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Do I give up BF?

(52 Posts)
Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 18:06:00

My DS is 11 weeks old tomorrow, and I have been struggling with breast feeding. At the beginning, it was cracked nipples, and constantly worrying if I was doing it right. Recently, he spends less time on the breast, and screams blue murder if I go near him to try and get him to take more! I have gone to breast feeding clinics, spoken to helplines, and visited our local infant team. They think he is teething, so I've used bongela on him, which helped over the weekend. I went and got him weighed today, and he has gone from 12.3 last week to 12.8, so I was quite pleased. However, today he has slept more than usual, and although he has wet nappies, they aren't as heavy as usual. The breast feeding clinics have told me to top him up with formula if I'm worried. I just seem to be constantly worried about him getting enough, and its really stressing me out. I just want to enjoy my little boy! I have trouble expressing, as I cannot express enough to feed him. I don't know whether to just go into bottles, but what if its a terrible mistake? At the moment he does have a regular bottle of formula in the night that DH gives him, so I know he is fine on bottles. Has anyone else been in this situation?

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 18:14:08

Stop and take a breath. The first three mths of bfing can be to put it mildly soul destroying and a blooming nightmare. Everything feels wrong and lots need fixing but..... You have DONE 11 WEEKS!!!! Woo hoo!!! That's flaming MARVELLOUS!

Is he suffering colic? Try corelief? Reflux? Try angling him a bit or put a towel rolled up under mattress to raise one end. He is most definately fine and getting enough as he's putting on weight. That's all u need to know.

Slow back down. Just focus on one feed at a time. Not a day, just one feed. Ur feeling better in urself but its still early doors yet.

U are over or nearly over the worst bit. I promise it gets better from here out. And u have us. There's always someone watching this subject!

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 18:16:19

Try to avoid formula very much. A bottle a day is fine but he really doesn't need topping up.

EauRougelyNight Tue 11-Dec-12 18:40:25

Something doesn't seem right here, the breastfeeding clinic just told you to give formula top-ups? Did you discuss with them the screaming? Has he been checked for tongue tie? What did the people on the help line say?

Sorry for all the questions, I know it's tough to put all the info in one post but from what you've said it doesn't seem like everything has been properly explored.

Startail Tue 11-Dec-12 18:56:03

Stop stressing, stop weighing nappies and just feed him when he wants to be fed.

You've done the difficult bit in getting to 11 weeks.

Just chill out and take your lead from him.

No expressing, no extra formula, let him decide.

You may find he really does prefer bottles, DD1 did, but she was always mixed fed and never much liked BFing.

After I spent a day in hospital she decided bottles were the way, she was 5 months.

If your DS has only ever had one bottle at night I suspect he will get back to BFing sensibly.

good luck, no one ever tells the truth about how stressful BFing is.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:10

Thank you all. DS has no tounge tie. Lady in the clinic watched me feed, no issue with latching etc. She said she couldn't figure it out. She passed my details onto the infant feeding team. I went to see them on Friday, and they agree that he looks well fed, and that I should try and carry on, but if I'm at all worried to top him. I have tried to just feed him before bed, and he refused the breast. In desperation, I prepared a120 ml formula feed, which he has taken. (even took the bottle away mid feed, and tried to replace with my breast, and the screaming started again) so have just given him the rest of the bottle in tears, feeling very much rejected!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 20:37:05

Sorry you are feeling worried about it all, sounds like you are doing brilliantly though. 11weeks in is fab & that weeks weight gain is spot on smile

When you say he's spending less time on the breast, do you mean feeding less frequently or spending less time feeding? At around this age they become much more efficient feeders & start spacing feeds a bit more. DS could polish a boob off under 5 mins some feeds grin He also started feeding every two hours rather than every one thank god

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:43:36

Formula fed dd1 did exactly the same and ended up on gaviscon for silent reflux which did nothing. I just had to chill out and feed her on demand. Ime (of mainly ff lol) they always take night feeds better as they wake up when really hungry so it is prob that which makes it seem like he takes formula better.

If he's gaining weight then he's getting enough I reckon. FF is they aren't feeding well can be equally stressful as dd1 you can see exactly how much they are taking and start comparing to others.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:44

Hi seriously. He can go between 2 and a half to 4 hours between feeds. I was feeding him every 2 and a half hours, and the infant feeding team (will call them IFT for ease!) just advised to let ds decide when he gets fed. I have just managed to breast feed him, and he went about 7 minutes. But during the day he feeds for 5 mins or less, and that's when the screaming starts. I'm a natural worrier anyway (had CBT a couple of years ago for it) so finding it very hard to trust that he is getting enough.

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:55:27

Don't breastfed babies get quicker as they get better? My job share's daughter got down to about 5 feeds of 5 mins per day bu about 4 months. 4 hours between some feeds is reasonable they are all different aren't they?

Honestly, it isn't better agonising about how few ozs of formula they've taken in a day when everyone else's baby takes 6 every time a bottle is pointed at them.

Of course if you want to give up breastfeeding and would feel happier ff then I'm not exactly one to judge. Am just saying that it won't necessarily solve it.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 20:57:32

Ah bless you I know how you feel. The whole baby thing makes me anxious! DS only ever fed for max 15 mins & I stressed out for months that he wasn't feeding long enough. Turns out he was just an efficient feeder & the others caught up around 12 weeks smile

If you're getting wet nappies & he's gaining weight then you can relax & enjoy your little guy and congratulate yourself on a job well done! It is a leap of faith but it sounds like you're doing it. If he's screaming it may be because he's not hungry.

They can also loss their appetites & get more sleepy during developmental leaps. Have you seen the wonder weeks? My lactation lady showed it to me when I was panicking around the same time that DS wasn't eating.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:40

Funny you should mention developments! DS started on Sunday to support his upper body weight on his arms, so maybe that's something to do with it. And maybe counting ml or oz is there best way forward. I just can't wait till he is eating 3 meals a day! smile

FridgeBenefits Tue 11-Dec-12 21:05:50

Not to bang on about a tongue tie, but who checked for one? They are often un diagnosed and can be very difficult to spot. (I was told my son had no tt, even though it was obvious)
If you want to carry on bfing (and it is entirely your choice), I would find Analytical Armadillo on Facebook and ask for some advice, and maybe find an independent BFing councillor.

narmada Tue 11-Dec-12 21:10:28

My two children only fed for a max of 5 mins EVER. Some are just like that. If he has put on 5 oz in a week he is likely doing fine - is he doing that regularly?

I think it's unlikely your baby would be sleeping for long periods if he were hungry.

Is he getting formula in evening, or in middle of night? Night feeds are important for maintaining milk supply in many women IIRC.

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 21:14:01

Counting mls doesn't tell u anything. Honestly. If he's looking healthy and putting weight on then he's absolutely fine.

Babies get very efficient at bfing. Dd used to polish one boob off in 5mins then scream for literally a couple of hours. Colic remedies helped a bit but time is the main answer. Their tummies are still extremely young. Afternoons was always worse screaming wise and early eve. Would cease about 8pm and then she would glare at me from her basket as if I'd been keeping her in pain for previous hrs... sad

As u have seen already every few days and weeks there are big changes in growth that affect them. The next four weeks should make an awfully big difference. It's like a light switch, suddenly and for no reason or warning it gets better.

Then we will see u on the sleep thread.... ;) keep going u r doing so very well xxx

ThoughtsPlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:18:37

What did he weigh when he was born? How does he sleep at night? Are you only worried because he cries if you try to feed him more when he might have just had enough? How long has he been screaming like this for?

All 3 of my EBF DC have only weighed 12lb at 12 weeks and all slept 11/12 hours at night by that time too, so they weren't hungry.

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:18:49

Counting mls really doesn't tell you anything. DD1 (on average) had about 600ml a day and DD2 about 1000 ml. Up to 6 months they both followed the 25th centile line confused

brettgirl2 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:19:35

And contrary to popular belief you can't make ff babies feed more than they want to either.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:31:46

DS weighed 6.12 when he was born. Weight today was 12.8. I've had 3 different bf counselors check him for tounge tie, and they all say he doesn't have it. Sleep wise, we start his bed time routine at 6:30, which is bath on alternate nights, massage with olive oil, and then me feeding him. He then is very restless, and keeps waking up until he finally goes down at 9pm. he then wakes about 2am, then 6am. Over the weekend though he slept till 4:30, but we were at the pil's, so different environment maybe?
He did feed on the breast tonight, and fell asleep on it as well. Maybe I am trying to feed him when he doesn't want it? (or as my dh says, maybe ds's eyesight is getting better, and he is scared of my big boobs!)smile
I know I just need to relax about the whole thing. Tomorrow will be interesting as my dh is going out tomorrow evening, so I really will just have to trust all is ok. When he gets home from work, he is normally the one who assures me all is OK.

glentherednosedbattleostrich Tue 11-Dec-12 21:40:03

Have you tried rugby ball hold when feeding him? DD was a bit overwhelmed by big boobs at that age and sometimes struggled to feed.

Mostly, you are doing great, he'll eat when he is hungry. At that age DD was going anything between 1 and 5 hours between feeds. Also, he is sleeping well (better than 2 year old DD!) so he is getting enough.

Gillyweed001 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:44:36

Thank you all so much for replying. Now he is asleep feeling a bit better, as I figure he wouldn't sleep if he was hungry!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 21:45:22

I would say you are better off counting wet nappies than mls. They will be your best indication smile

ThoughtsPlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:49:34

The weight gain is ok isn't it? Has anyone said differently?

DS is currently 7 months, he weighed 7lb 10oz at birth and weighed 12lb 14oz at 17weeks. He had regained his birth weight and more at 5 days, but his weight gain just slowed over the weeks, he has always been happy and alert and slept well.

When do he start the screaming?

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 11-Dec-12 21:50:09

And yes defo wouldn't be sleeping if hungry . You're doing a great job. I'm so envious of that sleep!

ThoughtsPlease Tue 11-Dec-12 21:50:55

*when did

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