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8 week old Breastfed baby no dirty nappy for 8 days and poor weight gain

(27 Posts)
Tish54 Sun 01-Nov-15 09:08:52

Hi all. I need your advice please.

My little girl will be 8 weeks tomorrow. She is exclusively breastfed. However firstly she is really struggling to gain weight despite my efforts of pumping and taking fenugreek to boost supply etc. She only got to birthweight week 6. In herself she is well, very alert, self settling etc. Health visitor wants me to introduce 1 formula a day to see if this increases her weight.

However this is not what is worrying me. Since last Saturday, she hasn't had any dirty nappies. Before then, she was going about 4-5 times a day. She is having plenty of saturated wet nappies so I know she is well hydrated. She is also passing wind but no poo. She doesn't seem bothered but it's been 8 days now. Health visitor has said go to GP tomorrow if no joy. I'm scared they're going to make me give more formula. I guess if I need to for her health then of course I will but I really want to carry on breastfeeding as long as I can.

Any words of wisdom?

Many thanks x

LIZS Sun 01-Nov-15 09:13:17

Formula is more likely to cause constipation rather than solve the issue, so that is unlikely to be the recommendation. Is she feeding normally? Does she seem unwell or uncomfortable with it ? Could you feed more often ? Be prepared for a major poo explosion when it happens, probably more than once!

LittleCandle Sun 01-Nov-15 09:13:55

They can't force you to simply give formula, but there is something going on there that is a cause for concern. BF babies can get constipated the same as FF babies. Make sure you are eating well, and remember that you need extra calories when you are breast feeding. The GP will give baby something to help with the constipation, but if she is happy in herself, don't worry about it too much. However, don't put off seeing the GP. Good luck.

Diggum Sun 01-Nov-15 09:18:34

I'm going to leave the weight gain a dice to those more knowledgeable than me but in terms of the poo going for a week without one can be normal for a breastfed baby at this stage IIRC.

My DD was pooping left right and centre initially but after the first few weeks it settled right down as she'd generally go just every few days.

I can't remember what the cut off point was in terms of how many days were "too many" but I'm sure someone will.

I'd think a trip to the GP might be wise all round at this stage though in view of the weight gain and they can have a feel of your DD's tummy to check if there's any impacted poo needing help to get out.

If your baby is tracking along a steady centile I can't see the need to push formula. It could be that she's just going to be small.

Were there reasons for her slow weight gain initially? Like problems with latch or supply that have since been dealt with? Have you seen a lactation consultant at all?

VashtaNerada Sun 01-Nov-15 09:19:27

Definitely go to the GP and get advice. If you do end up with formula (although posts above make it sound unlikely) please don't be too disappointed. DD was unwell as a baby and the hospital made me move over to formula. It probably would have been possible to continue to breastfeed with the right support and possibly wasn't the right advice but my little girl grew up healthy and happy, and for that I'm grateful smile

mintbiscuit Sun 01-Nov-15 09:27:43

I'm sure some of the breasfeeding experts will be along to offer some other words of advice but my 2 cents...

Pooping frequency changes around 6 weeks so isn't a reliable indicator of baby taking enough milk. My dcs all went to once a week - sometimes longer. This is normal. Ebf babies do not get constipated.

You say struggling to gain weight but you don't say what her weight gains have been. Some babies gain slower. Has she dropped percentiles?

How many feeds are you giving in 24 hr period? My first thought would be to offer more feeds and extra breast in feeding session. I.e. offer both sides and then 3rd or 4th. Formula does not have as many calories as breastmilk so weight gain should increase if you can get more bm in her. Dc3 was a slow gainer so i snuck in a couple of dreamfeeds in the night to get some more bm in her. Keep her close to you during the day with lots of skin to skin and access to the boob. This will help supply more than pumping.

Have you had latch checked? Do you have any discomfort feeding? Has she been checked for possible tongue tie?

I'm surprised HV has suggest formula top up before suggesting more feeds. It's counterproductive to supply if you want to feed exclusively.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 09:35:25

No poop at this age is normal. Bf babies can go anything from every feed to every two weeks at this age. Absolutely no need to take her to the GP unless she is in pain.

As for the weight gain, is she tracking a centile now? Have you got the support of a local BFC? She sounds to me like she is doing well, but have a read of "is my older baby getting enough milk?".

Suggesting you add formula without exploring other options is perhaps not the right advice but you don't say how much weight she lost in the beginning or which centiles she is on. Have you talked through the weight gain with a BFC? Have a read of "How might I improve my baby's weight gain" too.

And lastly, if you've read all of that, talked it through with a BFC (after all, we are in the most part unqualified on here unless tiktok comes along) and you, the baby and the BFC are all happy, then have a read of thissmile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 09:37:02

Cross posted there with mint's excellent post smile

Dec05 Sun 01-Nov-15 10:39:19

Hi,
This happened my ds at around 6 weeks which coincided with trip to the paed & she said with bf babies normal pooing activity is 1 in 10. So 10 poos in 1 day is normal and 1 poo in 10 days is normal.
I drank a massive glass of orange juice which (bizarrely) helped also.
Re weight gain, all babies are different, medical staff get tense about low weight gain because it's one of the few indicators babies have of any type of problem. That said, wet nappies and alertness & contentment in the baby is hugely important.
My eldest ds fell of the charts - born in 95 centile and at 5 centile by 12 months. Had all kinds of tests but it turns out he is just a very skinny person.
Follow your gut and watch your baby - that's the best way to spot any issues.
My advice at 8 weeks is to hop back into your pjs and go to bed with her for the next week. Lots of sleep & cuddling brings on great milk :-)
Good luck. I miss those days.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 10:44:42

Great post Dec smile

Tish54 Sun 01-Nov-15 11:07:45

Thank you so much everyone. Your support and encouragement are just what I needed.

With the weight gain, she was born on the 90th centile, lost 8.8% by day 5 then really struggled to gain. She is gaining each week but has dropped to between the 9th and 25th centile. She had a posterior tongue tie which has been snipped.

She feeds anything from 9 feeds in 24 hrs to 17!! Most feeds last 1hr and she spends all her time with me, day and night which is fine. I think she enjoys comfort sucking as she will happily stay on the same side for over an hour but I do tend to wait till she takes herself off. I do offer the second and in the evening we seem to switch side to side to side in the typical cluster feed pattern.

Her latch has been seen by so many and they've said its fine and there's never been any discomfort for me.

We're doing the tummy massage/leg cycling etc but yet nothing sad

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 11:18:16

Make sure you take 2 changes of clothes with you everywhere, that poo is going to be a biggie grin

I'd have her tongue tie looked at again, I know it's been divided once, but it's worth making sure that it isn't reattaching.

It could just be that she's found her centipede though.

If she feeds 9 times in one day, could you fit in an extra feed on those days? If you are expressing, have you tried topping her up once a day with your ebm? smile

Dec05 Sun 01-Nov-15 11:19:31

Hi again,
Just read your second post.
Maybe try changing the feeding pattern. One hour is a long time to spend on one side - try switching sides after 20 to 25 minutes to try and get the creamier milk from both sides. This will up the calorie content.
So try 20 mins on one side, 20 mins on the other side and then back to the first side for as long as ye want.

TabithaTwitchEye Sun 01-Nov-15 11:20:29

My DD would poo once a week. Every Thursday, like clockwork!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 13:01:43

I missed that bit too. Definitely swap sides after 20 mins or so. Have you heard of breast compressions too?

ExitStageLeft Sun 01-Nov-15 13:08:22

Ha! I love that Tabitha!

OP, I don't know if this helps but my DD was badly constipated and we have her something from the chemist, can't remember it's name but essentially it's sugar water. You may not want to as she's still very young, just a suggestion though. I think my daughter was more 4/5 months when I gave it to her.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 13:58:51

Please don't give your baby anything other than bm at this age. If she is truly constipated, which I very highly doubt, she should be seen by a Doctor.

OffMyAyersRocker Sun 01-Nov-15 14:27:08

Dd1 used to go about once a week (ebf) we took her to the GP and they confirmed she wasn't constipated.

Dd2 poos once a day (combi fed) which feels like heaps!

I would take them to the GP to confirm tbh though.

Tish54 Sun 01-Nov-15 15:14:31

Thank you ladies. Whilst I don't think she is constipated as her tummy is nice and soft, I will take her to the GP tomorrow just in case. Hopefully we'll have joy overnight lol! Thank you all for your thoughts xx

Tish54 Sun 01-Nov-15 18:07:01

I'm delighted to announce we have had success this evening! What a relief!! And very liquidy and yellow so clearly not constipated little tinker! X

knaffedoff Sun 01-Nov-15 18:14:31

That's great news grin

Can I asis your baby losing weight or just not gaining sufficiently to maintain centiles? Some babies are slow are gaining and professionals do like to worry grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 01-Nov-15 18:16:36

That's great news. How are you getting on now with the feeding? Have you tried swapping sides after 20 mins?

Tish54 Mon 02-Nov-15 00:55:34

She hasn't lost weight since day 5 but is just a slow gainer-very slow bless her ie. 70g in a week.

I have taken to swopping sides after 25 mins and it seems to be going well. She will do both sides for 25 min and then has gone back to the first one again though that was this evening so I wonder if that's her cluster feeding anyway?

Thanks everyone for your guidance and support. Next weigh in Thurs-fingers croseed we are gaining! x

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 02-Nov-15 10:22:11

It is really good that she is gaining some weight each week, but like you say, it is slowly. Did you manage to read the link on increasing baby's weight?

If you haven't already, I really recommend that you talk to a BFC about your baby's weight gain. It may just be normal for her but it's really worth talking to someone qualified and experienced. Do you have the Bfing Helpline numbers?

Have a read of this on normal weight gain toosmile

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 02-Nov-15 10:26:13

It's really good that she is gaining weight. As you say though, she is gaining slowly. This may be totally normal for her but I really recommend that you talk to a BFC about this. A BFC is qualified and experienced, so will be more valuable than us randoms on the Internet smile. Have you got the helpline numbers?

Did you manage to read the kellymom link on increasing baby's weight? Have a read of this too on average weight gain.

Did you try the breast compressions? How did it go? smile

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