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Feeding issues with a 12 day old

(6 Posts)
Blobby11 Mon 29-Aug-11 18:22:18

Hi

Apologies for the rambling post but my DS is 12 days old and I am really struggling with feeding. The first few days after the birth we were in hospital and I thought there must be an issue because he wouldn't stay on the breast very long and by the second night started screaming a lot, but when I asked for help I was told the latch was fine and everything was ok. When I got home it got worse and he screamed all night but wouldn't feed more than a few minutes on the breast - sometimes he fell asleep other times he'd just pull himself off and scream. On day 5 he was weighed and found to have lost 12% of his birth weight. The midwife was quite stern saying it was obvious he was starving and I would have to top up with formula.

I was devastated by this as I should have pushed for more help in the hospital but they were so dismissive and made me feel stupid. I decided to see a lactation consultant. She told me to feed every 3 hours, offering 20 minutes on each breast, then a bottle (expressed milk if I had enough otherwise formula) then to express for 20 minutes with a medela symphony. I tried really hard to achieve this for a few days but found that it was never as simple as 20 minutes one each breast because DS kept falling asleep and so all the stopping and starting meant that the breast feeding part of each feed could easily last 1.5 hours. Once you add on giving him a bottle and then expressing I was often only left with half an hour between feeds. I couldn't survive like that so ending up only expressing once or twice a day which meant most of the top ups have been formula as I don't have enough expressed milk.

DS is now 12 days old and is now just over his birth weight. He is doing much better on the breast and is a bit easier to keep awake and I think he is emptying both breasts each time - I test by hand expressing periodically during a feed - but once he has finished on the breast he starts looking around for more food and won't settle until he has the bottle although he doesn't take more than 1oz now (was 2oz initially). I really want to stop the formula but don't know how to go about things.

My nipples are really sore but the lactation consultant and several midwives have all checked the latch and say it's fine so don't know what is going on there.

Also DS throws up at most feeds.

Please can someone help

Mollcat Mon 29-Aug-11 19:35:14

Hi Blobby11, that all sounds so difficult for you so I think you should be proud of yourself for getting this far. The feed-top up-express merry-go-round is a particular nightmare if I recall correctly because in week 2 the euphoria has worn off and you're knackered, but there's no time in that regime for you to sleep if you're feeding two-hourly.

It might be worth getting your DS checked for tongue tie if these symptoms look familiar to you. Though if he's draining the breast then it doesn't quite sound like it.

Kellymom.com also has info on reducing top-ups and on building supply.

Hopefully someone expert will be along soon with some better ideas. Good luck!

rubyslippers Mon 29-Aug-11 19:41:11

Call a breastfeeding help line - I found these amazing

Also, can you get to a breatsfeeding cafe?

Your lactation consultant sounds off - you shouldn't time feeds. A baby who is satisfied will pull off when they Are done. Culd be 10 mins or 45 mins

What I would do is get to bed, loads of skin to skin and feed baby at every peep! This may feel like you feed all the time but that's fine. This will boost your supply and diminish the need for a bottle

Also, you can't empty your breasts - milk production is on supply and demand so the more you feed, the more your body produces. It's like a river rather than a bucket

Also, it shouldn't be sore - is your nipple grazed at all? Make sure baby is taking a big mouthful and isn't sucking just on the nipple. Bottom lip should be curled right down ...

Throwing up - a bit of possetting or full on puking?

Daisy1986 Mon 29-Aug-11 20:49:21

Did you have pethidine/a stress full labour? Baby may well just be very tired.

It might be worth look at your diet, Im sure you proberly know the dos and donts of diet while breastfeedng but have a look if your eating anything that is known as a common allergen. I guess milk, tomatoes, strawberries, nets etc because perhaps LO is having a reaction to what you eating/drinking.

My LO was pretty much a constant feeder to begin with and its very exhausting so I feel for you.

Please note I only have my own experience to go by, check with a lactation specialist midwife etc they are the only ones who have done the training to help you through. Even Dr.s etc dont know as much as these lovely ladies.

warthog Mon 29-Aug-11 20:59:15

does sound like tongue tie to me.

but i second getting into bed, try feeding lying down, if you can get the hang of that and feed as much as you can. cut out formula, go cold turkey, and your breasts will pick up the slack. like someone said, they can't empty. make sure you drink lots.

it's not the same, but my 9 week old dd2 had to go to hospital and i couldn't express easily. was a real struggle. but i managed to get back to ebf'ing and she was fine despite 6 days of poor expressing.

breasts are incredible things. stick at it - you're doing brilliantly.

throwing up: how much do you reckon?

crikeybadger Mon 29-Aug-11 21:56:55

Mmmm, I agree with RubySlippers about the advice from your LC. It sounds a bit outdated tbh.

If you've offered both breasts and he still comes off looking for more, how about putting him back on the 'first' breast. This is switch nursing and you can keep swapping back and forth when DS seems to be falling asleep or losing interest. It's also a good way to build your supply up.

Breast compressions are also a good way of getting more milk in and keeping his interest going. You can google Dr Jack Newman for a video clip.

Deffo get someone who knows about bfing to have a look for tongue tie. If he 'falls off' the breast alot then this could one of the signs of tt.

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