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Week old baby still losing weight, should I top up with FF?

(52 Posts)
FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 07:32:17

Ds is on day 9, has lost about 10% since birth and had a further small loss in the past two days.

I'm worried I'm not producing enough milk (he's BF only).

I BF'd my other dcs with no issues. Is it possible that my supply is worse than before?

I'm feeling pretty useless. All my notes have gone from "experienced mother, confident feeder" to long lists of what I should be doing better. It shouldn't bother me, but with hormones thrown in it's getting me down.

I want to BF, but more importantly I want my baby to thrive.

Has mix-feeding worked for anyone? Can I make it work or should I resign myself to it being a step towards FF?

Moomaloo Wed 14-Jan-15 07:39:39

My dc3 dropped 13% in 5 days so we got readmitted. I was very upset and hormonal. Know exactly what you mean - kept getting asked patronisingly "is he your first?" And that made me feel worse as I had fed the others fine!
He had 2 or 3 bottles of formula which perked him up then we breastfed exclusively for over a year.
If he is not too weak you could try cup feeding with the lid of a bottle? But honestly, my son had those bottle feeds whilst half asleep and it did not effect feeding at all.
You really need a supportive midwife. Good luck! And congratulations!!

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 07:43:17

Thanks moo, that's extremely reassuring. That's basically what I want to do, give him a couple of bottles to get him going and then never do it again smile

But I fear the dreaded nipple confusion, and worry he won't bother with me if I do resort to it.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 07:43:43

I'll give the cup a try smile

westcountrywoman Wed 14-Jan-15 07:47:54

Try a cup or syringe. Are you able to express some milk for this?
Get avoid midwife on board to help you. Do you feel it's a supply issue or is he finding it hard to latch or showing no interest in feeding? Could he have tongue-tie?

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 08:13:42

His latch does seem a bit weak at times, he was quite sleepy at first, but is awake more now. Dh took him to his paediatric check and said they did check him, but what are the signs? How far out should he be able to stick his tongue?

I wasn't worried about supply until last night when it seemed like after the first five minutes there was no let down happening. But he was already sucking less. I left him suckling for more than half an hour, but it was half hearted on his part. I can't decide if the lack of milk was down to him having had enough (it was only 2 hours after a long feed) or me stressing meaning there was no hope.

EssexMummy123 Wed 14-Jan-15 08:17:04

Baby getting fed is the important thing :-)

gymboywalton Wed 14-Jan-15 08:17:29

i mixed fed both mine at first as i had horrendous nipples and mastitis etc

neither of them ever got nipple confusion and would take the milke however it cme! i want on to breastfeed for a year or so.

are you having lots of skin to skin and rest? are you eating well and taking care o yourself? i'd be tempted to take to my bed with baby for 24 hours and just let him suckle on and off. awkward though i know with older children.

good luck

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 08:20:58

Thanks, Essex smile very true.

Gymboy, dh is keeping me in a manner I could really get accustomed to. Great to hear it worked so well for you. I think I will spend today with lots of skin to skin. I did for the first couple of days, but haven't much since.

NakedFamilyFightClub Wed 14-Jan-15 08:44:42

I mix fed DS on breastmilk and formula in bottles for his first 6 weeks before his tongue tie was clipped then moved on to exclusively bf after.

He didn't have any problems moving from bottle to breast but he did have to learn to breastfeed at 6 weeks since we'd never actually managed to do it before that. He didn't stick his tongue out at all before the tie was clipped.

He was very sleepy when he was born and would rather sleep than eat. Once he started taking the formula and expressed milk he woke up a lot then started to cry for milk, he wouldn't have really cried with hunger before that.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 08:53:04

Naked, that's fantastic. Can't have been easy for you.

I'm feeling a lot more positive after posting here.

LastNightADJSavedMyLife Wed 14-Jan-15 08:57:51

My DFriend couldn't get to grip with bf in the first couple of days so went to ff.

Two weeks later she wanted to try again and with a wonderful MW managed to get her supply up, get him feeding and she bf'd until he was around 2 I think.

Cherrypi Wed 14-Jan-15 09:03:19

As a last resort I think. Check for tongue tie, infection, top up with breast milk in a cup. He may just be catching down. Don't introduce an inferior product that might damage your breastfeeding unless you have no choice. I went through this with mine and he was fighting off a UTI.

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-15 11:26:51

OP, lots of sensible stuff here but you need someone in real life to talk through options and observe a feed.

The simplest reason for babies' not gaining weight (and I'm assuming the weights have been accurately recorded - this doesn't always happen) is that they are not transferring sufficient milk.

The simplest reason for this is that they are not feeding often enough - so the first step in addressing it is to increase feeding frequency and the baby takes at least both sides each time.

Other possibilities include tongue tie which can prevent the baby from taking what he needs.

If you supplement you can try doing so with your own ebm, if you want to avoid formula.

Don't be hung up about bottles - nipple confusion is not 100 per cent accepted by any means, and cups are not essential. Bottles are efficient, and as long as the baby is getting practice at feeding from the breast, you can use bottles with confidence.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 12:10:53

Thanks everyone.

Tiktok, I feel a lot happier about the idea that giving a bottle now as a temporary measure doesn't mean I'm dooming BFing in the long term.

I've had a good look this morning and I'm positive he doesn't have tongue tie. Which rules out one issue. I've already been advised to feed him at least 3 hourly, to leave him on the first breast for at least half an hour before offering the second, and I'm doing those things.

MW observed a feed and seemed happy.

He's been feeding well this morning, but was very reluctant and sleepy overnight. It was a struggle to keep him awake, even stripped off.

I'll see how he does today. Seeing MW tomorrow so will talk to her again if he hasn't made any gains.

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-15 12:37:53

"I've already been advised to feed him at least 3 hourly, to leave him on the first breast for at least half an hour before offering the second, and I'm doing those things. "

sad sad sad

Who advised that, and why???

It's a complete misunderstanding of how breastfeeding works and about how to boost intake and supply.

It's someone who thinks the baby has to stay on x minutes 'to get the hindmilk' I reckon.


You need to be increasing your baby's intake by feeding as often as you can - three hourly will not cut it. They said 'at least three hourly' but that's not enough. You need to be thinking about your baby on the breast probably about 12 or more times in 24 hours....easier to do if your baby is skin to skin with you as often as poss. You need to be 'switch nursing' - half an hour on one breast (why so specific?) is probably too long for a new slow-growing baby who will fall asleep before that time is up. Instead, to increase intake and supply and address your baby's slow weight, you need to switch to the other side as soon as you judge from your baby's behaviour that he is slowing down his sucking and swallowing. And then switch back again. And again.

You can also try breast compression (google it).

It dismays me when women are still being told things that are likely to make their situation worse.

If you need some decent info to share with whoever told you this stuff, then ask and I can send you links.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 14:29:31

Thank you tiktok smile I'll give that a go. It did seem wrong to be doing that. He feeds well for about 10/15 minutes on one breast, and I can hear him getting at least 3 occasions when he's swallowing constantly. Then he gets sleepy. Before the advice I was swapping him at that point and he'd maybe feed for another 10 minutes though not quite as well.

I was convincing myself I had no milk because for the last 20 mins or so on the first breast I couldn't hear him swallowing more than a few mouthfuls.

So I should be aiming for more often and more flexible?


tiktok Wed 14-Jan-15 14:46:37

I don't want you to change what you are doing 'cos I said so....I haven't seen you, or your baby, and I am not an HCP!

However, I do think what you have been told is worthy of being challenged, and if someone ways 'well, it's so your baby gets the hindmilk' then you will know they have not really got a handle on how bf works and what to do if a baby is not growing, and you would do well to find someone else who has a better clue of what to dosmile

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 14:48:57

That is exactly the reason behind the advice smile but it isn't working if he's not awake for it.

Two MWs have suggested the same thing.

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-15 15:07:30

They sooooooo need someone to explain things to them properly.

It is crazy to think that an arbitrary time is needed on the breast for the baby to take in fattier milk.

You can read (and share)

'Switch nursing' means watching for the baby's behaviour changes (not the flippin clock sad ) as a way of deciding when to change sides. The baby whose growrh is causing concern sometimes drops off to sleep instead of feeding - nothing to worry about at all in a baby who's growing well, but when we know a baby needs to get more milk inside him, it's better to sneak in before he falls asleep....watching for his sucking/swallowing slowing down, but not letting that drift into zzzzzzzzzz'z. At that point you switch sides, and the very switching might perk him up....and he gets a good slug of milk on the second side. He might even get a third or even fourth side as you switch him back.

This leads to a greater volume of milk getting into the baby, and it also leads to both breasts getting milk removed, which is good for production.

cheshirem2b Wed 14-Jan-15 16:40:57

This thread has really helped me! My little girl is 12d old. She was a sleepy feeder in hospital aft c section but then got the hang of beast feeding,
She was 3.58kg at 5d, 3.63kg at 9d but has dropped to 3.57kg today at 12d!
She's cluster feeding in the evenings for 3-4hrs on and off and in the day feeding every 3 hours on avg.
Going to try switch feeding now and see if that helps. Just feel a bit useless. She's got the right number of wet and dirty nappies but clearly isn't getting enough! Probably doesn't help either that I've seen a different mw or HV every appointment because mine has been on leave!

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-15 17:15:16

Glad you are heartened, cheshire smile

Those weights may be misleading. It's hard to be sure of things when we are dealing with small looks like your little dd has lost 60g in 3 days, but because the other signs are good (she is alert (I guess), nappies are normal), it could be a variation in scales.
Three hourly feeding, even with the cluster feeds, could probably be increased while the concern about her growth lasts though.

Greenstone Wed 14-Jan-15 17:20:56

Bless you, I posted this exact thread pretty much with dd2 who lost a load of weight in first 2 weeks. I caved when I saw how dark her urine was and gave a few formula bottles. Instant result, better nappies and woke dd2 right up. She was just too sleepy to feed properly. I did lots of switch nursing and now she's a total boob monster and hasn't had any formula since. You'll be fine. Congrats!

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 14-Jan-15 17:34:19

Thanks Green smile that's really positive.

I've just been feeding ds, he emptied the first and gave up on the second. There was plenty there for him (he gave up in the middle of full production) so I'm less worried about it being my milk production.

He's being weighed in the morning and I hope he'll have gained.

Thanks for all those links tiktok smile it's my HV I'm seeing tomorrow and she's always been brilliant, so I'm hoping she'll be more help.

Cheshire, I'm suffering from seeing different MWs every time too. It's tough feeling like you have to start again explaining everything each time.

Ds has been really alert this afternoon, although that hasn't meant he's fed more and he's still impossible to wake when it's not on his terms.

Fingers crossed for the morning. You've all saved me from a very despondent start to the day.

cheshirem2b Wed 14-Jan-15 17:42:31

Tiktok it is frustrating that they don't use the same scales every time! If there is variation when looking at small amounts then surely some consistency would be a good idea?! My mw is calling me tomorrow to discuss her weight but in the meantime I'll do loads of switch feeding, express if she doesn't finish the breast to top her up and will try waking her every 2 hrs to feed.
Hoping for positive scales by Friday!

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