Should I listen to the GP, or the HV?(89 Posts)
Hi I'm new to Mumsnet, it's lovely to be here.
I have a little boy, who is now 3 months. I have been really struggling with BF, sore nipples (I had flat nipples anyway, so went to a few classes for support/advice, midwife recommended it) feeling heavy/swollen, etc.
HV tells me that I'm doing fine, I just need to keep going.
GP tells me that he is on the 0 percentile for weight, he was on the 15th when born. So I just need to give him a bottle really.
What would you do?
Either plan to settle in for a couple of days, get comfy on the couch with drinks, phone, wet wipes, nappies, Lanolin, tv remote etc and do nothing but feed. That sorted it for me when I had bleeding nipples and mastitis (that and antibiotics ).
Or, go get some bottles and formula. I think it's up to you really. Which would you prefer? Neither is better than the other, but one might be better for you than the other, so I'd choose that one.
0%ile for weight? Listen to GP and get a bottle in your baby ASAP!
the question really is what do you wish to do? Having breastfed exclusively for three months you have done amazing! You really have! is babe now following that centile (so dropped but now gaining?). But honestly giving a top up once a day really really will not harm your baby. You do not have to stop bf altogether, top up after a feed each day. See if that helps? (Midwife here, personal opinion - your baby will be fine if you give a bit of formula too, or completely for that matter!)
Personally I would listen to your GP. Can/do you express?
You can combination feed if you like. For breastfeeding neither HV or GP are necessarily experts - can you see a lactation consultant? Or LLL leader?
Has anyone mentioned nipple shields to you? They were great for me.
How determined are you to keep bfing? If he's three months can you combination feed?
Even if you do give a bottle, it's perfectly possible to get back to EBF if that's what you'd like to do.
LLLI are fab, they helped getting my 1st son BFing. KellyMom is also a great source of advice.
Sorry, did the HV say she wasn't worried about the change in centile or did she not know?
I was in your position, at 6 weeks old ds2 was the same weight as he was at birth. Health visitor recommended mixed feeding but i decided to just put him on formula. It is really such a personal decision though, there are many on here that believe so greatly in the benefits of breastfeeding that they will struggle through anything and most times, come out the other side. There are others (like me) that think formula is a perfectly fine substitute and there are greater things to worry over (he was dc3 so I had to consider the others in the family and as much as pp suggested spending a few days of constant feeding that's great until you have to juggle school runs, kids lunches, toilet training and homework.... )
Best of luck whatever you decide, it really is a horrible decision to make
Can you get hold of a proper breast feeding counsellor (somebody trained rather than a breastfeeding promoter)? How is your little boy otherwise: is he alert? Does he have plenty of wet nappies? Does he look thin?
I was in your situation when dd was a month old: unfortunately, she really was in trouble and was eventually admitted to hospital. I did manage to continue breastfeeding with support of the hospital, but it was definitely right to get help.
Warning signs which should have made me react more quickly: dd really did look thin, she was not putting on any weight, she was getting sleepy at the breast and would only suckle for a very short time.
There may be some kind of middle ground between "doing fine" and "give him a bottle" but you probably need an expert to help you find it, and neither the GP or the HV are likely to be that expert.
For us a good half way house was a supplemental nursing system whereby you breastfeed while sticking a little tube in the corner of their mouth connected to a bottle of formula. They suck it like a straw and get both milks at once.
Do either your HV or GP have any proper training in BF?
Assuming your baby is happy and healthy (if not, it's more urgent than this), I'd get on the phone to the NCT breastfeeding helpline and see if they can get you in touch with someone who knows what they are talking about.
Should have added that at 3 months you may be able to combine breast and bottle feeds. I did that with ds and it never affected my milk supply at all.
I suspect there is a reason why your baby is losing weight. With my DS there was a tricky posterior TT causing issues with feeding that was missed by multiple health care professionals. I suggest you get am experience lactation consultant to take a look and see if you have any similar issues. Once the TT was snipped ds gained really well.
First of all well done for keeping going with BF!
If there are concerns about your baby's weight I would add in some formula - as PP said you can still mainly BF but one or two bottles of formula will give a bit of a boost (and you a break). You could also express if you wish so you know what he's getting but it's still breast milk.
I would also recommend seeing a lactation consultant, sometimes they go to NHS groups so you don't necessarily have to pay for it, our local hospital has one. I had lots of problems feeding DS1 and tried all the local breastfeeding 'experts' and groups but it was only the lactation consultant who recognised the problem (severe tongue tie). Their knowledge is fantastic.
Combi feed for now, (I did at the start and ended up EBF) sorry to be blunt but your baby needs more food than he's getting
Personally I'd give a few bottles of formula you could still breastfeed too that's what I'm doing
We struggled as well (dropped from 50th centile to below 2nd) - we never managed EBF as we had to give some formula from day 1, but my attempts to wean off bottles never worked. However we mix fed successfully for over a year (stopped BF when we were both ready). In a similar situation again I would not hesitate to mix feed.
I did feel very emotional about "failing" at BFing at the time, but honestly, once you're past that stage and looking back it just feels utterly irrelevant - he was fed and happy, that was what mattered.
Neither are really supporting you right now, the HV shouldn't be saying everything's fine, but neither should the GP be saying give a bottle unless that's what you want to do.
Find a proper lactation councillor (think its an IBLC one you need to look for) who can check for a tongue tie (not always recognised by HV or GP) or any other reason why the baby isn't feeding as efficiently as it could.
Of course this is all up to you, you can give a bottle if you want, that's fine and completely your choice, but if you want to carry on BF you will need to see someone who knows what they're on about, or even if mixed feeding the Bf side of things will probably fizzle out quickly.
I'm currently mixed feeding.
DD is 9 weeks old. Between 5-7weeks she only gained 3 oz and was incredibly unhappy.
I pumped, I stayed in bed with her for 48 hours, I took fenugreek - everything I could to increase supply. It didn't work...
I now offer her 3oz after every BF. Sometimes she wants it all, sometimes only an oz or so. She put on 9oz last week and is much happier.
I'm happy that she is still getting at least half her milk from me which should still give her what she needs in terms of immunity etc.
Interestingly I looked at DD1s growth chart (she is 9) and hers showed the exact same growth issue at the same time, she went on to only gain 3oz between week 10-24. I can't believe a HV didn't intervene! but to does look like my body can't produce enough milk past wk5...
If your baby is happy, has lots of wet nappies and a few dirty ones and his weight continues to follow the 0% line then in all likelihood, he is fine. Otherwise perhaps think about getting your supply up and if that fails, supplement.
Breast is best, but only if there is enough of it!
Are you able to express milk, or would you rather not?
I have been given really dangerous advice about breastfeeding by a HV and as a result I'm really not inclined to trust them. The fact that you are having pain in your nipples tells me that something is not right and if your baby is not able to latch on properly then it won't be possible for him to get the food he needs.
If you feel strongly about wanting to give him breastmilk then you could try expressing and getting advice to help you. Kellymom.com saved my sanity more than once.
If you decide to give formula then you will still be doing the best you can for him.
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