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6 wk old EBF is starving

(46 Posts)
lickencivers Tue 17-Sep-19 14:03:39

He's dropped from the 75 - 25% (I did have fluids in labour though)
He's my 4th. I bf the others til they were 2 with no issues apart from a touch of reflux with one, so why am I struggling.

I am so tired. He feeds for a few minutes. Gets cross I swap sides etc this happens and happens in the end I give him a dummy and he naps but can't be put down, naps for 10 minutes then feeds etc etc etc the only peace I get is if he's in a wrap.

Night time is the same. Swaddled he maybe will go for one stretch of 3 hours. Then last night it was every hour. Can't co sleep as DP is worried I'll squash him and tbh I'm so tired I worry too.

I have him 2oz if expressed breast milk last night and he slept soundly for 4 hours. Properly asleep between 8 and 12 then awake every hour.

My MIL is always joking he's always feeding never happy etc he's a proper Velcro baby

I'm starving him aren't I

doleritedinosaur Tue 17-Sep-19 14:09:22

Are you sure he hasn’t got latch issues? It sounds like he’s working really hard & that’s why he’s feeding so much.

If you want to give formula or more expressed it’s absolutely fine to do that.

daphine2004 Tue 17-Sep-19 14:18:01

Has he got tongue tie? You should maybe get him assessed. Not sure if that’s what the other PP meant by latch issues.

lickencivers Tue 17-Sep-19 14:22:26

I can't see a Tt he has been checked by several mw and the hv. There's no clicking etc I was a breast feeding network support worker a few years ago, I just seem to be failing him miserably I feel so sorry for him.

He won't be put down or he screams instantly - even if semi recumbent in a swing so not flat

I'm a little scared about formula and bottles it all just seems so unknown and I feel like a failure on my part. He is my last baby

midsummabreak Tue 17-Sep-19 14:26:16

See GP

lickencivers Tue 17-Sep-19 14:28:51

Saw GP this morning for 6 week check and was pretty dismissed about everything. He said to speak to the Hv but she's a massive advocate of formula

Today other than the school run and the gp appt I've done nothing but sit and feed and cuddle and feed

Okki Tue 17-Sep-19 14:29:43

Did you express easily? Could you give him a bit in a bottle and then try BF when he's got something in his tummy so isn't so desperate to feed?

gamerchick Tue 17-Sep-19 14:31:27

What are his nappies doing?

lickencivers Tue 17-Sep-19 14:31:29

I rented a pump from the children's centre and got nothing even if pumped when feeding. Bought a silicone thing that catches your let down and got maybe 2 oz a couple of times. I've got none left.

Okki Tue 17-Sep-19 14:31:36

Oh and just because bottles and formula are an unknown doesn't make you a failure if this time you end up doing that or combined feeding. It just makes you a mother finding the best way to feed her baby.

lickencivers Tue 17-Sep-19 14:32:15

Wet nappies.
Maybe one yellow one a day. I think these have reduced from 3 weeks ago when had more dirty nappies a day.

saywhatwhatnow Tue 17-Sep-19 14:33:07

On paper it seems like a latch or tongue tie issue. My sons 50% tt wasn't spotted by countless people until I saw a very good breast feeding support worker, we went up to the hospital the next day and it was cut. Made a huge difference! Could you get to a breast feeding group or do your hospital have extended support? Might be worth a shot.

Okki Tue 17-Sep-19 14:33:14

Apart from being tired, have you recovered well and in good health?

TheBrilloPad Tue 17-Sep-19 14:35:48

Oh gosh - don't feel like a failure. You aren't. Not at all.

I had similar with my DC3 - still hadn't regained birth weight by 6weeks, dropped from 75th to 4th centile. DH left when I was pregnant, so I had a newborn, a 2yr old & a 4yr old, and to be honest, I can recognise now I wasn't feeding her enough. She'd feed and fall asleep and I'd be happy the feed was over, so I could rush around and get jobs done/spend time with the big two etc. Whereas the first two bf for a year because I had plenty of time to sit there and feed feed feed all day long.

There is no guilt in bottle feeding. There is no loss of bond. If anything, it made my bond stronger with my DD when I started introducing bottles. When I was breastfeeding, I could do it one handed, so was usually on my phone with the other hand, Mumsnetting or doing the Tesco shop etc. But I needed two hands with bottle feeding, and we just looked in each other's eyes the whole time. It was lovely. It made her an easier baby- she would be put down after a feed and sleep for four hours solid, and she was so happy and content all the time. She went from being visibly skinny to a perfect little 50th centile baby.

If you want tips/advice on bottle feeding, I'm happy to help, but I don't want to overwhelm your thread with pro-formula stuff if that's not what you are after.

But, you're breastfed three kids successfully. You supported other women in breastfeeding- you know what you are looking for here, and you'll have tried all the obvious stuff. Nothing is wrong in admitting "hey, life isn't as easy now with four kids, I don't have the time but used to have to invest into it all, it's not working, and that's ok, we're a different family now, and I need to consider EVERYONES needs".

If you think you & baby might be happier after trying formula, introduce one bottle. See how it goes. It doesn't need to mean the end of your breastfeeding journey.

WLmum Tue 17-Sep-19 14:41:10

Sorry you're going through this. It sounds exactly like my dd1. I struggled for 3 months until we were both literally broken and switched to ff which she wolfed and literally doubled in size overnight! I was so desperate and miserable. Like you, I asked everyone for help and was told it all seemed fine etc.
In retrospect, I would have done what i did for dd3, which saved our bf for another 3 years.
Bf for 20 mins (one side or 10 each as suits). Follow with 2/3/4oz formula as necessary. Pump for 30/40 mins (a hand pump was fine for me but would be more efficient to rent or buy a double pump). Repeat every 3 hours. Take fenugreek supplements to stimulate milk supply. As your stock of ebm builds, replace the formula. As you are able to pump 5/6/7 oz, cut down the bottle top ups by 0.5 oz per feed, until stopped completely. Took maybe 2 weeks of investment and then I fed exclusively for 6 months and continued to feed 3 years.
I really hope this helps.

Greenmarmalade Tue 17-Sep-19 14:43:00

If you don’t want to formula feed, would you consider donor milk? It does sound like he’s not getting enough. Have his palate and lips been checked?

In your position, I would give formula whilst continuing to offer the breast before each formula feed (or donated milk). Then he’ll still get some of your milk (antibodies, bonding time) too.

You’re an experienced bf mother, so follow your instinct: if he still seems hungry and unsettled after a feed, you may need to supplement with other milk.

Hippobag Tue 17-Sep-19 14:51:17

I'd get tongue tie checked by a lactation consultant - midwives and health visitors don't generally have training and in my experience bluster their way through and pretend they 'dont see a tie' when in fact there may well be one.

It also sounds like my ds who had cows milk allergy, which could explain the fussiness at the breast and issues with weight gain

Li11ibet Tue 17-Sep-19 14:59:25

I'm not sure I'd trust the MW and HV assessments of tongue tie I'm sorry to say. My son was looked at by MW and 2 HV who all said no TT. It was only when I broke down with exhaustion after 5 hour more or less continuous feeds (he would fall asleep and fuss while feeding so frequently as he was finding it so exhausting, bless him) that we got a proper lactation consultant in. Turns out he had a moderate tie. I have since been told by a MW friend that they dont actually get any formal training in assessing TT. A proper assessment needs fingers in mouth not just by eye. Would definitely recommend a qualified lactation consultant if you can afford it (it was about £70).

After snipping things did improve, but I also continued to use nipple shields to help his latch for 3 months. Have you tried shields?

Also there is absolutely nothing wrong with using formula to supplement, either temporarily or ongoing. I've actually found combi feeding gives the best of both worlds and have continued to do so as it works for us (particularly as our feeding issues meant I was never comfortable BF in public).

Please dont think you are a failure. It is so hard. I remember the distress of having a poorly feeding baby, but it does improve I promise.

lickencivers Tue 17-Sep-19 15:48:20

He doesn't feed contently. He fusses flaps his arms around kicks his legs relentlessly comes off etc then will stop all that after a few minutes and won't go back on so I switch sides. That can go on for hours.

Sat here in tears. Picked my elder two up from school and he screamed in car there and back despite feeding all day

Never goes longer than 40 minutes in the day which means I'm constantly rushing around trying to eat shower see to stuff. It's making me exhausted and none of us are happy.

I'm happy he doesn't have a tt I have had training and I've looked and felt. It's what I suspected when I had mastitis when he was 2 weeks -

What do I need to give formula. What formula do I buy.

JoanLewis Tue 17-Sep-19 15:55:16

DC1's tongue tie was missed by MWs, HV and GP. I went to latter with shredded, scabbed-over nipples when DC was a week or so old and he shrugged, saying DC was gaining weight so no issue. I got mastitis.

Went to a private bf clinic and tongue tie spotted straight away. Had to have it snipped 3 times (it kept on reattaching) but it was worth it to save bf, which we did until about 2yr

DC2 also tongue tied, but not as badly. Never an enthusiastic bf'er and self-weaned around 8 months. Still kick myself for not getting it snipped.

Do get it checked out by a TT expert if you can.

loutypips Tue 17-Sep-19 15:56:27

Formulas are much and much the same. I used hipp organic as sma made my baby constipated. However the ready made bottles might be best to start with as then you don't need so much stuff.

QueenBlueberries Tue 17-Sep-19 16:02:37

It's your 4th baby, you know what you are doing, you have tried and spoken to everyone you could speak to. It's very hard and I understand how you feel but it's not a failure at all. My ds2 was also struggling to feed and we ended up with a bottle at 8 weeks and much later found out that he has dyspraxia, which affects the muscles in his face and everywhere. It's very difficult to know what is going on. If only they could talk!!

We used Aptimil, but there are many on the market obviously. We used the standard and very popular Avent bottles with matching steam steriliser. Go slow at the beginning as the milk will come out much faster than he is used to and burp more often than when breastfeeding.

Okki Tue 17-Sep-19 16:07:28

Just to try it out you could buy a couple of packs of ready made formula, a bottle and some Milton sterilising fluid. You'll wash the bottle under hot water and pop into a diluted Milton solution then it'll be ready for re-use. Once you're sure you're all happy with formula then you can buy more and the powder as it works out a lot cheaper than the ready made up stuff. I've BF and formula fed and I have to say that my MH improved no end once I'd switched to formula as I slept well and was able to focus on the whole family. Good luck with whatever you decide to do and hope your little one is happier soon.

Okki Tue 17-Sep-19 16:09:01

Oh and we used SMA and Aptimil along with Avent bottles. The tears come with different sized holes depending on the age of the baby to control flow.

Okki Tue 17-Sep-19 16:09:23

Teats not tears.

aweedropofsancerre Tue 17-Sep-19 16:13:16

My 4th has a missed tongue tie and it was truly awful. Finally after getting blistered nipples and him screaming a tongue tie was confirmed and he had it snipped at 4 weeks. My friend little one has had a similar experience and only got their little ones tongue tie snipped at 3 months old. Find a specialist and get them reviewed. You don’t need to be referred. Just find your local specialist and get your little one checked. ( assuming you can afford it of course) if not insist your DC is referred to the tongue tie clinic.

WeevilKnievel Tue 17-Sep-19 16:14:29

With my last baby ( who wasn't contented) I started to give a bottle of formula for a dream feed ( just before I went to bed) he would guzzle down 6oz then sleep until around 5am. I think last thing at night my breast milk was a bit depleted because I was so tired and was not satisfying him. I got the aptamil in individual cartons at first, and just gave them at room temperature.

VeniVidiVoxi Tue 17-Sep-19 16:17:09

I'm sorry that you're having such a rough time, it's not your fault though!

My story is that I expressed for a month whilst preemie was in hospital. The pumps take a bit of getting used to, can you try at different times of day? You can 'cluster' as well, which is supposed to help but don't pump for more than 10 mins if nothing is coming, you'll just end up sore.

With great reluctance we moved to formula after not getting on too well with BF. I chose Kendamil because the ingredients seemed closer to being natural than some of the others. It's not available everywhere, I got it in bigger Morrisons. But nutritionally all formula is the standardised so don't worry about it too much. If you want to try formula whilst you focus on pumping it might give you all a well earned break. you can top up EBM with formula so none of it is wasted. x

ColaFreezePop Tue 17-Sep-19 16:18:57

I combi feed. I used C&G but we later found my DD wasn't fussy and as C&G was a bugger to mix we used Aptamil. (We wanted to go for Hipp Organic or Aldi but we couldn't be sure of our local supermarkets having them in stock.)

At the moment even though it is much more expensive buy some ready made stuff particularly if you can get the stuff with teats so you get a few hours rest tonight.

Then tomorrow go to a large supermarket with a baby section or a large Boots store then buy some bottles and a steriliser, plus a brand of formula they have in stock.

I ended up doing cold sterilisation so got a steriliser and own brand sterilising tablets. (The microwave steriliser I got given didn't fit in my microwave and the bottles that could be sterilised in the microwave without one my DD didn't like. )

Then after going through expensive bottles the bottles we found DD liked best were the cheapest from Asda and Boots. I suspect it is because the flow from them were slower. I now always suggest people start with cheap bottles and then go more expensive.

glorious Tue 17-Sep-19 16:19:30

That sounds really tough flowers

Would it help to talk it all over with someone? You can call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 1000212. They can talk about all the options with you and they are not there to tell you what to do, but just to listen, support and give you information.

If you do decide to use formula then first steps nutrition is a really good source of unbiased information

lickencivers Wed 18-Sep-19 07:06:22

Thank you all for your kind help

Last night I gave him 4oz of formula and he finally slept peacefully for 4 hours and I've fed him normally through the night.

Feel like it's taken the pressure off w little which is good as alone with him and others now til Friday as DP away with work.
Thank you all. X

Okki Wed 18-Sep-19 11:48:32

Did you manage to sleep for a good chunk too? Hope you have a good day. cakebrew

Passthecherrycoke Wed 18-Sep-19 11:58:48

Oh op how brilliant. Well done

Greenmarmalade Wed 18-Sep-19 13:49:42


lickencivers Wed 18-Sep-19 15:47:34

Well I don't know what the heck is wrong with this kid but we are back to the constant feeding / sleeping feed sleep cycle all day again today. He's barely awake. Cries if put down even if asleep he wakes right up.

Got a prescription for infant gaviscon as I suspected silent reflux a couple of weeks ago but it got easier so didn't use - is it worth a shot now? My friend came over and rocked him for an hour while he just cried and fidgeted kicks his legs arches his back etc. I had fed and fed and fed and topped up with 2oz of formula so don't think it was hunger.

doleritedinosaur Thu 19-Sep-19 02:08:00

This really sounds like he’s taking in too much air, so his latch is off.

I know you’ve said you’ve checked it, but definitely no lip or posterior tongue tie? Is his lip flanged out when he’s feeding?

Otherwise you’re looking at CMPA, what are his poo’s Like?

Sorry you’re struggling so much.

Li11ibet Thu 19-Sep-19 02:52:07

So sorry the relief was only temporary. Did you try the Gaviscon in the end?

I'm sure you will have tried some of these, if not all, but other suggestions might be:
- Colic relief meds (infacol, gripe water, colief etc).
- Keep him upright / burp for 20 mins post feed.
- Do you have a crib that can be inclined slightly if it is reflux?
- Cranial osteopathy
- Bicycle legs / leg circles / tummy massage to help with any trapped wind.

lickencivers Thu 19-Sep-19 07:27:27

Given gaviscon 3 times yesterday shall continue today.

Poos are yellow normal etc passes easily doesn't seem to upset him

I've booked s cranial osteopath but it's not for over 2 weeks

lickencivers Thu 19-Sep-19 08:51:30

Health visiting team have suggested I cut out dairy

But continue with the formula top up

Which makes no sense to me.

lickencivers Thu 19-Sep-19 08:52:02

He's screamed since 8am only just passed out 😭

aweedropofsancerre Thu 19-Sep-19 12:06:02

Hi I forgot they think it’s reflux you should try ranitidine. I found gaviscon didn’t help at all

loutypips Thu 19-Sep-19 18:49:40

Sounds like he is in pain, poor thing! Is he windy? Does he not pass it easily??

Tolleshunt Thu 19-Sep-19 19:14:49

Watch out that the Gaviscon doesn’t cause constipation and make him more uncomfortable. If it does (it does usually....), GP can prescribe Lactulose.

Gaviscon alone does help some babies but many end up needing Ranitidine or possibly a PPI like Lansoprazole.

As you have gathered, there seems little point in cutting out dairy yourself if you are giving a dairy formula. But it might be a good idea to go completely dairy-free and see if there’s a difference. They say you need to give it at least two weeks, but most babies are noticeably different within just a few days. Possibly the HV was mindful of the cost of the dairy-free formulas, they are eye-watering, and it definitely contributes to reluctance to agree to a trial.

june2007 Thu 19-Sep-19 19:21:20

Hve you had tougue tie checked? Have you done anything to increase surply, (Breast compression, hers, meds?)

Crochetcrochetcrochet Thu 19-Sep-19 19:25:54

I'm reading wondering cmpa. If you want to carry on feeding, try cutting out dairy (I'd do soya too, as the protein strands are so similar) for 4-6 weeks and see.

Also reflux too. If the gaviscon isn't working ask for ranitidine. And if you want to formula top up (I used 1 bottle overnight with DS) then ask for a prescription for nutramigen or neocate I think.

soberfabulous Thu 19-Sep-19 19:43:43

His tummy may just be adjusting to the formula, it has only been a day? Aptamil have a hypoallergenic version which breaks down the lactose and helped my daughter, could be worth a try.

I really feel for you, my daughter was just like yours. We only have one child as a result.

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