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Breastfed baby not gaining weight. 75th to 9th centile.

(18 Posts)
AudreyBradshaw Fri 10-Mar-17 07:55:10

I'm a bit all over the place. DS is 15 weeks old on Monday. 8lb 15oz born. But now, only weighs 12 lb 6 oz. He was 11 lb at 6 weeks. He seems happy, alert, cheerful. But then started with what I thought was silent reflux. We were given medicine (omeprazole) after gaviscon didn't help. I thought he'd start gaining weight but he hasn't, 1 oz in 2 weeks. So its been "flagged up" as a concern and I'm to take him to be weighed every week now. I already had a GP appointment booked for him to see how he was getting on with the medicine.

I feel like I've failed him, I've really enjoyed breastfeeding him, I thought we were doing really well with it. I put down the lack of weight gain initially to me poorly when he was 7 weeks (viral infection, was on my knees for a fortnight) then I blamed the reflux.

But it seems to be that he's not getting enough from me. I think he has been snacking, eating just enough of the foremilk to take the edge off, and then losing interest. But he will habe times where he feeds for ages, when we first got the medicine he was cluster feeding like a newborn. He will sometimes take an age to latch and sometimes completely refuses when I know he is hungry. His latch is painful now, for the last 3 weeks it's been as bad as it was the first two weeks. (I thought it was because he was feeding a lot.)

I've bought a medela swing and have been trying to pump as I can, but at present it's only been a few oz each day, nowhere near enough to sustain him. I've been giving him formula, a few ounces after each feed which he guzzles and then looks at me like "and where is the rest, Mother?" (He's gone from one poo every other day to 2/3 poos a day.)

I'm supposed to be seeing a breastfeeding councillor in the next day or so, so looking forward to that as I really, really want to to keep feeding him myself. This is coloured also by my DM who is very pro BF (And anti formula, at least to me anyway.)

I have a lot of guilt at present and am really back and forth with it all. He seems happy either way, but since I've been giving him formula (since Tuesday) he seems to have been awake a lot more in the day, is this related? Or am I just looking for reasons to feel bad?

Is there any hope for getting him to latch and feed properly? I don't know what to do for the best. If you made it through that, well done. Thank you.

picklemepopcorn Fri 10-Mar-17 08:44:29

I hope your session with the BF feeding counsellor is helpful. Feeding babies isn't always as straightforward as we hope. I breast fed mine with no real problems. I suspect if I'd been in your situation I'd have switched by now. What about a formula bottle at bedtime, and breast the rest of the time? That should help him stay topped up without interfering with him being hungry in the day so feeding strongly then. Good luck!

NoraDora Fri 10-Mar-17 08:47:19

flowers

BF is tough. I've not been where you are so not much help really. Keep feeding as much as possible. One thing my hv said was to offer the same breast if it's only a short time between feeds.

PonderLand Fri 10-Mar-17 09:01:48

My son also dropped centiles from breastfeeding and continued to only put on one/two oz every two weeks! He was born on the 9th and now he goes between the 2nd/0.4th (9m). It's so tough! Has your baby been diagnosed with tongue tie? Do you notice any clicking during feeds? Just concentrate on one day at a time, one feed at a time. You're doing everything you can and you're supplementing him with formula, which is completely understandable and absolutely the right thing to do. Take no notice of what anyone says about that, family included! You're his mother and the only person who gets to decide or have an opinion on his feeding is you.

Have you looked up information on cmpa? My son was diagnosed at 4m, cmpa can effect the way the body breaks down the milk, and this can cause struggles with weight.
Is your baby having plenty of wet nappies? Normal coloured poos? Any skin trouble? (Eczema, rashes etc?)
You're doing the right thing by supplementing with formula, it doesn't mean you have to keep doing that in the future. Once you're happy to start EBF again then you can. I know plenty of women who have gone EBF then combi then back to EBF with little issue.
Good luck with the breastfeeding councillor OP.

jimijack Fri 10-Mar-17 09:13:32

Hi, you could also consider a wee growth spurt, using all the good stuff you are providing to its full potential and efficiently....

My baby was similar, slow steady small weight gains, but he was only 5lbs 4oz at birth, if I told you that he is taller than me now, with his head stuck in the fridge at age 14, would it make you feel any better about feeling so guilty? I cried rivers with the guilt over mine.....all totally unjustified because they thrive despite what you think flowers

tiktok Fri 10-Mar-17 10:09:53

Audrey, it's good you are tackling this. You don't say what the Hv gas said or if the doctor has seen your baby's weight and commented, apart from the medication.

It's hard for a talkboard to advise, except to say you need to protect your milk supply when you supplement with formula. You can do this by ensuring you offer several 'sides' each fed, and you could also read up on breast compression. But I agree - his weight is a cause for concern, and while some babies are 'outliers' and just gain weight slowly, you can't be certain this is what's happening here.

Hope it works out.

AudreyBradshaw Fri 10-Mar-17 16:09:30

Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. ☺🌹

Bf councillor was wonderful. It seems, at first glance to be his latch, he's never getting a deep latch so isn't getting any of the hind milk in order to put on weight. She's shown me how to latch him properly and really settled my mind. She reckons with determination and perseverance we can crack it and get him feeding properly in the next couple of days. She also told me to get him checked for tongue tie if I'm still concerned. She was utterly, utterly wonderful. It would also appear I have an ample supply of milk. I feel so relieved I could cry.

I have looked up about the allergies and whatnot ponder I plan on asking the GP about allergy testing when we go back on Monday but I don't think he has any problem only because I started doing exclusion diet when he was very tiny amd gradually introduced things back in with no real problems.

The HV wasn't particularly helpful tiktok just reffered me to the bf group (which was 6 days away) and wouldn't check his tongue (I've asked two different ones to check his tongue and his latch) as they didn't have the time.) GP examined him and said he seemed fine and prescribed the reflux medicine and said give it a fortnight or so to see if it improves his weight gain. We're back there Monday coming.

I'm doing some research to check how to find a tongue tie expert. I'm feeling lighter already and determined to tackle this and chunk this little boy up!

Thank you all for replying xx

tiktok Fri 10-Mar-17 16:19:15

That all sounds hopeful smile

PonderLand Fri 10-Mar-17 16:56:53

Brilliant news! I'm glad you've got some support from a BF councillor!
HV's can refer to someone to check tongue tie if they're not confident doing that or GP. Worth noting my GP said my son didn't have tongue tie but later on two consultants said he did (I listened to first GP and didn't investigate it further).
It's disappointing to hear that your HV wouldn't check his latch, too busy to find out why a baby isn't feeding correctly... surely that should be a concern for them too! Do you go to a clinic or do you see the same HV? Maybe try a different one next time you go if that's an option.

AudreyBradshaw Fri 10-Mar-17 18:05:15

I've seen a different HV each time I've been, I suppose I can't blame them entirely as I didn't chase it up properly, I was feeding him the 2nd time and the HV said "his latch looks fine to me" after a glance. I was looking for support more than anything probably so didn't pursue it because thought I was being silly.

I'm hoping my GP knows what she's doing vis a vis tongue tie, wondering whether to ask to be reffered to a paed anyway as surely "just put him on formula" doesn't count as support from GP. But I'm probably projecting now because im miffed that this could have been sorted 6 weeks ago if I'd not been dismissed.

PonderLand Fri 10-Mar-17 18:35:18

It's understandable that you're miffed. Support for breastfeeding women is so important for those first few months! NHS seems big on 'breast is best' during pregnancy, but fail to deliver in after-care time and time again!
I hope the new latch will fix the weight issues. Fingers crossed there won't be any need to investigate TT.
Keep us posted with how you get on!

NoraDora Fri 10-Mar-17 22:39:04

If you're based near the Midlands I can recommend a TT person. I'd say go private if you can afford it. The NHS takes far too long.

You are sounding very positive, keep it up.

Bluebellevergreen Sat 11-Mar-17 16:51:49

Audrey can I ask if you saw a private BFing counsellor? I am having issues with latch and he is not gaining weight :-(

AudreyBradshaw Sat 11-Mar-17 17:38:32

I'm fortunate enough to know a lady who is an excellent breastfeeding councillor. But we also have a breastfeeding support team charity near me. You may be able to access someone through your maternity hospital, I've been told to request a referral to the feeding specialist from the GP. And I'm also think it's a has lip tie. He seems to fit all the criteria.

I'm regurgitating what I was told but "give baby formula top up" is not ok advice and the GP/HV meed to refer onwards for support if you refuse to give formula, which I intend to do. Have you been in touch with the national breastfeeding helpline? They may be able to point you in the right direction.

Stick to your guns and keep feeding him and demand help, support and referral from HV and GP. flowers

AudreyBradshaw Sat 11-Mar-17 17:41:27

Thanks nora unfortunately I'm the NW but I've already decided I'm going to go private. Couple of hundred quid for a consultation is a tiny price to pay if it improves both of our quality of life! Thank you though 😊

NoraDora Sat 11-Mar-17 19:50:58

Good for you. A private TT op saved my breastfeeding. Baby was 6 days when I had it done and he now feeds brilliantly.

Bluebellevergreen Sun 12-Mar-17 01:00:53

Yes i have called the breastfeeding line they are very helpful!
Going to see a counsellor in a baby group on Tuesday

AudreyBradshaw Sun 12-Mar-17 06:01:30

Good news blue hope it all goes well and you get some good advice.
Let me know how you get on. Monday can't come quickly enough for me now.

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