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Mixing feeding - refusing breast :(

(36 Posts)
Confused40 Sun 14-Jul-13 05:32:47

Been told dd isn't gaining weight quick enough so have felt forced to give bottle of formula. Been giving maybe one to two a day and expressing milk too. Dd is now not wanting to bf and gets stressed until I give her a bottle. How do I keep her bf and still incorporate a bottle? I desperately want to keep bf.

SpooMoo Sun 14-Jul-13 07:26:24

It might be nipple confusion. How old is your baby? Are you feeding on demand? Have you tried offering the breast before she asks?

StuckOnARollercoaster Sun 14-Jul-13 09:07:20

Wad is similar situation that I had to top up to ensure my baby regained weight. As spoomoo said I was advised to offer breast first, preferably before she was hungry, crying or stressed. Only after both breasts have been taken to then give the bottle top up. Also are you using a slow/difficult teat on the bottle? I found that the teat on the bottle that came with my tommee tippee hand pump gave a really fast flow and it was better to transfer to my mam bottles with flatter teat that was more like my nipple and the hole seemed to be smaller and dispense the milk slower. So although she may have found the bottle easy it wasn't so easy to create as big a nipple confusion/preference for the bottle.

Confused40 Sun 14-Jul-13 11:40:29

Dd is 6 weeks tomorrow. I've tried her again this morning bf and she took it but a fair bit of crying and confusion before she latched on. I'm totally confused! Health professionals say she's not gaining weight quick enough. She's not losing weight. I love bf and don't want to stop but feel huge pressure for her to gain weight.confused

Bringbring Sun 14-Jul-13 18:05:33

When you say health professionals, do you mean hv or gp?
I had this and had a referral to a paediatrician who was not concerned by slow weight gain (1oz a week) unless baby falls off the charts. I have had weeks of people goading me to tears to change to formula.

I agree about changing bottles and teats but also to feed more and get help from bf helplines and peer supporters. Ive found this support to be invaluable in keeping me sane. Kellymom is an excellent place to start for help and advice.

How is the weight gain and percentiles? It is very sad that all you hear when pregnant is breast is best and then when the baby is here any problems are to formula feed. It can be very difficult to have an honest conversation about bf in the nhs.

How do you think it is going? Do you feel like the breast is being drained? Do you suspect tounge tie? Do you feel like you have "enough" milk? These are all problems we can find solutions to. Look after yourself, I've been where you are and it is all too easy to be to hard on yourself x

Confused40 Sun 14-Jul-13 20:35:35

In floods of tears as I'm typing this. Have come to the very painful decision to give her more formula. I'm so drained I've been feeling dizzy like I want to faint. She's not gaining enough weight and I feel dreadful. Spoke to ds and he says I need to put her needs first. My needs are wanting to still bf. it's not fulfilling her. I've spent the whole day bf her and she drank down 7 ounces of milk, so I'm not enough for her. She's been sleeping 15-20 mins and waking up hungry.
This is such a hard decision and I've been crying for hours. Ultimately I have to do what's best for my dd. confused

NoComet Sun 14-Jul-13 20:43:49

{{Huge hugs}}, DD1 much preferred bottles to BFing it upset me too.

DD2 (who fell of the graph), refused to have anything to do with bottles. That upset the HCPs.
Didn't bother her at all, she simply climbed back on the graph when she added in real food at 5.5 months.

In the end it doesn't matter where they are on that stupid graph, or how they are fed so long as they are happy and healthy.

FadBook Sun 14-Jul-13 20:46:06

Confused you do have to go with what is best, I totally agree.

It is unlikely that are not enough for her.

At 6 weeks she could be growth spurting = she'll feed more

Today's weather = she'll feed more

Those two things alone mean that she is more thirsty / hungry than normal.

If you are topping up with formula, this may either now, or at some point down the line, start affecting your supply. You know this. But it can still mean you can mix feed - you can do both.

How long have you been topping up?
How much are you topping up? (oz per day?)

As you are upset and want to breastfeed, I strongly recommend you speaking to a BF professional - the La Leche League have a helpline; your local NHS may have BF support groups / cafe's to drop in to. Go and speak to someone. They will support you. HV's are good sometimes but they will unlikley be BF specialists. As such, go and find an expert to help you.

big (un) mn hugs Confused, don't cry about it. You can get some help but you have to ask / find it, it won't come to you.

ScottishDiblet Sun 14-Jul-13 20:49:58

Huge hugs. You are 100% doing the right thing in giving more formula as it is very hot and she needs to drink. I mix fed because of worries about weight gain and use nipple shields which means my nipple is just like the teat of a bottle. My daughter went happily between the two until recently (when I had to go into hospital and, by the time I came out, she was more interested in the bottle). Nipple shields might be worth a try. Best of luck. Xx

Lagoonablue Sun 14-Jul-13 20:50:21

It can seem like you aren't providing enough but really it is unlikely that you aren't. If it were me would bin the bottles and just feed feed feed on demand.

Confused40 Sun 14-Jul-13 22:41:51

DD has proven just now that I'm not enough for her. I've been feeding her all day, and she'll sleep for about 15 mins and wake up hungry again. I fed her formula almost 2 hours ago and she's been asleep ever since. Proves that she wasn't getting enough from me. I've expressed and will continue to offer her the breast, but am definately going to mix feed now. Her needs have to come before mine, no matter how upsetting it is for me

Lagoonablue Mon 15-Jul-13 05:54:22

Hi. You need some proper lactation expert advice. I am not an expert but breast fed 2 children for a while. My DD sounds like yours is. Some babies do feed a lot, then doze off then feed again. It can sometimes feel that you are't filling them p but you need to trust your body. Formula does fill them up quite quickly and they often take more than they need as the teat keeps the milk flowing in. With bf they are in control.

Maybe she's on a growth spurt, maybe shes's just really thirsty in this heat, sometimes they just want to be with you, so they keep on feeding and dozing, feeding and dozing. BF babies don't follow patterns, it can feel time a full time job.

Her falling asleep is not 'proof' that our milk is not enough.

However clearly you need to do what you feel is best. Just think some expert NCT or La Leche advice would be useful. Just phone their helpline to talk it through.

Mixed feeding is possible but more often than not ends in ff.

Good luck with it.

midori1999 Mon 15-Jul-13 13:08:19

Confused, you need to do what is right for you, but the things you mention as 'proof' you aren't enough for your daughter, aren't in fact, anything of the sort and it sounds like your confidence has been undermined and destroyed, perhaps not really help by your obviously well meaning DH either. sad presumably you chose to breastfeed because you believed it was best for your baby and those reasons still apply.

It's normal for breastfed babies, even full ones, to take a bottle keenly. A bottle is much less work for them than breastfeeding is and having a bottle of formula, which is much harder to digest than breastmilk, is a bit like having a huge Christmas dinner. The baby feels very full and very sleepy afterwards. This is one of the reasons giving any formula can be bad for breastmilk supply, it spaces feeds out. On the other hand, breastmilk is easy to digest and babies don't only want to be at the breast to feed.

Plus, as has been said above, there is often a growth spurt at around 6 weeks, which will mean your baby will feed much more often, maybe almost constantly and she will do that partly in order to increase your supply, so giving extra formula at that time can be counter productive as your supply won't increase.

As has also been said, it has been very hot, which can also mean more frequent feeds are taken, to quench thirst as well as hunger. Imagine how much more us adults want to drink when it's hot.

It's also possible there is a problem that can be fixed, so if you want to continue breastfeeding then it's worth getting some good help and support, maybe through your local breastfeeding clinic or the hospital infant feeding advisor if you can? Or one of the breastfeeding organisations such as La Leche or Breastfeeding Network.

Confused40 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:06:03

I've been to bf support groups and they said I should just keep at it. They didn't really give me any advice. Since I've given her formula she has gained loads of weight. I'm going to keep giving her formula and bf her too. She needs to gain weight as its been really slow.
I'll be going to a different bf support group to see I'd they can give me any different advice.

Lagoonablue Tue 16-Jul-13 16:25:31

Weight gain is slow in BF babies. I really don't think you have had the best advice which is a shame. BF support groups are useful but really phone La Leche if you want to try and keep bfing, they are fab.

Good luck.

massagegirl Tue 16-Jul-13 16:40:17

Hi confused. Am in very similar situation. DD is 7 weeks. Have been topping up with formula since birth. She had tongue tie which has been sorted but still has three formulas a day. It's sooooo hard and emotional when you really want to bf which I do. It's really really hard when I see her ticking so happily into a bottle then having a really good sleep after!
Sorry no advice just wanted you to know you're not alone.

tiktok Tue 16-Jul-13 16:44:57

Lagoon, it's just not true that weight gain is slow in breastfed babies. It slows, compared to ff babies, only after about 5 mths smile An average 6 week old bf baby and an average 6 wk old ff baby will gain weight at roughly the same rate.

OP's baby may well need to gain weight - not easy to tell, as some perfectly fine babies are slow to gain weight and OP has not specified any numbers.

OP, you do need help, more than 'just persevere' but nothing you have said here 'proves' your baby is not able to get enough with bf alone.

Pinkfluffypencilcase Tue 16-Jul-13 16:53:40

I had similar problem when bf my dd. she wasn't gaining weight and dropping down the weight percentiles. One health visitor said if dd didn't gain weight by next visit my baby might need to go to hospital.

Major guilt trip. The next health visitor that came was much more sensible and supportive. She said as dd was clearly thriving and growing in height then she wasn't so concerned about the weight.

Also the growth charts in red book were only for ff fed babies. My HV managed to get the bf growth charts and that really put my mind at ease. Things might have changed now and I would hope the bf and ff charts are in red book now?

Splatt34 Tue 16-Jul-13 17:06:56

Confused - I want to offer my story to hope it helps.

DD1 (now 2.8) weighted 7lb 11 at birth. Weight gain was awful. At 4 weeks I was prescribed domperidone (for supply) and advised to pump after every feed. For 2 weeks I didn't leave the house in a constant round of feeding, pumping and toping up. It was physically & enorionally exhausting. At 6 weeks she still only weighed 8lb. I was devasted and started giving formula top ups. She gained 21 oz over the next 6 days, and became a happy baby who I could enjoy. I look at photos of her now at 6 weeks and she looked ill, a week later she was a chubby bouncing baby.

DD2 is now 6.5 weeks. At 2 weeks it was obvious that history was repeating itself ( she weighed 8lb 3 from 8lb 15 at birth). I added in formula and she is now 10lb 15. Fortunately she takes bottle or boob equally well.

I mix feed DD1 til 13 weeks, by which time I was over my bf disappointment and able,to enjoy my ff baby. She is a wonderful girl. Did BLW and she now eats everything. She has been less poorly (infact hardly ill at all) compared to ebf friends.

As my health visitor says, when they start school no one knows or cares how they were fed for the first 6 months of their life. Do what works for you and your family, you are doing and amazing job and your DC loves you.

Lagoonablue Tue 16-Jul-13 17:09:30

Ok. That was what my HV told me! I think she was perhaps trying to reduce my new mum anxiety about weight gain. This was 7 ys ago though!

I am not suggesting going against medical advice.

tiktok Tue 16-Jul-13 18:31:40

All charts in red book on bf babies - based on data collected across the world in different settings rich and poor.

Splatt34 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:31:50

Confused - I want to offer my story to hope it helps.

DD1 (now 2.8) weighted 7lb 11 at birth. Weight gain was awful. At 4 weeks I was prescribed domperidone (for supply) and advised to pump after every feed. For 2 weeks I didn't leave the house in a constant round of feeding, pumping and toping up. It was physically & enorionally exhausting. At 6 weeks she still only weighed 8lb. I was devasted and started giving formula top ups. She gained 21 oz over the next 6 days, and became a happy baby who I could enjoy. I look at photos of her now at 6 weeks and she looked ill, a week later she was a chubby bouncing baby.

DD2 is now 6.5 weeks. At 2 weeks it was obvious that history was repeating itself ( she weighed 8lb 3 from 8lb 15 at birth). I added in formula and she is now 10lb 15. Fortunately she takes bottle or boob equally well.

I mix feed DD1 til 13 weeks, by which time I was over my bf disappointment and able,to enjoy my ff baby. She is a wonderful girl. Did BLW and she now eats everything. She has been less poorly (infact hardly ill at all) compared to ebf friends.

As my health visitor says, when they start school no one knows or cares how they were fed for the first 6 months of their life. Do what works for you and your family, you are doing and amazing job and your DC loves you.

Rummikub Tue 16-Jul-13 18:34:37

Tiktok is that a recent change?

Could you express? I had a similar situation, in that I had an awful time with BFing DD2 at first (bruised, cracked, bleeding nipples; horrendous pain), so took to expressing and bottle-feeding some of the time to give my boobs a break. After a while she started refusing the breast. With the help of an electric dual pump I was able to express enough to feed her at least 90% breastmilk for the first 5 months. Would that be an option for you? It's not as convienient as whipping a boob out, obviously, as you've got to wash the pump and bottles, but for me it was preferable to switching to formula completely.

hettybetty123 Tue 16-Jul-13 19:52:27

Confused - I have registered on here for the first time just so I could write you a post, because I went through something similar and I so know what you're going through and I just wanted to send you a hug.

To the poster who said bin the formula and feed feed feed - for some women that's just impossible, and that's the problem!

My dd didn't get on with breastfeeding at all when she was born. I spent the first weeks of her life in tears. At first she would try desperately to bf but give up, screaming and arching her back. I just wasn't producing enough milk. I had a succession of midwives and bf volunteers poking and prodding my boobs. Ifahd no choice but to feed her formula because she was screaming with hunger but always put her to the breast first to keep the association in her head with breasts/milk. After a couple of weeks she seemed to be getting the hang of it and would fall asleep on the breast seemingly happy so I stopped the formula, but when she was weighed at 5 weeks I was horrified to find she had fallen below her birth weight (which was only 6lb to start with so we didn't have a lot to play with). I started offering her formula top-ups after what I thought was a full bf and she would guzzle 120mls, so was obviously hungry.

At 7 weeks she was diagnosed with mild tongue tie and had it snipped, and her feeding definitely improved (have your ruled this out?). And then at about 3 months things just started getting better. I started producing more milk, she cried less and was much calmer. But it's only now at 5 months that I feel I'm producing a lot of milk - until recently I'd never had that feeling everyone else talked about of your breasts feeling 'full' and hurting or leaking if I miss a feed. I still give her one bottle of formula before she goes to bed to reassure myself she's getting enough, and she switches happily between breast and bottle.

Apologies if this is a long post but I just wanted to make the point that you should ignore anyone who says you shouldn't offer formula or that all women produce enough milk. It's just not true. It's the biggest myth that breastfeeding is easy. It's easy eventually, but most mothers I know struggled at first. I always remember what a midwife said to me when she found me sobbing about being a "failure" because I couldn't bf. She said "do you think your baby is a stupid failure? No. See how wrong it sounds when you say that - well it's just as wrong to say it about yourself." If you want to keep persevering at bf then please do, and like me it'll probably come good in the end. I now love feeding her, and if you'd told me that at 6 weeks I'd have thought you were insane! But please don't feel bad about formula. Your baby is happy when she's fed. She really doesn't mind how you do it x

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