About a week into my dairy free adventure I was repeatedly told I was being crazy and she doesn’t have dairy allergy, backed up by research saying the chances of her having a dairy allergy and being exclusively breastfed is about 2%. Agreed, probably not a dairy allergy but I just have this gut feeling that something isn’t right with her tummy.
So, we went to the Pediatrician who referred us to a Lactation Consultant and also an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat Specialist). He agreed that something is off. She isn’t gaining as much weight as he’d like, especially for how long/often she nurses that’s not right. He had me stay after our appointment and nurse her so they could weigh her again. She took in 2 ounces in 20 minutes. He said he’d have much preferred 3 ounces and again reiterated seeing a LC and ENT.
I went home and made appointments. We saw the Lactation Consultant on Friday and it went extremely well. Her latch looks pretty good – it could be wider, but it’s not awful. She said Brooke has a very high palette which makes efficiently sucking much harder. Additionally, she said that they cannot diagnose; however, she commented that she was glad I was seeing the ENT as she thought Brooke had a thicker Frenulum (possible lip tie?) and possible silent reflux given how upset she gets after feeding.
I was really glad she got to see Brooke tighten up and lose her shit after nursing for 40 minutes (20 min on each breast). I’ve been thinking that maybe I’m not producing enough milk so every time I pull her from my breast she’s still hungry.
The LC weighed her during and after each breast. Some interesting things:
- Half way (10 minutes) through my right breast we pulled her and weighed her. She had 1.2 ounces. We put her back on, latched her again, made sure she was sucking and swallowing and then 10 minutes later reweighed her. She didn’t eat anything else. She apparently latched and sat there swallowing spit for 10 minutes.
- On the left breast she took a total of 2.2 ounces. A full ounce more! Which is a lot in the breastfeeding world.
- This means that I’m not producing nearly as much milk on the right side as I am on the left.
- For a bit I was pumping on one side and feeding on the other – which means that she might have been hungry the times she was feeding on only the right side.
- From day 1 she hasn’t particularly been pleased with my under producing right breast and we’ve deemed it the Vinegar Nipple because she always seemed annoyed with that breast, as though I’d dipped my nipple in vinegar. I had no idea it was actually founded in anything.
We came up with a game plan. I’m nursing on demand and since she does have a high palette, I’m helping her get a deeper latch so she’s more efficient with her sucking. I’m double pumping 2-3 times a day to help keep my supply up and hopefully get my right breast to start producing more. This morning was actually the most I’ve pumped in a single session (2.5 ounces in total – 1.5 on my L and 1 on my R).
So, with silent reflux, it’s reflux without all of the spitting up. Oddly, in the last 72 hours she’s started spitting up a lot after every feeding. Reflux never crossed my mind because she hadn’t been spitting up until recently. Reflux does seem to make a lot of sense given her level of GI Distress, fussiness, pain/frustrstion while nursing, and inability to get comfortable. Hell, I spent last night between the hours of 1am and 5am in an upright position so she could get comfortable enough to sleep.
We see the ENT this coming Thursday and will hopefully get some more answers. The LC doesn’t see any need to supplement with formula or even consider giving up on my breastfeeding journey, so that was a relief to hear. She also recommended I start going to a breast feeding support group she runs on Friday mornings.
Emotionally – this aspect has been extremely challenging for me. I’ve felt like I didn’t get the birth I wanted, but was getting the breastfeeding journey I wanted. Taking such a dramatic turn in the last couple of weeks has really taken its toll on me. I’m worried about Brooke’s weight gain, her possibly having reflux or a lip tie, and about the possibility of not being able to nurse her for a year if I can’t get my supply up. I know, I know, fed is best and that’s all that matters, it’s just disheartening when for 5 weeks it had been going so well.
I just want my sweet girl to be as happy as this all the time