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BF consultant in SW London

(15 Posts)
citymonkey Sun 09-Oct-11 16:23:19

I really need help - can anyone recommend a BFC in SW London (Kensington / Chelsea)? My five week old is only feeding for 5 - 10 mins at a time and is often unsettled during and after feeding. I am at my wits end, I don't know what is normal and what isn't.

crikeybadger Sun 09-Oct-11 16:56:32

Sorry don't know of anyone that could come and see you citymonkey, but you could give one of the bfing helplines a call as a start and see what they say.

How often are you feeding? Are you offering both breasts at a feed? Is this unsettled behaviour a new thing?

tiktok Sun 09-Oct-11 17:11:46

citymonkey try the bf helplines first..

5-10 min feeds can be normal for some babies, but continued unsettledness may be a clue to something else going on.

Has your baby been gaining weight ok?

citymonkey Sun 09-Oct-11 17:29:48

Feed every three hours in the day, whenever he wants at night tho this is usually three hourly too. Sometimes in the day I have to wake him. I try and offer him both but he basically feeds on one for 6-8 mins usually without stopping (I think I have a v fast let down, I saw Clare Byam Cook last week who confirmed) but then won't take second. I think he might be full? I just don't know. He seems windy. Last night was awful, he wouldn't settle after 7pm feed (which wasn't long, 15 mins best ai think) until 22:40 and then woke at 2 (6 mins feed), v short feed didn't settle til half three, woke at 5:30, only fed for 2 mins didn't settle til half 6, woke at half 8, fed for 10 mins, kept him awak til 10:30. Sleepy today. Almost like days and nights mixed up?

I am all over the place, I saw GP on fri who said short feeds normal for some babies but this doesn't seem right? This has been happening for about a week but gettin worse I think. He is 50th centile and had him weighed almost two weeks ago and was sticking to his line. Weighed him yesterday at a friends who has some proper baby scales, and he is bang on 50th. I just feel like he won't carry on to be if this carries on? He used to feed for longer (15-20 mins ave) and was more settled.

My confidence is shot and I feel like I have no perspective.

tiktok Sun 09-Oct-11 18:31:29

sad sorry you are so worried about this, citymonkey

His weight and the fact the GP has seen him more or less confirm your baby is healthy and that in terms of nutrition, your baby is well.

If your baby is gaining weight well and is healthy - and this is the case - he ca certainly be 'allowed' not to feed on the second breast. He may well indeed be full...but he then may want to feed again shortly afterwards and that is fine.
I don't think this sounds like a 'feeding problem' in any way.

Can you give more info about him 'not settling'? Would he be ok and happy if held closely, feeding off and on maybe, with some jiggling and soothing and dozing off and on? Is he unsettled only because he is put down in his crib or cot and objects to this, and wakes up after a short time? Are you up and down picking him up and putting him down and feeding and trying to get him to feed....and with the 2 of you getting stressed and upset with each other?

If so, then how would it be if you just kept him in your arms instead of putting him down?

What makes you think he is windy?

citymonkey Sun 09-Oct-11 21:13:57

The GP didn't really look at him or ask me much about the symptoms I was worried about. She was clearly more concerned with me I think (that I had PND or something I think). She just said it was normal and her second child didn't feed for more than 2 mins at a time. I mentioned I was worried about silent reflux but she seemed to think the thongs I was describing were normal.

On the not settling - after a feed he is very wriggly amd writhy and stiffens his legs out sometimes when agitated. He doesn't seen to like being on his back - though sometimes seems not to mind. Yes he won't settle in his basket - only way can get him to sleep seems to be if he is on my chest. Doesn't like being cradled in my arms (this not seeming to like being laid down is what made me think silent reflux - that and the fact that when feeding after a while he grunts and squirms while on the boob). Why I think he had wind - he goes red and writhy as above. Sometimes can get a big burp out of him, sometimes not. If I held him all the time would this not mean he would get used to it and need holding all the time and couldn't be put down? Am worries he doesn't seem to sleep for any real length of time (maybe 2 - 2.5hrs max)?

Also the other thing that worries me is that he used to feed for longer (I cansay this with confidence as I have been recording how long he feeds for), and be more settled (less confident about saying this because I have lost all perspective but He def seems more agitated / writhy after feeding than he used to be).

My main worry is that there is something wrong which means he can't feed for long and which causes him pain after eating and which in turn means he doesn't sleep for long. How long would it take him to start losing weight if he wasn't getting what he needed?

KD0706 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:40:08

Oh citymonkey sad you sound like you're having a really hard time. I'm not convinced this is something us lot on the Internet can really help with. Do you have a bf cafe or similar near you? Are you a member of the NCT? We got a list of local bfc who would come out and see us if we were having feeding issues.

All I can say is that your DS sounds really similar to my DD. We were slightly different in that she was prem and tube then bottle fed expressed milk. But she came home on bottles of expressed milk, fed regularly, kept well etc. Then when she was about six weeks old she seemed to wake up to the world. She learned to bf. But she also behaved very like your DS. She fed from one side only for five mins max (with the exception of evening cluster feeds). She didn't want put down. She wasnt happy being held in a cradle position, she wanted to be lying on my chest. She would be awake for 1-2 hours at a time at night. And didn't sleep for any long stretches of sleep. I think she did have some wind which I wasn't great at bringing up. But when I put her in her Moses basket she often screamed and screamed and I was convinced she had awful wind and I was a bad mum for not bringing it up properly.

I posted on here at the time as I was seriously considering putting her back on bottles as I was connecting the BFing to being unsettled. But in her case I think she had just woken up to the world and wanted the reassuring presence of mummy.

It did pass. Like your DS she was putting on weight well. So I just soldiered on through it, though looking back I'm not sure how I did it. I'm pg with DC2 and am planning on setting up a bedside cot beside my bed so I can sleep with a baby on my chest without fear of rolling over and dropping said baby. Is that maybe an option.

I would advise just doing what is needed to get through just now. Don't worry about the future. My theory is that if you give a baby all the comfort and closeness they need it actually makes them more secure and I don't buy the whole 'rod for your own back' argument. I would co sleep, so that everybody gets the rest they need and your baby gets the comfort he wants/needs

Anecdotally, DD now sleeps all night in her own cot. Though she's going through the 15 month sleep regression so she and I end up in the spare bed in the middle of the night a couple of times a week.

Sorry I do tend to ramble smile but I hope some of that was helpful.

MigGril Sun 09-Oct-11 21:53:02

It is quit common for baby's to seem quit setaled for the first few week's and then as they wake up more (as KD0706 points out) they can become more unsetaled. It's perfectly normal for a tiny baby to want to be asleep on you, they don't even realise that they are seperate from you and want the reasurance of being close to you. Sleeping for 2hour streaches is normal to.

Don't worry about him getting used to sleeping on you, you can't spoil a small baby just give him lot's of cuddle's and worry about getting him to sleep on his own when he's older. I would agree with the cosleeping it's actualy how we are biologicly designed to behave.

tiktok Sun 09-Oct-11 22:44:53

citymonkey, your baby sounds fine. Nothing you describe sounds anything unusual or indicating anything wrong at all. Your baby does not sound as if he is troubled by wind or pain or reflux. He goes red and writhes a bit - sometimes a lot. Many babies do this. He prefers to sleep or rest/relax in close physical contact with you - this is normal.

Responding to these needs absolutely does not make him get used to it, or 'spoil' him, or leave him unable to settle away from you. He is 5 weeks. He is a tiny baby. Babies whose parents respond to these normal needs learn that they are loved, that their needs matter, that they will be cared for - and this means that as they get older they have a confidence in the world and in their 'place' in it. Loved, confident, cared-for babies are less demanding and whingy when they are older - there is a lot of research on this.

Babies change their feeding patterns inc the length of time they feed for.

It sounds to me that you have a confidence and anxiety issue, not a feeding issue. The fact that you have timed feeds sufficiently to be able to accurately compare the length of them over weeks is worrying - mothers don't need to do this and most mothers don't do it. Maybe this is what your GP was exploring?

Support, care for yourself, and some good friendly contact with other bf mothers is going to help more than exploring what is 'wrong' with the feeding - from what I read here, anyway. 'Cos I don't think there is anything wrong with that!

tiktok Sun 09-Oct-11 22:45:51

PS his sleeping time sounds normal too.

citymonkey Mon 10-Oct-11 01:41:03

Thank you so much for all your helpful replies and kind words, I appreciate it so much. Ironically he just slept for four hours (which is longest he has slept in one stretch I think) after a good fed at 7pm. Had another good feed at midnight (12 mins but not unsettled afterwards) and I have just put him in his basket after letting him sleep on my chest for a while (am not confident enough for co-sleeping and would be concerned about getting him out of the bed).

I hope you are all right and that this is just a normal baby changing it's behaviour / wanting to be near mummy. I def have a confidence issue but I am not sure how best to fix that and feel like I need to concentrate on the little one anyway. Maybe it isn't normal to time feeds and when he wakes and sleeps - I started doing it as I wa so exhausted I couldn't remember when he last fed / how long he'd slept. Maybe I should try and stop.

tiktok Mon 10-Oct-11 09:09:41

There's no need to note the time and frequency of feeds and sleeps, citymonkey. Not with a baby who is clearly gaining weight and thriving, like yours. The only time one might do it would be with a baby whose growth is giving cause for concern, and who tends to sleep for long hours rather than feed, or with an ill or preterm baby whose intake needs to be carefully monitored.

Of course most mothers prob make a sort of mental note about this sort of thing, just because that's the way we live in the 21st century, but it does not have to be especially accurate smile

Maybe ditching the notebook would be a good first step in building your confidence and relaxing a bit - what do you think?

Getting in consultants and seeking paid help with a breastfeeding problem when it isn't really a problem is a waste of money....IMO smile

citymonkey Mon 10-Oct-11 09:22:39

Maybe you are right TikTok... I know as well that part (or maybe most!) of the problem is with me. But when something goes wrong (as I see it) I think I get really over anxious and fretful.

I will take him to the clinic tomorrow to get him weighed and talk to the HV. I am tempted to start getting him each week instead of fortnightly but think this could potentially do me more harm than good...

tiktok Mon 10-Oct-11 09:35:02

The guidance for weighing frequency is no more than monthly after a baby has reached birthweight and is doing well.

Reasons - and they are evidence based:

* frequent weighing shows insignificant blips and wobbles and not the 'big picture' - and it's the big picture that counts, not the weekly/fortnightly weight gain
* frequent weighing is therefore misleading and can cause anxiety in parents and HCPs
* frequent weighing is clinically useless
* frequent weighing reinforces the idea that weight is the be-all and end-all of health, when it is only one piece of the jigsaw

The exceptions would be a baby whose weight/growth are causing real concern, where the blips and wobbles might actually count.

This does not apply to you smile

If the fortnightly weighing is making you anxious, and you , as you do, that anxiety about your baby is not helping you and is actually making things worse, then weekly weighing will make things worse....don't you think???!

Perhaps see your HV and explain how worried you are, how you know you don't need to be as worried...and ask her for strategies that will help you start feeling more confident and with a chance to enjoy your baby. If she cannot help you with this, then she is not doing her job, and you could see another HV.

MigGril Mon 10-Oct-11 10:22:57

Maybe it would help your confidance to attend a few baby group's meet other mum's and see that you're not the only one coping with some of these things.

Your local Bf group would be a good place to start or your local childrens centure they often run pre-crawling groups. Ask you HV they should have all the info or look on line for your nearst childrens centre or NCT bumps and babies groups to they should have the nearest one's on there website.

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