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Breastfeeding "demons" raising their head...

(15 Posts)
Chunkychicken Tue 20-Nov-12 06:51:39

My DS is 9do and ebf. I believe he is tongue tied (it is quite visible) and although feeding well, gaining weight etc, I am beginning to get sore.

In addition, I am struggling to maintain perspective about his feeding. My DD (now 2.7yo) was also ebf but after gaining weight for 2wks, suddenly lost weight and we started to be monitored by the HV very closely, with comments about it possibly being necessary to give her formula top-ups starting. As it happened, they had got their sums wrong, she had put on 6oz in the wk of monitoring her gain & she was just naturally small (stayed around the 9th centile for a long while). I feel very let-down that nobody suggested ways I could increase her weight gain whilst still ebfing and the fact that, when I took her to be weighed at 10wks, the HV made a comment about how slim I was and how DD was obviously just small... I felt a bit confused & shock that all the anxiety I'd had over feeding was unnecessary apparently!!

I appreciate that being upset by it still is pointless but now I feel like I might be about to start down the same route with DS, especially with the tongue tie. He gained 3oz by day 5 (going from 6lb 15 to
7lb 2) but has started to go about 3.5-4hrs at night between feeds. I.can feel myself getting anxious that he isn't getting enough, that my supply might be affected, particularly as the feed he had after this period was quite short. He has gone back to sleep very quickly despite having his nappy changed, so I don't think I can force any more milk into him now!

Sorry this so long. I guess I just needed to vent! I'm going to a breastfeeding group later in the week, but the fact the MW is coming today to weigh him and that I'm starting to really struggle getting him latched properly (& all the information I've read about tongue tie) plus the fact that I may have to be quite assertive about getting the tongue tie treated means I'm probably starting to over-analyse the frequency of his feeds etc.

Perhaps someone can help me gain a bit of perspective??!!

HappyAsASandboy Tue 20-Nov-12 07:06:53

Congratulations on your new baby ChunkyChicken smile

It is such a shame that the 'advice' you were given last time can have such an effect even several years down the line. I don't think HV, MW and GPs have any idea how seriously we take every comment and how long we agonise over what they've said sad

If you think your LO has got tongue tie, I would advise asking your MW to come and see it straight away, rather than waiting for your next scheduled visit. The clinics that treat tongue tie often only run one day a fortnight (or less), so the quicker you get a diagnosis and referral, the better. If your MW is dismissive or you have any doubt that she's checked properly, I would personally ring the Hospital and ask to speak to the Infant Feeding Coordinator (who is a midwife). She should know who in her team to send to see you.

Meanwhile, and anyway because it can never hurt, spend as much time as you can relaxing quietly with your baby. Ideally in bed with few clothes on either of you. Now is the time to cash any babysitting offers and play date invitations or your older DC to give your be DC space to learn to feed. If he is tongue tied, he might find biological nurturing a good position to feed in (you can google lots of information) as it will let him find the best position for him, which will almost certainly make you less sore too as he'll find the best position for a deep latch.

With regard to him going 3.5 - 4 hours between feeds overnight, I don't think that should be a big problem as long as he's feeding regularly during the day and you're confident you're watching for every feeding cue (and acting on it!). It must be very easy to miss cues and/or not feed straight away when you have an older DC to distract you.

I really hope you get a helpful midwife out to see you soon and that feeding continues to go well for you and your new baby smile

luanmahi Tue 20-Nov-12 07:32:46

As long as he's putting on weight (albeit slowly), has wet and dirty nappies and is fine in himself, I wouldn't worry too much. The MWs and HVs will be errig on the side of caution but

We were feeding every 3 hours at first but by 3 weeks old my little girl started to sleep for longer at night (anything up to 5 hours) and she has gained weight fine. She was a little below average weight until she was 3 months old then had a massive growth spurt and is now at nearly 6 months slightly above average weight.

In relation to tongue tie, is there a lactation specialist at your bf group? If they can confrn it, they should be able to deal with it pretty quickly.

Chunkychicken Tue 20-Nov-12 08:24:10

Thank you both for your advice. I think (logically) I know he is well in himself & is a one-man poo machine so he is probably getting enough, I just shake the anxiety. I think its hormones as well - I haven't really had the classic post-birth blues do much, but I think its revealing how much this is bothering me!!

I think my MW was going to contact the infant feeding MW so I can hopefully get things dealt with asap. I will Google that position though happy.

Luckily the little fella has a very audible 'snuffling' hungry cue & my DD pays him a lot of attention, so we don't tend to miss it when he's hungry. He certainly seems to feed frequently enough - he has had a long nap in the afternoon in the last 2 days which means he has gone 3hrs between feeds, but otherwise its usually 2hrly or less.

I see the MW later today so I will make sure I get advice/things sorted re tongue tie.

Thanks again.

HappyAsASandboy Tue 20-Nov-12 09:14:51

Well done smile

You sound like you have it all in hand to me. You're feeding regularly, your DS is producing wet and dirty nappies, your older DC is on board and helping smile It's understandable that your hormones and lack of sleep are making you worry and doubt, but seriously, it really does all sound fine and as long as the midwives are also happy, just keep going smile

Ahh, I've gone all mushy at the thought of your DD looking after your baby smile

Chunkychicken Tue 20-Nov-12 10:34:39

She is making me so proud happy, I'm so relieved and impressed at how she's taking it all in her stride.

DS has put on 1lb since birth!! Obviously I'm worrying about nothing... I will try to avoid stressing at 5am and make sure I keep on top of the tongue tie issue, but clearly its not stopping him feeding smile Thank you so much for your advice though.

Iggly Tue 20-Nov-12 13:12:18

Get the tie snipped. It can cause issues later on in life (speech and eating).

AngelDog Tue 20-Nov-12 20:34:18

Derfinitely get TT sorted if you can. I suspect my 3 y.o. has one - now he has significant speech problems due to the inability to move his tongue properly. We also have problems with messy/fussy eating, persistent dribble & hand biting which seem to be related. His weight gain as a baby was fine though - went from 50th centile at birth to 99th centile by 3 m.o. I'm having to pay to get him privately assessed as it's a much bigger deal once they're older.

There's a useful FB TT support group here.

DS2 was having 4-5 hour sleeps by 6 days old. He's still sleeping long periods at 5 weeks.

He had a TT snipped at 4 weeks despite no concerns about weight gain. Feeding was a bit uncomfortable but not dreadful, but that was enough to get his TT revised on the NHS. We have a specialist lactation consultant here who diagnoses and a local dental dept at a hospital does the revisions.

Chunkychicken Tue 20-Nov-12 20:44:08

I'm being seen feeding DS at the hospital tomorrow by someone from the infant feeding team I believe. I'm hoping the fussiness at the beginning of the feed, the slight soreness, the slight 'lipstick' shaped nipple etc will be enough to get the referral for the correction.

I believe that the tongue tie, which is apparently genetic, may have contributed to my DD's feeding issues & that I may have been tongue tied too, although neither my DD nor myself have had any major issues, but some of the issues that result certainly ring true with my side of the family!!

Iggly Tue 20-Nov-12 21:16:14

Congratulations Angel! Hope it all went well.

OP- my dd had TT and gained weight no problem because I have over supply so easy to get milk. She has massive issues with wind and reflux though due to the tie, which was snipped, but she still has a lip tie which I think causes a problem when feeding too.

AngelDog Tue 20-Nov-12 23:09:33

Yes, lip ties can affect feeding although it's not well known - even lots of bf 'specialists' don't understand the effects. Apparently it's not well-covered in bf textbooks, though it is a bit better understood in the US than it is here.

Iggly, thanks. All went better than I expected, including coping with two of them! smile Have you thought about getting your DD's lip looked at? There's a (private) dentist in London who does laser revisions, which is where I'm taking DS1.

MummyPig24 Wed 21-Nov-12 07:08:16

Congrats on your new baby op! I agree with others, push to get the tt sorted. Dd had a 90% tt and feeding was incredibly oainful, bleeding nipples, poor weighr gain etc. She had it snipped at 4wks. She also has a lip tie, I saw the dentist a few weeks ago and he told me it was a cosmetic issue and nothing to worry about.

Iggly Wed 21-Nov-12 17:35:03

Yes I want to get it sorted but from reading I'm not sure they will until she's a bit older (she's nearly 1). Glad it's going well! Hope the good sleeping continues (DD, sadly, is worse than DS when it comes to sleep hmm)

AngelDog Wed 21-Nov-12 20:19:05

I'd contact the London dentist for info if I were you and/or ask on the FB group - I know there was someone there whose 4 month old had both & TT revised done by the London bloke.

Lip tie almost always goes with posterior tongue tie apparently. There's info on lip tie & bf here from US-based Dr Kotlow, the paediatric dentist who specialises in TT and LT revisions. I believe Dr Levenkind in London trained with him. Both use lasers to do the procedures, which I think means that stitches aren't needed for LT revisions.

Sympathies about the sleep. I'm just enjoying it while it lasts. Though he doesn't sleep in the car and will only nap if I'm holding him (even the sling doesn't work if DH is wearing it). Apologies for slight hijack, OP.

Iggly Wed 21-Nov-12 20:49:59

Yes DD had a posterior tie - was80% restricted. The lactation consultant pointed out the lip tie but said they generally left them. However it's really bad (? That's not the right word). I'll check out the FB group, thanks! DD started sleeping in the car when she got a bit see - freaked me out first time she did, when it all went quiet grin

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