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Persistent slow weight gain in 18wo ebf, formula top ups?

(20 Posts)
smk84 Wed 10-Oct-12 17:40:31

So we have made it this far, but everyone including me is starting to get very twitchy about ds weight. We have paed app next week as have had all advice under the sun and nothing seems to be helping. I have tried to pump and top up with ebm but completely impractical in the long term as ds1 is3 and ds feeds frequently during the day, won't go down for naps and I am too knackered to do it at night long term. We are thinking of topping up with formula, but I don't want to do his after every feed really. So I am trying to think of best way forward so my supply isn't ruined and he gets as much bm as poss. The thing I don't get.... If I top up in the eve , he will feed from me less, and my suppl will dip and he will get less milk from me in the eve. If I top up in the day after each feed, he may well take less at the next feed and my supply will dip. So overall I don't get it! Giving formula top up after feed suggests there is room, but I keep offering breast after breast now and he often doesn't stay on for the 3rd side which suggests he is full. On the other hand he will easily take 3 ox expressed straight after a feed. He feeds about 2 hourly daytime and once in the night, was born on 50 th centile, now on 0.4 and at this rate won't track 0.4. Has anyone weaned early in this situ or given top ups ? Thanks so much for reading, would love to hear your experiences.

belindarose Wed 10-Oct-12 18:04:22

Watching with interest...
I guess we'll get the same paed!?

MigGril Wed 10-Oct-12 20:50:57

even once a baby has taken all they want at the breast they will often take a bottle, as the flow is faster.

He's only feeding once in the night so there is room for more feeds. You are right that adding formula will effect your supply.

Has he been checked for any physical problems that could cause poor milk transfer. ie tongue tie?

I take it he's weeing lots and looking happy and meeting all his developmental milestones?
If your happy I'd be tempted to wait until you have seen the pead before deciding what to do next. They may fine something.

Have you seen a breastfeeding conciler?

smk84 Thu 11-Oct-12 12:13:39

Thanks miggril, yes he had tt snipped at 4 weeks , reviewed by max fax last month, and saw lactation consultant 10 days ago. Yes he is weeing, pooing, mainly content between feeds. I would say I am very anxious about everything, feeding included, so not happy and something needs to change. Just on my way to collect anti anxiety meds. With my mental health being as it is I have really struggled with getting up to pump in the night as seem to be worse mentally without blocks of sleep. Ds doesn't respond we'll to being woken in the night, doesn't feed well and then difficult to settle. Just saying all this I wonder whether I should pst in mental health too!

neverwhere Thu 11-Oct-12 13:08:59

Well done on making it so far!

My DS2 is 9 weeks now and I started one bottle of formula from 3 1/2 weeks (around 120ml) only in the evenings. I start bf and give the bottele when he starts getting fussy. I did this as he was gaining weight slowly. He had not regained his birth weight by 3 weeks and my HV suggested top-ups. This seems to be working for us. He was at 50th centile at birth and is now just under 9th.

Hope this helps.

smk84 Thu 11-Oct-12 14:22:03

Thanks never , it's funny I don't see it as doing well, I often wonder if I am depriving ds of what he needs by carrying on ebf sad it's encouraging to know that the bottle a day is working for you smile

NevermarriedDuranduran Thu 11-Oct-12 14:22:13

Hi! We are in the same situation, DD is 18 weeks and has dropped 2 centiles, HV and GP not happy and has said Formula top ups after each feed. As DD is EBF and I do not want to give up (she is DC3 and I have EBF both older DC's, until 8 months both times having to give up due medical reasons, so do not want to give up BF with this one. I find FF very fiddly and love love love BF so its been heartbreaking having to introduce FF.) Anyway, I have started to give DD a bottle of Formula 180ml at 6 in the evening when my supply seems low and she is starving, and she will down the bottle in one, so obviously she is hungry. I then sit with her on my lap all evening and let her clusterfeed if she wants to ( just takes sips now and then, shes not really interessted) and then I give another bottle at 10 before bed and she sleeps through the night. I am concerned about my supply as I am desperate to keep up BF so dont want to give bottles during the day. I dont know if this is right or wrong so any solution or advice you find helpful I would be interrested to hear. GP said not to wean her early.

MigGril Thu 11-Oct-12 16:30:11

well all things considered I think your doing very well. you've come though so much already.

never married - I'd avoid giving two bottles in the evening especially if she is sleeping through. How about moving one to the middle of the morning instead? if you could express at this time to would be good.

feeding at night is very important for supply as hormones are higher at night.

Have you had any breastfeeding support at all?

anyone talked you through switch nursing and breast compressions?

switch nursing is where you offer multiple sides peer feed, offer first breast, second breast, then back to first and repeat as many times as baby will feed for. This is a great way to help increase supply, remember you're breasts are never empty of milk. most milk is actually made on demand at the breast.

second is breast compressions which you can do while baby is feeding, this helps them get more milk out of the breast. have a google for some videos.

And if you both haven't found it already go have a look at kellymom website you mite fine some more useful info there to.

Loobylou222 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:49:46

I had the same problem, I wouldn't recommend early weaning I tried it didn't make a blind bit of difference. My bf counsellor suggested a herbal supplement called fenugreek which increased my supply but not enough so ended topping up with formula every other feed and dd gained 9 oz in one week! I wanted to try everything before I put her on formula but in the end had to and I think it was the best decision for us both.
Bf is so stressful I found, don't feel guilty about putting your ds on formula the main thing is u are both happy.

smk84 Sat 13-Oct-12 08:35:32

Thanks never married, I would second what miggril says. Your lo could well be full up from the 6 and 10 bottles, plus overnight means a long time without a full feed. My ds sleeps through from about 9 or 10 til 4 or 5, so I had been pumping once between these times to try to keep good supply. I had originally tried waking ds to feed but he was so sleepy he hardly fed and was then not easy to settle so knockd that on the head. Did your Hv or gp advise you on how to get more bm into your baby before they suggested formula? I just say that because you say you don't like ff and you could try other things to get more bm into your baby, like miggril says.
Thanks for the encouragement looby, you a right it's more important to be happy.
I gave ds his first formula yesterday. So sad about it but I am hoping it will get easier.

NevermarriedDuranduran Sat 13-Oct-12 15:57:10

Hi thanks for all the advice. I got no advice from GP or HV both were adamant she needs formula and that was it. I have started switchfeeding and have gone down to one bottle at 6 and bf at 10 and she still sleeps through. Weigh in on wednesday so will see how we go. Kellymom site was very good lots of interessting info there! Please update how you get on, and I will too. DD is a happy chubby lively rosycheeked baby so she seems perfectly healthy, so I am not concerned but the weight seems to worry everyone else. Its very hard and very confusing....

MigGril Sat 13-Oct-12 17:31:52

never married, if you feel you need some real life help then ringing one of the helplines to have a talk through things could be a good idea. we can't always explore everything on a help board.

unfortunately HV and GPS aren't always that well informed on breastfeeding and don't often know that you can do lots with breastfeeding first to up babies milk intake, before resorting to formula.

MigGril Sat 13-Oct-12 17:33:02

you may also like to see if there is a local drop in breastfeeding group near you.

NevermarriedDuranduran Sat 13-Oct-12 21:04:42

Thank you, sorry for hijacking your thread smk! Will go to the local bf drop in and see if I can get some more help!

smk84 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:41:54

No probs never, glad you are getting help here. It's a shame your gp and Hv weren't more helpful. It must be very confusing if you think she is fine. Yes will stay in touch its so good to get support on here.

peasandbeans Mon 15-Oct-12 17:51:19

I had this with dc3 and dc4. Both were born around 70th centile, and both dropped off the bottom of the chart at around 4 months. I resisted formula top ups, but weaned them both earlier than 6 months. They didn't gain weight more quickly with solids despite eating very well and enthusiastically, but after several months did start to climb back up the centiles. they are now (aged 2 and 4) at about 40th centile, very healthy, active, happy children, as in fact they always have been.
FWIW dc2 shot UP the centiles and was up at the top of the chart aged 4 months, but she cried all the time as a baby, seemed to have colic endlessly, and never slept well at night before about 8 months. (She is also now a healthy, happy, active 6 year old).

smk84 Wed 17-Oct-12 16:28:35

Thank you peas, that's really good to know. We are trying to hang in there, but really flagging today...

NevermarriedDuranduran Wed 17-Oct-12 22:32:02

Went to weigh in today and DD has jumped up a whole centile so one bottle a day plus switchfeeding plus trying to eat well and rest has obviously done the trick! Will persevere and see if we can cut out the formula again in a couple of days. She seems to need it so will take one day at a time. Smk I hope your DC picks up and gains as well! Xx

smk84 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:44:23

That's great never, so pleased for you. How are things now?

smk84 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:49:21

Sorry I just realised I have bumped an old thread! Should have messaged you never !

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