Thursday, 5 August 2010

Fed Up!

I’m so fed up with the health visitor. She really pushed my buttons today. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment for continuing to take LLC for weigh-ins in the first place....

LLC is now 12lb 6oz and falls between the 2 and 0.4 percentile lines on the UK weight charts. I’m still breastfeeding her but introduced one formula bottle/day a month ago.

(You may remember my dilemma in May about whether to combination feed LLC due to her slow weight gain. At the time I introduced one bottle for a week but then decided I was going to stick with exclusive breastfeeding. Fast forward to another weigh in at just over 5 months when the health visitor strongly advised me to introduce some formula as “LLC has always struggled with her weight.” I struggle with your detached and condescending manner and choice of words lady. But anyway, I reintroduced the one formula feed and all has been well)

Today I received a speech including gems like:
  • “If I was you I’d really be giving her more formula feeds”
  • “Her body may be fending off a urinary track infection, for which there are no signs, but it could be using up all her extra calories”
  • “She may be getting most of her nutrition from her one daily formula bottle”
  • “I’d suggest topping her up with a formula bottle after every breastfeed”
So I asked: LLC appears to be happy, healthy and thriving so is it not possible she is just small?

To which I was told that her weight really should be more than what it is.

She made me feel concerned for LLC’s wellbeing.  Should I be taking her in for a urine test to check for infetion?  She made me question if my breast milk is nutritionally sound. I think it’s ridiculous for her to suggest LLC’s main source of nutrition could be from her formula feed – surely what I have given her thus far counts for something? And does she really think I want to top up each breastfeed I do with formula? I might as well stop breastfeeding if I’m going to do this and save a lot of time, money and energy on preparing extra feeds I doubt LLC will take. She does not seem unsatisfied after her breastfeeds.

I’ve determined that while I’m mostly home with LLC, while I can give her the goodness of breastfeeding I’d like to continue. I am not someone who saw myself breastfeeding for an extended period of time; even now I really see a year as the longest I want to continue. Yet now I’m questioning if I’m doing right by LLC.

So I’d value your take. Is 12lb 6oz really unhealthily small for a 6 month old? Do you know anyone else who was this low on the weight charts for this length of time and then ended up thriving? I need some reassurance or to know if this weight does seem quite low from your experience.

For now I’m thinking of introducing a second formula bottle/day as some form of middle ground.  Plus, we've recently started weaning so I expect that to begin to impact on her weight, though perhaps not dramatically at first.  Geez, my head is all over the place about this. Sorry for the rant.
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