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Please help BF Baby dropped from 95th to 2nd centile - what can I do (don't want to top up)

(33 Posts)
womblingalong Wed 15-Aug-07 20:01:40

Sorry about this essay, thanks for reading I hope someone can please help, i am exhausted, but don't want to give up BF, what can I do?

DS was 9lb 12oz when born by emergency section, he had been gaining weight fine, between 5-7 oz a week in early days and is exclusively BF with occasional bottle of EBM. Last weigh in was at 8 wks where he was 11lb 15 oz, and had dropped to the 75th centile. I was not worried at the time, but decided not to bother with lots of weigh in's as last time with dd, was harangued into topping up with formula due to low weight gain.

Went to see HV clinic yesterday, at 17/18 wks, and he was only 12lb 7 oz and had dropped to 2nd centile. Have been referred to GP Am now panicking and stressed that there is something wrong with my milk.

He has been really struggling with bad wind/colic, and often struggles on the breast, crying, kicking and arching his back. He often will only feed if I walk around rocking him, which is exhausting - and he won't feed in a sling . When he does feed you can hear lots of gurgling and windy sounds from his tummy. He also doesn’t nurse for long at each breast, and often refuses the breast he fed from last time, if offered first.

I knew his weight gain had slowed as between weeks 9 to 11 he had a sort of breastfeeding strike and was just not interested in the day. This coincided with the start of teething; he is cutting 4 molars at once, much earlier than normal. Started to offer b feeds more often, every half hour at one point, and he is now nursing more, especially at night, where he has gone from one or two feeds to 4-5 a night.

Although he didn't seem to be getting loads bigger he is getting longer, is bright and alert, doesn't sleep loads so isn't conserving calories, very active, kicking and wanting to sit up all the time, has wet nappies etc, so seems fine in himself. Th

I have been eating oats, and taking fenugreek to increase milk supply, together with nursing more often, to build up a store of EBM for when I go back to work, so I should have enough milk shouldn't I?

What else can I do? What could be the cause of the struggling when feeding? What can I say to the GP/HV? Is there anything I should be asking for i.e. something for my milk/for his tummy?

I hope someone can help!


MaeBee Wed 15-Aug-07 20:08:41

i can't offer any great advice, but this sounds similar to what happened to a friend of mine. her baby is now fine, and she managed to keep breastfeeding.
i would say to email/phone the NCT and La Leche League for professional advice.
Feeding more at night is a good idea too, although obviously knackering for you, but the breastmilk at night is more fattening.
It sounds possible (in my amateur opinion) that your baby is getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. the hindmilk is more fatty, the foremilk more thirst quenching. so if he doesn't empty one breast than maybe he's getting too much foremilk from both.
you said he doesn't like to go back on to the one he fed from before, but i would try and encourage him to, in case thats the problem.
and best of luck! sounds like you are a great mum, try not to get too stressed.

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 20:08:53 it possible that your lil one has some kind of reflux problem...sometimes reflux can be "silent", which is where there is no obvious sign, like chucking up large amounts...but those Baby's seem in a lot of pain during and after's, I suppose comparable to very bad heartburn.

CarGirl Wed 15-Aug-07 20:16:18

my thoughts too were silent reflux, it is very painful for them.

What centile is your dd?

I do not believe there is anything wrong with your milk at all, have you tried bottled ebm as he may associate the pain with feeding (if he has reflux)

womblingalong Wed 15-Aug-07 20:48:48

Hi all,Thanks for all your replies.

I think it might be silent reflux. What is the treatment, DD had Gaviscon and Ranitidine, but I can't understand how Gaviscon would help, and neither did the Paediatric nurse.

CG, my DD was on the 9th centile, after being born on the 50th.

He has had some ebm in a bottle, and has still been windy, but doesn't scream and fuss as much as when on the breast.

I have tried and tried to increase his feeding time so he gets more hindmilk, but no success, anyone got any strategies I can try?

Amberjee Wed 15-Aug-07 21:04:17

hi wombling, i'm sure you will be able to sucessfully continue BFing your LO. i think it would be useful to speak to someone about what is going on so you can get any support/help you need. it can be tough in the early days esp when babies can be quite unsettled, but honestly it does get better. here are the helplines ...

Breastfeeding Network Supporterline 0870 900 8787

NCT Breastfeeding Line 0870 444 8708

La Leche League Helpline 0845 120 2918

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Hotline 08444 122 949

Amberjee Wed 15-Aug-07 21:07:22

ps. i understand that what gaviscon does is form a layer at the top of the stomach and help to keep milk from travelling back up the oesophagus and essentially causing heart burn. works for some babies and not for others. my ds had mild reflux but grew out of it.
one of the BF counsellors can talk you through positions you can use for reflux babies and other things.

callmeovercautious Wed 15-Aug-07 21:10:47

Just wanted to add a message of support really. My DD had the mad rumblings too but grew out of them at about 4/5m. My first thought was reflux and as your DD had it that could well be the case.
Stand your ground with the GP, don't be bullied and get some advice from the helplines. Do you have a BF support group locally? If so try there too.

Good Luck!

Ceolas Wed 15-Aug-07 21:11:01

Not sure what's going on, wombling, but definitely get some advice from one of the BF organisations. Phone tonight.

If you can get someone to actually come round all the better.

Hope things improve for you soon

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Wed 15-Aug-07 21:11:46

Same opinion here about Gaviscon (it didn't work for DS made his constipation far worse, so we ended having him in a sitting position for an hour after feeding him (a bouncy chair obviously helps).

How are his nappies?

fishie Wed 15-Aug-07 21:18:50

wombling your ds hasn't actually lost any weight at all. if they hadn't made a fuss at weigh in would you be worried? i had a slow gainer and ended up being referred to paediatrician, terrible waste of resources. your dd small also.

yes get him checked, yes speak to bf helplines but please don't panic.

on the reflux side, it is in my family so did wonder as ds had terrible colic, gaviscon did nothing for him. nor did anythign else but getting bigger, he screamed and struggled until about 6m when he could move about by himself.

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 22:01:05

Info on Kellymom about reflux in the bf Baby
Infant reflux disease website
crying over spilled milk webpage

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 22:01:53

haven't really checked the lower 2 pages, so, no idea how good those are...but Kellymom tends to be brill anyway

fruitbowl Wed 15-Aug-07 22:02:25

Hi Wombling. First thing to say is that you're doing a brilliant job feeding him yourself. Give yourself a big pat on the back!

I expect your HV is just referring you out of policy (I think if they drop a certain no.of centiles they have to) and it's sensible to check there;s no underlying medical issues. So try and keep calm and confident at your appointment. Sometimes helps to write down what you want to say before you go.

Hang on to the fact that you think your lovely boy is happy and growing - you know your bab best out of anyone!

The other thing to bear in mind is that the standard weight charts in the red books are based on BOTTLE FED BABIES NOT BREAST FED BABIES. They don't take into account that breastfed babies gain weight slower. You can ask your HV for the equivalent chart for BF babies.

AS to his discomfort feeding, could be a number of things. You don't say how long he's been this way. The thing that sprung to mind is when you said "oats". My experience with eating oats when I BF my DD was that she suffered terribly with v painful wind. Has it coincided with you regularly eating them? Could try keeping a food diary?

Also teething can be v painful for them to feed - could try teething gel, giving him a good chew before feed?

Other than that, have a think about what might have changed sinced he became unsettled.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.


tiktok Wed 15-Aug-07 23:05:58

fruitbowl, the charts used in the UK are not based on bottle fed babies. They are based on babies whose feeding is not differentiated. Having said that, babies who are breastfed tend to slow down their growth rate after the first 3-4 months, so it would be appropriate to measure this baby on another chart....but without intelligent and knowledgable interpretation it won't do any good

wombling, you've given an excellent history ad current description - with the extra feeds your baby is having, it makes sense to defer any worries about weight gain to a time when these extra feeds can be taken into account.

In any case, babies do plateau, your baby hasn't lost weight and seems healthy and bright

However, he is sometimes distressed at feeds, and this might be helped with an assessment from someone who knows about babies and breastfeeding, so the referral may not be a waste of time. Good luck, hope it all works out.

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Wed 15-Aug-07 23:20:35

Hi Womble

I did not bf but reading your thread and seeing you ds was a big baby at birth,have you not thought about starting weaning?

My dd was always very hungry and formula fed.I weaned her on the Health visitors advice at 16 weeks and continued with milk feeds too.

Could you not try him with a little weaned food and continue with the breasdtfeeding also?

Good luckx

tiktok Wed 15-Aug-07 23:30:54

Chocolate, womble's baby is likely to get fewer calories if she starts to wean now - how would that help her?

Early solids replace breastmilk, and as breastmilk is more calorie dense than most early foods, the net effect is the baby takes in fewer calories, and overall, of a lesser quality.

Not a good idea, I think

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 23:33:51

CP...weaning???????I am sorry, but you would actually deprive a child of good calories,no matter how you feed, if you wean early, and that is before 6 month...although the odd wek I think would not count...but the first solids have like near zero, really they will only bulk up and make Baby feed less of calorific milkfeeds.

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 23:35:49

BTW. I can see the case fr early-ish weaning if a formula fed Baby goes well over the guidelined amount, due to a Formula fed baby possibly due to easier access of formula (i.e bottled guzzled to quickly in a greedy feeder) would be helped by early weaning...however, this just is not transferrable to a breaastfed Baby

womblingalong Wed 15-Aug-07 23:35:56

Thanks all for your messages.

Tiktok, do you think I should ask for anything to improve my milk supply, there is something that BFing mothers are prescribed isn't there, domp something?

I am relucant to wean until 6 months Chocolate, for the reasons tha Tiktok has given, as i feel it will not help with weight gain.

I also think I have smaller babies who gain wt slowly, both I and my DH were small and skinny until quite recently.

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Wed 15-Aug-07 23:41:36

I am sorry but I completely disagree. Some babies (not all and I dont think it makes a differance if BF/FF) do need to be weaned early and if it supplements milk rather than repalces it it will only do good surely?
I do not want to get into a debate though as Womble must do what she wants to of course and I wish her and baby well.Good luck

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 23:42:32

due to being taller you could "grow" Baby's bigger.this doesn't mean they have to big all through Babyhood others sais, so far your lil one has not actually LOST weight, just put it on slower then "expected"!
Also, now, I have 3 children, es and ys are very similar buld, disppite es starting off as 7Ibs 6oz and ys ias 8Ibs 7 so a Pound difference...however, es had always been chubby until getting to 3 1/2 + but now at 11 he is carrying a bit of a podge..and he always is like that, he will put on weight then shoot up....ys is pretty much the same weight as es at the age...dispite being a Pound heavier and breastfeeding for much longer and complete blw tbh, and only really taking solids in bigger amounts after 1st Birthday...he is a bit of a carb and veg man!
Ms....was right inbetween both in birthweight at 7Ibs 14 oz....but is so skinny but still gaining in his persitent little way...

3andnomore Wed 15-Aug-07 23:43:57

BUt there is still teh issue instead or on top of early solids not having any real calorific value and/or also discouraging milkfeeds of whatever nature due to filing up!

TooTicky Thu 16-Aug-07 00:05:30

WA, do you co-sleep? It's a good way of getting relaxed night feeds.

tiktok Thu 16-Aug-07 00:09:43

CP, you are wrong, and actually very wrong, especially with regard to breastfed babies, who really do not gain anything with early solids except in unusual circumstances. It's because studies show that milk is replaced by early solids, and it does not supplement it...the baby drinks less from the breast as a result of the solids and this is not good.

wombling, I don't think you need anything to improve your milk supply because there is nothing wrong with it! In any case, you are feeding more often which is what increases the supply.

Domperidone is what you are asking about - but honestly, I can't see why you would need it.

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