Our Hospital Stay

Zack and I had a stay in hospital last week. It’s only now, almost a week later that I can talk/write about it without crying.

I took him for his 12 week immunisations on the Tuesday and went to the baby clinic while I was there to get him weighed. He’s been gaining weight slowly. I know that. Jake was the same. I just assumed he’d catch up in his own time. At 8 weeks, he was 9lb exactly. I expected him to be at least 10lbs at 12 weeks, especially considering how often he feeds.

He was 9lb 6oz. He’s dropped two lines on the centile chart (and below the 0.4th), so we had to see the GP. As soon as they said he had only put on 6oz, I knew the discussion of formula would be on the agenda. It’s not that I’m against formula. It’s that I wanted to breastfeed. I had no concerns previous to him being weighed. He’s smiley, he is alert, he sleeps through the night. There was nothing to make me worry.

The doctor sent us up to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We ended up in A&E as that’s where the RMO’s were (Registered Medical Officer). We were taken to cubicle and Zack was asleep in his pushchair, so the RMO was talking to me, asking me questions about Zack, about me, about Jake, about my pregnancy. Then he woke up and needed a feed, so she left me to it for half an hour or so. Then a different doctor came round to see us and examined him. Said that she didn’t think there was anything wrong with his tummy or anything and that we should top him up with formula. I said that I didn’t really want to and that I wanted to fix breastfeeding first. So she admitted us and arranged to Zack to have a blood test, in which I cried more than he did and was reduced to a snotty mess. So much so that even the nurse took pity on me and wiped my nose as I had no hands free.

I’m a bit angry, because I feel like if I’d agreed to the formula, she would have just sent us home, but because I refused, we had to endure a horrible 24 hours in hospital. He looked so small in the huge cot in his room, and I had the delight of sleeping on a faux leather recliner for the night.

The doctors came round in the morning and again, had a poke and a prod. Then a dietician came in and spoke to me.

I have had to compromise. We have agreed that he has two 3oz feeds a day of a high calorie formula that promotes catch up growth, and that I breastfeed as well. I have been prescribed Domperidone to try and increase my milk supply. Zack has to be weighed every week and I am to call the dietician with his weights so we can plan the next course of action, which will hopefully at some point be to drop the formula altogether and go back to exclusive breastfeeding.

It’s taken me a long time to be OK with this. Not because I don’t want him to gain weight, not because I don’t want him to have formula, but because I feel like I’ve failed him.

One of the most natural things in the world is to breastfeed your baby, to nurture them, and I couldn’t do it alone. Whether it’s because of everything my body has been through over the last two and a half years, I don’t know, but I wanted to be able to do this so much and the fact that I couldn’t upsets me more than I can put into words.

I know he’s put weight on. I can see his cheeks are chubbier, and he feels heavier. I’ll know for sure tomorrow when I take him to be weighed. I hope it’s positive. I certainly don’t want another night in hospital with him any time soon.


10 thoughts on “Our Hospital Stay

  1. Oh lovely.

    Why not get in touch with your local breastfeeding counsellor? NCT should have some near you and they will support you whatever way you want to go. You can ring 0300 330 0771 and they will, if necessary, put you in touch with a local one who can possibly come and see you at home.

    Big hugs.

    • Thanks Kate. My friend has given me a number for one and I’ve been in touch with her. I’m going to a breastfeeding support group on Friday morning x

  2. you haven’t failed him! He is still getting the best milk that he can get, just with a bit of a top up to make sure he thrives a bit more. Definitely get down your local breastfeeding support group, I am sure there will be others with similar stories

  3. I felt exactly the same when I breastfed my daughter. She lost weight and was not thriving, little did I know she had a cows milk intolerance and I was having a high dairy diet so it was passing down to her. You have certainly not failed him. Far from it!

  4. I think the thing you should focus on is that you, Zack’s mother, wasn’t worried until he was weighed. Chances are he’s days away from a feeding frenzy and a growth spurt but health visitors and doctors still use the charts for formula fed babies on breastfed babies! In no way have you failed Zack and I’m sure you’ll be back to exclusively breastfeeding in no time and you’ll be able to put this all down to experience. Hugs xxx Keep us updated!

  5. Im so sorry to hear this happened. I feel that the doctors just push us off when we say we want to do it on our own. Always do what feels more comfortable to you, so as soon as he starts to catch up just take him off the formula. 😦 I hate feeling like we have failed. I had to stop feeding at 5 months because he just would latch on anymore (he wanted food right away and I wasn’t letting down in time) and I felt awful but, soon realized that its whats best for him. Xx

  6. Pingback: Tommee Tippee – Closer to Nature Bottle Review | Life, Love and Lollipops

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