Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boosting my supply...again

We went to Carson's four month doctor appointment this week. I was very anxious to get his stats.  There's something exciting about learning how big and tall your child is and where they fall on the growth chart!

I knew Carson was a tiny guy, but can see him growing out of his clothes. I see him meeting milestones like rolling over, laughing, consolidating his sleep, etc. I was aware that he is much smaller than other babies his age, but really had no reason to be worried. 

Until now.

Carson IS growing...he has grown 3 inches (25 1/4 inches = 37%) in the past two months and his head continues to grow at an average rate too.  But his weight is low, like not-even-on-the-growth-chart low. At four months and 2 weeks old, Carson weighs under 12 pounds, 11 lbs 14 oz to be exact. Slim boy!

Having a tiny baby is not new to me. At four months old, Leila was 10 lbs 15 oz, although unlike Carson, actually made it on the growth chart. Barely. I was working full time at this point in Leila's life and not able to pump enough breast milk for her while I was at work. She started on formula, in addition to my milk, at the four month mark. By seven months our breastfeeding days were over and she had formula until she was one. She gained weight rapidly after being on formula. By ten months she weighed 19 lbs and was in the 50th percentile on the weight growth chart. Two years later...she only weighs 26 lbs. Slim girl!

Jeff and I make tiny children. That is a fact. Carson is showing the same growing patterns as Leila did this early in life. So on one hand, logic tells me not to worry, he will gain weight on his own time. On the other hand, I cannot help but wonder if there is another issue.

Can being TOO happy be an issue?
The nurse practitioner Carson saw on Monday (who also happens to be a certified lactation consultant) recommended that I supplement with formula or find a breast milk donor. Ummm, no and no. I made it clear that I wanted to continue exclusively breastfeeding Carson for as long as possible. She was on board, shared the story of her own slim son, and made some recommendations on how I could boost my milk supply.

So that's where we are today, working on boosting my supply. I am taking fenugreek and blessed thistle to increase my milk. I am feeling confident this will work after our earlier experience with no weight gain (from five days old until two weeks old) was successful. In addition, I am pumping between most feedings and storing it for a later time. (For some reason she doesn't want me to feed it to him.) I was also directed to eat oatmeal two times a day. I have taken it upon myself to make Betsylife's No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites and Milkin' Mamas Lactation Cookies. Both are delicious and have milk boosting ingredients.

I made a few changes to the cookie recipe. Comment if you want to know more!
We have a follow-up weight check on Monday, August 12th. Until then I am doing my best to boost my supply. I am not naive to the fact that I may have to supplement, but at this point I am taking it one recommendation at a time.

Any recommendations for boosting my milk supply?
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