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bf baby v slow to gain weight

(19 Posts)
LoobyLou33 Tue 14-May-13 12:26:35

DD is 24 days old and was still losing weight at 10 days,so we've been instructed by the midwives to offer both breasts at each feed, then top her up with ebm and then formula if still hungry. By sat she was still a few oz off her birth weight but was at least gaining weight, about 120g in a week. I've had support from the bf counsellors for sore nipples/poor latch (now better) and she said that's slow.

Anyway I m just posting for a bit of support and to hear from anyone who had a similar experience. I'm torn between the feeling that too much topping up will affect my milk supply and wanting to ensure she gets her weight up. I'm waking her if she goes for 3 hours without a feed though that's very rare now( at first she was lazy to feed). Knowing what to do on extra hungry/ growth spurt days is difficult as that's when she's building supply. The mechanics are quite complex!

I should say that while dh tops her up I pump and also try to pump after a feed, if I can fit it in!
Already got a ds wbo's 2 and he fed fine though he wanted feeding a lot more!

mrsmartin1984 Tue 14-May-13 12:39:19

I had problems with my little one losing too much and then was slow to put it back on.

I realised that as I was feeling stressed at the time I wasn't eating well (which is unlike me). I was hardly eating it was just hard to swallow and I had no interest in food.

Make sure that you are eating and drinking well. Keep care of yourself and rest when you can

aldeburgh Tue 14-May-13 12:40:00

Has she been checked for tongue tie... I have just had 8 weeks of very slow weight gain... And found out yesterday that dd had a posterior tongue tie. It has been snipped and we are now having to learn how to feed... I asked mw and hv a couple of times and got told she wasn't tied... But the lactation consultant said it was pretty severe and would affect her ability to feed efficiently. She said most mw and hv get very little training in how to spot the trickier posterior ties. I wish i had known about it 8 weeks ago as now i have been topping up on hv advice to stop her dropping more centiles... They all kept saying it was my supply but not once did they mention tongue tie.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 12:40:53

Poor you and well done for persevering after such a tough start. Has dd been checked for tongue tie?

Also, I'd offer a feed at least every 2 hours in the day, not 3, just while you are boosting her weight smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 12:42:37

Yes, eating and drinking is good for the mums health but will have very little affect on the quality of milk smile

NoForkNKnife Tue 14-May-13 13:16:14

Slightly different as my DD is a preemie. She is gaining really slowly. She's actually below the 0.4 th percentile, but other than her weight, she is fine.

I'm not sure the MW advice of offering both breasts is correct. Wouldn't it be better to stick with one breast so she's getting more hind milk? I actually express (despite no issues with latch) and just offer her the creamy hind milk on advice from the drs. I've also had to supplement 2 feeds with formula to boost her weight (it's working!). I've had no issues with supply, but I have been doing it for nearly 10 weeks.

My first DD not a preemie also took a long time to gain weight, but once we got over the first couple of months it suddenly sorted itself.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 13:23:03

Only offering one breast at a feed is the advice given to mothers who want to cut down on over supply or stop feeding fork. If the OP wishes to continue, she should offer both breasts at leat once during each feed.

I don't have any experiences of premmies so like you say, the advice given to you sounds different smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 13:25:37

looby have you read How might I increase my baby's weight gain? on kellymom?

NoForkNKnife Tue 14-May-13 13:36:54

jilted the supply thing makes sense, but not so much for weight gain. Won't the baby only have 'access' to the watery foremilk if both breasts are offered rather than letting baby completely drain one breast to get access to the calorific hind milk. I get that things may have changed since my first, but I'm sure that was the advice then. OP, do you express? Could you not express the other breast if you're worried about supply?

If I've got all this wrong, then I do apologise. But this makes more sense to me in terms of calories from a feed.

NoForkNKnife Tue 14-May-13 13:38:14

Oh, you could also express for 5mins in each breast before feed to 'get rid' of the foremilk. Baby will then just have the hind milk.

tiktok Tue 14-May-13 14:32:47

NoFork, there is a lot of misunderstanding about fore/hindmlk.

It is volume of milk that helps weight gain. Sticking to one side only reduces volume and reduces overall intake. This is why mothers plagued with oversupply can be helped by feeding one sided.

the calorie thing looks after itself. is a good explanation of fore/hindmilk.

No need to express discard foremilk - a huge faff to do this, and no help to the problem, sorry.

NoForkNKnife Tue 14-May-13 16:07:49

Thanks, Tiktok. Interesting link. Tbh, I wasn't literally expecting 2 types of milk, but understood the gradual increase in fat.

What I meant to the OP, was when do you swap breasts? If you don't let the baby empty te first breast before offering the other, then they wouldn't necessarily had as much fat in the feed? Will a baby only be able to take so much volume? Would it not be better if that amount was made up of milk with a higher fat content?
Not trying to start a debate-I'm genuinely interested. When I do put my DD to the breast, I will only offer the other breast if I feel she's 'emptied' the first.

In sure I read on Kellymom to express before feeding....but I'm probably wrong grin.

tiktok Tue 14-May-13 16:46:35

NoFork, it would only be in the case of very small, vulnerable pre-term babies whose energy levels don't allow them to stay at the breast long where the 'express off the foremilk to heighten the fat content' would make clinical sense.

Breasts can't be emptied, as you know.

tiktok Tue 14-May-13 16:47:22

It's not 'better' milk if it's fattier smile Just different.

NoForkNKnife Tue 14-May-13 17:31:46

Ah, maybe that's why I've been given that advice then. It didn't work anyway-she won't latch if I express the first bit off.

So, for a newborn, when would you offer the 'next' breast? I'm hoping to start introducing more breast now she's getting bigger (currently 4lbs-double birth weight). She was at the breast for 90 mins yesterday, so stamina is there!

LoobyLou33 Tue 14-May-13 17:59:30

Hello, thanks for all the advice. fork I'm letting her finish one side before offering the second, she often feeds for half an hour on the first side so as far as I know she is getting a good blend of milk.

jilted thanks for the kellymom link, yes I have read that and think it's a great site, but obviously the advice there would steer away from topping up with formula milk. I offer ebm first but there isn't much left to pump after I've fed her especially after a lengthy feed, so have also been having sma when she's still hungry.

Re tongue tie the HV didn't think she has it as she can poke out her tongue well. I did see a latch consultant but the clinic was really hectic so she checked the latch but didn't have a good look for TT, I think she said it looked like she didn't have it but was quite stressed out so I can't quite remember! aldeburgh sorry you've had hassle with that, it sounds stressful and annoying that it wasn't diagnosed. Hope you're finding it more straightforward now :-)

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 21:31:12

It might be worth getting the tt checked again then. Is there a bfing support group near to you?

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-May-13 21:33:10

Oh and letting her finish on one side before offering the second is good smile

aldeburgh Wed 15-May-13 03:19:26

Hopefully your dd will not have tongue tie... But definitely worth asking someone clued up. I regret not doing it sooner after being told by several hcp that she was fine.
It wasn't until someone pointed me towards the milk matters website that i was convinced.
Good luck

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