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Some advice re breastfeeding and 1 week old (weight loss)

(19 Posts)
Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 18-May-15 15:45:26

I'd really appreciate it if someone could advise me on my particular situation. DD is one week old and exclusively BF (bar two top ups with formula in hospital). At birth she was 7lbs 11oz and she dropped to 7lbs 5oz on day three while we were in hospital (we are abroad where a longer stay is normal). Based on this, they suggested topping her up with formula. I really didn't want to but was worried and my milk was only just starting to come in so I agreed to two top ups, around 10mls each, after a feed and I gave them via syringe and DDs weight increased the following day, but only just, and we left hospital.

Once out of hospital I engaged a lactation consultant to check DDs latch and see how things were going overall. She was happy with latch, happy with how eager DD is to feed and told me to feed every three hrs at least, for at least 30 mins to ensure milk came in. I've been doing this and have also had a few cluster feeds over the last two days which I've just gone with. Despite this, and finally getting the right amount of wet and dirty nappies, DDs weight has remained the same and actually today was a tiny bit less although the midwife was happy to put that down to a dirty nappy she'd had just before weighing!

I'm very tired and haven't recovered yet from an induced delivery. I really don't mind the round the clock feeds if it seems to be working but it's very disheartening to see no changes on the scales in the last three days (bar a tiny downward movement). The midwife will check her weight again tomorrow but is suggesting that formula top ups might be on the agenda for consideration again.

I want to do what's best for DD and I don't want to persevere with EBF if it's not helping her gain back weight but I don't know what's normal. I'd really appreciate any advice. Sorry for the length of the post!

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 18-May-15 15:50:18

Congratulations! flowers
I'm not an expert, as my kids are older now, but if I remember right it's normal for newborns to lose weight in the first 10 days or so. I would carry on for another week at least and see how it goes. Those first weeks you and your baby are learning how to do it, and you're both tired after the birth.

Jackiebrambles Mon 18-May-15 15:52:13

I'm sure someone better qualified will be along in a minute but I'd say keep doing what you are doing - frequent Breast feeding!

My ds lost a bit after birth (about 9%) I think and midwife just told me to feed, feed and feed and not let him go longer than 2-3 hours.

lots of wet and dirty nappies is a v good sign!

It took a few days for Ds to start putting on weight.

pocketsized Mon 18-May-15 15:56:57

I am not an expert (I'm sure others will be along soon) but I It took my DD about 2 weeks to regain her birth weight, so there's time yet smile it sounds like you are doing great, if she seems happy and well and is having plenty of dirty and wet nappies I wouldn't worry yet, maybe just keep an eye on her weight for a few more days and see how you go. Also, congratulations on your lovely new daughter!

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 18-May-15 16:33:26

Thanks everyone, I feel a bit better after a quick catnap. I think I am just starting to hate the bloody scales, I feel like they are ruling my life at the moment. I thought frequent weigh-ins would be reassuring but they are having the opposite effect and discouraging me now.

I will keep at it and I'll try and enjoy DD a bit more as well instead of stressing over this! She is a lovely wee thing and the two of us are really trying our hardest to crack this feeding lark.

tiktok Mon 18-May-15 18:04:51

School, you sound like you are on the right track. It's a real shame your first week has become an anxious time sad

If you were in the UK, it's highly doubtful you would have been advised to give formula on day 3, unless there was something else going on.

The weight loss was absolutely within normal - I work it out at 5 per cent.

The usual limit is 10 per cent - in the UK, anyway.

By day 4-5, the weight loss should have stopped (which is what has happened - you say there was a slight loss - if it was very slight, I would agree it can be ignored) and the weight gradually goes up to birthweight once more over 10-14 days.

I don't understand why it's thought formula top ups are still needed.

You are feeding frequently and your baby is clearly transferring milk, and you are highly motivated.

Do ask them why they think your baby needs formula. I can't work it out!

Imperial Mon 18-May-15 18:19:06

I think you need to take to bed for 24 hours and just let her feed as much as she wants. Obviously weight is important but even more so is wet/dirty nappies and if she seems settled and sated post feed. I have been where you are - literally feeding DS up and racing him round to baby clinic to be weighed before he pooed.

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 18-May-15 19:10:49

Thank you both. I am anxious to avoid formula if I can and I thought I was on the right track (the weight loss today was 10g which my husband insisted on weighing out to show me how little it was as I was getting upset!) but any loss is discouraging when you are hoping for a gain. Still I will persevere of course. Not sure why they are so pushy with formula as the BF rate here is quite high and there is more support for it in terms of lactation consultants, help in the hospital's etc than where I'm from originally.

Imperial Mon 18-May-15 20:03:01

I also found the professionals very pushy with formula. I've just remembered that for the first couple of weeks I did also express and give DS some of that as a top up both in a bottle and via syringe - again mostly immediately pre his weigh in.
My gut feeling was that he was fine and we were just jumping through the hoops they needed us to by any means necessary.

The best advice really is just to take to bed - relax, lots of skin to skin, eat cake and feed feed feed. Don't even remotely stress about a routine or housework or anything right now. Your job is just to focus on that baby. Enjoy it! My youngest is now 3 and I am broody as hell!

westcountrywoman Mon 18-May-15 20:08:55

DD lost weight continuously in the first 10 days - about 10% of her birth weight. She was very slow to regain it after that too.

I think it's normal for babies to lose in their first couple of weeks (ebf).

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 18-May-15 20:13:35

Thank you for all the reassurance. I'm so relieved to know it has worked fine for others in similar situations and there's no need to throw in the towel just yet!

tiktok Mon 18-May-15 20:13:35

School, can you share where you are?

It just seems extraordinary, making you so worried and advising formula, for a five per cent weight loss....are your figures accurate? Are you sure you have converted from grams to imperial correctly?

Baby scales are not accurate enough to be fretting over 10g.

If you are told your baby needs extra - then you have the extra, in your breasts smile You can just feed that extra, by feeding more often (which is what you are doing!), or if you would rather, expressing and 'topping up' with expressed breastmilk.

It's such puzzling advice, unless your baby is ill or vulnerable in some other way.

DefiniteMaybe Mon 18-May-15 20:14:27

As imperial said, you need to go to bed with her skin to skin and just feed feed feed for at least a full 24 hours.

tiktok Mon 18-May-15 20:15:56

It's not normal for a baby to continue to lose over two weeks - it is normal for a baby to take that time to reach birthweight. Is that what you meant, westcountrywoman?

Normal weight pattern is to stop losing weight about day 4-5, but weighing is sometimes inaccurate and sometimes sloppily done, and sometimes mothers are told there is a problem, and there is not.

sunshineandshowers Mon 18-May-15 20:20:37

My ds is 11 weeks this week. He took 3 weeks to regain his births weight and then he started packing it on. The health visitor was not concerned. There was no mention of formula. Trust your instinct and your baby, we have been doing this for millions of years. Give it a few more days. just because she hasn't gained weight yet doesn't mean you are not doing a brilliant job. Well done! Xxx

Littlef00t Mon 18-May-15 20:24:50

It took me nearly a month for dd to regain her birth weight ebf. Midwives were fine because dd was a big baby.

The only thing I could think to do differently next time is offer second boob when dd was finished with the first. She came off satisfied and not wanting more, but might have had extra like at Christmas when you eat too much

You're probably already doing it all right, with a lactation specialist and all so feel free to ignore my wittering...

captainproton Mon 18-May-15 20:37:29

I'm a breastfeeding peer supporter, i would give you these tips. Look at the website kellymom and la leche league. They have some great information. Not sure if you are timing your feeds but I would watch out for cues your baby is hungry, licking lips, fingers to the mouth. Pop baby on the boob then and don't wait for them to cry. Even if baby fed 30 mins or an hour ago, just let baby feed on demand. Just don't go more than 3 hours ( I had this advice too when my baby was underweight and we overcame the weight loss). Baby will feed until ready to come off on their own or falls asleep. Don't take them off early.

Introducing formula can affect supply, the more you feed the more milk you make and the reverse is true. That said one off formula is not going to spell the end of bf. Night feeding is unfortunately a reality of breastfeeding so embrace it! Easier said than done. You and baby are still learning and some feeds may take longer than others, and some babies like to have a series of little snacks at the boob, whilst others seem like they are having a 3 course dinner. your baby will also feed more around growth spurts. Good luck and maybe seek out any local support groups?

Schoolaroundthecorner Mon 18-May-15 20:42:09

Hmmm yes maybe my figures are wrong! I will double check them tomorrow, I think I've messed up the conversions. The 10g is right though and in fairness to the midwife she wasn't concerned about that, just that as yet there's no gain.

tiktok Mon 18-May-15 21:05:48

Yes, do share the figures! I can't think of anywhere that would advise formula on those weights.

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