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Am I starving my ebf 4 day old baby?

(38 Posts)
WutheringTights Wed 26-Dec-12 06:57:02

I’m a first time mum and I’m worried that my 4 day old EBF baby isn’t getting enough to eat. Apologies that this is so long, I wanted to make sure that I gave all the relevant information.

He was born on Saturday after a 40 hour labour and it was an instrumental delivery as his heart rate was dipping on each contraction. We were given IV antibiotics because my waters broke early. I had a local anaesthetic for the delivery but no other pain relief (I had diamorphine earlier on but it had worn off by then as given more than 12 hours before delivery).

On day 1 he wouldn’t feed so I ended up giving him hand-expressed colostrum from a syringe.

On day 2 I struggled to get him to take anything. He wouldn’t open his mouth and if I did manage to get a nipple in he didn’t seem to realise that he had to suck. He ended up feeding every 5-6 hours for about 20 minutes each time.

Day 3 (yesterday) I woke him 3 hours after each feed and he seemed to get the hang of it, feeding each time and each feed got easier. He even asked for a couple of feeds after only 2.5 hours (and he had an extra one after about an hour which I don’t count as it was only for about 5 mins). My milk came in but as the day went on he went from feeding for about 20 mins to feeding for only about 10 mins each feed. I offered him more each time but he wasn’t interested or only took a couple of sucks before falling asleep.

Day 4 (today) he’s had one good 20 minute feed and one for only 10 mins. At the end of the 20 min feed I could see that he had managed to get the thicker milk that comes later (is this the let down?) but I couldn’t see any after the 10 minute feed. I offered him more each time but he wouldn’t take it.

It doesn’t feel like he could possibly be getting enough milk but I don’t know what else to do. I have some formula in the cupboard and I’m tempted to give him a bottle just so I know that he’s getting something but my instinct is that once I do this he won’t take the breast again as it’s been such a battle so far.

We only get 2-3 wet nappies a day but plenty of dirty ones – poo is greeny yellow in the nappy but bright yellow on the cotton wool when I wipe him iyswim so he is getting something.

Any suggestions/ advice? He was a small baby so I don’t want him losing too much weight when he’s weighed at his 5 day check tomorrow. He's due another feed in an hour.


TanteRose Wed 26-Dec-12 07:01:36

just keep offering - you need to put him to the breast at least 15 or 20 times a day

remember, his tummy is TINY - he will only be able to take in tiny amounts of milk at each feed. Little and often.

trust your body to do its job - you are doing fine!

Skiffen Wed 26-Dec-12 07:10:13

Congratulations on your new baby! Well done for getting this far. Don't forget that baby's tummies are tiny at this stage, no bigger than a marble, so ten mins each side may be enough now your milk has come in.

Have you seen the mw? Are they happy with things?

If you want to ebf, please don't feel under pressure to ff at this stage when you're in the foothills of establishing your supply.

BikeRunSki Wed 26-Dec-12 07:13:26

Remember that his tummy is not much bigger than a marble!

Longdistance Wed 26-Dec-12 07:14:10

If he's a little sleepy, strip him off to just a nappy to wake him a little, so he's not too dozy.
Sounds like your milk is coming in and he is taking enough.
He also sounds like a sleeper. My Dd2 was like this, slept for 4 hour stints, she'd feed, and then drop off for a sleep again.
If you can, find out from your mw about bf clinics in your area. Our Surestart centres had them. They were great with help and advice.

TanteRose Wed 26-Dec-12 07:22:07

just to say, he won't necessarily feed 15 times a day - but his nuzzling of your boobs will alert your body to make more milk.

WutheringTights Wed 26-Dec-12 07:25:10

Midwife was worried yesterday morning but that was when he was only feeding 5-hourly, before I'd managed to establish 3-hourly feeds. I know I'm making enough milk (it's literally now pouring out of me) but he just seems a lazy feeder. It's just bad luck that this is over Christmas because it feels like there is less support available at this time of year. Thanks, will try stepping up to offering feeds after 2.5 hours.

AmandinePoulain Wed 26-Dec-12 07:37:13

I would just go to bed with him? Strip off and have plenty of skin to skin. You aren't starving him, it sounds as though you've got plenty of milk and he's no more likely to take a bottle than the breast if he's just lazy! Continue to offer frequent feeds, and try changing his nappy before every feed, or even half way through to wake him up a bit. It's normal not to have too many wet nappies in the first few days but he's pooing so as you say he's obviously getting something.

Is he jaundiced? That will make him sleepy and might be worth getting checked.

Congratulations, what a lovely Christmas present!

seeker Wed 26-Dec-12 07:45:37

I second the going to bed together thing- and you'll be able to doze and rest too. Don't forget to have a big bottle of water within reach- you'll get thirsty!

And don't worry about the fore milk/hind milk thing- just put him to the breast loads and loads. It does sound as if you're doing a fantastic job!

armedtotheteeth Wed 26-Dec-12 07:51:56

It sounds ok to me and i suspect you're getting more wet nappies than you think as it can be hard to tell with disposables.

When will he be reweighed? Hopefully that will give you reassurance.

Dd2 was a very efficient feeder only feeding for 10-15 minutes each time even as a newborn, but piled the weight on. If you want to bf, don't make any hasty decisions about formula until he's been weighed.

Congratulations flowers

Jojay Wed 26-Dec-12 08:03:49

Lots of dirty nappies is a good sign. Hold fire on the formula until he's been weighed, as there may well be no problem at all.

Babies are all different and don't behave 'by the book' My first was as you describe, very sleepy and only fed for a few mins at a time - short five minute feeds DO count! Especially as you say it's pouring out of you.

Keep an eye on the wet / dirty nappies, check his weight when you can, but if those two factors are right, then the chances are everything is fine.

StuntNun Wed 26-Dec-12 08:07:03

You're doing fine. Keep offering the breast whenever you can and try to relax. Babies are born with fat reserves to get them through the first few days so you have time to find your way together.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 26-Dec-12 08:08:02

He's 4 days old and you have loads of milk.

Some women's milk wouldn't even have come in yet.

Keep feeding him often around the clock.

Taking him to bed is a good idea.

Your job is to sit under that baby and just let him feed.

Everything you need can be brought to you.

Enjoy it smile this is a really special time.

elvislives2012 Wed 26-Dec-12 08:11:16

Go to bed with him. I did it and it really worked. Also, if he has lost weight tomorrow remember that it's common and won't necessarily mean u need to give him FF. My DD lost 10.7% at day 5 but regained it really quickly.
It's hard not knowing if they're getting enough but after he's finished, look at him and if he's not acting hungry he probably isn't.
BFing is the hardest thing I've ever done but 9 weeks down the line we are still going and no formula in sight. Good luck!

lightrain Wed 26-Dec-12 08:12:47

All sounds normal to me. I'd agree with pp, get into bed with you both naked (well, your top halves!) and have lots of skin to skin to help stimulate him to feed. Get midwife to weigh him today, and you can see where you are but don't panic, his tummy is tiny and he's learning how to feed, and your milk has only just come in.

Welovecouscous Wed 26-Dec-12 08:21:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsPennyapple Wed 26-Dec-12 08:22:55

Sounds like you're doing great! Don't worry about setting a regular time between feeds at this stage, just feed, feed, feed. Agree with the others about leaving the formula for now. At this stage, every feed sends information back to your boobs about how much milk you need to produce. Adding formula into the mix is more likely to inhibit your supply, as you'll be skipping breastfeeds.

Welovecouscous Wed 26-Dec-12 08:24:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Welovecouscous Wed 26-Dec-12 08:27:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnitaBlake Wed 26-Dec-12 08:36:40

Did you know that pampers and huggies nappies both have a wetness indicator? It was a lifeline to me in the early days. My DD2 is seven weeks I, and a sleeper from the start, like yours. Very small babies have reserves to help them through the very early days ( hence post partum weightloss), and you should count every feed, even the five minute one ;) actually IMHO you shouldn't count any feeds, first gimme mums are encouraged to tie themselves up in knots counting nappies and boobs and goodness only knows what else.

Feed baby on demand, but do as you have been and offer often, to remind him milk is available. Babies are designed to fall asleep while feeding. What works best for me is to feed one side, then change the nappy, then offer the other side.

The poo is a good indicator that the milk is going through. Just keep offering, and don't worry too much about weightloss, every baby is different, concentrate on lots of skin to skin instead <3

Shardlake Wed 26-Dec-12 09:11:10

Congratulations thanks Wuthering! Sounds like you're doing great - my DD was a reluctant feeder as well for the first couple of weeks - from the sounds of it you are managing to feed a lot more frequently than I did in the first few days, and everything turned out ok for us. Hope it all goes well at the check up tomorrow and you get some good support and reassurance. I remember my midwife saying bright yellow poo was a really good sign.

378 Wed 26-Dec-12 09:20:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aufaniae Wed 26-Dec-12 09:21:24

It soujnds like you're doing a great job!

I agree with AmandinePoulain. If you have concerns he's not getting enough, the best thing to do is to strip off (you and him!) go to bed and just hang out there for a couple of days. Take some Christmas chocolates / books / mumsnet / dvds / your partner / whatever, and just hang out in bed with your baby. Lots of skin to skin. Sod the cleaning / visitors / whatever you have planned, this is impportant!

Let him feed on demand when he's awake.

Look at the websites La Leche League and to find out how often you should be waking him to offer, and for other advice and support.

la Leche League have a helpline too, they can talk to yoiu about establishiing BFing on the phone.

One last thing, and this could be important. HVs are not BFing experts. they have a lot of experience supporting new mums of course, but sadly some are not up to date on the latest BFing evidence-based advice, and can give outdated advice sometimes. Same goes for GPs. If any HV suggested formula top-ups to me (which they may do if weight has dropped) I'd check with some experts (I'd start by calling LLL or a BFing counsellor) before going down that route.

dorapeppageorgenoddy Wed 26-Dec-12 09:24:58

Congratulations on your new baby, what you are describing sounds very normal - enjoy lots of cuddles, whack the heating up and snuggle your newborn under a dressing gown as skin to skin is so good for both of you - at this stage try and offer your breast every couple of hrs - you are both learning what to do so it is normal for it all to feel a bit odd and not knowing if they have had enough - but you have to trust the oldest method of feeding -

Your babies tummy is the size of a 50p so they may not sit and feed for long, I had friends who used to 'feed' for hrs others 'fed' for 5 mins each side, my babies both oy ever fed for about 15 mins max. But at newborn stage only ever 5 mins-

What helped me was writing feeds down in a book; (gave the control freak in me something to do) so 10.42, (left) 5 mins...

Then you can see a pattern and hopefully feel better -

This link is full of good advice kellymom

Enjoy the cuddles it's a wonderful time grin

WutheringTights Wed 26-Dec-12 14:06:10

Thanks for all the links and advice. Have been looking at the sites.

He started getting the hang of it shortly after I first posted which is a relief and just had a mammoth half hour feed only 1.5 hours after the last one (hooray!). I think he must have been a bit dehydrated which might have made him more sleepy. Hopefully it will get easier now.

So far, I've been so worried about just getting fluid into him that I've just been ramming a nipple in as soon as he opens his mouth and getting on with it. It now looks like I need to work on my latch - he's getting some food and I can manage but it is sore. Something else for me to work on but now I know that I can at least get liquid into him I can relax a bit and maybe give the LLL helpline a go tomorrow.

Thanks again.

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