Audrey's Four Month Doctor Appointment

A little warning: I may sound a little heated in this post because its only been a few hours since the appointment, but bare with me. 

I brought Audrey to the doctor today for her 4 month check up. I had some questions and was looking for serious answers, and I gotta say, my doctor did not deliver. At her last appointment (two months), I had brought up that she had these episodes where it seemed like she couldn't breathe. She would get this look on her face of pure terror, like she was choking, and then take a large breath after several (seemingly long) seconds. Of course this terrified her, and whoever was holding her or saw it happen, so I made a big deal about it at the appointment. The doctor referred me to a child specialist who told me that it was most likely a developmental thing and that she would grow out of it. Not very reassuring, but it didn't happen for a long time after that. It's happened twice in the last two weeks, so I guess she hasn't grown out of it. 

This time around, I was focused on asking about breast feeding/her growth and completely forgot about these episodes. After I left, I realized that she never asked me about it. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I feel like it should have been something she wanted to follow up with. This doctor doesn't seem to remember us from appointment to appointment, so I shouldn't have been that surprised. Last time, I told myself that she would be more personable the more she got to know us, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

So back to my big concern this time. I touched briefly on it in Audrey's monthly update that the last couple of weeks have been tough for us with feeding. I feel like my supply has dropped a lot and combined with her growing appetite, she just never seems full. I've started pumping numerous times a day, sometimes after I feed her or if we're separated for a couple of hours (when she is fed a bottle). It has improved a little, but not back to 100%. I also have been focusing on guzzling water, but again, it has only helped a little. 

I've done a lot of research on this but am certainly no expert, so I was hoping the doctor could affirm or deny what I have already researched. Instead, when I voiced my concerns, she just said that I should make sure to have a healthy diet that includes a lot of dairy and protein. Ok, thank you doctor, but that is the most generic answer you could possibly give me. I was so disappointed.

On top of that, she jumped right into the topic of supplementing. Now I don't want to step on toes here, so please understand this. I have nothing against supplementing with formula (each parent has to make decisions based on their circumstances so there is no judgement here. Remember that we fed Josie formula from 3 months old until she was one), but we haven't exhausted or even really tried all of the options yet. To have her tell me that the only thing I can do is start giving her formula was depressing. Of course I will do that to make sure she has enough calories, but what else can I do to get my supply back up? The body can do amazing things, and it is most likely possible for this problem to be resolved. I just don't have the knowledge of how. I was hoping the highly educated doctor would. 

First time putting her hair up in a clip

She told me that Audrey's weight was concerning (great...) and that she wanted her to come back in a month to check her weight and make sure she is growing enough now that we've "talked about it." I didn't object because I hate confrontation, but I had my doubts about the whole conversation.

I think the biggest thing that frustrated me is that she just jumped on the conclusion that I had brought up. I had mentioned that my supply was low, that maybe I needed to supplement, and she considered that the end of discussion. I asked her straight out what else I could do, but she didn't seem to care or even notice that I was asking for help. 

One thing I've learned over the last couple of years is that if I don't like the doctor, I need to find another one and not go back. It's not worth it for me to be frustrated and disappointed after every appointment. I should be able to trust my doctor and ask as many questions as I want (which by the way is not that many... I'm not crazy over the top with questions). 

My questions for you are: Have you had problems with your supply not being enough? What did you do about it? Have you had issues with a doctor that just doesn't seem to care? Local friends: Any recommendations for a new doctor that I can bring both my girls to?

I had an awesome doctor when I was pregnant, but she moved on and got a new job. It's frustrating but also a little reassuring to know that not all doctors are impersonal and distant or rude. There are doctors that care, remember you and your questions, take the time to listen and come up with solutions. I just have to find one!

To help you understand my doubts, Audrey's weight is 12 lbs 14 oz which is between 25% and 50%. This is only slightly lower than where she was two months ago, and Josie had a much bigger drop than that as she got older. She just started up a lot higher from birth. Audrey's height is still at 90% with her being 24.5 inches long. 

The doctor made me feel like a failure because she isn't growing enough, when the chart she was looking at showed her to be doing just fine. That's frustrating, right?

I know in the long run this problem will seem minor, but it takes up a lot of my time, feeding this baby, and I want to do what is best for her. I want her to continue having my immunity through the breast milk as long as possible (she hasn't been sick yet! Josie had been sick more than once by this point if we're comparing) and I love the bond we have from it. I just am not ready to throw in the towel!

Want to leave a comment? Click on the title of this post and scroll to the bottom. You'll see the comment section there. Can't wait to read what you have to say!


  1. Kendra Dahl3/28/2013

    I firmly believe you should love your doctor. :) We go to Teri Johnson at Independent Family Doctors. She is wonderful! She does family practice - I originally went to her as my OB, so she saw me through both pregnancies and now is all of our doctor (she's not doing OB any more unfortunately). She knows us and is great at follow up and Hadley looks forward to seeing her. That would be in the Heartland network or whatever it's called. For this pregnancy I just started seeing a nurse practitioner at Essentia (she works at the 32nd and West Fargo one) who is a midwife and does family practice. She also was wonderful, and my understanding is she's pretty new to town so she has some openings, especially at the West Fargo clinic.

    I haven't had supply problems but I have heard of people having really good luck with supplements (like fenugreek? Could that be what it's called? And Mother's Milk tea? I'd suggest calling a naturopath or do some googling - there are nutrient options vs. jumping to formula. But you should also not beat yourself up over it - God is holding that sweet baby of yours in the palm of His hand. ;)

    This was random for me to comment but I just LOVE my doctor/nurse and had to share. :) Hope you find something that works for your family!

  2. Well I'm not a Mom but I have a great friend of many years who is a midwife and very knowledgeable about Breastfeeding and natural ways to help your production. (almost all of my friends are Mom's so I know more than a normal single girl on this subject :) )

    Here's contact info from her fb


    Mobile Phones(602) 663-0631

    Tell her I sent you, she should be able to greatly help!!

  3. Shawn Borud Tweiten3/28/2013

    hi Sarah, I think your concerns are right on. find a Dr. that you feel good about. Are you restricted to who you see by insurance? I go to Independent Family Doctors & love Tracy Martin, cousin Pam sees a doctor there too. Independent drs can spend more time with you. How do you feel about the family bed? I believe in sleeping with your baby. This is totally against popular advice. And, You will never roll over on her! there is research out their that shows by sleeping with baby, they develop better breathing because they hear your heart & breath more regular. And this reduces SIDS. You are also right about supplementing...the more you supplement the less milk you will have. She could just be in a lull of her growth. Most important.. go with you instincts. Good Luck!

  4. Rachel Maynard3/28/2013

    I can't offer much advice but just to say the same thing is happening with me so I know how you're feeling. Ivy wasn't putting on much weight and so our health visitor said to supplement without saying anything to help boost my supply! I tried pumping, and the biological nurturing position (because she wasn't latching on properly) and eating and drinking more. It helped a bit but her weight didn't go up by much and I was getting so worn down and stressed so I've added in 2 extra bottles a day either with expressed milk or formula.

    The only advice I can give is don't feel guilty if you have to supplement. I was stressing out so much because I felt like a failure and I felt like giving up on bf totally, but at the end of the day I' d rather spend quality time with Ivy than constantly stressing about pumping and if you're supplementing she's still getting the goodness of breastmilk as well.

    Fenugreek is meant to improve supply but I haven't tried it. I really hope it works out for you!

    Rachel @ www.vicarswifeintraining.blogspot.com

  5. hi sarah,

    I have two sweet little babies and have had a low milk supply with both of them. neither of my girls have been above the 20% mark in their weight, but each visit they are gaining some weight, even if they are on a downward trend on the chart. I have spoken with my pediatrician who breastfed 5 babies and she agrees that I have a low supply, but I am determined to keep nursing my 8 month old. The downside of having a low supply for me and still wanting to breastfeed is that neither of my girls have been great night time sleepers as they don't get enough calories in during the day to last them all night. My first didn't sleep through the night till she weaned and my second seems to be on the same path. It is frustrating to still be getting up 1-3 times in the night, but I consider it worth it- to still be breastfeeding. Now, I also will tell you that I added one bottle of formula with both girls right around 4 months. They both seemed to need that extra boost right around that time. It curbed the every 2-3 hour waking and made me a sane mama once again. Since I know I have a low supply, like you, I also try to drink 3 liters of water a day and I drink mother's milk tea. It is so hard to breastfeed without having supply issues, with a low supply it gets really hard! Keep at it, though, your little one looks so healthy in the pictures.

  6. amanda dockter3/28/2013

    Hi Sarah, I also go to Teri Johnson and took my kids to her. I have not felt that she doesn't remember my kids even when the appointments switched to yearly. I have also gone to other des there when I needed to get it quickly and have liked them all. Also, I have heard about fenugreek. There is also something your Dr can prescribe and I took that with Emma but I don't remember what it is called. The other thing I would suggest is to check with the hospital, they used to offer a breast feeding support group that was open to anyone. They have lactation nurses there and you weigh the baby, feed them, then weigh again to see how much they are eating. They are also there to answer any questions. It used to be once a week I think. I had both my kids at essentia and I believe that is who hosts it, but I think it is open for anyone.

  7. I barely recognized my little sweetie in the new 'do. And she looks so healthy, seems so strong that I can sure understand your frustration with the doctor's "judgment".

  8. How frustrating! Have you tried any tea to help with lactation? I haven't tried it but I heard it helps with supply - and I've heard fenugreek can make a big difference too (it's an herb). Hopefully you can find something to help and find a doctor who will take more time for personalized treatment! I have similar frustrations with our doc, and I don't know what to do about it.

  9. Anonymous4/01/2013

    When I had supply issues, I used fenugreek (3 capsules, 4x a day), mother's milk tea (drink 4-5x a day), tons of water, and most importantly (I think) lots and lots of oatmeal! I'm not sure why, but the oatmeal seemed to help the most. Good luck!

  10. have you looked for a la leche league person in your area? They would definitely be like-minded and knowledgeable about herbal supplements and things. I hear good and bad stories about the herbal stuff, but if you don't mind the expense it's probably worth a try to see if it works for you. (the bad stories being it didn't help and caused clogged ducts)