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Totally impossible to feed - advice please?!

(23 Posts)
YogaMummy2B Fri 08-Jul-11 20:35:39

I have a lovely DD who is 14 weeks old on Sunday, only problem she is impossible to feed!
I was BFing until 6 weeks in which time DD only really had about 5 'good' feeds, by this I mean I could feel she was drinking and was all floppy and satisfied after. Other than that we had lots of screaming and fussing and constant wanting to be latched on. A feed could last from 1 hour to 1hr 45 & she would scream if put down etc. Also almost instantly wanted back on.
Turns out she has bad reflux, also checked for TT and BF coordinator in hospital checked latch and all other BF variables.
So ... Long story short I started bottle feeding on advice of HV (wish I hadn't but a bit late now!!!)
To start off with we got on kinda OK with the bottles, although it was still taking over an hour to feed DD but she was drinking up to 7oz. However reflux got worse and feeding started to worsen. Screaming like mad when approached by bottle, vomiting after, dropping feeds and only having 2 or 3oz at a time.
GP changed us to a 'milk free' formula as it looks like it's a cows milk protein intolerance. Have been on this for 2 weeks now & reflux much improved, however she has started to eat very little again. Never been a big fan of the taste of this milk but she is really worrying me with how little she is consuming. She is approx 15lbs and today only had 21oz, yesterday was pretty similar.
The totally frustrating thing is that even when she only eats 2 or 3 oz it still takes up to an hour to feed her!! Meaning to try and feed her more often is pretty impossible!
Anyone shed any light/advise me?
I'm at the end of my tether trying to feed her! I'm really getting very down about it.
Ps. Tried different bottles and teats, have been keeping my local chemist in business!

HooverTheHamaBeads Fri 08-Jul-11 20:47:09

Bumping for you.

thisisyesterday Fri 08-Jul-11 20:52:00

hmmm so her problems with breastfeeding may just have been the dairy in your diet?

it isn't too late to go back to breastfeeding if you wanted to do that?

what formula have you been given? some children can't take the hypoallergenic formulas such as nutramigen and need a compeltely non-milk based one like neocate instead, so i would def recommend seeing your GP again anyway

is her reflux being treated with medication?

Iggly Fri 08-Jul-11 20:52:13

I had a similar problem with DS - reflux and cows milk protein intolerance. In the end he went on nursing strike despite being on medication sad only difference is I BF.

The only way I could feed him was to do it when he was drowsy or almost asleep. The advice I was given was to not try and feed him when he was striking because it just made him and me upset and stressed. Also when I did give a bottle of EBM I had to make sure he was bolt upright to avoid any reflux. So try dream feeding at least once or twice a day (other than bedtime/morning feeds)?

You should go to your GP and get acid neutralising medication like ranitidine (gaviscon is useless for acid reflux) asap. I found that DS's reflux was triggered by eating full stop as opposed to over feeding. If he got wind, it would hurt him. Similarly when he started on solids. Although now at 22 months it's pretty much on its way out - he's ok with tiny bits of cheese although no milk/yoghurt.

YogaMummy2B Fri 08-Jul-11 21:07:49

She is on Losec/Omeprazole & has been for about 5 weeks now, think it is doing the trick with the reflux but not sure, perhaps it's not & I am just used to it now!!
I think she is pretty much having a nursing strike! Only problem is that she is rarely drowsy as she doesn't sleep during the day. She only had 1 hour from 7.30am to 8pm today!
this how would I go about feeding her again? I have been given cow & Gate pepti junior. I thought the totally elemental ones were meant to taste really awful and was worried she would get worse.
It is all so stressful and the poor wee thing looks wrecked most of the time.

thisisyesterday Fri 08-Jul-11 21:16:00

if you want to start relactating it is hard work (just to warn you!). you would ideally put her to the breast as much as possible,. definitely before every feed and preferably a few times in between... stop if she gets upset though because you don't want to create negative associations

express. lots. try and include at least one session in the night. you'd ideally want to do it about 10 times every 24 hours (i think)

you can also get something called a supplemental nursing system (SNS) this is a thin tube that you tape to the breast which leads to a bottle of formula milk. baby nurses at the breast which stimulates them for milk production, but gets the formula from the bottle too so she feels satisfied with the milk coming out

there is a page on kellymom on relactation, and i know a couple of people on here have done it so if it's something you'd be interested in then it's definitely worth starting another thread with relactation in the title for more information from people who h ave actualyl done it

on your other point, yes, neocate apparently does smell and taste pretty rank, but i expect you could do a gradual swap to it by mixing it with her current formula and tbh she may be more willing to take it if it doesn't make her feel poorly?

Iggly Fri 08-Jul-11 21:17:09

Ah well the problem may well be overtiredness (as well as reflux). I read a lot into this and basically found out that overtiredness can result in similar symptoms to reflux especially when feeding. Reason is that they want to feed to sleep but it doesn't work as they're so wired so they get upset. Also feeding can take effort so again upset!

So you need to work on her day naps - try and get her taking three a day by any means necessary be it a sling, rocking in a dark room etcetc. First nap of the day is the easiest - usually an hour after wakin up watch for tired signs and try napping. Watch for tired signs after being awake for 60-90 mins throughout the day. After a week you should see a difference.

Also check her meds have been adjusted for any weight gain.

YogaMummy2B Fri 08-Jul-11 23:18:24

Thanks ladies. Iggly that makes a lot of sense, the days where she sleeps better things are much easier! Win, win on those days!

YogaMummy2B Sat 09-Jul-11 09:06:48

Iggly looks like you may have cracked it! Up at 8am - 6oz and back to sleep at 9am!
Keep your fingers crossed please!

Iggly Sat 09-Jul-11 09:46:33

Fingers and toes crossed for you grin

narmada Sat 09-Jul-11 22:46:23

Hi Yoga, it is so totally frustrating, I do sympathise. There were months and months when I felt I could barely leave the house because DS was taking only 2-3 oz at a time and I was forever washing bottles/ worrying (hoping) he would get hungry - there never seemed to be time to go out. He is still a bit of a bugger feed at 8 months, but a lot better. feeding in sleep can be a good strategy if they'll go for it. DS is so feed-resistant he even resists sleep-feeding, although when he's really tired before a nap tends to be the time I can get something into him.

One thing I have found that works to an extent is a reversal of usual feeding lore - make sure there is plenty of stimulation around your DD when you're attempting to feed her. I give DS something jangly like keys to shake in his hand, and put Cbeebies on loud so he can look at that/ listen too while feeding. With all those things to concentrate on, he can't quite give all his attention to rejecting the bottle.

Hope the overtiredness is the route of the problem, having said all this. Sounds like you're getting there!

YogaMummy2B Sun 10-Jul-11 03:22:06

Hi Narmada, nice to chat to you on a different thread!
The sleep solution didn't really work in the afternoon, I made sure she took a few naps by going on mammoth walks but eating went downhill again.
GP suggested it might be teething when I saw him this week. I don't think so but thought I might try calpol before a bottle. I also rubbed some dentinox gel in her gums. She took the next bottle more easily but gave up at 5oz and I couldn't get her to take more. She has in the past has 7oz.
About 5 mins after feeding she took an almighty screaming fit that lasted nearly 2 hours. It seems she is possibly constipated or in some discomfort (other than acid from reflux).
Gave her a little prune juice with cool boiled water and she has taken this feed (5oz again) really quickly.
Wonder if it's an idea to get her medication changed to Domperidone and ranitidine? She only poos once a day and today has just given smelly farts and lots of tummy gurgles - no poo.
Sorry to be so specific but the Peadeatrician and GP don't seem too interested in the detail!!

daisylulu Sun 10-Jul-11 11:43:32

Hi yoga

We are having same issues with J. Been on nutramigen for 4 days now and she is taking approx 3-5 oz per feed where she has in past taken 6-8oz. It is so frustrating and upsetting. She also takes about an hour to feed and this morning started to get upset on the bottle again.

I just wanted to post to send some morale support really. We have decided to see a gastro paediatrician privately (luckily covered by BUPA). His name is Keith lindley and his private clinic is at great ormond st. I know you said you had Bupa from a previous thread... Not sure if you are near London but may be worth looking into if you are. Personally I have found general paedatricians and gps useless. I'm at end of tether of thinking about how to 'fix it' and so have decided to let an expert who deals with this day in and day out work out how best to deal with these issues.

Good luck with the feeding . I really feel for you . I just want to be able to go out with my DD and enjoy these early months rather than being on tenderhooks all the time and dreading the time consuming feed times!

daisylulu Sun 10-Jul-11 11:49:29

Ps I personally found ranitidine useless for J. She is still on domperidone with the losec and that is the only thing which seems to help with the vomiting. The losec is much better at dealing with the acid than ranitidine IME.

Re poo- j also only poos once a day even on the new formula and currently she hasn't been since yesterday at 5am. However, although she is still a bit farty she seems a little bit less discomfort than when on normal formula. Maybe this is normal for our babies?

daisylulu Sun 10-Jul-11 12:00:32

Sorry to keep posting but keep having afterthoughts. I read somewhere that it is important not to try and push your LO to feed (something i am guilty of all the time). The logic is that it is important to let them try and get hungry so they actually want to feed. I know that I always stick with it until J has had at least 3-4oz. And then I try and keep going a bit more.however it said that studies have shown that some bf babies will want say 10oz at one feed but then 3 oz at a different time of day. The trouble with ff is that we can see exactly how much our babies have and assume that they should have the same at every feed. Trying to then force it down creates a viscious circle as they then won't feed as well at next feed and so on so on. I've decided to try and experiment today and just see how much j will take without pesevering too much - in hope she will make up any shortfall at next feed.

I am a bit anally retentive blush and kept a log of how much J has at each feed. In the pre-reflux early days J would have as much as 6 oz at one feed (at 10 days old!) but then maybe only 2 oz at the next. However she fed a hell of a lot better over course of day so may be some truth in what I read. We shall see!!

YogaMummy2B Sun 10-Jul-11 20:35:04

Thanks Daisy please let me know how you get on with the gastric guy, unfortunately I live in the sticks, so no access to any such gurus in N. Ireland!
The prune juice seems to have helped her tummy and there have been 2 poos today, all with very little effort/discomfort. This is why I'm thinking the Domperidone might be the way forward, if it gets her tummy moving better? Although I much prefer the idea of diluted prune juice than more medication. Been doing a bit of reading on fennel & onion water too. Might explore these avenues a little further.

daisylulu Sun 10-Jul-11 21:26:02

Yoga - will let you know how we get on. I'll share any knowledge with you in detail if you like so it can be like you are seeing gastric guru man too! It sounds like your DD and my DD are quite similar in their symptoms etc.

Domperidone has been great for J in terms of moving things thru system and dealing with sickness. But I agree au natural is better. J finally went for a poo this evening (in fact she did 3 in 3 hours!) - i think the carobel she is on may be blocking her a bit so have reduced from 2 scoops to 1 per bottle.

YogaMummy2B Sun 10-Jul-11 22:08:12

Daisy I really appreciate it. I love your after thought posts too, was reading them out to DH earlier, made us feel better.
My LO has always had problems with her tummy and passing wind/pooing. She is obviously a delicate little flower.
How did you get on with your feeding experiment?

daisylulu Sun 10-Jul-11 22:45:31

Awww glad I could make you feel better smile

Well the experiment has resulted in J having almost the same daily intake. She only had 100ml at 6am, then 100ml at 10, 160ml at 2 and then 210ml(!) at 6pm. Just done 10pm dreamfeed and she's had 75ml. She normally has a feed at about 3am too (v jealous of your LO sleeping thru night! How did you manage that one?!) Plan to continue this approach for next few days tho tomorrow might be hard as we have a 4.5 hour drive so may have to encourage J to feed more when we stop at service station. I keep having to remind myself that maybe j just doesn't need as much to eat as some babies.

I must admit I could never have anticipated how distressing it is seeing J struggle to feed. I loved watching her enjoy her feeds in the early days and wish it wasn't such a struggle now days sad

YogaMummy2B Sun 10-Jul-11 23:13:57

Before she started on the Pepti & before she started vomiting/fussing on the bottles she was having 5 decent enough feeds between 7am & 7pm, she then got swaddled and popped in her bed.
Stopped swaddling with the pepti as I wanted her to stir so she would eat in the night.
Your experiment sounds like it worked - as in caused less stress all round, I'll do same tomorrow and let you know.
Have a good drive, good luck, perhaps your LO will sleep lots and not fight the bottle as much?! What age is J?

daisylulu Mon 11-Jul-11 03:58:17

Well j just gobbled 120ml at 3am feed and this means she has now had 27oz in total for the day (for some reason my app totals the daily feed in oz even tho I enter each individual bottle in ml!). This is the exact same amount as yesterday even tho I was letting J decide how much she wanted! Will continue this experiment for a few more days. Let us know how you get on.

J is 11 weeks exactly. I definitely want to work on the sleep routine but am trying to sort reflux issues first. We generally feed every 4 hours so only gets 4 feeds between 7 and 7. Maybe we should try and push to 5 feeds like you once we have reflux under control [positive thinking emoticon].....

narmada Mon 11-Jul-11 10:29:56

27 oz in total is probably enough for weight gain. Massive 26 lb-er drinks slightly under that in 24 hours and has a tiny amount of food to supplement it, and he seems to still be gaining weight, god knows how!

daisylulu Mon 11-Jul-11 19:12:41

Thanks narmada that's reassuring. I need to work out how I can get J to have more food in day so she drops the 3am feed....

yoga did you try the alternative approach? If so how did it go?

I did not force feed (that sounds terrible but you know i dont mean that literally) J at all today and surprisingly so far we have had very similar feeds as yesterday with only 90ml at 6am, then 160ml, then 150ml and she has just polished off 210ml! So far that equals 21oz so she will still probably need feeding another two times between now and morning.

Will try this approach again tomorrow. Am finding much less stressful.....

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