In the summer of 2021, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby with literally no complications. At our second pediatric appointment, a doctor other than our own suggested that we use formula, made a note on our record about it and we never actually saw this doctor again. However, her note sent us down a rabbit hole of having to defend breastfeeding tooth and nail for several months until we left that doctor’s office completely.
I had done plenty of research and joined numerous motherhood resource organizations in preparation for the task of birth and breastfeeding. So, when this non-specialized family medicine doctor first told me that my child’s growth curve wasn’t progressing as she’d like, I already knew exactly what she meant. My breastfed baby wasn’t gaining weight as quickly as the formula fed statistics say is “normal”. Because of how easily and efficiently breast milk is digested, my baby had been pooping after every single feeding and was growing in the 90th percentile lengthwise. According to every specialist we met, that’s great. But, that also means that she’s not plumping up like a child who maybe only poops once per day and isn’t spending so much energy growing. Despite my efforts to have this doctor’s office check a growth curve for breastfed babies or consider her functions, growth, and alertness- they focused on my noncompliance. The supervising doctor persistently tried to force formula on us to the point of actually calling CPS.
Fortunately, the relationships I had built with organizations like BMBFA, Sister Friends Detroit, Great Divine Center, WIC, and St John Breastfeeding Clinic gave me access to multiple IBCLCs (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants) who helped me gather data about my child’s nursing habits and the exact amount of milk she was getting. Apparently she had been nursing wonderfully all along just as I thought and was getting more than the average amount of milk.
Once we found an actual pediatrician’s office, we found that my child was growing perfectly, was developmentally ahead of her peers, and had absolutely gotten the best results from breast milk. Summer 2023, she just turned two years old and we’re still going strong. She’s soon to outgrow her size 3T clothes and she has memorized her numbers, colors, letters, and letter sounds. Soon we might need to do some research on weaning. LOL