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Advice please regarding high energy formula

(16 Posts)
Gumgardener321 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:00:16

Just wondered if anyone had been in the same situation and give me some advice

My DS was born 9 days early weighing 6.3. When he was 6 days old he was readmitted into hospital with a bacterial infection around his groin & MRSA.
When he was 6weeks old he was readmitted into hospital as the HV was concerned about his weight & jaundice. While in hospital after having some blood tests they discover his platelet levels were twice the normal level & there were high levels of liver enzymes. We are currently awaiting the results of blood tests in the hope we find some answers. The problems with his liver could be causing the slow weight gain & jaundice. In the meantime we have been advised to watch his weight gain&jaundice.

We went to see our GP today for our 6/52 check who has advised a high energy formula (SMA) to bulk him up a bit & make him more able to deal with any winter bugs. She feels he is using all his energy dealing with whatever the underline problem is. I have always BF at least 2/3 hours during the day & 4-6 hours at night. Apart from when I am cluster feeding then it can be ever hour. He often sleep up to 6 hours at night and I have to wake him for a feed so my thoughts are these are signs that he is not a hungry baby. His weight gain has been as followed; Day 1 - 6.3, Day 3 -5.14, Day 6 -6.0, Day 10- 6.7,Day 16- 6.12, Day 28- 7.5, Day 42 -7.8 & Day 49-7.12. In my opinion is a good feeder & tends to feed between 30mins- 90 mins,has milk around his mouth, I can hear him swallowing so know he is getting milk. Occasionally he does comfort feed &has recently has oral thrush & tended to feed more then due to a dry mouth.

My thoughts are surely BF gives better protection & I've heard by using a combination of both breast&bottle this can affect milk supply.

I appreciate any advice more experienced mothers have to offer

Gumgardener321 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:03:31

P.S we have only been out of hospital 5 days and would had thought if he needed to have a high energy formula then the paediatrician would had advised it

MamaG Wed 12-Dec-12 20:07:58

Also: maternal cousin was similar in v slow weight gain and despite moving to high energy formula, carried on with the slow weight gain. Now, aged almost 9 years, still skinnoid smile

OPeaches Wed 12-Dec-12 20:15:17

Hopefully Tiktok will be along soon to advise you.

I'm not an expert, nor s medic, but my gut feeling is that you should continue to ebf. What makes the GP think she knows more than the paeds?

Sorry to hear your wee boy is poorly, wishing him speedy recovery.

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Wed 12-Dec-12 20:31:39

I would definitely stay EBF-ing. Giving him formula so young could affect his virgin gut. Breast milk is the best milk for him. The only reason (IMO) to give formula would be if YOU felt you couldn't cope with the high demand. You're clearly doing an amazing job so I'm sure you'll both be fine sticking with what you're doing.

(please don't tell me to fuck off Dolls)

JustFabulous Wed 12-Dec-12 20:35:31

My son had jaundice but wasn't as ill as your baby. I do hope he recovers very soon.

I fed mine 2 hourly and wasn't allowed to let him go more than 3 hours without a feed. I was still feeding at least once a night at 6 months so I suspect I was up 3 times a night when he was small.

My advice, none medical person, is to feed whenever he wants and not start down the formula route unless you want too. I can't get my head around a baby needing formula when mum can breast feed perfectly fine and baby is getting enough milk.

Do what you think best with guidance from the doctors if you feel you need it.

pushmepullyou Wed 12-Dec-12 20:36:01

His weight gain looks similar to my 2 and both were ebf. I would think that the immunity benefits of bm would be more important than the calory dense formula. Tbh I would ignore the GP and wait to speak to the paediatrician.

Sparkletastic Wed 12-Dec-12 20:37:21

Not the same at all but didn't want to ignore... For what it's worth DD2 was born with congenital disorder so needed medication from birth (ground up pills basically). I never got on with expressing and she was a good Bfeeder so fed on demand then did one bottle of formula for the meds every night. Gave me a break from her cluster feeding and got the pills in. She had lividity (red) jaundice too - got her in sunshine for this. Only point I can make is one bottle didn't mess around at all with rest of BF regime so you could try same. Any chance of getting referred for more specialist advice on feeding? GPs never that great on this area IMO.

TeaAndTinselMakeChristmasShine Wed 12-Dec-12 20:40:15

If you're not comfortable with the advice from GP at 6 week check I would go and talk to another GP or other paeds you may have access too. Get a second opinion. Challenge the information you've been given if you aren't comfortable.

I had a manic feeder, slow to put on weight ectomorph (it's a body type for processing energy) DS and I found it incredibly difficult to take on board all the different advice from GPs/HV/midwives etc. His growth pattern I'm sure looked like your DS when a baby.

He stayed on the 2nd-8th percentile for weight until he got to solids - I ebf for 5 months - went up a bit. But now he's a healthy 11 year old - who despite being almost my height I can still lift above my head because he's soooooo light. He wears pants for aged 6-7 because others fall down - though his trousers are for 12 yos.

He's great at swimming and rock climbing because of his power to weight ration but jeee-sus I have to work hours and hours just to feed him and his three brothers he eats like a horse.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 12-Dec-12 20:41:04

Ignore the GP and talk to the Paediatrician. My gut instinct is that the GP is talking rubbish, but I have absolutely nothing to base that on!

dwagdays Wed 12-Dec-12 20:45:41

You are under paed care and their thoughts are probably more relevant than your Gp's especially whilst waiting for test results.

Your baby has been poorly and still waits for some further results, knowing the benefits bf gives a poorly baby then it makes good sense to keep feeding. If your baby needs more milk you have it and can feed more, switch nurse etc if you felt you needed to do so.

You feel confident ... you really are the best judge. Gps are very general and rarely know much at all about how bf works.

EauRougelyNight Wed 12-Dec-12 21:06:50

"Gps are very general and rarely know much at all about how bf works."

This. Some GPs are brilliant, but they are not required to have any breastfeeding training at all so there's no guarantee that they know. If you're not happy with the advice you've been given then chat to a paediatrician, and ask if there's an infant feeding co-ordinator that can work with you all to find a feeding regime that you are all happy with.

Best of luck and hope your DS is fighting fit soon smile

SJisontheway Wed 12-Dec-12 22:38:54

Ok - I have experienced similar. Like others have said I would definitely get paed opinion..... But I think there is some merit to wat the gp is saying.
In a healthy child bm is best, but for a poorly baby some extra calories can be very beneficial.
DD1 had very slow weight gain and was prescribed fortini, a high calorie formula. She refused the bottle point blank so I struggled on bf. Her weight continued to go up so so slowly. Generally she did ok but when she got sick, she had no fat reserves and would go down hill very quickly. At about 15 months she finally accepted a cup and started taking the hi calorie formula, and her weight gain improved immediately. Until that time she remained close to being malnourished and was hospitalised whenever she got a bug.
My daughter has an underlying condition which was the root of her feeding problems. This was my experience - i'm not a medical expert. I would insist on getting the paeds opinion but I would keep an open mind. I am a strong believer in the benefits of bf and ebf my other 2, but for a child with health problems, extra calories and building up some reserves can be of enormous benefit and imo would outweigh 'virgin gut' referred to above.
I wish you and your baby the best of luck and hope he makes a good recovery.

tiktok Thu 13-Dec-12 10:39:32

I think the GP's concerns about your baby's weight deserve to be taken seriously. His weight gain is very slow, though it does seem to be picking up a bit. It's absolutely the case that underweight babies can go downhill quickly if they are poorly.

So - how can your baby gain weight better? Formula is only one way and of course it is not the best nutritionally and could affect your supply.

Your baby is not really feeding all that often - maybe 8 times in 24 hours plus a cluster session? The easiest way to increase a baby's weight is to feed more often, and to ensure each breast is used at least once per session, and hopefully more than this. Babies who have had a tricky start and who need to catch up need to feed a lot - you could aim for at least half as much again smile

Perhaps discuss this option with your GP?

Gumgardener321 Fri 14-Dec-12 00:32:37

Thank you all for your advice I really appreciate it.

I spoke to the paediatrician this morning & he feels that the amount of weight DS has put on in the last week is not that bad and ideally he should be putting on about 200g per week. Also agrees EBF is best for him. So plan is to have him weighed over next few days and if has put on40g + then fine to continue with EBF. If not ask HV to ref us to a dietician &failing that we need to discuss with HV possibly putting him on that high energy formula in the future. If he hasn't put enough weight on I'll probably speak to the paediatrician again as HV seems a bit too quick to put him on the formula

Thanks again

dwagdays Fri 14-Dec-12 09:44:44

Glad you have a plan. If you want to increase the gain, cancel life, get a good box set and cuddle around doing skin to skin and feeding ad much as possible. Keep Swopping sides and wake him after 90mins if he has a big nap in the day. My friend counted twenty six feeds doing this in 24 hourssmile she saw the gains...

Weighing after 48hrs isn't always super helpful, a week may give you a better picture.

Anyway, happy feeding and good luck!

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