Should I give breast feeding another try?

Alison - posted on 08/20/2009 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I nursed my first son for three months, everything was going really well and then I took him for his three month check up and the doctor was shocked to see that he had lost a dramatic amount of weight. So after spending a week in a childrens hospital and countless needles poking him and all kinds of tests run on him, they diagnosid him with "faliure to thrive" brought on by a small internal mouth deformation. Allthough the doctors told me that there was no way I could have known that he had a problem because I was a very gradual progression I still felt like the worst mom in the world , and in return lost all confidence with my self when it came to nursing. When I had my second son I was determined to give it another try, convinced that I was more educated on what specsific problems to look for. It only took 3 days of nursing and some pleeding from my husband to just start him on formula for me to loose all hope again, mainly because both my husband and I were scared to death about what happened to our first son. Looking back I wish I hadn't caved under the pressure and fear. So now here I am 4 years after my first sons hospitalization and expecting our 3rd baby anyday now. I really do want to try nursing again, but I feel like I have no confidence in my self and that I am lacking support from my husband and the rest of my family. Everyone keeps reminding me of what happened the first time and they all seem to have writen breastfeeding off as a non option, any advise on how I should handle this, and has any one else ever suffered a similar experience?

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Krystal - posted on 08/20/2009

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I think it is wonderful that you want to try breastfeeding again after a rough experience. Remember that babies are made to breastfeed. I agree with Regina that you should ask the doctor to monitor baby more closely this time. It is unfortunate that your husband isn't more supportive. I think you need to speak with him separate from everyone else and help him to understand how important this is to you. Then tell everyone else that you've heard and taken their opinions in consideration, but this is your decision. Tell them if they don't support you that's fine, but they can keep their opinions to themselves from this point forward. I'd encourage you to join La Leche League or some other breastfeeding mother's support group as well.

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Dana - posted on 08/26/2009

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Where are you going to be? Maybe I can refer someone to you that you can speak to in person

Monica - posted on 08/26/2009

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Go for it! My first son I only nursed for three monthe because he did not latch on properly and my milk supply slowed. But mt second son who is almost three now I nursed till he was almost one and i'm nursing our new baby. It's hard when you don't have support but you can do it! Good Luck

Dana - posted on 08/26/2009

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Remember, your first baby's problems were not related at all to the breastfeeding but to the fact the "they diagnosid him with "faliure to thrive" brought on by a small internal mouth deformation." Your breastmilk actually protected his intestines for the small amount of time that you did breastfeed. It is understandable that you and your husband would be afraid with your second child. You just have to be educated about breastmilk benefits and be carefully monitored afterwards to be sure that you are doing well. A good way to no for sure is to have a close relationship with your pediatric provider who will be supportive of your decision. Another way is to ask for a homecare nurse to come to your house after you come home from the hospital. The nurse can check your latch and weigh your baby pre and post feed. If you cannot get a homecare nurse that is experienced in breastfeeding, look for a local lactation counselor (like me) or a lactation consultant that will work with you. Once you get support and reassurance, things will hopefully go smoother for you. Good luck!

[deleted account]

def. give it another try! Do not let what happen discourage you from breastfeeding other children! I'd let everyone (hubby included) that you have decided to breastfeed and you won't change your mind unless it is medically necessary to give baby formula!!

Darcy - posted on 08/25/2009

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I have not experienced anything similar but have nursed two babies, both of whom have had some special issues. I would see if your pediatrician can examine the baby immediately to make you and your husband feel better, plus maybe let you come in for extra weight checks for awhile. Although they usually aren't necessary, you could also have a scale at home to check for weight loss. That way, you don't have to worry about missing a gradual progression downward. Then, you can try breastfeeding. If you have a local La Leche League, they will also send leaders out to you and make sure your baby is latching correctly, and you can attend meetings for support. I had a fairly supportive husband but less support from family and friends, and La Leche League was really helpful in helping me keep focus and knowing what is "normal". If there is any way to get your husband behind trying, it would be helpful, because you will need him to take on some responsibilities with the other two while you nurse, if nothing else. If he is completely unwilling, it may be hard to accomplish. Don't beat yourself up if you have to do formula - there are tons of happy babies raised on formula - but I think breastfeeding has been the greatest experience, and would really encourage you to give it a try again.

Debra - posted on 08/25/2009

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You know you are a great mum and don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise or try to undermine your decision to give it another go!! In my experience I bfed my son Lucas who is nearly 6 for 17months and am currently feeding my daughter Evie who has just turned 1 and every time I realise how satisfying it is for her and me. There are so many benefits to bfeeding for your child and you, less time consuming,no sterilization, helps the bonding process, helps to flatten your stomach, comforts your child when nothing else can and it's free and on tap(as they say) just to name a few!! I am not saying it is all plain sailing as there are ups and downs with cracked sore nipples and mastitis but through it all I knew I was doing it for my child and if that meant a little discomfort at times then so be it as my children are the most precious gift who deserve the best and in my opinion thats ME!!!!! I found it very beneficial to join a bfeeding group for help and support ,if you don't know any in your area ask your health visitor as that's what they are there for and never be afraid to ask for help or advice.
I wish you all the luck in the world and if you need to chat send me a msg all my lv debsx

Martha - posted on 08/25/2009

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I do hope that you will consider breastfeeding this time. Remember that your first child had a medical problem! It wasn't your milk!!!!
My husband had bfailure to thrine as an infant, because of medical troubles, but his mothervstuck to breastfeeding and had 4 more happy healthy breastfed babies!
I hope that you can get support to breastfeed this baby. either in your family, in your community, or on the web. Babies do so much better with moms milk!
Best of luck to you.

Rebekah - posted on 08/25/2009

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I only nursed my first child for two months. Just didn't work out with him. I am now currently nursing my daughter and she is thriving! Don't write it off. I could still work. If you want to keep track of how much the baby is eating, try pumping the milk and putting it into bottles for feeding. This way you can truly see how much baby is drinking. It may take a little extra time but the health benefits are so worth it! Good Luck in whatever you decide to do.

Rosemary - posted on 08/24/2009

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So glad to hear you are ready to give bf another go. I had alot of pain, sore nipples (bleeding) with my first child. 11 years had passed when I had my second so I was prepaired for the more of the same, but to my surprise it was very easy this time. My son is now 8 months old and I am still exclusively bfeeding. I have spent 27 months total of my life bfeeding so far. It's a wonderful thing and I'm sure you will have a great experience with it this time. Good luck and God bless.

Cindy - posted on 08/24/2009

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Give it a try. There is no reason to think the new baby with have the same problems the first baby had. If you want to be sure the baby is getting enough you can put it in a bottle and measure the ounces. Good luck! You could also ask the Pediatrician if they can do more frequent weighings at no cost to you if you just stop by...

Michelle - posted on 08/24/2009

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Alison, I agree with everyone. Consult with your pediatrician first and every child is different. You should definitely trying nursing again. There are so many benefits. I have been nursing my 5 month old daughter exclusively and she's on the 75% on the gorwth chart. Not only that, she has not been ill even when she got her shots. Follow your motherly instinct.

Sydney - posted on 08/24/2009

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Alison, every baby is different. Out of four of my children only one had a heart defect. Just because you first child had that problem does not mean that your new baby will. I say try to breast feed because breast milk is the healthiest food for your body. Now do understand that when you are first starting it move slowly so to beat youself up. Have patience and listen to your baby:)

Jackie - posted on 08/24/2009

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I think you need to ask yourself why you are punishing yourself and your two younger sons for a medical issue with your first son none of you had any control over?!?!?! I understand a hospital stay is scary, my youngest spent 12 days in MacKids and was admitted on his death bed; so I totally get it. But your first son had an issue because of his mouth. That wasn't your fault, it sure wasn't due to your nursing ablities. It doesn't even speak to your sons nursing ablities. And it most definately doesn't speak to your middle son or your next sons nursing abilities. If you want to nurse sweetie.. you do it!! You do it with pride and confidence that you will be able to do it and do it well. Don't allow those nah sayers to take away your right to the super power of producing milk!!! You just need to change your mind set. I can tell you when my son was hospitalized I wasn't able to nurse him due to breathing issues. After 2 weeks of not nursing well to be frank... I was producing next to nothing. I figured it was time to ween and put him on formula then. Well he wouldn't keep down the formula... so I had no choice but to get my milk back. Sure the doctors and some of the nurses were kinda rude with the "he's nursing again?" And i would just respond with "that would imply he stopped" and smile sweetly. But he and I worked hard and got that milk back. Good luck on whatever you decide and remember... if you are happy your baby will be happy!

Nicole - posted on 08/24/2009

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try try again..my first son refused my breast n it broke my heart. i felt like he didnt love me or something but then i learned that is was summing that happens. i agree with everyone else...talk to your doctor then follow ur heart if it doesnt work then there r so maany other ways to bond with ur baby. im pregnant for the second time and im going to try again...n if it doesnt work then its ok..

[deleted account]

You should go with your heart. If you want to try breastfeeding, then you should. Every baby is different! Don't beat yourself up about what's happened, because even your doctor has said that there was no way you were to know that your firstborn had a mouth deformation. Did your second have the same deformation? You didn't mention it, so probably not. There's your evidence that every child is different and what happens to one may not happen ever again.
My second son dropped in weight and was borderline FTT. Our doctor discovered this at his 6 month check up. She said that while his weight was down, he was going to start solids so we would give it a month and see what happens. My confidence was shaken (even though I'd successfully breastfed my first for 10 months and he self-weaned), so I not only started him on solids but also supplemented my breastfeeding with 1 bottle of formula a day. It's easy to lose confidence, because we can't see what's happening and how much milk we're producing (or in your case, that he's eating correctly).
Discuss it with your husband. Make a plan to have the baby checked a bit more frequently to calm everyone's nerves. The only thing we can do when we have a shake up is to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off... and try again.
Good luck!

Christina - posted on 08/24/2009

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Yes it does not mean that you baby will have the same problem.My baby was born 5lbs. 3 ozs. and went home just under 5 lbs. I have been breastfeeding and he is over 9 lbs. and 2 months old ganing stedy!! dont loose hope!!

Gabrielle - posted on 08/23/2009

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I'm so glad you and your hubby are on the same page! A supportive husband can make or break your breastfeeding!



Get lots of help from lacation specialists or La Leche Leauge leaders. They are so pro-breastfeeding that they'd do anything to help a mom out. A lacation consultant stayed an hour after getting off work (she works at a busy OBGyn office) just to work with me from 5-6 pm. I had two different specialists working with me at various times in those first 2 weeks to help her latch on properly, and that, combined with lots of prayer, and help from my husband and my mom, made it happen. We're 8 months and counting with breastfeeding!



I found The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding to be a very helpful book. Yes it's thick, but when the baby is taking AN HOUR to nurse in those early days, you need something to do!



We had weight gain problems too at the 2 week checkup, so we had to go back 4 days later, and she was gaining nicely (after all the help). Still, my daugther's pediatrician said I can take her in any time I want for a weight check. Your doctor wants your baby to thrive, so I'm sure he or she would be happy for you to weigh your baby in once or twice a week in that first month. Some moms even buy a baby scale, and it might be a worthwhile investment. I hope it all goes well!!

Karen - posted on 08/23/2009

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I breastfeed all three of my children. Each was a different experience. The worst was my third, because he chewed while he nursed. It was very painful, but I kept at it and I got through it.

I didn't get much support from my family. Both my mom and mother-in-law thought I needed to be feeding the babies solid food at two months rather than wait till six months.

This is for you to decide. You know what is best for you and your baby. These people are well meaning, but you need to tell them the myob.

Danae - posted on 08/23/2009

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Definately try again!! If you are concerned just go to your Dr appt every week and have him/her weighed then you will know where you are, that way you aren't stressing. Good luck!!

Jillian - posted on 08/22/2009

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i know your frustration about not having a support system. I am an army wife and even though my husband is still here and not overseas, he is the only real support i have here besides my friend who is also an army wife, all of our parents live in different states, and i feel like my only breastfeeding support is the weekly phone call to my mother. we had a little trouble starting out but i just took the breastfeeding one day at a time, one feeding at a time, now i realize we have been doing it for 4 1/2 months and starting on baby food, all i can think is i can't believe i did it and i am so proud of both my daughter and myself for sticking it out even without support

Stina - posted on 08/22/2009

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I understand the trauma of having a sick baby in the hospital. It's somthing that resurfaces with each baby thereafter. Hard to shake those memories or the fears of it happening again to this one. However, if your second son did not have a mouth deformation (I'm guessing he didn't) your third baby probably won't either so I hope you will give it a try. Since it is a concern, there would be nothing wrong with asking the pediatrition who visits your baby after birth to check his mouth for any abnormalities that might make nursing challenging. That way from the start you can calm the fears of his not nursing well for the same reason as #1.



To boost your confidence, enroll in a nursing class. Most hospitals offer them. Ask for a lactation consultant to visit you in the hospital after the birth so that you can be sure to get a good start. And seek out your local La Leche League. Surround yourself with support.



As for your family, find all the literature you can. All the brochures you can and whenever they naysay your desire to try, give them some literature. Explain to them that the chances of having two children with the same issue are very small.



And then. Ignore your family. You are worried enough without them reminding you of what happened last time. Go ahead and try again. Communicate with your doctor and a Lactation consultant. If it weren't for our Lactation consultant, my first child never would have nursed.



Best of luck to you.

Sarah - posted on 08/22/2009

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A trained lactation consultant should be able to examine your baby and check his mouth out. I found out my daughter had a very high palate, something I wouldn't have known had I not contacted her. With my son, I was in the doctor's office every other day for weight checks, until I bought a baby scale so I could monitor at home. I would give it another try, but that's me. It was a struggle with my first and with my now 11 week old daughter, but perseverence has kept her off formula and she is doing great. Hopefully the third won't have this little problem with the deformation, and you two can have a happy, healthy nursing relationship. IT's so worth it! :)

Regina - posted on 08/22/2009

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Alison, I'm so happy you and your husband are on the same page now. It is such a blessing to have the support from him. Good luck and God bless.

Rebecca - posted on 08/22/2009

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I totally feel for you! And I am glad to hear that after everything that you are still thinking of breastfeeding your next baby. Do you have a breastfeeding support group that you can go to on a weekly basis?? My daughter has weight issues and I go to one every week to get her weighed and monitored. It is run by public health nurses who deal directly with babys and breastfeeding. They are also lactation consultants as well. Get your dr to help monitor babys weight as well. Knowing your first babys history they will be more willing to help you with your next baby. Have you and your Dr talk to your husband and help him to understand all about breastfeeding so that he is well educated on how EBF "works" At least you know what signs and symptoms to look for with your next baby so it wont hopefully happen again. You could try pumping your breast milk and feeding in a bottle as well so that you know then how much baby is getting and they are still getting the benifits of breast milk. I am really hoping that all goes well with you and baby this time around....but by all means if bf dosnt happen you are not at all a terrible mom for making sure that your baby is getting what they need to thrive and be healthy!!! Take care!!

Alison - posted on 08/22/2009

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I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses, My husband and I had to move from Chicago Ill, to Austin Tx, while I was 4 months preg, so I really have no realy close support system out here, so all of the support from you guys has been just beyond fantastic, I really feel a lot less alone..so thank you! Any ways I took every ones advice and had a heart to heart with the old Hubby and explained my feelings on the BF matter and told him that I really needed him to not only support me with trying it again, but that I needed him to be possitive about it, not act like it was already going to fail before we have even given it another try. And in return he shared all of his fears and thoughts on the matter with me. So we have decided that we will give it another go and he has promised to keep all negative comments and feelings to himself unless he feels that there is a problem. So as of right now I feel really confident that it is gonna all work out this time : ) Any ways I just wanted to give everyone an update and say thatnk you!

Belinda - posted on 08/22/2009

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Give it another try as you said everything was going fine so you know you can BF, just because your son had a small mouth defect doesn't mean it will happen again in your new baby. Tell your husband you want to do it your way and take him to talk with the doctor and ask questions if he is scared of it happening again, Let him know how much you need his support on this. Like everyone else has said get your new baby monitored as closely as you need to ensure that he/she thrives. I took my oldest in every month to check up for her first year and have recently been ordered by the health nurse not too with my second and i miss the comfort of knowing how much he is growing. It is your baby and you need to do what you feel is right even if everyone around you wants you to do things differently. Remember that if you believe you can do it and youknow you can then you can no matter what others may say on this issue you gotta remember they are speaking from fear but the first problem wasn't your fault. Be strong the right to BF your baby is yours so take it.

Robin - posted on 08/21/2009

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Yay!! I'm so happy that you are considering trying again to breastfeed!! Confidence aside, you got your son the necessary help that he needed. You couldn't have known there was a problem with your first son. You are a stronger, more mature and capable Mom now. You know WHAT signs to look for for possible problems. I highly doubt that much is going to get past you at this point.
The girls are right. You need to talk to your husband. It wasn't breastfeeding your son that caused him problems. "Failure to thrive" caused by too small of a mouth? That should tell you it was NOTHING that you did. It couldn't be prevented.. which means.. breastfeeding SHOULD be an option, if that's what you want to do. Definitely have the doctors monitor this one more closely, but I say if you want to give it a try.. do what you feel is right and best for YOUR CHILD.
The confidence you have in yourself will come back, slowly I'm sure, until you see that your 3rd baby is thriving... which he will. I'm confident. You raised 2 others.. you can do this!
Good luck hun, and let us know what you decide, and how the little guy/gal is doing!!

Erin - posted on 08/21/2009

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I agree that you need to talk to your husband. Besides telling him that you want to breastfeed, arm yourself with a few points like breastfeeding helps the child avoid childhood obesity, allergies (to pollens), and ear infections. Also, breastfeeding for 3 or more months significantly lowers your risk of breast cancer in the future. You could possibly have your newborn checked while in the hospital for the mouth deformations and definitely invest in an infant scale. I think even Wal-mart carries them online so it shouldn't be that hard to find one. Good luck!

Naomi - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hi Alison, I understand where you are coming from having had trouble feeding my first baby, she has a tongue tie and wrecked my nipples! I also wasn't producing enough milk for her. I comp feed her (gave her a bottle after the breastfeed) for 5 weeks before I went fully to bottle. My husband and his family are all for bottle feeding as you can see how much the baby is getting. I was devistated when I had to stop breastfeeding her. I have now had another baby. I really wanted to breastfeed her and have been doing so successfully! She is now 12 weeks old and thriving really well! I was really worried about her putting on weight initially so I would take her to the midwives clinic at least once a week and have her weighed, helped to ease my mind and my husbands! Talk to your dr about your concerns and see what they say. I agree with the support system, we have the Australian Breastfeeding Association here and they have a 24hour number, ask your dr if there is something similar have your husband go with you to talk to them, if you both come up with a plan, such as maybe weighing your baby every 2nd or 3rd day for the first couple of weeks, he may be a little more supportive! Worth a try I think, it is a really good feeling being able to feed your baby! There is nothing wrong with bottlles though if you do choose that route! Good luck!!

[deleted account]

When i was in Hospital the 2nd day after having my little one my nipples were really sore and being hormonal i was so upset that i couldnt feed her i was crying. In the end the midwife suggested i used nipple shields and i found they worked fantasticly!! I also found that expressin when i was at home when i could was helpin loads aswell. My little one weighedd 10lb 10oz when she was born and then went down to 9lb 14oz within a few days. Babbies lose 10% of their born weight usually when breastfeedin. I almost gave up but im glad i never... although now i do give her a bottle of formula (aptamil) 1st thing in a morning and last thing and night and have found she now sleeps all the way through

Diana -n Craig - posted on 08/21/2009

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I applaud you for wanting to try breastfeeding again! It is one of the most precious gifts you can give your new baby.

Studies show that those who have a positive breastfeeding experience have a strong support network. I hear what's going on with your hubby and family, so you may need to look outside that circle for support, at least initially. There are breastfeeding support groups that meet monthly across the world. I attend La Leche League, www.llli.org. Or a friend who has loved breastfeeding can help a ton also. You need someone who will encourage you, support you, and help build your confidence. I guess don't be afraid to say, 'hey, I need help here!' There is no need to suffer in silence. Your doctor can also give you names to contact.

My daughter is 10 months and still breastfeeding and it's been absolutely wonderful, I'm so glad I made it past the early rough patch, now it's a cinch :)

Jennifer - posted on 08/21/2009

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I definately agree with everyone else. Congrats to you for not giving up on yourself and still wanting to try!! I would absolutely seek out a support group like La Leche! It is such a tremendous help just to have someone on your side and someone to talk to that knows what they are talking about! Babies ARE born to be breastfed. Some meeting allow dad to come and maybe that would help ease his worries too. Also, think about attending a breastfeeding class to refresh yourself. My La Leche leader had a free class every month for moms and dads!

A mouth deformation is nothing you did wrong! I'm sure you know what to look for this time. You seem to know what's best for your baby and just wanting to try again says a lot!. Everyone is always going to have to put their 2 cents in. Get in touch with some professionals who know what they are talking about and get the help and support you need.

Good for you girl! And good luck~~ You can do it!!

[deleted account]

I agree with everyone. Talk to your husband and tell him you want to give it a try. One thing to remember is that babies will lose weight right after birth and it's ok. My daughter lost almost 10% in the hospital so we had to go see the dr the day after we came home. She had lost a little more and the dr started talking about supplementing but my milk had just came in. We went back the next day and she had gained several oz over night. Good luck!

Regina - posted on 08/20/2009

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It is your baby and your body....do what you think is best. I have three children and only nursed the last. It was not an option for the first two. Our youngest is only 9 months and still nursing. I'm loving every minute of it. It would be so much better if your husband was supportive. If it where me I would give it a try. Ask you baby Dr. to watch more closely. If baby is thriving good. If not then you can go to a bottle. You won't know if you don't try. Good luck to you!

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