Thursday, September 26, 2013


I always knew I wanted to breastfeed.  It's best for baby.  It's healthy for mom.  It's free.  There are a million reasons.

Kyle was a total trooper.  He took the classes with me, which were 3 hours long and there were 2 of them.  He totally got it and was on board with breastfeeding.  I'm so glad now that he went to the classes with me.  I felt, at the time, that I might actually be torturing him but it turns out he learned a lot too and when it came down to the real thing, he was able to support me through the hard times because he knew the benefits.

So here's the story:

My baby girl was born on Sunday.   She was 7lbs. 9oz.  I breastfed to the best of my abilities, with help from the nurses for the first day.  (Some nurses were more helpful than others.)  I knew that she was supposed to lose weight in those first days.  Up to 10% of her birth weight.  I knew that I only had colostrum and my transitional and then mature milk would not come in until about day 4.  I knew that I had all of the things my baby needed to thrive.

On day 2, Monday, the pediatrician on call came in and all of the nurses raved about this pediatric group.  Well I wasn't impressed and neither was Kyle.  He was the not warm or friendly and basically said "I want to watch your baby until she is 48 hours old, keep breastfeeding."

The next day, Tuesday, was the day we got discharged.  He came back and took the baby to the nursery to weigh her.  I was told prior, that my baby wouldn't ever need to leave me unless it was an emergency but oh well, Kyle went with her.  He barely spoke to Kyle and said he would come to our room to talk to us.

He came to our room and said she was down 7% of her birth weight and he wanted us to come in for an appointment the next day at their office.
Ok, fine, still not worried.

The next day, day 3 (the day your baby will be at lowest weight and the day before my milk showed up), we show up at their office and have a different doctor.  She weighed my baby, said ok well she's too far underweight at 11% and you need to supplement.  Either pump or use formula.  She handed me bottles of formula and a syringe to feed her with.  She said if you don't want nipple confusion, you can use the syringe or just use a bottle.  She shoved the syringe in Blake's mouth and squirted it and she just choked and spit it all out.  Then she handed me a card and said make an appointment with a lactation consultant for tomorrow.

Well I cried the whole way out of the office and the whole way home.

We got home and I tried desperately to feed my baby, breastfeeding and with the syringe.  It wasn't working and by that evening we were scared and frustrated and ended up giving her a bottle of the formula.  I cried the whole time.  I felt like I had been depriving my baby of the food she needed and like I was failing at breastfeeding.  I was also so hormonal and emotional.

First thing in the morning, I went to see Susan Orr, Lactation Consultant.  It was a breastfeeding clinic and Kyle dropped me off, sobbing and nose running all over the place.

The first thing she asked me was what had happened at the doctor and why I was there.  I felt better within minutes when she assured me that everything happening to us was normal and that the reaction from the doctor was a huge overreaction.  It turns out that as good as doctors are, they are NOT experts on breastfeeding.  By the time the 2 hour clinic was over, my baby was fed and I was equipped with lots of knowledge, a packet full of useful information, an email address & phone number that I could use anytime with questions, first hand experience, and a new found confidence that I could do this.  I went home feeling like she had saved us.

Two days later, I went back to the clinic and stayed another two hours to really get some good experience.  I am that type of person.  I want the most info possible and a plan.  I'm not a "trust your instincts" type of person.  I should be because my instincts are actually pretty good.  It turns out, I'm not that bad at this mommy thing but it did help to get that reassurance.

I honestly don't know how anyone does it without a lactation consultant.  I was doing everything right and I still needed help.  I will forever be grateful to Susan Orr and her breastfeeding clinic.

For anyone who lives in the area and needs help or is thinking about getting pregnant, keep her in mind.  She is a lifesaver and she must be doing it because she truly wants to help people.  I know it is not for the money because it was $20 for 2 hours of help, my own personalized plan, endless questions, snacks while you are there, and email access to her 24/7.

Here is her info:
Susan Orr
Breastfeeding Clinic @ Columbia Pediatrics in Long  Beach, CA

She also teaches the breastfeeding and baby care classes at Long Beach Memorial Hospital which I recommend.

P.S. We have a new pediatrician that we really like and baby Blake is gaining weight perfectly and has passed her birth weight right on time at 2 weeks old.


Amanda said...

Hello there,
I live in Anaheim and looking for a Pediatrician and mainly curious which Peds MD you had at first so I can try to avoid that office. lol.
If you dont mind emailing me the name that would be great!

cazcov said...

I found your blog because I was searching for Susan Orr's e-mail. I had a very similar experience with our pediatrician although our baby was jaundice. Just a complete overreaction and trying to make us give her formula. A lot of crying on my side. Do you mind saying who your new pediatrician is?

Mara {One Lucky Girl} said...

Our new pediatrician is a group called Talbert Medical in Fountain Valley by Orange Coast Memorial Hospital. The 2 doctors are Austin and Debold but we mostly see the nurse practitioner and she is awesome :)