Breastfed baby never satisfied after feed

(13 Posts)
Pumperthepumper Fri 05-Feb-16 13:06:27

My baby is 6 weeks and is never satisfied after a breastfeed, unless she falls asleep. She lost 12% of her birth weight and is putting it back on really slowly - she put on 4oz this week. I top her up with formula on her first and last feeds of the day - but she now wants more and more formula, and is pretty much taking a full feed both times now.

Today I can't get her to latch properly and she's miserable. I've had to give her a bottle now to calm her down after breastfeeding her for two hours - and she's inhaled it, and is now calm and alert, looking around and smiling.

She has plenty of wet nappies but only one dirty one a week, always after a big formula feed. I've tried to pump but I'm only getting less than an oz each time.

Should I just stop trying to breastfeed? Does anyone have any advice for how I can continue?

tiktok Fri 05-Feb-16 14:28:38

sad pumper

You have had a rough start.

Can you give some more info?

What is the history of your dd's weight?

How much does she weigh now?

How much formula does she have, in total?

How often does she come to the breast? Do you offer both breasts at least every time? What have you done so far to improve her intake?

Pumperthepumper Fri 05-Feb-16 14:40:33

Thanks Tiktok, she weighed 7lbs 7oz at birth, she was born by c-section and lost 12%. She's up to 8lbs 5oz now and she'll be seven weeks on Monday.

She was having maybe 60ml of formula in the morning and maybe 100 at night but that's gone up to about 150 at night now. Today I had to give her about 120 during the day too, she's never had that before.

She comes to the breast every forty mins or so and she'll feed until she's exhausted. The quickest feed is in the morning and it's probably for about an hour and a half. I offer both breasts each time, I was told to switch feed her. I was pumping to boost my supply but I also have a toddler and it was getting too much to feed her for hours then spend forty mins afterwards pumping.

She just always seems so much happier after formula, I guess because she's finally full. She's much more contented and alert and will drift off to sleep rather than exhausting herself, if you see what I mean.

tiktok Fri 05-Feb-16 15:22:12

Thanks, Pumper.

None of that sounds good, to be honest.

That weight gain is very slow, and the feeds are long and frequent....long, frequent feeds are ok if the baby happens to be piling weight on but this isn't the case. How is it working? She can't be literally feeding every 40 mins round the clock - if she's feeding until she's exhausted, there must be some sleeping time? It can't be 40 mins from the start of one feed to the other every time, is what I'm saying....not that I'm suggesting things are normal, 'cos they aren't. It doesn't sound as if the breastfeeding is effective. It sounds such hard work sad

How did breastfeeding go at the very start? When was formula first introduced and why? Was it because of the larger than usual weight loss?

It might be an option to give formula more frequently, and in smaller amounts? How would you feel about that? The small amount of formula after a breastfeed would enable her to be satisfied and to maintain and improve her weight gain, and maybe give you a chance to express....I am not saying this is easy at all, of course.

Is there anyone in real life offering you support with this?

Pumperthepumper Fri 05-Feb-16 15:41:26

She feeds until she's exhausted and sleeps for maybe half an hour, then wakes up and feeds again. If she's awake she wants fed, unless she gets formula and then she's alert and happy.

Formula was introduced because of the weight loss yes. We ended up back in hospital and they said to give her formula. The plan was to eventually get her off it but it didn't work out like that.

Breastfeeding isn't effective at all, but I've tried so hard because I had the same issues with my son and I so wanted it to work this time. I'd be so gutted to give up again. My husband is great but he's starting to make noises about giving up because there's such a difference in her when she's given the formula. With my son, I topped up after every feed but he just took more and more and I produced less and less milk until formula was the only option.

This sucks. I've tried so hard, I can't think of a single thing I could have done differently to make it work.

Pumperthepumper Fri 05-Feb-16 15:42:50

Sorry, hope that didn't sound abrupt, I'm a bit upset.

tiktok Fri 05-Feb-16 16:00:23

sad sad Pumper you are right to be upset. It is not fair.

You have struggled along and not getting the positive results you want.

To be honest, I think this needs a proper plan from someone who knows what they are talking about and can observe at least a couple of feeds.

You need to rule out tongue tie.

You need to think about all the possible things you haven't tried (not many!) - a nursing supplementer for instance (fiddly thing to get used to, but some mothers really like them); efficient regular pumping; breast compression.

You need to decide on a goal - maintaining breastfeeding for as long as you can, aiming for exclusive breastfeeding, aiming for a plateau of combination feeding, aiming for expressing and bottle feeding with no direct feeding....whatever. Then you can work on a plan (with your knowledgable person) to achieve it.

I don't think what you are doing now is sustainable - it's frustrating for you and wearing you down sad

So you need a plan smile

Fugghetaboutit Fri 05-Feb-16 16:09:40

Have you seen a bf support worker or similar? Sounds tough op

PosieReturningParker Fri 05-Feb-16 16:14:37

She's not tongue tied is she?

Pumperthepumper Fri 05-Feb-16 16:41:26

Thanks Tiktok. You're exactly right. I'd never heard of a supplementer before, might give that a go. And I need to find a knowledgable person, I haven't been to any breastfeeding groups yet so there's always that.

Thank you again, I really do appreciate it.

Pumperthepumper Fri 05-Feb-16 16:42:47

I've been to a breastfeeding clinic a couple of times but they said she was doing fine. She's not been checked for tongue tie because her latch was always good but I can look into that too.

NickyEds Fri 05-Feb-16 21:13:48

Get her checked for tongue tie ASAP. Long, frequent but ultimately ineffective feeding sounds quite typical of a Tt.

Tallulahoola Tue 09-Feb-16 17:06:16

This sounds exactly like my DD. A midwife explained to me that her feeding for 40 minutes then falling asleep was because she was so exhausted by trying to get the milk out. She was mildly tongue tied and having it cut improved things a bit but not totally. I switched to mostly formula feeding and never looked back, but kept offering bf at times when I knew I was producing more milk - basically night-time feeds and the first morning feed of the day. And when all the stress and tears (on her part and mine) of struggling to bf were taken away, somehow the bf got easier and she was able to do it more.

Be kind to yourself. You have done brilliantly. The most important thing is that your baby is happy and doesn't go hungry. Don't bse yourself up about formula, go with it and the bf may or may not improve if you take the pressure off.

And don't listen to the bf clinic people who say everything's fine. A lot of them are determined to say this regardless of the situation because they're rabidly anti-formula. They said it to me when DD at 6 weeks weighed less than her birth weight and it still makes me angry angry

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