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Tiktok and BF mothers: weight loss as a new born.

(23 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Feb-15 07:52:05

I'm interested in hearing stories from mothers who were BF from birth and their babies had quite a significant weight loss.

What advice were you given and by whom? Did it work? Did your baby need any medical attention?

And in terms of Tiktok, how would you advise mothers who were in this situation?

Thanking you in advance smile

bf1000 Sat 07-Feb-15 08:16:53

My baby lost a lot by first weigh in. I was still in a cottage hospital. They did say that if weight loss continued they would have to transfer us back to the main hospital but that they would do the same at the cottage hospital first to see if that worked.

They got me to feed frequently an both sides. after each feed, I went on their hospital pump and expressed. this was then stored in fridge, and used to top up after each BF.

They weighed the next day and weight loss had decreased and their was a small gain, so they then stopped the top ups. she was then weighed again in 2 days and had continued to gain enough that midwives were confident the loss was a result of delay in milk coming in.

A friend was rehospitalised and was under pressure to ensure an amount of milk was consumed at each feed. so she pumped and fed and then as milk demand increased pumped and used formula but was too concerned to return to BF directly. The difference to a mid wife led unit and a consultant unit I think.

a different friend did top up with formula a couple of times but then continued to BF directly and not use formula afterwards.

What are your main concerns? x

Asleeponasunbeam Sat 07-Feb-15 08:20:17

Are you a journalist?

elmwoo Sat 07-Feb-15 08:28:28

My ds 1 lost weight being bf from new born, we kept seeing a bf midwife as I really wanted to breastfeed e exclusively but in the end they suggested we top him up with formula after every bf which we did successfully for 18 months. The same thing happened with my ds2 as well. I was really upset at the time as I thought I had failed but once I stArted topping up ds1 he started putting on weight as was a much happier baby .

NickyEds Sat 07-Feb-15 10:23:28

At first weigh in ds had lost 6% which is well within normal but he had urates in his nappies, poo had gone from black to yellow (as normal) but back to tar-like dark green, his jaundice was worse and he was still very, very sleepy. Since day 2 when the urates had appeared I had been waking him to feed every 2 hours (from the start of a feed) and told to make sure he fed for at least 10 minutes each side. He was Tongue tied and it was agony.
I saw a mw or lactation consultant every day to try and help and all they ever said that the latch was fine and I was doing great (I wasn't). At 10 days ds was still losing weight and I was losing my mind (his jaundice wasn't really improving either). My nipples were shredded and had deep cracks in them and it was taking at least 45 minutes to do feeds so I only had around 1 hour's respite day and night. It was horrible.
After the 10 day weigh in I was told to top him up with formula and try to express to top him up with ebm. Day 11 was crunch time with bf really. We gave ds 3oz of formula and for the first time he actually spent some time awake, not screaming (previously he's just been asleep, screaming or feeding). I told the lactation consultant that I couldn't carry on and she agreed to refer ds to get his Tt snipped. I kept going hoping that the snip would make a difference . He had it done on day 18 and feeding became better. By then I think I'd lost all joy with bf and was desperately unhappy. We carried on bf and supplementing with some f and in the end he was mix fed.
It actually turned out ok. Ebf is simply not for me so I'm ok about him having f-it was just incredibly stressful feeling like I was failing him in the early days. We mix fed (he was mainly bf-maybe 7 oz of f a day) to 6 months which was when I'd wanted to give up to ttc anyway.

tinkerbellvspredator Sat 07-Feb-15 11:52:04

Lost more than 13% at 5 days and we were asked to go into hospital to be monitored. We refused. We roomed in with baby, lots of skin to skin, some expressing (I don't get much out though) and the odd formula cup feed when baby seemed unsatisfied.

Put on 4oz between day 5 and day 12. Tongue tie snipped day 13. Gained 1oz the following week (that was the week we gave the most formula) but seemed to be feeding better and more satisfied so stopped formula and the next week we had a 4oz gain and then a 13oz gain and great weight gain ever since.

Midwife kept advising to top up after every feed with a bottle (not cup) to get weight gain up, but baby was alert and settled (breastfeeding advisers and health visitor happy) so ignored.

tinkerbellvspredator Sat 07-Feb-15 13:03:11

And to answer your question I took advice from doula, lactation consultant and breastfeeding advisers and ignored midwife.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Feb-15 16:38:27

Thanks everyone.

I'm a paediatric nurse and we see a number of babies admitted for poor weight gain and we are looking at how we can manage them properly and care plans we can devise. I was just interested to see what advice is given out to mothers in the community in comparison to the current management of such babies in the hospital setting.

Thanks everyone smile

tinkerbellvspredator Sat 07-Feb-15 17:00:00

Writer, I was told to go to postnatal by my community midwife but when I phoned the ward they said you have to go via A&E ad it's the only way to get admitted. My doula also told me that the 2 other mothers she knew who were admitted went via A&E (different hospitals) and had to wait there for hours to be admitted. I can't think of anything worse than sitting in A&E for hours with a newborn baby trying to breastfeed, worried sick. That procedure should be sorted out.

Also proper training for identifying tongue tie - midwife and health visitor didn't see it as it was posterior but doula noticed the symptoms and trained breastfeeding advocates confirmed. So when you have mothers and babies admitted you need trained HCPs who can check and refer if necessary.

FurryGiraffe Sat 07-Feb-15 17:11:57

My DS had a 12% weight loss at day 5 and we were very strongly advised to top up with formula. I refused as (a) my milk only came in a few hours before weigh in; (b) they had no concerns about him health wise (nappies fine, no jaundice etc); and (c) he'd that morning been diagnosed with posterior tongue tie by a lactation consultant. My instinct was that he'd start gaining with the tongue tie dealt with and some actual milk to drink! And he did- 150g in 2 days.

The midwife was awful when I said I wouldn't top up though- made me feel like a really bad mum for not topping up and gave me no advice whatsoever about BF. She also told me that there was no tongue tie...

Redling Sat 07-Feb-15 21:53:30

My DS was very sleepy and would very half heartedly suck at the nipple, then when my milk came in he really couldn't get much out, which led to 17% weight loss at day 5. Midwife did not mention ff or hospital admission but help me set up steriliser and bottles etc and showed me how to pump after observing DS feeding and talking to me about how it felt, she felt his weak sucking (I still tear up thinking about it) due to hunger and weight loss just couldn't get the milk out, I was also quite engorged by this point. She watched me express and 5oz shot out my boob in 5 mins! So she said to correct the weightloss we should do a 2 hourly feeding schedule and pump and feed 2 oz every 2 hours. The feeling of relief when he sucked down those first few feeds and I almost saw his little face plump out in front of my eyes completely overrode any feelings of sadness about him not breastfeeding. Then 24 hours later another midwife came out to see how we were doing and support us more, I tried to put him to the Breast again but he refused and fussed and cried so I continued expressing and feeding. After a couple of days I had to give him some formula as my expressing didn't keep up with his demand. We did, after a couple of days and he gained his weight back, go back to feeding on demand. But I never got him back to drinking from the Breast as honestly I had been so spooked by the feeding issues and he was very reluctant, I was terrified of starving him just to get him back on breastfeeding, like if I completely withdrew bottles he would still not drink from the Breast and he'd go hungry. So it wasn't so much the support that stopped me but my own fears. Support wise a feeding support person came round and gave me a better pump to help me give him as much expressed milk as I could, and I fed him Breast milk for 2 months before we started FF.

tiktok Sat 07-Feb-15 23:25:43

Hi, Writer. Not sure if you know, but there are a few published studies into this. Generally speaking babes whose weight gain has been sufficient to readmit are dehydrated (sure you know this!) and this is the result of poor feeding, usually not spotted. In fact mothers may be assured their baby is doing fine, when the baby is really struggling to feed and may be not transferring milk effectively at all. Babies who are not transferring milk effectively should be managed in the community before they get to the stage where they are losing too much weight...but of course this depends on the poor feeding being noted early enough, certainly by day 3-4.

In my opinion, a baby readmitted is a sign of poor maternity care.

Mothers should be told to monitor the colour and amount of their babies' poos, as this can give an early sign of difficulty.If a baby is not producing copious soft yellow poo by day 4-5, then the baby should be assessed and weighed, and feeding observed.

sophie150 Sun 08-Feb-15 03:22:35

I feel really let down by the support we had from the nhs. Had a baby who turned out to be 100% tongue tied. The first time anyone looked in his mouth despite having difficulties latching in hospital and weight loss was when we were sent to a&e as baby had lost >10% of birth weight. The paediatrician said he only had mild tongue tie and that we 'over medicalise' these things anyway so we shouldn't bother fixing it. We ended up topping him up with formula after each feed which did result in weight gain sufficient for the midwife to stop seeing us.

The nct breastfeeding support group was the only setting where I had any real help - firstly in instantly spotting the severe tongue tie and referring us to get it snipped privately and secondly in sorting out baby's latch when the procedure was complete (we were on nipple shields from day two at the suggestion of the midwife in hospital so he had never learnt properly to latch).

Took a good 3 weeks for him to gain weight after the tongue tie was snipped. In that 3 weeks I had stopped the top ups as I thought that he would be ok from this point, but in hindsight my supply had been affected by the topping up. A mixture of expressing after every feed for a few weeks as well as taking fenugreek and blessed thistle has made a big difference

We are still feeding some formula/ expressed breast milk but not after every feed but instead at two evening feeds. More so now for convenience so dh can do those feeds rather than being worried that he is not feeding enough.

I feel proud of myself for having got to this point even though the midwives/hvs/paediatricians were less than helpful. The lowest point was a hv who told us that we were damaging baby's brain development because he wasn't putting on weight! Tongue tie seems to be so common yet poorly diagnosed and treated so I would want to see nhs staff being trained far more in this area.

Stillwishihadabs Sun 08-Feb-15 04:07:58

I agree the "procedure" for readmission is inadequate or totally absent in most hospitals. These poor parents end up in A&E, surely the worst place for a newborn sometimes for hours while the post natal ward refuse to readmit (usually no beds) but also sometimes told that they can't if baby is more than (insert arbitrary number)days old. So frequently they end up on a children's ward, without midwives or breastfeeding support. On many occasions there has been significant delays getting a breast pump.

I agree tiktok it is a failure of maternity care, both inside and outside of hospital.

L00p Mon 09-Feb-15 18:34:42

Hi, I was in a similar situation. My DS lost around 10% on day 5, gained 100g by day 8 with just BF, but then between then and day 18 he continued a downward trend of weight loss and we were admitted to hospital for observation. I had to top up with formula (I could not express enough) and now at 5 weeks we are still topping up after every feed up to 120ml which means he's mostly formula fed. I feel very torn about how to proceed because I feel guilty about not BF, but I feel worse to think he maybe hungry and he's big getting enough just from the breast.

I'm still BF and expressing around 8 times a day, and I have noticed an increase in the volume I able to express and baby does seem to be getting some milk (I can hear swallowing, he spits up ).

Ideally I would like to continue mix feeding - but alternating between breast and formula, and NOT at each feed because long term I cannot sustain it (each sessions takes 1.5 hours, 45/60 mins on the breast and then formula and winding etc etc). For example I would like to BF at night and use a bottle during the day. If I had to pick one I would choose formula because he's been gaining weight and seems a more contented baby and quite honestly my comfidence with BF is in pieces. I'm close to just giving up on BF

So, had anyone had any success with this approach and how do I proceed?

Also if I am able to express more, does that mean my supply has increased?

If he was successfully gaining weight between day 5-8 does this mean he isn't tongue tied?

Re feedback on maternity care, it was pointless going to hospital for observation because the only advice was top up after each feed, which we should have done while at home first before having to go into a hospital environment. No one checked for tongue tie, but when I asked if it was a possibility paediatrician just said he didn't have if but only checked by checking his suck for about a second.

MouseInTheSkirting Mon 09-Feb-15 18:51:30

My newborn lost 10% of body weight in first two days following a csection at 37w5days.

I was told I had to formula feed and I refused. Then I was told I had to feed every two hours and top up with 25ml pumped breast milk in between. I was still in hospital and my milk hadn't come in yet. My midwife said I'd been set an impossible task so that I'd be forced into using formula. I could only express about 6ml in an hour of double electric pumping.

I self discharged after four days and had to have her weighed every day. My milk came in on day five and by day 16 she was back to birth weight and is now gaining healthily.

I have no idea what tiktok is so I'm sorry if my answer isn't what you were looking for.

CelticPromise Mon 09-Feb-15 20:01:46

L00p sounds like you could do with some real life support, have you got any groups nearby? They would be happy to support you to mixed feed if that's what you want. You could try gradually reducing the bottles you offer until you get to your desired balance of bottle and breast. You have done really well to keep up supply and that will def make your life easier. Would be best to speak to someone in RL about what might work for you and how to go about it. They could have a look at a feed too. TT doesn't always cause problems with feeding but sometimes those it causes are not obvious. If baby will bf why not cut down the expressing and give him more time on the breast?

Sorry bit of a ramble, am multi tasking!

Spindelina Tue 10-Feb-15 13:54:33

My DD had lost 13% by day 3. I had expressed concern about feeding pretty much since birth - she was latched virtually all the time but very sleepy and not sucking.

We were readmitted for two nights, with a 3 hourly feed-topup-pump schedule. That got quite a lot of weight put back on. Very slightly dehydrated, but nothing that required anything other than feeding. I was a tired, hormonal wreck, but the midwives in the hospital were brilliant.

Discharged home on day 5. Still under midwifery care, still on feeding schedule. I spent half a day at a cottage hospital having feeds observed etc, which was great for my confidence. Thought I had latch sorted. Went EBF on day 10.

Discharged to HV on day ?12 and pretty much abandoned. My HV pretty much left me to it, despite lack of any further weight gain. She was still at her birth weight at 6 weeks, when HV suddenly changed her tune and said we MUST top up again, at which point I got mastitis. With my confidence at a real low, DD was mixed fed from there on in. We kept BF until she was 18mo.

So from my point of view, the real issue was the useless HV who refused to acknowledge a problem and/or refer us to someone who knew what they were talking about.

bf1000 Tue 10-Feb-15 14:40:04

HV could do with more training - I was told to introduce solids (baby rice) at 4.5months because baby is ready. when I said I wanted to wait to 6 months I was told baby was ready now and would be getting fed up with MY Breastmilk now. I recieved about several phone calls from HV to check up that I was following here advice. I made up a few excuses and then avoided calls and clinic until after 6months.
There was no weight issue or health issue to need to introduce solids early.

I have heard other mums being told your milks not enough, baby will be bored of BM etc too.

It made me very anxious that 1. what if they are right and baby needs solids/ milk not enough 2. what if they put me on a list of bad mothers for not doing what they said.

L00p Tue 10-Feb-15 17:14:38

Thanks CelticPromise, I will try another BF clinic and lactation consultant, but I have to admit the support from the NHS has although been very well meaning has been quite superficial so I will push for a more thorough review

yomellamoHelly Tue 10-Feb-15 17:31:19

Dd was born on 99th percentile, but lost alot straight away and was really slow to start putting on. (Was much bigger that her brothers.) By that time she was under the 50th (I think - all a bit hazy now). Dd happy, lots of wet and dirty nappies, settled, sleeping as well as you could expect......

Got some excellent advice on here and on phone to LLL - and someone else (NCT?) which I followed (expressing, maximum time between feeds, undressing dd to wake her up a bit....).

The official advice was to ditch bf and formula feed her every hour regardless of whether she wanted it or not. And general disbelief form hcps that she was fine.

Ended up spending a day (being ignored) on a childrens' ward (with my other two as well - that was fun!) to "monitor" her. At 8pm one of the staff nurses told me that if she were me she would just walk out and take her children home to their beds. Did just that. Queue more hassle from hcps until we got a different much older and more experienced hv who decided to listen to what I was saying. She's still pretty skinny.

If the NHS had had an official bf advisor like the LLL / NCT may have avoided all this nonsense. The hcps completely distrusted the advice I got.

MindfulBear Tue 10-Feb-15 20:58:20

The support we had from the NHS in the first few weeks was SHOCKING. DS looked like a famine victim at one point, having been born on the 50th centile. He slipped to the 9th centile by week 4 and it took until he was about 5mo before he lost the gaunt look.

As my husband said to one MW: "Breast is best until there is a problem and then you just shrug and suggest formula instead of identifying & addressing the underlying issue(s)". I spent hours with the NHS in those first 4-5 weeks and quite frankly those connection points were mostly a waste of time.

The best support we had was either charitable (NCT, LLL or online) or we paid for ourselves, which not everyone can afford.

However we experienced poor weight gain, poor milk transfer, thrush, mastitis, low milk supply, double pumping 8 times a day, finger/tube feeding, SNS, bottle feeding, cup feeding, FF top ups, BM top ups, fenugreek, domperdone, PTT snip - all within the first 3 - 4 weeks!!!

The story has a happy ending though as at 32mo he is still bf and he looks like the little rugby player he should.

Thank goodness for a postnatal doula, fabulous IBCLC, the NCT bf drop in and the local LLL group, as well as the LLL resource pages online, kellymom and the Dr Jack Newman pages. And of course not forgetting Daisy the Medela hospital grade double pump we hired for 3 - 6 months.

DS had a PTT. It was the IBCLC who noticed at week 2. by the end of week 3 things were getting desperate. The NHS were suggesting formula more urgently but not helping us to establish bf alongside. As a family with a history of diabetes, cardiovascular problems & other such illnesses I felt passionately that giving DS the best start in life was by EBF. I was crushed when he had to have formula. However I knew from my research that there are very few women on the planet who are physically unable to bf so I was adamant I wanted to try everything, even if the NHS was useless.

The PTT was eventually snipped at home by a 2nd IBCLC. Having been told by some HCPs that "TT/PTT is a myth" or "whats that" or "no need to snip as it wont make a difference". It did make a difference to me, to my boobs. Not straight away but within a week or so. This also coincided with a better weight gain. hurrah! was it really pure coincidence? I dont think so.

MWs and GPs and other HCPs who are dealing with new mums and babies should all be better trained to deal with weight loss and bf issues. & they should also be wise enough to know when they dont know the answer but know who to refer to. This would save a lot of time.

FRom the hospital to the community they all need better training. I was told in the hospital everything was fine by someone who I thought was a MW. I asked her to send me the infant feeding co-ordinator but she refused to even follow up on my request on the basis they were all trained as well as she would be and my latch looked fine. I was in agony and it was only day 2...... Problem is these hospitals treat everyone like they are the infants and I was disempowered. It was truly awful so I left the hospital with a child who was barely getting anything out of me. Poor mite.

One of the community MWs was a sweetie (interestingly she also had a private LC practice) but just after the PTT was snipped, and when DS was looking truly skeletal, I saw her on a Sunday afternoon at the clinic. She went over his notes again and heard about the gains we had made in terms of PTT snip. She noted his weight gain was insufficient but we made a plan to keep at it and to meet again in a couple of days. However that evening she called me in a tizz. Clearly her supervisor had told her off. She was telling me I had to go to A&E. I pointed out that going to a London A&E with a newborn was hardly sensible,unless she could tell me why. She was almost shouting at me. I declined the invite and told her I would see her in a few days as agreed. She had rattled me though (& in fact she called my GP and got a locum to call me to do the same number and accuse me of all sorts of things when I refused) so I consulted with the local LLL leader and NCT adviser and then called my medical insurance to get a private Paed appointment, to which my doula accompanied me as DH was out of the country. The private Paed was fab, v supportive, not patronising (as many of the MWs were) and said DS was fine and all he needs is for the calories to keep coming.

I was lucky that this MW, who sadly I never saw again as one doesnt after week 4, was so supportive that when we identified I now had a low milk supply which was not responding to feeding & pumping and I discussed domperidone with her she spoke to my GP for me to get the higher dose as recommended by Dr JAck Newman.

FWIW I think the rule that MWs only remain responsible for a mother/baby dyad up to week 4 is ridiculous, particularly for cases like mine where bf was not properly established until somewhere between week 7 and 12, rather than the usual weeks 4-6. If MWs were properly trained then surely they would have been the proper set of HCPs to look after us until then , rather than the HV?

IT all felt like a box ticking exercise. not fit for purpose. not fit for our situation. most unsatisfactory.

IMO I do not see how a community MW can run a regular clinic for babies up to 4 weeks WITHOUT proper (& regularly updated) bf training. It is a waste of those connection points with the mother/baby dyad. In each clinic it should be mandatory for at least 1 of the HCPs to either be as qualified as a IBCLC or to be a qualified IBCLC. Only then will the mother baby dyad in the UK get the proper support they so desperately need.

Andcake Tue 10-Feb-15 21:25:24

We were readmitted on day 5 due to significant weight loss. It was v scary - tbh if I had got better advice early on I would have realised their was a problem and ds wasn't feeding properly - he basically screamed as soon as he was put down and tried feeding all the time but fell asleep on the breast after 2 seconds.
My experience spending a week back in hospital was mostly awful except for one brilliant nurse/mw.
I pumped and mix fed down a tube but always offered breast first and that was ok what was awful was the Mw, bf experts etc who spent ages giving me the same pieces of advice and manhandling my boobs. I got v depressed as nothing seemed to work.
We never managed bf and ds was fed expressed bm for 6 months - that ruined my early months with ds as I couldn't really go out. I was so determined to bf that when it went wrong I couldn't cope. Especially with some horrible mums who sneered at me bottle feeding not even knowing it had bm in it!

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