Feeding a newborn who isn't hungry!

(8 Posts)
TwitchyTail Fri 08-Mar-13 12:58:28

My son is 13 days old (born at 36 weeks). He weighed a little under 6 pounds and lost about 7% at 5 days (he needed formula top-ups in hospital due to low blood sugars and my milk wasn't in). He also had jaundice and was overall a bit sleepy and unwilling to suck from the breast or bottle. However this improved loads and from day 5 (after jaundice treated), he has been breastfeeding regularly and seemingly effectively. I thought things were going ok.

However, when he was weighed at 10 days, he hadn't regained any weight, though had not lost any more. Midwife was not too concerned as he is doing plenty of wet and dirty nappies and seems otherwise well and alert, but is coming back to weigh him tomorrow (day 14). She advised to express and give top-ups after each feed. If he still hasn't gained weight she advised I might need to give top-ups with formula.

The trouble is, he just doesn't seem hungry after breastfeeding. He latches on the breast well, sucks effectively, stays on for 20-30 minutes, and then seems to consider the job done hmm He can and will suck well from the bottle if I don't breastfeed first, but he will just ignore it after a feed.

How can I get more milk into him if he's just not hungry? Also, even if I am advised to top up with formula, how will this work any better if he just won't drink it?!

Any advice gratefully received!

noblegiraffe Fri 08-Mar-13 13:09:28

If he refuses a bottle, would he accept the other breast? What if you change his nappy then offer? How often are you feeding him? If he is not hungry after a feed, then perhaps feeding him more often would get more into him? You should be aiming to feed every 2 hours.

dopeysheep Fri 08-Mar-13 13:49:03

He might just be tired after the breastfeed, especially given his start? I think feeding is hard work!
My dd had a 'magic' squeezy bottle and a very soft ( Nuk?) teat so I basically all she had to do was swallow as she was very weak to start with due to a genetic condition. Good luck!

midori1999 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:54:29

Instead of giving top ups, can you just offer the breast more often instead?

Have you also had the latch properly checked, tongue tie checked for etc?

TwitchyTail Fri 08-Mar-13 23:12:17

Thanks everyone. I always offer the other breast after the first, but he doesn't usually take it. I'm trying to increase the frequency of breastfeeds but he just isn't having any of it - tried all the tricks I've heard to wake him up (stripping, nappy changes, tickling, even wiping face with cold water!) but he just won't eat unless he wants to. At the moment we're averaging about 8 feeds in 24 hours.

I'll definitely ask about checking for tongue tie. I've had the latch checked (not by a specialist as such but several experienced midwives) and they say it's fine - it is comfortable and he does tend to stay on and swallow well when he does feed. He just won't do it more often than he wants to confused

I'll look into the squeezy bottle and special teat too.

Thanks again smile

TwitchyTail Sun 10-Mar-13 11:37:31

Just to update - good news - he's started gaining weight. Almost back to birthweight now so formula avoided. I'm still supposed to offer ebm top-ups but midwife advised that if he refuses he's probably just full up with breast milk. He's also got some residual jaundice which is probably making him sleepier than usual, but then he was up half the night wanting to feed so I think he's getting the hang of it smile

noblegiraffe Sun 10-Mar-13 11:50:07

Well done! It's such a relief when they start gaining properly smile

plummyjam Mon 11-Mar-13 07:32:03

My dd lost 14% bodyweight by day 5 because my milk hadn't come in properly after an EMCS. The community midwife who visited just said keep plugging on with it as baby looked well and was having wet nappies etc. 5 days later she had regained it all - 500g!

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