if I had been recommended Babywise, I might have had a similar outcome. Other friends’ babies while also feeding on demand had quite a bit of time in between “demanding”
    Aside from the Babywise I think in your case another issue was the advice you got on weighing, I do strongly feel with a tiny baby frequent weighings are important, once a week or fortnight or so. That way you can easily spot any problems before they get too bad. But none of this is your fault, or your body’s fault. your baby is okay, and that is what matters!
    I’m glad you are going to stick with the breastfeeding. Even if you are not able to regain a full supply, any breastmilk your baby gets is awesome.

  16. Kudos to you Andrea for breastfeeding as long as you did! Linnea has a great start on being protected from illness/allergies than she would be if she wasn’t breastfed at all. And absolutely, what matters is that she gets fed, whether it’s breast milk or formula. As a trained certified lactation counselor, I still needed all the support I could get when I made the decision to BF! And I really don’t think it’s easy (although loved the fact it was free and readily available), it takes a lot of time and energy to BF a baby! Feeling exhausted all the time was hard on me and my family, but somehow I survived it and just kept it up.
    Not that you need anymore advice, I’d like to only mention that if you ever have the desire to re-lactate and/or to exclusively BF, do not hesitate to ask my help, it’s doable! I totally respect your choice though no matter what. To build your supply you will want to increase the frequency of feedings. As long as Linnea has a good latch, and you bring her to the breast often 8-12 times/day and drain your breasts with each feeding, you are bound to increase your supply! Hormones will kick into gear. Some mother’s breast storage capacity is not as high as others, like in my case, I had to to feed Luana every 90 minutes to 2 hours during the day.
    Ultimately, it’s every woman’s right and choice to do what’s best for her baby. Breastfeeding OR formula feeding your baby OR both will all result in loving her. Feeding is just one aspect of motherhood, you are embarking on many more wonderful joys of motherhood. There is so much advice out there, all we can do is try following what makes most sense for us and our families. Always remember you are a great mother for trying what you feel is best for Linnea! Hope to see ya tomorrow!
    ~Anthea

  17. Good job for breastfeeding as long as you did. I breastfed both of my kids and I’m actually still breastfeeding my 1 year old. I had a low milk supply when Corrine was 3 months old and I increased it by making sure that I had enough water and calories as well as increasing the demand on my breasts. It was a very frustrating time but it worked. It may not work for you but that doesn’t make you a bad mom. I’m sure you’re doing a wonderful job! It would be nice to meet up with you and Anthea sometime! We had a playdate a couple of months ago.

  18. Andrea, thank you for sharing your story. Please believe these women who are telling you IT IS NOT YOUR FAIL. It’s not that you didn’t make enough milk, it’s that you got advice that didn’t work for you/your body/your baby.
    Thanks for posting this, and please post a follow-up; I’ll bet anything there are many other women out there who also are going through something like this, and reading your story, and the comments here (well, except for the anonymous [expletive deleted] “fake Trace”) will help them and their babies.
    Your daughter is beautiful! 🙂

  19. Wow. Okay, well, Andrea, I have two very different situations with Babywise. With Joaquin, I pumped and then fed him through a bottle for 8 months, via baby wise. He never took more than 3oz at a feeding, EVER. He’s just a small dude and at his at 2 months, I think he was *maybe* 10lbs. I don’t even remember, but he was small then, and he’s smaller now, but he’s just thin and that’s because WE are thin. I’m not hefty, and our genetics (both mine and Alex) do not dictate a huge baby. So even with feeding him every 2.5 – 3 hours via bottle, and I pumped every 2-3 hours for 8 months, he STILL only weighed 16lbs at a year. But, he still sleeps a strong 12 hours most nights.
    Now, let’s take Camille. I did Babywise with hwith her from DAY one. I EBF’ed her, always. She never did take a bottle. She took one for two days, but that was because I was out of town. Now with her, she is on the slender side, but 25-50% for weight, but 90th for height. Again, another tall skinny kid. That’s how I make ’em. But, she is perfectly healthy, my kids are wicked smart and then eat all their food now.
    Dude.
    It is not a babywise fail and it wasn’t a breastfeeding fail.
    What I do have to say is that Babywise says to adjust when necessary. So, it sounds like you have decided to keep on with the bf’ing in some respect and mix the feeds with formula. This is fantastic. That being said, you can just bf morning or night and formula feed the rest of the day.
    On another note, I do still bf Camille 2-3 times a day. I’m taking her until 2. So, to the person who started spouting the American Association of Pediatrics, they tout bf’ing until one, but I’m doing the WHO route and going until 2. Does that make me a better mom. No. I fed my son formula for months does that make me a worse mom, no. At the end of the day, I am my own mom.
    xo

  20. I’m happy to read that you are going to keep trying to BF. You sound like many of my friends and acquaintances that have had difficulties nursing. You are not a failure! Sometimes Breast feeding doesn’t always work and a Mom has to either supplement or switch to Bottle Feeds exclusively. I have BF all 3 of my kids and plan to with the one I am expecting, but know that it might not always work. All 3 were totally different! Good luck!!

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