I was so excited to breastfeed my second child last April. I had my first eight years ago, and thought that perhaps back then I just had not tried hard enough. I also thought maybe the first time I did something wrong, and thought that this time would work out perfect. My first baby was sent to the NICU for jaundice on day three, and then was given an IV for dehydration, which was followed by formula. I did my research and was told that you should not supplement because if you did supplement you could lose your supply of breast milk.
I started to fret at the hospital when my new baby was struggling to latch. I became frustrated when I could not hand express anything other than the smallest beads of milk. However, I was told that number of diapers was fine and his weight loss was within the acceptable range. I was told to go home and keep bringing him to breast, and to not supplement. So that is what I did. My baby cried endlessly and his throat always sounded dry. His latch was very weak. The milk still had not come in and I never felt engorged. I thought something was wrong and my husband wanted to give him some formula, but I begged him to wait for my milk to come in just liked I was taught.
On day five of my baby’s life we took him to his first appointment. He weighed in with a 17% total weight loss, and ran a slight fever when they took his temperature. His doctor told us that we needed to rush him to the hospital because she feared he may have a bacterial infection and that he could only have hours to live. The doctor also told us to immediately start supplementing. We gave him formula in the office and rushed him to the children’s hospital. While we were in the emergency room his temperature dropped to a normal temperature. I felt relieved. We stayed there for a while and they came to check on him a little later. They found that his temperature had dropped below a regular reading and that he was developing symptoms of hypothermia. They told us this was serious and he needed to go through testing to run cultures. I had never been so scared in my life. Continue reading