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calling Tictok or other bf experts....

(13 Posts)
bb99 Sat 19-Jul-08 14:12:10

Dear friend is bfing sooo well, had emergency c/section and has happily bf for the last 4 months. She is a brilliant mum envy knocks spots off me grin

Now HV is telling her to 'top up' with formula as weight gain is slowing down.

She really doesn't want to but is feeling under a lot of pressure from the professionals. HV has told her she hasn't got enough milk (WTH) hmm and she is a first time mum, so not feeling very confident or able to articulate - why are you telling me this rubbish helpful advice??

Please please please words of wisdom and advice for her, I am logging her on at 5.30pm tonight and having a chat.

Any real life support networks would be good too. Have put her onto the La Leche League and NCT, but she needs helpful advice and I don't want to get it wrong for her...

TIA.

3andnomore Sat 19-Jul-08 14:17:09

Hm, I am pretty sure that the weightgain will slow down with time...so, if her little one is happy and healthy and not loosing weight, then I would think her HV is way out of line and yet anohter HV without true bf knowledge.

alittlebitshy Sat 19-Jul-08 14:18:33

No advice but bumping so that the right people will see.
What a lovely friend she has

RGPargy Sat 19-Jul-08 14:24:39

My (very helpful) HV told me that weight gain would slow down a little as the baby heads towards the six month mark and gets ready for weaning. She said it was absolutely nothing to worry about because she was still gaining, even if it wasn't as much as when she was tiny.

tiktok Sat 19-Jul-08 14:26:29

bb99 - would need more info to say anything specific, but in general terms

* it is normal for rate of weight gain to slow down, and normal for it even to plateau, beyond the newborn stage. The underlying trend should be upwards, natch
* topping up with formula can mean the baby goes longer between feeds, and/or removes less breastmilk each time, and both these effects lead to less breastmilk...so as a 'remedy' for slow weight gain it has its drawbacks hmm
* if a baby needs more calories - if - then it is is easier, healthier, and usually more acceptable to baby and mother, to give these more calories by breastfeeding more often, esp at night, and/or by offering a third or fourth breast each feeding session

Hope this helps. The HV sounds as if she does not understand these very basic general principles, or if she does, she has not explained to your friend why they're being over-ridden in her case.

Your friend can say, without being stroppy, 'thanks for your concern...I've decided I want to breastfeed my baby more often in order to get more milk into him, as I prefer my baby to have my own milk rather than formula..can you tell me what sort of weight gain I should be expecting to be sure all is well?'

ilovemydog Sat 19-Jul-08 14:26:44

Grrrr - can we have a 'health visitor is suggesting formula' as a separate topic?

How does HV know your friend 'doesn't have enough milk?' It's not like a carton of cow's milk where you can visibly see the contents hmm

Am sure people who know about these things will be around with some advice....

bb99 Sat 19-Jul-08 14:32:30

tiktok (sorry about the spelling) and others - thank you, will come back with more info and details tonight.

Have been 'evangelical' to her about bfing grin and she has been so successful, just seems she's getting a bit undermined at the moment. Sure HV has the best intentions. wink

sabire Sat 19-Jul-08 17:10:57

Tiktok - I thought that when you track bf babies on the current growth charts, they sometimes can appear to show a slowing down in the rate of weight gain at around 14 - 16 weeks (having sometimes gained at a faster rate than af babies for the first 12 weeks) even when feeding is going well and baby is thriving. I've been told that this is very typical and is down to the different growth patterns of bf babies.

Might the HV have failed to take this into account?

ilovemydog Sat 19-Jul-08 17:23:45

(anxiously awaits reply) smile

tiktok Sat 19-Jul-08 18:27:32

sabire - yes, as I said in the previous post, it is normal for babies' weight gain to slow or even plateau once they get a little older. Very typical of bf babies, and actually af babies may slow a little too - you can see this even on the standard charts as the curve starts to be ever so slightly less steep (can't put my hands on the chart to confirm this, but from memory I think I'm right).

Entirely possible that the HV has (ahem) forgotten about this, and also (ahem again) forgotten that position on the chart is only one aspect of health and well-being - to be looked at in the context of the 'whole baby'.

bb99 Sun 20-Jul-08 16:33:10

All's well!

Got together with friend today and it is just that bubs has slowed down on the weight gain and dropped a percentile...but is 16+ weeks old.

Thriving - lots of wet and dirty nappies, bright and alert, still gaining weight (100g last week alone)

She was scared by the HV as last time she got bubs weighed there was a hmm come and look at this, other health visitor...not gaining weight fast enough, thought about topping up with formula? moment...

She's been in touch with NCT BF counselor who agrees with all that has been said on here and has a steely resolve (well, I've got this far and done the hard bit, why resort to a bottle now FGS?)

Thanks all for words of wisdom, we discussed the restriction on HV training opportunities and her DP is fully behind her...

smile

Confidence restored...

hunkermunker Sun 20-Jul-08 16:38:59

grin

Well done, bb99! Lovely to have a knowledgeable and supportive friend when you're breastfeeding, especially for the first time!

bb99 Sun 20-Jul-08 16:51:36

But - ironically I was just lucky with bfing - it just worked blush despite spending the best part of my life totally flat chested grin

Only got 'knowledgeable' after stumbling onto this MN thing!

No information from hospital or HV or midwives about bfing, other than 2nd time around and a community m/wife who was very interested in making sure bubs no 2 was latched on properly. She was kind, but having fed DD for 18 months previously, did feel a bit prickly (or was that just being over tired shock)

Am turning into a bit of a boob evangelist though, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing!

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