Friday, September 19, 2008

Enlightening Doctors Visit

Christina had another doctor's appointment today because last week the Dr. was concerned that she hadn't hit her birth weight yet. Today, we found out that although she is back to her birth weight, she is still behind by six ounces. That is not good, but not terrible, says the doctor.

I feel like a fool because it took me an entire week to figure out that when using the nipple shields to breastfeed (the lactation consultant recommended them), a lot of milk was dripping out and soaking up into my bra, instead of going in CC's mouth. She was basically getting a lot less milk than she should have. It wasn't until I breastfed without a bra and felt the milk streaming down my stomach, that I realized I need to lean forward while feeding her.

So, Christina is still playing catch up on her weight because of that week when she wasn't getting enough milk. Hopefully that was the only problem and when we go back to the Dr's on Monday, she will show a big improvement in her weight gain.

Another possible problem though, is that CC is tongue-tied. The tongue is very important in getting the milk out and being tongue-tied means she may be having a lot of trouble getting enough milk. Monday is D-day though and if CC hasn't gained enough, the doctor will tell us to start supplementing, which I don't want to do. So I'm just crossing my fingers that she will gain enough this weekend.

The other big thing that happened at the appointment (and that made Nik and I feel like fools again), is that the doctor showed us how to calm CC down when she is crying. Previously, the only way to calm her down has been to nurse her. This meant that I was essentially bound to her 24/7. So, what was the doctor's secret, you ask?
I'm sure you are thinking, "duh". But wait.
I knew that swaddling babies was suppose to calm them too. In fact, Nik and I have been swaddling Christina on and off, but it didn't seem to make any difference. Here's why.

In one word, arms. CC was always throwing her arms up and wiggling around, so we always left her arms out of the swaddle, thinking that she wanted that. Turns out that having her arms out, over-stimulates her. All it took was swaddling her tight, with her arms in, and presto.

I feel so dumb for not knowing this, but I'm so thankful that I know it now. Hopefully now Nik will be able to hold her for more than just a few minutes. Before, CC was a ticking time bomb and it was only a matter of minutes before I had to step in and nurse her. Now we should be able to get some serious Daddy-Daughter time in, and at the same time, give Mommy a break.

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