I want to start with a disclaimer that this thread isn't for a second designed to start a BF vs. formula debate. I just want to share my experience with failure to thrive as a mum who was so militant about "breast is best" that she inadvertently starved her son for 10 weeks when trying to do the right thing.
I just received copies of the photos that were taken when I arrived at the Breastfeeding Centre of WA with my son in tow. He was one day off being 5 months old in these photos and weighed 3.862kg. It's very hard for me to even look at them, let alone share them with people and I wasn't even sure where on the Hub to put them. I considered Breastfeeding Support because really, it's people like me who seek all the support they can and find no answers that need to see them. Instead I decided to put them here for anyone who wants to look because I don't want to bring down the tone of that section of the forum.
I am still quite pro-breastfeeding but for anyone who has ever felt an ounce of guilt at giving your child formula, please don't. These pictures are proof positive that while we have "breast is best" drummed into us, that's not always the case.
We saw many, many health professionals in the first five months of my son's life. From the time we first started having trouble at 11 weeks, we had his tongue and upper lip ties lasered, saw a lactation consultant, GP, MCHN and paed. I weighed him weekly with the MCHN and had extra appointments for check ups. I got my own set of baby scales and weighed him before and after nappy changes and feeds. I weighed all nappies on a set of kitchen scales and tracked everything from the weights to feed and sleep times. None of these people suggested formula, though my DH sat me down on the Saturday before I went to the BFC (which was my last ditch effort to keep exclusively breastfeeding) and begged me to buy a tin of formula because of all the stress it was causing.
At the end of the day, you don't know what you don't know and this is my first baby. I knew he wasn't gaining weight but I didn't realise how incredibly unhealthy he looked, he just looked like my son. When I look at these pictures now, I barely recognise the baby in the photos and I wonder how I didn't spot it. The LC I saw that day at the BFC told me at my last appointment that she knew the moment we walked in the door. Her immediate recommendation after taking his extensive medical history (the most thorough she'd seen due to all the notes I'd taken!) was to give him formula and, in fact, she went straight over to the hospital to get some for him right then.
Anyway, without further ado these are the pictures. This is what a baby looks like when they have failure to thrive.
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10-09-2014 22:01 #1
This is what "failure to thrive" looks like...
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10-09-2014 22:07 #2
Hugs GQ. Big massive hugs.
10-09-2014 22:07 #3
GBH GQ ... thank you so much for sharing!
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10-09-2014 22:09 #4
10-09-2014 22:10 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2014
10-09-2014 22:10 #6
This is what "failure to thrive" looks like...
Aw honey, this is a very brave and personal thing to share. Thank you. You know, and I hope this doesn't seem insensitive because I don't mean it to be, I understand that feeling of not wanting to look at certain pics of my DS. He was fat. And I mean really, really fat. I get now why strangers on the street used to stop me and comment. The only thing I knew was feeding. If I had to do it again, I would have worked harder to try and learn to settle him without relying on a feed etc. And like you, I did my best with what I knew how to do. It's all we can do. And even though DS fed almost all the time for a looooong time, he didn't relax until I comp fed with formula. I never ever saw myself as a formula feeding mother and it was hard to accept at first, but it was a godsend for us.
I hope you don't feel a shred of guilt - as you said, it was your first bub. how is he now? Do you have any current pictures you'd be willing to share?
ETA also, you are an amazingly committed mother! My jaw dropped when I read all of the weighing and note keeping you have done. Unbelievable.
10-09-2014 22:15 #7
10-09-2014 22:19 #8
Thank you for sharing.
Are you able to show us what he looks like now?
10-09-2014 22:20 #9
Massive massive hugs to an unbelievable mother 😘
10-09-2014 22:21 #10
Wow, thank you for sharing, that must have been a very stressful time . How are you and your little prince doing now?
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