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(30 Posts)
posterofagirl Fri 01-Jul-11 20:38:29

I have been breast feeding my lo who is 3 weeks old but she hasn't regained her birth weight and is losing a bit of weight every couple of days.
We had a traumatic birth, induced then vendeuse which left her with a huge scalp wound and the csection during which she got cut deeply on the shoulder.

Feeding got off to a very slow start and hospital made me top up with formula. Thanks to the support of the community midwives we weaned her off this at home.

Lo struggles to feed from the left breast so I do expresss and top her up with ebm from that side.

She feeds every 2 hours in the day, 4 at night and we have 8 ish wet and dirty nappies a day. In short she's feeding pretty well but no weight gain and no sign of any illness in her.

I am at the end of my tether because I seem to be accidentally starving my baby and making us both miserable. I am starting to think I should just switch to formula but I hate the idea of it. I just don't know what else to do .

orchidee Fri 01-Jul-11 20:51:26

You both have some recoverery to do from the birth, I hope that is going well.

Have you looked at the Kellymom website? There's loads of great ideas and info. I've linked to a page on weight gain, there's loads more you may be interested in. My first thought was to offer the breast more, everytime she is awake. In the early weeks I think my baby fell asleep during a feed from the effort of feeding, not necessarily because he was full. For example I tried to put his to bed after a feed and he woke up, he'd often take more milk if offered.

If you can give some more details people may have more specific ideas for you, e.g:
what was her birth weight / initial weight loss / current weight?
describe a typical feed e.g. duration, do you offer both breasts, does she take both?

GreenTeapot Fri 01-Jul-11 20:57:51

I wish tiktok was around these days sad

I think you probably need quite specific advice so I won't offer anything but good luck and well done on all your efforts so far - have a bump smile

posterofagirl Fri 01-Jul-11 21:00:06

Sorry forgot all those details blush
Her birth weight was 9lb2 and she is now 8lb6

She feeds for about an hour at the right breast but will only take the left breast about 3 times a day, mostly she screams at it, whatever hold I use.

She does cluster feed at night for about 4 hours although the last 2 nights she has moved this to early hours of the morning.

I have had a quick look at kellmom and will give breast compression a try.

twinklegreen Fri 01-Jul-11 21:06:17

posterofagirl sorry you are having such a hard time sad

I do agree with orchidee it's very hard to get a good picture of what's happening via the internet, I think it would be useful to have a bit more specific info, such as; exact weight gain/loss, colour/consistency of nappy contents, whether you are experiencing any pain/discomfort at the breast, nipple soreness or not, it your baby unsettled after/between feeds etc.

I'm sure that you will get lots of great support on here, however I really think it would be beneficial for you to see someone face to face, such as a breastfeeding counsellor (ABM, NCT, La Leche, BFN) or an IBCLC.

twinklegreen Fri 01-Jul-11 21:08:21

sorry crossed posts!

girliefriend Fri 01-Jul-11 21:10:49

Oh bless you sounds like the birth was horrible, I had a traumatic birth and my dd was then ill in scbu for 5 days. My dd also lost weight she went from 6lbs 14oz down to 6lbs and then struggled to put on weight. It was really tricky but I did try and trust my instincts that it would be o.kay, I occasionally topped up esp in the evenings with a small amount of formula if I was really worried.

My advice is keep going, trust your instincts that all will sort itself out, make sure you look after yourself - eat and drink lots well, rest when you can.


WhipMeIndiana Fri 01-Jul-11 21:14:54

an hour at one breast? in one go?

crikeybadger Fri 01-Jul-11 21:15:54

Sounds like you've had a tough start. sad

Have you seen anyone that is actually an 'expert' in breastfeeding ie. someone at a breastfeeding support group, an infant feeding specialist at the hospital?

Has your baby been checked for tongue tie?

You probably do need to see someone face to face- either through the NHS or with a lactation consultant. The wee and poo output sounds good, but the weight loss is unusual. Are you happy that the scales are accurate and there have been no mistakes made with the figures?

Tiktok is around still, but just not so often, so hopefully she may see this and pop on over.

crikeybadger Fri 01-Jul-11 21:18:11

She benefit from seeing a cranial osteopath to help her recover from the birth too. Maybe she has some pain that is affecting her feeding on that left side.

WhipMeIndiana Fri 01-Jul-11 21:18:14

yes - face to face, an expert needs to see baby feed - is your hv useful?

try not to worry, make sure youre eating and resting as earlier poster said

crikeybadger Fri 01-Jul-11 21:18:35

She might benefit

posterofagirl Fri 01-Jul-11 21:20:13

I have had both lactation specialist midwives in ( they have been ace) but they are a bit stumped by it as everything seems ok except for the weight loss. And no tongue tie she was checked by a paediatrician in hospital.

posterofagirl Fri 01-Jul-11 21:21:37

Crikey- midwife has suggested this so think I will give it a try

WhipMeIndiana Fri 01-Jul-11 21:22:52

posterofagirl - - is baby staying on one breast for an hour?
mine always did 20 mins on breast 1 then 10 mins on breast 2 , after a time its a pure comfort thing,not much milk comes out?

sorry if you didnt mean that in your post

mummynoseynora Fri 01-Jul-11 21:27:16

my DS struggled with weight gain - took 4 weeks for him to regain birth weight... he was a funny bugger (still is grin )
it seemed to be that he would appear content after coming off one breast - so my gut was he was full - after going to a BF councillor she suggested I offer the other side too, he fed there for another 20 mins! Started doing better when I offered both sides every feed.... if I were you (DS had a side preference too) I would offer the good side first, then the less happy side when he's a bit fuller - so hoepfully more prepared to wait a little?

breast compression helped me too - and FLAPJACK - apparently its amazing for milk... I didn't discover this whilst feeding DS, but a friend did and literally 24 hours later - milk overflowing smile

PelvicFloor0fSteel Fri 01-Jul-11 21:28:35

tiktok was around just a couple of hours ago!

I think RL support is likely to be the way forwards as they'll be far more able to advise on whether your latch is right or tongue tie, etc. Three weeks is very early days and I'm sure, with the right help, you'll be able to BF. Have you got a sure start centre locally? Most of them offer bfing advice and have support groups.

posterofagirl Fri 01-Jul-11 21:38:42

Yep she is staying on the breast for an hour a time and slurping and gulping the whole time!

PelvicFloor0fSteel Fri 01-Jul-11 21:39:25

Sorry lots of x-posting.
whipmeindianna breasts make milk throughout a feed, just at a slower rate later on, if weight gain is a problem you definitely don't want to feed for less time altogether.
I'm guessing changing sides would be useful if she'd take the other side but I'm not sure how you make it happen if she's refusing confused

Rubitue Fri 01-Jul-11 21:41:37

I applaud your determination to breastfeed, many women would have given up faced with the difficulties you've had.

As Crikey says it would be worth having her checked for a tongue tie. My son had one and couldn't feed properly until it was cut (privately as NHS wanted to wait and see if it affected his speech, how supportive of bf!). I spent the first 10 days expressing and feeding him with a syringe.

He was also induction & vontouse and we took him to a cranial osteopath as he appeared to have issues on one side. She said he was very tense on one side and did her thing which did seem to do some good.

I hope things improve soon, really well done so far and congratulations on your DD!

Rubitue Fri 01-Jul-11 21:45:01

Sorry, crossed posting. I'm no expert but slurping and gurgling does sound like the latch is not great, possibly from a tongue tie - should be fairly quiet in my experience/what I was told in my case.

crikeybadger Fri 01-Jul-11 22:18:40

TT's do get missed and paediatricians aren't always that knowledgeable about bfing issues.

Have a read of this.

It might not be of course- it could be the latch needs some adjustment, but it's something to reconsider.

posterofagirl Fri 01-Jul-11 23:16:12

Thanks for that link she does seem to have a lot of those symptoms so I will get her checked again.

tiktok Fri 01-Jul-11 23:27:06

???? I am around, Greenteapot, and posting quite a lot smile

posterofagirl you have quite a lot of good info here - I agree this is a real concern. Continued loss of weight can be serious.

Usually, the reason for babies not gaining weight as they should is plain and simple: not enough milk going in. Your little girl had a really difficult start and it's great you had support from the midwives.

From what you say, she is just not feeding often enough - 2 hourly in the day and 4 hrly at night is not very often for a baby who needs to gain weight and t catch up. It could be as few as 8 times in 24 hours....can you double that? This might mean keeping her skin to skin as often/long as possible day and night and offering the breast as soon as she twitches a bit smile Switch nursing - swapping sides again and again - and breast compression (google it) can help.

It may be she does need supplementing at the moment - your own expressed for preference - to make sure of sufficient calorie intake while you fix the bf frequency.

But active weight loss is not good - needs attention urgently. Observation of a feed by someone who knows what to look for, paed checks to make sure there's nothing else going on that has been missed (heart needs listening to), continued support and monitoring by midwives, HV; breastfeeding counsellor support.....all of this will help.

organiccarrotcake Sat 02-Jul-11 00:18:17

tiktok could she still have pain from the ventouse causing her to find feeding uncomfortable? I recall from my mother's midwifery days that babies were not generally given adequate pain relief and I wonder if this would be a potential part of the problem, inhibiting her desire to feed?

May or may not be a consideration, depending on whether she accepts further feedings.

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