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Feeding problems - 6 week old baby

(16 Posts)
HooperMummy Wed 19-May-10 21:59:20

My son was 6 weeks yesterday. Last week we went to the doctor as he was crying during feeds and not taking the required amounts and he was diagnosed with acid reflux and prescribed Gaviscon. He was also tested for pyloric stenosis but he thankfully tested negative.

This worked brilliantly for about a week but over the last 24hrs he has started becoming fussy again even though he is still having the Gaviscon.

Essentially, he will wake up hungry and guzzle down the first 1-2 ozs and will then need to stop to be winded. However, after burping like a teenager, he usually refuses to take much more than anther 1oz meaning that he has only been having 2-3ozs per feed (he has 6 per day). As he is 10lb 3oz he should be drinking much more than this but he just refuses to eat and falls asleep.

When he is not feeding, is a very happy and alert little boy who smiles and chatters away and he doesn't seem ill or uncomfortable. He tends to be more wakeful during the day butsleeps really well at night. The only time he seems to get upset is halfway through a feed or when he is overtired.

Prior to the Gaviscon he had only gained 2oz in 4 days but after a couple of days with it added to his feeds he had gained 4oz. I'm getting him weighed tomorrow but assume that his weight gain has gone up.

I am seeing the Health Visitor tomorrow but just wanted to see if anyone could put my mind at ease that this is normal... Please!!

Sorry for the long post but I don't have any family members I can go to with things like this so have been going completely out of my mind.

Seona1973 Wed 19-May-10 22:06:14

does gaviscon make the milk thicker? Maybe you need to use a faster teat so the milk flows through better.

mum2JRC Wed 19-May-10 22:09:55

If Gaviscon is not working for you go back to the GP as you can take oral medicines to help with the reflux

HooperMummy Wed 19-May-10 22:13:13

Seona1973 - we use Tommee Tippee bottles and we upped the teats to the medium flow which say they are normally 3mths+. We were warned that the Gaviscon does make the milk thicker but he didn't seem to have problems with it last week at all. I also bought some Variflow teats but I think the milk came out too fast as most of what he took ended up down his front! Mind you, I did try them on him a few days ago - could his needs have changed in that time?

He is quite a windy baby so we are really careful to stop regularly to make sure he is properly burped throughout the feeds and sometimes use gripe water to help things along. I don't know that could be a contributing factor to his fussiness...

HooperMummy Wed 19-May-10 22:21:32

mum2JRC - I just realised that I didn't say that he is formula-fed (sorry!). This was not a planned thing - I wasn't able to breast-feed although I really wanted to - and I worry that he's struggling because of this. All of my friends have formula-fed their children with no problems but I just feel so guilty and unhappy about not breast-feeding that I feel like this is something that I have caused.

I wish someone had warned me that the feelings of guilt and inadequacy start immediately after giving birth...

bethylou Wed 19-May-10 22:23:57

Both of the above sound likely options to me - teat size is very commonly a problem. With my DS1 I didn't realise that they needed ot change ot start with and he'd get half way through and lose interest etc..

As for reflux, I'm now on my second refluxy baby. DS2 (13 weeks) is very sicky but DS1 was not sick at all (silent reflux). Maybe the current Gaviscon dose is not sufficient? It is supposed to suppress sickness, not prevent heartburn. It didn't work for either of mine. My DSs have both had ranitidine which worked for DS1 but not for DS2. He's now trying Omeprazole - as you can see, there is more than one other option to try. Keep going back until something works -it's distressing for you and the baby but they do generally grow out of it. Good luck!

HooperMummy Wed 19-May-10 22:28:34

Thanks bethylou. I'm going to try him on the faster teats again tomorrow and see if that has any effect.

My little one has silent reflux too (if anything, since the Gaviscon he possets more than before) but I didn't realise that there were options other than Gaviscon.

Is it normal for the Gaviscon to work for a week and then stop being effective?

Niallsangel Wed 19-May-10 22:43:15

This could have been written about my DS. We had exactly the same thing which led to us worrying about how little she was taking at each feed. We tried the faster teats and it didn't really solve the problem (also on Gaviscon for silent reflux).
My GP and HV both said not to worry as she was still gaining weight and that basically she was just finishing when full. GP said don't go by the side of the milk package, go by the baby and if they are content after a feed and going a reasonable time in between, then not to fret. He also said to offer a little water mid afternoon if it is a hot day.
One day she just started to drink fine and mostly drinks the lot but I am just recovering from a 2oz bottle failure at 10pm! She's 21 weeks now as well!
Don't worry and just keep up with the weigh ins as that will be the sign of any problems.
Good luck!

Niallsangel Wed 19-May-10 22:44:21

Sorry DD, you can tell have just had feeding drama!

HooperMummy Wed 19-May-10 22:50:43

Niallsangel - thank you so much! It's a relief to know that other babies are like this too! I'm trying my best not to stress about it but that is easier said than done...

Latootle Wed 19-May-10 23:09:34

maybe try a different formula? both mine couldnt tolerate formula i tried many, and had to go onto boiled cows milk the (fat was too much) and just feed on demand. they do eventually get themselves into a routine. also try giving a little boiled water at times room temperature. milk is not a thirst quencher.
good luck

HooperMummy Thu 20-May-10 08:40:35

Thanks Latootle. We changed his formula shortly after he was born. SMA didn't seem to agree with him but he was fine once we moved him onto Cow & Gate.

I tried him on the faster teat this morning and he fed really well but I'm not going to count my chickens...

Thanks to everyone for your messages - I actually managed to get some sleep last night thanks to all of you!

bethylou Fri 21-May-10 22:04:48

I'm glad that you've had some success. I don't know whether Gaviscon can work for a bit and then stop working as I've never got it to work in the first place, but it certainly seems to be the case with the other drugs which work initially and then become less effective.

With DS1, I assumed for a while that it wasn't reflux because Gaviscon didn't work - no one had said there were other things to try (nor the actual purpose of Gaviscon). Keep going back to the GP if you need to.

HooperMummy Fri 21-May-10 23:01:55

Thanks bethylou.

He is taking more milk with the new teats but is still quite fussy generally when feeding. I'm going to see how he goes with the new teats over the weekend (maybe they take a bit of getting used to?) but suspect that I will be going to the GP on Monday...

I really appreciate your message - it's a relief to know there are other options!

karenhawks77 Fri 07-Jan-11 12:58:11

Hey, I'm new to all of this and only just joined as I've been so worried about the feeding patterns of my 9 week old baby. I hope I get the hang of it in time and it helps to put my mind at rest

I too have had feeding problems from day 1. I couldn't breast-feed as the baby wouldn't latch on. This caused her to loose a lot of weight very quickly, so I had no alternative but to switch to formula. I should mention however, she was a whopping 10lb 1oz when born!

My baby has never been very hungry. In the early days she was taking approx 50-60ml of milk. Now she will only take approx 110ml (about 4ml). I fill up my bottles to 130ml, but she nearly always leaves about 30ml at the end. I feed her every 3 hours, 6 times a day.

I never really believed this to be a huge problem at the start and just assumed she didn't have a very big appetite. However, I have not had very positive comments from my health visitor and this has made me extremely anxious.

By the age of 7 weeks, my baby's weight had only gone up to 11lb 4oz, and now I'm almost too afraid to get her weighed again because of the disappointment it causes.

She has dropped from the 98th - 75th sentile which is still above average but I'm concerned why she's not gaining weight at the rate she should be, and feed times cause great anxiety as I never know how much she's going to take?!

The suggestions I've read on here are useful and I will try them, but what I really want to know is whether this is a problem I should be really concerned about???

The health visitor has indicated my baby may have possible bowel complications or blockages in her oesophagus, which have really worried me. However, like some of the other babies mentioned on here, she looks perfectly healthy, is alert and sleeps well at night. Surely she wouldn't sleep so well if there was a problem would she?!

Any tips or advice you have for me would be appreciated, as I'm starting to go slightly crazy

Please could someone also tell me what the symptoms of reflux are? My baby does seem to trickle milk out of the side of her mouth if I lay her down too soon after a feed and occasionally she will vomit when I'm winding her. Is this reflux?!

Apologies for sounding so neurotic!!!!

TheSugarPlumFairy Fri 07-Jan-11 15:28:43

karnehawks77, i think your HV is talking bollocks actually. It is not unusual for large babies to drop centiles like you describe. She is still a healthy size. Honestly i wouldn't worry about it.

As for a bowel or oesophagus blockage, well i guess only a consultant at the hospital is going to be able to tell you 100% whether that is an issue but I wouldn't think that 4oz (120ml) was an unreasonable amount for a baby of 9 weeks to be taking at regular intervals (3 hour ish). As you say it is difficult to imagine it is a problem if she is otherwise happy.

Babies appetites will wax and wane as they go through growth spurts and then back to normal. Try not to worry too much.

Re reflux, the main symptom of reflux is that the baby cannot lay on its back after feeding as the acid from their tummy creeps up the oesophagus and burns them. They will often vomit the milk back up though some just get the pain without the vomiting. That said, all babies vomit sometimes. Usually when they have taken a little bit too much milk or sometimes just because. some babies always have a little sick up (called a possit) after feeding but it doesn't mean they have reflux.

Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Sounds to me like you have a perfectly happy and healthy little girl.

If your HV is serious about the complications tell her to pull her finger out and get you referred to the appropriate clinic.

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