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16 week old getting even more difficult to feed.

(19 Posts)
belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 11:15:22

No real life help here.

I've posted a lot about DS. His weight gain is poor (91at to 2nd centile) so it is very difficult to maintain confidence in breastfeeding. For the last few days he's been really difficult to feed (usually in the day time). When he finally latches on, after lots of screaming, he only stays on for a few seconds before screaming again or giving up and sucking his thumb. He sometimes settled down eventually for a good feed.

He was like this during the night last night too, with short gaps between wakings.

Another thing is that he seems to reject a breast for a day, insisting on only feeding from the other one (this is usually the same one but can change).

Any suggestions? He Will Not Accept EBM in a bottle!

Iggly Sun 28-Oct-12 13:01:18

You could have over active letdown? Any sign of silent reflux? Could he have an ear infection brewing?

mawbroon Sun 28-Oct-12 14:11:46

Did he have a tongue tie snipped? Have I got the right person?

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 28-Oct-12 15:51:26

Nursing strike?

belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 16:15:26

He is just getting over a cold and GP did look at his ears but thought they weren't too bad. No signs of reflux. Lactation consultant didn't think he had a tongue tie.

A very elderly lady watched me struggling with him in a cafe today. He was screaming and I was getting embarrassed. Eventually she came over and said 'I think he's just tired, dear'. I put him back in the sling and he immediately fell asleep. Maybe I'm still trying to feed him too often (due to the weight thing) and misreading his cues, making him crosser as has been suggested on here to me before.

Wonder if I'll ever get this right?

tiktok Sun 28-Oct-12 16:33:49

belindarose, I am not sure, but I think we discussed before letting your baby make the running with the feeding, and not persisting with a struggle when he indicates he does not want to feed, or when he appears hard to feed. I think it was me who explained that struggling makes things worse, and you 'letting go' is a much better response than insisting.

Does this ring a bell? I think it was hard for you to do this, because you have had some anxious experiences with his weight.

But if you can, just try going with his flow for a couple of days or more....he is not going to come to any harm at 16 weeks if he appears to manage to go a long time between feeds, and nor will your milk supply. He needs to know he can communicate his needs to you, and you can grow in trust of his abilities to communicate.

What do you think?

belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 16:38:02

Yes, tiktok, we have discussed this before and I thought we were getting it right now, but clearly are not. It is difficult due to the weight concerns, but you're right, we're losing our way with communication a bit. I'm going to make a concerted effort now to let him lead.

Do you think it's worth me recording time/ frequency etc of feeds, or is this just feeding my anxiety? .

tiktok Sun 28-Oct-12 17:04:54

I don't think it is worthwhile recording these details, no....they cannot tell you anything useful whatsoever. All you would be doing is trying to judge his feeding effectiveness from Very Bad Data!

What sort of help are you getting with your emotional well-being and your feelings of anxiety, belinda? Do you have a source of support?

belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 17:26:13

No support, I'm afraid, tiktok. I only had the counsellor who was very unsupportive of breastfeeding. No perinatal mental health support available. HV only interested in the weight of the baby. Sleep deprivation and the anxiety is beginning to take its toll. Feeding is particularly difficult with DD (3) around as she is clearly picking up on the emotions and either trying too hard to 'help' or taking advantage of the opportunity to cause chaos!

I don't want this to be difficult! I don't want to be anxious about it. Weekly weighing (ordered by GP) isn't helping me! Strangers, and family, telling me how tiny he is. It all feels like constant judgement of my (inadequate) mothering.

Iggly Sun 28-Oct-12 17:43:33

sad sounds tough.

He might be changing his routine and might be tired sometimes. How often are you feeding? He might be too tired to feed sometimes and wants to sleep then feed (mine did that around 4 months).

Iggly Sun 28-Oct-12 17:45:29

Have read back - what did the GP mean by not too bad (ears)? It could be that one side bothers him hence not liking feeding. Can you feed him more upright, on the favoured side? Then rugby ball hold on the unfavoured side so he's still in the preferred position?

belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 17:50:16

Thanks, Iggly. GP said they were a bit red and to steam his room. He didn't think they were infected. He's not snotty anymore and is cheerful (mostly!). I'll try different positions but also not push him to feed, as tiktok advises. He might be too tired to feed. I realise I do sometimes (often) try to get him to feed when it suits me (eg before nursery run, before DD's teatime), so I'm addressing my needs rather than his.

aamia Sun 28-Oct-12 17:57:04

Just offering good luck really. Hope things improve for you, and that the last two months to weaning pass ok, that he then eats well and his weight gain improves. I sympathise with the waking to feed thing - my baby doesn't ask for feeds often enough to gain weight properly, so I have to offer every two hours to make sure he eats enough.

belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 19:44:09

Thanks, aamia. HCPs are suggesting early weaning, but in hoping we don't have to and can't see that it would help.

One question to help me with relaxing about this. Most of DS's feeds involve a certain amount of time when he will suck at the breast, for maybe 2 sucks, then come off and suck his thumb, then find the nipple again and repeat. He can't relax either into the feed or the thumb sucking (to sleep). Often there's a high pitched cry in between the thumb sucking and rooting. Is this a feeding thing (wanting more milk but not getting it) or just a trying to get to sleep thing?

Actually, as I typed this, he settled to sleep once I did up my bra and pulled my top down. Perhaps he's confused.

Iggly Sun 28-Oct-12 20:06:47

Try feeding to his cues more. I had similar when trying to feed DD around DS but had to feed when she wanted after a while. It got a lot easier she got into solids from 6 months as less feeds. I figured that I couldn't expect DD to always fit around DS - had to work both ways.

What is his routine like?

belindarose Sun 28-Oct-12 21:20:42

I'm not sure I recognise his cues, Iggly. That's the problem I think.

Routine? I don't think he has much of one. Wakes up 7ish, or whenever DD gets up. Likes a nap after an hour or so but depends what we have to do. HATES his car seat, so doesn't really nap in it. Will sleep in sling or cot. Anyway, maybe 3-4 naps in a day. Feeds before or after each nap. Or more if he wants. Either bed by 7 or cluster feeding, depending on what he wants. Then night feeds - between 2 and 4 (11pm - 7am).

byhec Mon 29-Oct-12 03:13:47

My DS (similar age) has been refusing one side during the day too, I've had a bit of success feeding him while he's still half asleep after a sleep or feeding him where it's very quiet so he doesn't get distracted (i've been getting my 3 year old DD to watch tv in another room while I feed him which is something I always said I wouldn't do)
Good luck!

Iggly Mon 29-Oct-12 08:26:17

I think it's confusing because they can chew their fists at this age - so you think hungry but they might just be playing.

If cues are difficult to read, how about having a loose routine? My days sort of had a pattern with older ds so did sketched out a routine for dd. obviously I tweaked it necessary but it worked after a while.

The cluster feeding could be that he's tired and wants an earlier bedtime. I certainly found that with dd. she'd have a proper feed with an earlier bedtime. Also I had to wind her properly - if not, she'd wake up after 20-45 mins.

belindarose Mon 29-Oct-12 08:36:21

Talk to me some more about your routine, Iggly, please. I think we have a similar age gap (did you used to be Igglybuff?).

His cues have always been difficult to read. But he sprouted teeth at 14 weeks so has been 'teething' since birth, it seems! He also likes to talk and mouth/ tongue movements seem to mean he wants to be sociable rather than wants to be fed.

I'm rubbish at this!

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