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Advised to top up with formula.

(48 Posts)
Mrspopper Tue 21-Jun-16 16:14:14

Baby is 8 days.
Was 9lb 7. Has lost 12%
Had tongue tie snipped on Saturday. Have noticed an improvement in her feeding. Wet/dirt nappies.
Has slight jaundice.
Am feeding every three hours, maybe more, pumping (not getting much out)midwives want me to top up every feed with formula but I think this will massively interfere with supply. I mixed fed my first baby from birth but hoped to EBF for a while this time.
Any advice gratefully received, feel a bit down and stressed. Have direct day in bed doing skin to skin and lots of feeding.

Maybebabybee Tue 21-Jun-16 16:17:07

You can only do as you see fit but for what it's worth please don't top up with formula unless you want to.

Is there a la leche group near you as much as I admire doctors and midwives for the most part their knowledge wrt breastfeeding is shockingly bad.

Mrspopper Tue 21-Jun-16 16:27:57

Hi maybe. I don't want to top up with formula but they've made me feel pretty guilty. I'm not feeling that strong today but have just breast fed no top ups. I'll have a look for a local group. Thank you x

CelticPromise Tue 21-Jun-16 16:43:52

Would be great to get some expert support. Sometimes top ups are necessary, and someone needs to see your baby and observe a feed. You are doing the right thing having a 'babymoon', and it's good news that the tt snip has made a difference. A few things to think about - if you had fluids during birth, baby did too and this can contribute to weight loss. Some sources suggest one or two large top ups interfere less than a small top up each feed. Some women don't do well with a pump - try breast massage /compression while you pump or hand expression. 3 hourly is the minimum expected for a bf newborn - you can't go wrong putting to the breast more frequently as you have today.

I would try to access knowledgeable bf support locally, but if baby is lethargic /floppy/seems unwell don't delay and get her seen. Good luck smile

Maybebabybee Tue 21-Jun-16 16:53:20

Yes agree wrt fluids during birth. For some bizarre reason medical professionals don't take this into account.

My DS was born via EMCS and subsequently lost 10% of his birth weight. I was advised to top up with formula. I said no as I knew he was feeding well and he had good output. He gained weight brilliantly after the first ten days or so.

Maybebabybee Tue 21-Jun-16 16:54:19

If no la leche group near you try a Facebook group, the south east London one is really supportive and has fab advice. I can add you to it if you PM me X

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 21-Jun-16 17:01:40

How confident are you that the baby is feeding really well?

A friend had to weigh her newborn's nappies to establish how much fluid he was weeing out. For a totally different reason but it might be reassuring?

I've been where you are and ended up with a newborn being readmitted for light therapy for jaundice. No TT just a bit early, a bit small and a poor feeder so despite lots of milk the second time around, she dropped a lot of weight very quickly.

In your shoes I would therefore take the advice of medical staff rather than a bunch of strangers on the internet.

I would get her back to her birth weight and do as much skin to skin as possible to encourage your supply. Keeping her well is the most important thing right now and also spending some time with your older child[ren]. I obsessed about ebf and spent 12 weeks b-feeding, then topping up with expressed milk, then expressing ready for the next feed. Knackering and my toddler was not in a happy place by the end of it.

I do really know where you are coming from and it's disappointing. But try to see the bigger picture.

Mrspopper Tue 21-Jun-16 19:01:53

Tread softly I'm not confident due to the weight loss, I thought she was feeding well.
Agree currently sat in tears as not able to give my toddler anytime just trying to do the best for everyone and am massively struggling.
No LLL support as only seem to have one meeting a month. People have seen the latch and say it's fine.

Maybebabybee Tue 21-Jun-16 19:18:19

Whereabouts are you? LLL have excellent Facebook groups and I believe they also have a phone line.

Is paying for a private lactation consultant an option at all?

daluze Tue 21-Jun-16 19:31:03

Can you call NCT breastfeeding helpline? Talk to someone who is knowledgeable in breastfeeding? ThreadSoftly has a point regarding the advice from strangers online, but also, unfortunately, many health professionals are not familiar with the latest research in breastfeeding and push formula top ups too often. There is jithing wrong with top ups if you want to do them, but quite difficult to get back to exclusive breastfeeding once you start. And doing breastfeeding, pumping and formula at the same time is exhausting... (I did it twice, both time got back to EBF, but would recommend avoiding that route if possible at all...).
Suggest you call breastfeeding helplines to get some advice. Also kellymom website has a lot of useful information.

Mrspopper Tue 21-Jun-16 19:44:33

I posted on here as last time I had feeding issues there were some incredibly knowledgable ladies who I think were breast feeding counsellors. Am in touch with an NCT Breast feeding person who says feed feed feed. That's what I'm doing but it doesn't seem to be helping.

CelticPromise Tue 21-Jun-16 20:53:51

Mrs why do you feel it's not helping? It's early days. Is she pooing and weeing? Waking for feeds?

I think that with the weight loss it's important to get rl advice because although chances are it's fine, we can't be sure of that. What area are you in? LLL will still have trained supporters of they don't meet that much, they may be able to see you at home.

flowers for you. It's hard with two little ones even if everything's straightforward.

MaisieDotes Tue 21-Jun-16 20:55:53

I won't tell you what to do but I'll tell you what I did with my two TT babies- I topped up.

Maybebabybee Tue 21-Jun-16 20:59:30

How do you know it's not helping? Is it only the weight loss as those centiles are quite inaccurate for breastfed babies?

I'm not for one minute saying you shouldn't top up if it's necessary (and you want to) but I have seen too many women go down this route when they didn't want to and didn't have to.

Honestly the LLL Facebook groups are extremely helpful. If in SE London there is a counsellor who will visit you for free.

SueTrinder Tue 21-Jun-16 21:10:11

Jaundice will make the baby sleepy but you are doing the right thing, lots of S2S and feeding every time they are awake. It can be hard but FWIW when DS (DC3) was born a month early he lost 10% in the first 3 days (luckily he was a good weight) and took ages to establish feeding, his weight didn't start to increase for 2 weeks. The Paediatricians wanted me to express (I find expressing very easy) and cup feed but the midwives said no, as an experienced BFer I should be left to get on with it, expressing would increase my supply too much and make it harder for him to latch on. They were right but it took a month for him to regain his birthweight. Obviously my experience was different, he was slightly premature and I had BF 2 DC already but it does show that medical advice can.... vary. And that's at a hospital with excellent BFing support.

Sleepybeanbump Tue 21-Jun-16 21:11:10

I had similar experience. 90% tongue tie, 12% weight loss, advised to formula feed on day 3/4. When I asked if I could express I was told not to bother as my milk hadn't come in. Luckily I ignored them and expressed as otherwise my milk would never have come in!! We finger fed expressed milk, topped up with formula for about 24 hrs until I produced enough. So I am highly sceptical of midwives and health visitors and breastfeeding advice.

You are doing all the right things. Was the 12% weight loss at 8 days. When is the next weigh? That will give an idea as to how much the snip is improving matters.

Where are you? Is a Lactation consultant an option? I saw an amazing lady who got DS latched and gaining weight even before the snip and who then made us keep a feed and nappy diary which she consulted and told us we were doing fine which made us feel so much more confident.

tiktok Tue 21-Jun-16 22:50:57

(Maybebaby - centile charts are not applicable before 2 weeks....the dotted line in the UK charts is notional. In any case, the centile charts in use since 2010 are fine - no inaccuracies there).

MrsPopper, it's understandable there is concern with a baby this much under birthweight at 8 days. Some questions: do you have any interim weights? Which direction is her weight going? Are you confident the birthweight was correct? Are the maths working out the 12 per cent loss correct?

If you need to top up - and you may do, with this situation - you can top up with expressed breastmilk. You can hand express to see if this works better than a pump.

Don't just ignore the midwives' advice - no one here can assess your baby, and it may be she does need extra at the moment, until your breastfeeding gets going.... but ask them why it has to be formula.

How much extra have they suggested you use?

Maybebabybee Tue 21-Jun-16 22:55:05

Thanks Tik tok

Hawkmoth Tue 21-Jun-16 22:57:07

I've also, reluctantly, had to mix feed four due to weight loss, jaundice and, this time, tongue tie. It's not what I wanted.

However, I've kept breastfeeding them after weaning and they've all done very well.

DS is 15 weeks and has three bottles during the day plus at least six feeds. I do all the night feeds so at least I don't have to get up.

Fenugreek really helped me, though I bought the seeds because I'm cheap. It made a huge difference to supply - I wake up in puddles if DS sleeps well.

Runningupthathill82 Tue 21-Jun-16 23:06:37

I've been in your position twice, and remember those tears well.

IWith DS, we were readmitted to hospital twice, due to weight loss, before I finally agreed to top up with formula. Once I did, he was a changed baby. He gained weight and became strong and alert enough to learn to bf.
It took 10 weeks and round-the-clock pumping,but we got back to exclusive breastfeeding and I went on to bf him for a year.

With DD, she never learned to feed after her tt was snipped and ended up being ff. I have no regrets - she's thriving and hitting her milestones earlier than DS did.

The independent lactation consultant I saw told me that the most important thing is to feed the baby. I completely agree. Good luck with whatever you choose to do, it's bloody tough.

Mrspopper Tue 21-Jun-16 23:11:37

She had lost 11% then gained 10g weighed on Monday back to 12% TT was done Saturday afternoon and sgd found it hard to latch. Du had Sunday as what I felt was her proper first day of feeding. I'll know more tomorrow when she's weighed again. She's just drained two boobs now giving her a formula top up. I just don't want to top up each feed if possible.
I won't ignore any medical advice but would rather try and use my own milk where possible. I don't know how easy it is to reduce formula once introduced.

Mrspopper Tue 21-Jun-16 23:14:01

They have suggested 30-40 ml
After each feed. Today I have topped up with 50 ml bm and now 49 ml formula.

Runningupthathill82 Wed 22-Jun-16 07:44:13

With DS, I found it fairly simple to reduce formula once introduced. I did it by pumping, pumping and pumping some more to get my supply up.
He couldn't latch properly, so just having him latched on a lot, plus skin to skin, didn't work. So I hired a hospital grade pump and was attached to it for about three months. By the end - when DS finally started latching properly - I'd gone from getting 1oz, if that, to getting 9 or 10 every 3 hours.

With DD, though, the same process just didn't work. By the time I started pumping, which was after her tt snip at 2 weeks old, my supply was beyond fucked and I never got more than a dribble. She's now ff and thriving - and that's fine.

MarcelineTheVampire Wed 22-Jun-16 08:00:06

OP I was advised by my excellent midwives to get a breast shell which collects the milk from other breast whilst feeding and top up with this at the end of the day. it worked for me and I was surprised at how much I collected.

Do NOT top up with formula unless YOU want to.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 22-Jun-16 09:30:23

Morning MrsP - how was she overnight? Feeding well and most importantly alert?

Thinking of you this morning - been there twice too often myself so I hope that the weigh in goes well and you are reassured a little.

It is utterly knackering all of it, especially when you try to add in expressing to do the top ups too. Bad enough when it's your PFB but the second or more time around, you like to think you know how to get on with it and then life throws a different curve ball.

In the end when DD was admitted to hospital I just started to express every feed. I had to while she was there as they have to stay under the UV light and until she hit a magic weight of about 10lbs [from 5.5] she really didn't get with the bfing at all. Suddenly she did and had the energy to feed well and all the expressing tapered off. So it can sort itself out.

How is it with your toddler - is anyone else around or are you trying to entertain he/she all by yourself?

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