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Multiple issues(4 Posts)
Apologies in advance for a long post but I am at my wits end and really need to vent.
My LO is over 8 weeks. He was born during the peak of the Covid crisis and I had to start self isolating in early March. First baby, really quick labour and decent weight. I was discharged within 4 hours (due to straightfoward vaginal delivery) and reassurred that a midwife would come to see me on the following day which never happened. I had to properly kick off and a few days later a midwife unknown to me turned up in full PPE and stayed 2 metres from the baby despite me telling her that he was struggling to feed and that he had been falling asleep following each feed. She observed me breastfeeding and noted that he was swallowing milk which I couldn't see/hear. My parents live abroad and they're unable to travel to help.
Fast forward 1 week, my midwife turns up and it turns out that the baby has lost 15% of his body weight. He struggles to feed from my breast and I report milk coming through his nose and him choking whilst feeding (which obviously was a horror to watch!). My midwife recommends that I express and feed him from the bottle, she works out how much he requires per day but he is a hungry boy and instead of taking 560ml per day he is taking almost 900ml.
In the meantime, I'm receiving online breastfeeding support from the local volunteers who try to figure out via skype if the baby is latching on. I am, again, reassurred that all is fine and asked to persevere which I do but the baby is still choking and the milk is coming out of his mouth as he is feeding. I am exhausted, haven't showered or eaten for days. The baby is refusing to be put down so me and my OH take turns and sleep on the sofa with the other one holding the baby. When I voice my concerns, I am advised that this is what babies are like and referred to a book about the 4th trimester. I feel like I'm being judged. I am told that I should be taking advantage of the situation and having bonding time with my baby by having constant skin-to-skin and allowing him free access to my breasts. I also have to deal with mastitis, extremely forceful letdown (which, again, the baby chokes on) and oversupply (I'm pumping 250ml from each breast). As soon as the baby starts crying, my milk is spraying everywhere which I don't feel comfortable with.
3 weeks later somebody suggests to me that I need to seek advice from a local (private) tongue tie specialist because my LO is clearly having problems and NHS are not offering any support in that regard. A child dietitian also gets involved and she recommends that I give up diary which I am reluctant to do. The baby turns out to be severely tongue tied which we get sorted and we also arrange a couple of sessions of cranial osteopathy.
In the meantime, he develops tummy problems, and wakes up crying every time he wants to poop. I am still expressing as he's refusing to latch on. He is taking almost 1litre of my milk per day and continues rooting, bobbing his head and sucking his fists. I have to feed him every 45 minutes which my HA believes results from his growth spurts (but they occur too often).
When he is 7 weeks, I note water in his stool and he has increased temperature. I take him to my local A&E and the doc tells me that the baby is eating too much which upsets his stomach. This is contrary to the advice of my online bf volunteer who tells me that you can't overfeed a breastfed baby. He gets weighed and he's at the 92nd percentile which concerns me, especially when he's constantly hungry.
I forgot to add that apart from tongue tie and tummy problems, he develops bad reflux and refuses to sleep despite us rocking and singing to him, and making sure he's not overtired. He only naps on us and for 2 hours in the day, and it takes us hours to settle him for the night which results in him going down at 1.30 am despite us starting the "routine" at 8pm. This has been ongoing for weeks. I have tried to introduce a soft routine and put him in his crib when he is drowsy but as soon as he hits the matress, he starts screaming. Swaddling helps a little but I feel like I'm punishing my own child as he screams bloody murder.
I am tired and I don't enjoy this experience at all. I don't think I'm depressed but I feel like I can't help my own baby who, to make it worse, is very high need. I understand that the pooping situation will resolve as his gut matures and have today switched to formula as he was getting too gassy (which I gather was due to the fact that I was also dealing with foremilk/hindmilk imbalance) which I feel has helped, but the baby still wants to be fed all the time (which I understand is something I should be careful with when giving him formula) and carried everywhere otherwise he cries and becomes inconsolable. He doesn't smile back at me, doesn't want to play, doesn't like his baby gym, his bouncer. He is happy in a sling but I am unable to rest and sleep whilst he is sleeping. My OH s helping as much as possible and tries to take over when he is back from work but I feel bad that he has no break himself.
Any advice sleep/feeding/pooping related would be very much appreciated.
Does your baby have a dummy? My ds1 was a very sucky baby, always wanted the comfort of sucking/feeding. Giving him a dummy, helped me during the day when I thought he needed the comfort of sucking rather than when he was hungry. I didn’t give it to him at night in his cot, only during the day, and it helped me feel like there was another option rather than just feeding him.
Hi, I really feel for you. I had a similar experience in terms of breastfeeding, with oversupply and choking and constant crying. I really felt like I'd ruined my life. However, you've had the added issues of covid and total lack of support. First thing to say is: things will get better. From having a constantly crying newborn who never smiled, slept terribly and was never content, I now have the most amazing almost 2 year old who is a total joy. Hang on in there.
Things that helped:
- reflux medicine. We were eventually prescribed ranitidine. I understand this has been discontinued, but other things are available. Doctor needs to prescribe it. Let them know how bad things are, and the fact you've ended up in a&e.
- dummy. I felt some weird guilt about not wanting my baby to have a dummy. Looking back, I have no idea why.
- swaddling and rocky chair for naps. After about an hour awake.
It will get better. We saw improvement after 3 months. And then so, so much better with each stage of development.
Thanks for the replies.
Yes, he's got a dummy but he spits it out when he falls asleep and as soon as it hits his face, he wakes up 🙄
He's currently on omeprazole but the dose is not strong enough plus it's a faff as I have to dissolve a tablet in water and then use a syringe to give it to him. I'm seeing my GP on Friday for the vaccines and I'll ask for a stronger dose.
I've just given him 150ml of formula and he looks like he's about to be sick. It says on the tin that I should be feeding him 5 times a day where he's used to being fed on average 14 times a day so he protests within 2 hours of his last formula feed. Can I exceed the recommended dose?
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