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Breastfed 3.5 week not regained birthweight

(17 Posts)
MummyLeg Sun 24-Feb-13 06:48:50

Just looking hopefully for some reassurance from people who have been through similar. My gorgeous DS2 is 3.5 weeks old, born at 8lb 4oz by elective section, weighs 7lb 11oz currently. Has been feeding well for past few days, every 2hrs, clusters in morning and evenings, no vomits, loads of poo and wee (poo a bit green recently, read this may be due to overproduction by me, makes sense as I have plenty to go around!). He is alert, settled and hardly cries. Am trying to keep him on one boob for as long as he wants (can be an hour or more), then offer him the other side. I am happy with latch / suck / swallowing.
Health visitor getting very stressed as he has not regained birthweight. There has been talk of admitting him which to be honest I think I would refuse as he to me is a well baby. There has also been talk of giving him formula, again don't want to muck about with this as he has just got established with breastfeeding.
They are weighing him every 2 days. I am getting so stressed with each weigh in I struggle to put him on the scales as I'm so shaky. If he has gained a bit I feel great, if he has lost a bit (as he had yesterday), I feel really upset for the rest of the day and guilty that I can't seem to fatten him up. He is between 9th and 25th centiles and has been the last few times he has been weighed. Midwife weighed him yesterday and got v annoyed, said every 2 days was far too often and he should be left a week, which I agree with but need to convince health visitor of this.
I know really 2oz is the difference between a feed / poo / wee, but I'm finding it all so bloody disheartening. Feel like I keep going to get my exam results and failing sad
I did express for a bit when I didn't feel he was sucking that well, but as everything so much better now I would rather just carry on breastfeeding as I was devoting 24hours a day to my boobs when expressing, not finding time to enjoy DS2 and just leaving DS1 to watch cbeebies...
DS1 also lost weight and wasn't a great feeder initially but picked up much quicker than this, breastfed for a year, is absolutely huge now. I am completely determined to bf DS2 but am finding the whole weighing in and threats of admission very depressing.
Have others been through this and found that time made it better? Can I tell my health visitor to back off a bit?

SpottyTeacakes Sun 24-Feb-13 06:58:40

Someone with good advice will be along soon but I'm pretty sure you can tell your HV to back off! In the red book it days to get them weighed monthly to start. Every two days is too much even in SCBU it's only twice weekly.

Sounds to me like you're doing great, trust your instincts smile

KnottedAnchorChief Sun 24-Feb-13 09:18:01

Can you see a lactation consultant or someone from LLL? Sometimes HV will back off a bit if they know you are getting specific bf support from someone else.

tiktok Sun 24-Feb-13 09:44:00

sorry you are having such a difficult time.

i think your situation deserves to be taken seriosly and its good your hv is involved. theres no justification for telling her to back off at all. we dont have enough info in your post to make any judgment. is your baby gaining albeit slowly? your hv may have good reason for the frequent weighing.

yes seek another expert opinion. deliberately keeping him on one side for an hour is the opposite of what needs to be done to increase weight so whoever told you that has dodgy info.

hope this helps. more input should help but its better if it is real life.

tiktok Sun 24-Feb-13 09:45:58

spotty: monthly weighing only for babies whose weight is not a concern and who have reached birthweight. it would not be good care for the op's baby.

SpottyTeacakes Sun 24-Feb-13 09:52:00

Woops I didn't mean OP should only be getting her dc weighed monthly I just meant every other day is a lot blush was a rushed post wasn't really putting enough thought into it

tiktok Sun 24-Feb-13 09:59:31

I'm sure you meant well Spotty smile But think about it - how can anyone say someone is doing great, and should trust their instincts and also comment on weighing frequency...when all they have is the very sketchiest of descriptions of the situation, no real idea of the history, and we're not trained HCPs anyway!

All anyone can do on a talkboard, safely, is to acknowledge concerns and raise a few points for the mother to consider - it really worries me when MN encouragement (which is great) veers towards assessing babies they can't see and saying mothers should put a distance between them and their HCPs sad

I know some situations describe something patently bizarre and some HCPs say patently bizarre things - but this isn't one of them smile

magpieC Sun 24-Feb-13 10:14:27

My DS took 5 weeks to regain his birth weight but the midwife didn't sign us off her books until then so it was her rather than HV we saw. IIRC he was weighed weekly and at one point she did also get one of the GPs to come and have a look to check that she was happy as well.

We then went to HV weighing every two weeks which was still quite stressful.

Having said that, at 10 weeks we discovered a posterior tongue tie (helped in no small part by info from here) so in hindsight maybe I should have been more concerned about root cause. I'd definitely second looking for bf advice locally - I was put off as the first person I saw wasn't particularly helpful and it wasn't until I'd done a lot of reading sound tongue tie that I saw someone else who was brilliant!

MummyLeg Sun 24-Feb-13 10:21:27

By asking her to back off I meant maybe weighing weekly rather than every couple of days just because it is stressing me out do much having 48 hr weights. He is gaining weight but it's very 2 steps forward and 1 step back although still falling within those centiles. She has overall been quite helpful but I am finding it quite intense and am quite resistant to the suggestions of admission and formula.
How would I find a lactation consultant? I never really needed any input for DS1, think you just assume everything will be the same and it's frustrating that it's not.
Also, how long should I leave him on 1st breast before swapping him?
Thanks for suggestions x

tiktok Sun 24-Feb-13 10:33:14

Mummyleg, local options include a breastfeeding counsellor (call any of the bf helplines) though they cannot offer medical advice; breastfeeding specialist working for NHS - your HV/midwife should know if there is one. Lactation consultants working privately are few but I think there is a list here .

To increase your baby's intake of milk, talk to the HV about switch nursing (google it or look on mumsnet) which means you swap sides frequently within the same feeding session.

It's good he is gaining, but slow to regain birthweight babies always need checking out.

Hope this helps.

tiktok Sun 24-Feb-13 10:34:20

Weight every 2 days is bound to be intense sad It is also no use weighing as often as this if nothing is being done to increase his intake - weighing does not make babies gain weight, after all smile

MummyLeg Sun 24-Feb-13 10:53:09

Have just googled switch feeding. I had actually started doing this while in hospital as this seemed like the instinctive thing to do when he was falling asleep and slowing down v quickly on the breast. I was specifically told not to do this or he wouldn't get my hindmilk. Makes much more sense to me though so I will give it a go.

tiktok Sun 24-Feb-13 12:20:14

You only need to do switch feeding when there is already a problem with intake, mummyleg - it was prob too soon to start it with a very newborn, though it can also be effective for a baby who falls asleep (though not normally anything to worry about with a very new baby). So the advice might have been appropriate then, but it would not be appropriate now smile

BigPigLittlePig Sun 24-Feb-13 15:37:02

DD lost 12% of her birth weight, and was being weighed every few days for at least the first few weeks. I agree it was stressful too. It took a good 7 days before she started gaining weight and 3-4 weeks before she hit her bw again. Luckily my mw/hv seemed more relaxed than yours about it. I would ask them if you could extend the period between weigh-ins, as in a small newborn, a big poo can account for quite a bit of weight! Please be reassured that you're definitely not the only person who is having/has had these problems, and it will get better thanks

Satine5 Mon 25-Feb-13 15:53:00

I would ditto seeking a lactation consultant, if you can. I had a similar problem, and my midwife wouldn't sign me off and kept threatening that I should start ff topping, which I personally didn't want to do. It reduced me to tears and for ages I was obsessed about DD's weight, which was not healthy in the long run. Anyway, my problem was rectified in 2 days by a lactation consultant ( I saw mine privately, but it was worth all the money in the world). She corrected latch, I did switch nursing for 3 days and went back to normal and my dd started gaining weight.
As another poster suggested, this could be a tongue tie issue. I hope that you get it sorted and HV stops harassing you.

MummyLeg Tue 26-Feb-13 19:55:16

Officially losing the plot now. Next weigh in tomorrow and completely panicking. Have turned from v chilled out mum into completely neurotic one, hyperanalysing everything DS2 does and wondering whether it is good or bad (eg he is currently asleep; is he nice and well fed and settled or drowsy because he is underfed?). Feel horribly guilty every time I change him and see his skinny arms and legs, and get really upset whenever anyone tells me how small he is. husband going away tomorrow and don't know how I am going to cope esp if they decide he needs admitting.
Argh. Wish us luck for tomorrow x

BigPigLittlePig Tue 26-Feb-13 20:51:31

Good luck mummyleg
When I look back now at the photos of LO in her first month, she looks like she's ill - you could count all her ribs, there was not a scrap of fat on her. I really hope things start to improve for you soon.

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