Looking for advice/reassurance re DD's feeding

(6 Posts)
NeedaDiscoNap Fri 11-Jul-14 15:26:45

DD is 6 weeks old. She was born at just over 37 weeks and weighed 4lbs 4, and we were in hospital for 6 days because she was so small and lost 11% of her birth weight, had erratic blood sugars, spent time in SBU and couldn't regulate her temperature. She is mixed fed on expressed breast milk and a couple of formula feeds a day. She is gaining weight brilliantly - 6lbs 13 this week - and although she is on the 0.4 centile for weight she is thriving.

In hospital we had to wake her every 3 hours for a feed, strip her down to her nappy etc. as she was very sleepy. She now feeds around 10 times in 24 hours (sometimes more), taking between 60 and 120ml per feed (120ml would be over an hour or slightly more). However over the last few days her feeding habits have changed and I wondered if this was normal - first baby so not sure what is ok or not! I've spoken to the HV and she was quite vague and didn't really give me much guidance.

DD is now feeding every hour/hour and a half and sleeping for very short periods. For the last few nights, she has woken almost every hour for a small feed and is very restless. Today this has continued, and whereas previously she would happily go into her moses basket to sleep, today she is falling asleep on me and becoming very upset when transferred to the basket. She is also only sleeping for very short stretches whereas previously she would sleep for a couple of hours. She is also feeding almost continuously from around 7ish until 11 at night. She sometimes appears to be completely starving - sucking my finger off, chewing her fist and other hunger signs including lots of crying - but by the time I've warmed the milk up she falls asleep. Her pooing habits have also changed - only pooing once a day or every couple of days.

Thanks if you've got this far - any advice or reassurance gratefully received!

KirstyM2014 Fri 11-Jul-14 20:11:54

Hi, it sounds like she is going through a growth spurt with feeding lots and the cluster feeds at night, my little one did this for few weeks around 4 weeks old, it does calm down. When she's showing really hungry signs could u bf her which would be quicker than warming a bottle? Though she sounds like she's doing well putting weight on, your doing really well too. Not sure about the pops though I know ebf babies can go days without poking. X

NeedaDiscoNap Fri 11-Jul-14 20:26:41

Thanks Kirsty. I actually gave up breastfeeding after three weeks as it was taking so much energy for her because she was so little and both of us were getting distressed. She can still breastfeed though - am a little devastated that she isn't feeding from the breast but am making my peace with it.

I think you're right that it's probably a growth spurt. I'm assuming because she's smaller than other babies at the same age that she'll (hopefully) have a lot of those!

LatinForTelly Sat 12-Jul-14 00:44:11

Hi Disco, I'm not sure I've got much useful advice but posting because one of my DC was a small for dates baby, with erratic feeding afterwards. However, my baby did not gain weight brilliantly, so very different to your situation.

Could it be possible she is having a bit of discomfort with wind or reflux and so is confused about what she needs to comfort herself ie feed or sleep? Also, refluxy babies are more likely to take little and often. It sounds like those are good quantities though - has her recent weight gain still been good?

It sounds like you're doing brilliantly, and it is a stressful situation, especially with your first. With such a small baby, I would be tempted to keep feeding her as often as she wishes, and if she seems to get more distressed, then talk to your HV or gp about it. If it is reflux, for example, there are safe, effective medications which would be able to make her more comfortable. (Absolutely not armchair diagnosing though - really just here to hold a hand, and say it sounds like you're doing all the right things!)

With a small baby, I think it's absolutely fine to ask for more support from healthcare professionals, and I wish I'd been a bit more militant in the early days.

Do you have someone who can help you for some of the night, as every hour is exhausting?

NeedaDiscoNap Sat 12-Jul-14 08:53:10

Thanks Latin. She was a bit better yesterday evening and my DH did all the night feeds last night - she drank loads but he said she was awake from 1 til 4 constantly feeding. She didn't constantly feed in the evening though so maybe that's why. I know she's still very young but it feels a bit erratic as you say you experienced.

She has her 6 week check at the doctor's next week so will ask then. It's so hard it know what's going on with your first isn't it? I don't know if it's perfectly ok or not!

LatinForTelly Sat 12-Jul-14 23:46:08

That sounds great if she was feeding constantly from 1 til 4 (although perhaps not the most convenient for your DH, admittedly wink).

I heard when I had my little DC, that most small-for-dates babies come out absolutely ravenous and eager to 'catch up', so hopefully that is exactly what she is doing.

Yes, very stressful with your first. It was my second who was small; I did, even at the time, think thank goodness he was my second, otherwise I'd have been a mess.

Am wishing you lots of luck, and hoping your DD goes from strength to strength, and also settles into more of a rhythm.

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