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3 week old - poor weight gain - breast or formula

(7 Posts)
mrjaz Mon 17-Nov-14 13:14:04

We have a 3 week old little girl, she was born with a tongue tie that was removed a week ago.

Her weight gain has been poor and we have today been discharged by the midwives, after putting on half an ounce since Friday.

To gain this bit of extra weight I have had to spend pretty much the whole weekend feeding her which is hard when I also have a very active 17 month old.

The midwife today has suggested that I keep going on breast feeding and top her up once a day on formula. We tried this in week 2 which led to a good. weight gain but found breastfeeding and giving her some formula through a syringe really hard work.

My older daughter was bottle fed from day 2 by bottle and I really wanted to breastfeed my new one.

I now domt know if to move onto bottles or keep breastfeeding. I really enjoy breastfeeding but it means I am only getting 3 hours sleep a night and means that I feel that I am neglecting my older one.

Any thoughts or feedback would be welcome?

tiktok Mon 17-Nov-14 14:25:37

mrjaz, can understand your concern sad

Topping up with formula once a day has drawbacks. It does not address the underlying issue of your baby's slow weight on bf alone. This might have been because of the TT - and a week is simply not sufficient time to work out whether the TT snip is going to be effective. It can also undermine your wish to bf....it might not, but at this stage you cannot know if it will or not.

If all that is causing your baby's slow weight is lack of intake then the simplest way to improve weight is to give her more breastmilk....it may be you need to spend further days really concentrating on giving more opportunities to feed but this does not have to mean forever.

Can you speak to a bf counsellor in real life and talk it through? It may be possible for you to explore easier ways to get some more sleep (co-sleeping?), to switch nurse to boost supply and intake, to use breast compressions, to bf and use a spare hand to play with/cuddle your toddler....have you managed to find a good source of help? It's great you got a referral for the TT.

tiktok Mon 17-Nov-14 14:29:34

Just to add - if the midwife really thinks you ought to use formula, then take it up with her smile We don't know the full story, but usually the advice to use formula is only one of a range of options to address a weight issue.

sophielouise Mon 17-Nov-14 20:49:14

I know it's 'controversial' especially here on mumsnet, but it is possible to combination feed, you don't have to choose between bottles and breast just do both. We have had to start today with my 4 week old DD due to suspected tongue tie, thrush, poor weight gain, you name it! Plus with a 3 year old to look after too. When you have just one baby you have all day to sit and feed, I remember this well, the draining times just sat on the sofa feeding and feeding. But it's just not possible (for me) with another child. We have just for the past two days given one small bottle of formula, not in a cup or syringe, just straight to bottle. It's gone down a treat, and DD has been back on the boob ok the rest of the day and in the night for feeds. We have given the bottle in the early evening when the clustering is at it's worst. You don't have to choose one or the other! Formula isn't poison,you need to do what's best for your family. I Know loads of people who have continued to breast feed for months, whilst giving the odd bottle. I might get flamed for this but I understand the problems you've had and know how hard it is to EBF. Good luck OP!

NotQuiteCockney Mon 17-Nov-14 20:52:38

Many mums who introduce mixed feeding before their baby is six months old, end up stopping breastfeeding earlier than they want to.

It is not a straightforward decision.

tiktok Tue 18-Nov-14 09:38:19

No one is suggesting formula is poison, sophie sad sad

The reason for holding back on the use of formula is not because anyone thinks there is anything evil about it, but because at three weeks, the introduction of formula i) is not the only way to tackle breastfeeding problems and ii) may well be the start of her reducing her breastfeeding and ending up not breastfeeding at all...which is what she has explicitly said she does not want to do.

NickyEds Wed 19-Nov-14 15:15:11

I mix fed DS until he was 6 months (starting at 3 weeks-Tt/weight loss issues) and, although it worked for us I wouldn't recommend introducing formula early (unless absolutely necessary) if you really want to bf for a long time to come. I only ever really wanted to bf for around 6 months so it wasn't quite such a big issue for me but if you are anxious to bf for longer maintaining supply whilst giving significant formula feeds is really really hard. You have my sympathies op-it's really hard. Give nct or LLL a call they may be able to help.

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