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2 week old - many struggles with breastfeeding and weight - Help!

(12 Posts)
breadhead Sat 23-Dec-17 13:33:08

I have a 2 week old son (3rd child) who was breastfed on demand for 10 days, every 2-3 hours, putting up with very sore nipples and pain. He was weighed at 10 days and it was discovered he had lost 10.8 % of his birth weight. I fed fed fed him for 24 hours, then he was weighed again and he had lost more weight, now 11.4%. Midwife told me we would have to be admitted to hospital overnight for blood tests etc if it reached 12%. I was desperate for him to gain some weight so took her advice and gave him formula top ups of 50ml every 3 hours from then on, after a breastfeed.

3 days on, I am still doing this. He gained a little weight, now weight is static again. I am in pain when I feed from my left side, but grinning and bearing it, and have used nipple shields with limited success (baby doesn't feed so well through them) and the latch has been checked and deemed good. He feeds for 20-30 minutes on each side, then we give the bottle.

I am sooo keen to continue breastfeeding my son, preferably going back to exclusively if possible. I am crying on and off all day and I can feel myself giving up completely if this pain continues and I have to continue to top up with formula after each feed anyway. I have also just ordered a breast pump which will be arriving tomorrow so I can get pumping too.

Is there anyone out there who's been in a similar situation and come through still breastfeeding exclusively, or at least very limited formula? I need some hope all my efforts might work!!

OP’s posts: |
Figgypuddingandcustard Sat 23-Dec-17 13:45:31

Yes I've been in almost the exact same position but I didn't have very sore nipples but did end up back in hospital. Baby is now 5 months old and is breast fed with no top ups and has been since a month old.
I didn't really get on well with the breast pump but is was useful for when I was very full and baby not wanting to suck, so I kept supply up.
Getting some sleep and rest is what made the difference to my supply.
I was told to feed every three hours and top up after. I used ready made formula for an easy life. Have you tried breast shields or the silverrette things other posters have mentioned in bf threads. Have you got someone bringing you plenty of food and drink when you're feeding? And doing all the other things you usually do so you can rest and feed. X

halesie Sat 23-Dec-17 14:11:05

Hi, I think weeks 2-6 were the most painful for me and after that it got much easier. One of my two somehow managed to bite me when he was feeding (no teeth obvs but he still did some damage) and I couldn't feed him on that side for a couple of days. Thankfully I had a pump so used lots of lansinoh and pumped on that side, fed from the other until it healed enough. I def found pumping less sore, hope you will too.

The other thing I had but didn't realise until I had my second was that the excruciating pain I felt over the first few weeks was let down pain and would go after a few seconds. Once I realised that I stopped dreading feeds so much, braced myself and counted to 10 as I started. By 10 the pain had stopped. Just being that bit more prepared and feeling a bit more in control got me through it until the magic 4-6 week painless feeds started. After that it was absolutely fine.

Good luck and hope it works out for you so you can feed as long as you like.

MerlinsLeftButtock Sat 23-Dec-17 14:41:45

I’m pretty much in the exact same position as you, so not much advice really. My daughter is 12 days old today, and at day 3 she had lost 11.6%. Then on day 5, she had lost 13%. They threatened us with readmission, and weren’t very kind to be honest. On day 7, she had a small gain, and they were happier with that. But on day 10, she was static. I’ve given in, and started giving her formula. I’m really sad about it, because I had to combination feed with my son and I feel it ultimately ruined my breast feeding chances of success. And I was so determined this time. Especially as my girl is much better at it, and was a pro straight away. She isn’t being reweighed until next Thursday, so hoping she will gain a bit and we can just continue with just breast feeding. 🤷🏽‍♀️ but who knows.
Try not to stress too much about it, I know I have been!

tmc14 Sat 23-Dec-17 17:12:20

Hi, exactly same situation. Lost 13% by day 5, I had to start mixed feeding. I’m lucky that I had kind & supportive help from Midwife, husband, Lactation consultant. Tongue tie discovered & clipped at 2 weeks. Not much advice as I’m at 3 weeks 2 days & still topping up (I tried to decrease top ups but weight gain stopped). But be kind to yourself. I cried for 3 days feeling like a failure. But I have come to realise my baby is still getting breastmilk and it’s benefits, he’s gaining weight, and is healthy and happy.

I’m using ready to go formula to save time, expressing (but not after every feed as it drove me mad), and allowing my son to breastfeed as much as possible in the hope of dropping the formula slowly. I’m taking Goats Rue, fenugreek & fennel tea. Resting & drinking lots. Lots of skin to skin. BUT - if I continue to have to top up, that’s ok. I no longer feel guilty and like a failure. My son is thriving. That’s what’s important. Be gentle on yourself, your baby is lucky to have a Mum who cares so much.

breadhead Sat 23-Dec-17 17:44:26

Thank you all so much for your replies. It's good to know that others are experiencing similar difficulties (sorry, that sounds awful cos obviously you're struggling too). I keep thinking I want to quit completely, mainly during the painful feeds, but all these posts encourage to keep going a bit longer. I keep saying to myself 'just one more feed" and "just one more day",

Figgypuddingandcustard - yes I have used nipple shields but he doesn't latch on too well and also doesn't get so much milk, which is the opposite of what he needs! I do rest when I'm feeding and am getting probably 5-6 hours of sleep a night so not too bad, but it's a busy time of year so in between feeds I am doing things.

Fenugreek tea has definitely increased my supply (I soak the seeds in hot water, then drink the tea and eat the soaked seeds), but they're giving me a vague headache now so will have to cut back a bit from 4 cups a day.

The pain is often there throughout the feed, suggesting incorrect latch, but the latch has been checked and I can't get him on any more correctly. It's because he's repeatedly sucking/licking the nipple during the feed and it traumatises it.

MerlinsLeftButtock - I have definitely been stressed and depressed about it, but have decided to try and be as positive as possible, as stress will only lower my supply more and make bonding harder. I really hope your little one gains weight too.

tmc14 - thank you, your post made me emotional when you said he's lucky that he has a mum who cares. I know that's true. And knowing that someone else has given formula top ups and is ok about it, no helps me see I can adjust my attitude too.

It doesn't look like my baby has tongue tie, but can it be not so obvious? I do wonder if he has some form of it because of the licking the nipple.....

OP’s posts: |
tmc14 Sat 23-Dec-17 18:44:19

I’m just repeating what my husband tells me every time I feel bad about it. It’s true though. Im learning that. It’s not my ideal scenario but it’s what has happened and the fact I’m feeding him some breast milk makes me feel good.

Tongue tie - my baby matched perfectly, no nipple pain, looked perfect, but his tongue tie meant it was too tiring for him to get the milk, which led to low supply being made. So perhaps worth a look. He’s been much better since having it done. I couldn’t really see it but the Midwife who clipped him said it was a 70% tie. Apparently I’ve got one that was never fixed and I had no idea. It’s ndver affected my eating though!!

tmc14 Sat 23-Dec-17 18:45:53

I’ll also add - I felt so alone in the mixed feeding but the more people I tell, the more I discover friends/acquaintances who’ve done it for various reasons. I had no idea... but it’s more common than I thought.

tmc14 Sat 23-Dec-17 18:53:32

Finally.... sorry my brain is slow... my son was born after a very long labour using a ventouse and had a last minute head turn (went from perfect to back to back then perfect again 🙄) I was told these things also affect feeding, as it’s huge pressure on their heads and the muscles used In feeding are affected. No evidence for what helps, although I’ve been recommended cranial osteopathy and baby massage. Not helpful, but another reason why we’ve had difficulties and definitely not our fault!!

KatoGreen Mon 25-Dec-17 13:23:53

Do ask to be referred to a tongue tie specialist at a hospital who can check -- my baby had tongue tie & couldn't latch at all without shield but two midwives looked and said there was no tie ... in fact when we saw the specialist she diagnosed a class II tie! So midwives and gps don't always know - if there is a tie, that could explain excruciating pain & dividing it could make a big difference. Good luck!

Cheekylittlenumber Wed 27-Dec-17 09:50:43

Have a specialist check for a posterior tongue too, my daughter had a severe one that was missed by gp, mw, hv.

I was in a huge amount of pain with bleeding nipples and a screaming baby who was never satisfied. Now with DD2 who is 12 weeks I know what I experienced first time round is not normal. Good luck op!

MerlinsLeftButtock Thu 28-Dec-17 12:04:30

Breadhead, how is your little one getting on? A little update from me, my daughter was weighed today, and she has gone from 6.11 to 7.8 in a week. And that is with only 2/3 formula top ups a day. Really hope you have started to see some improvement. It’s so stressful, worrying about their weight. But thought I’d share as I have hardly used any formula top ups, and things seem to be improving. Hope it’s the same for you.

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