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Any words of wisdom please?

(22 Posts)
WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 16:55:20

I don't really know what I am after here but am really worried that at 7 weeks, we are about to stop BF. DS has never been a good feeder (we cup fed for the first two weeks because he refused to latch on. Since then I have been breast feeding but he's been really slow to gain weight and within the last week I have been asked 3 times if he was premature because of his size. I took him to a paediatrician late last week how said that his lack of weight gain was a real problem and could start affecting his development. He said we needed to take immediate action and said that for three days we needed to top up with formula after a feed. We really have tried everything else ; lactation consultants, fenu greek, brewers yeast, more regular (read constant) feeding. The Paed also gave me a prescription to up my supply. The problem is my supply now seems fine but DS just doesn't want to WORK for the milk. So he screams and pounds and scratches my breast. We've had the latch checked; it's fine. And I can express lots of milk. But the reality is that the only way to get milk into him is via a bottle.

Can anyone offer any words of wisdom. I'm not ready to give up on breast feeding and it's breaking my heart. But we can't not feed him - he really is dangerously under weight.

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 17:07:01

Is he putting weight on?
Does he look well? Is he active enough?
Why did he need an appt with paediatrician? Is he having problems with something else?

Could you go back to only bf-ing and not using a bottle. He will have to work harder to get milk out of your breast than out of the bottle so will object initially.

If you can express lots of milk then the milk is there (some people have lots of milk but can't express much if any) so he must be getting his fill once he gets going.

One of my dds was only putting on 3oz a fortnight so I stopped taking her to be weighed as I found I was coming away upset. She looked well and was happy and active enough so I didn't think that the weight gain was a problem.

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 17:18:16

Thanks for your reply; he isn't putting on weight at all. He's constantly sleepy and has no energy. He's also really scrawny. I truly believe that he isn't feeding at all from the breast (he's always done the screaming and pounding thing not just since we introduced bottles). I took him to the paed because I was so worried about all the comments (including from the GP) that he looked like a premature baby. (And ok because he's PFB and I am really worried.) Paed says no physical reason for lack of weight gain except that he won't feed from the breast - hence the need for bottles.....

If I go back to exclusive BF, I really think he might just starve himself.... I have no clue what to do.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Jul-08 17:19:55

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StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Jul-08 17:21:14

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WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 17:23:29

Thanks for the reply. He was 7 pds 4 when born. Is only a little over that now (around 8 I think, at 7 weeks). I feed him anytime he opens his eyes! (Or at least I try but we end up fighting.) Last night I tried every hour through the night. He doesn't feed for long because he gets so agitated.

The hospital had a lactation consultant who worked with us for the first few weeks and I also go to a breastfeeding cafe.

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 17:25:20

Re your last question; because he fights me, isn't putting on weight and will suck down a huge bottle even after a 'long' feed. He also has 'hungry baby nappies' as the paed called them.

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 17:26:16

Oh and as soon as I introduced a bottle, his nappy immediately became that mustard colour which it's never been before.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Jul-08 17:30:44

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KristinaM Sun 20-Jul-08 17:31:32

i had similar problems with no weight gain with DS1. in our case it was due to a latching problem and reflux as well as poor milk production due to untreated thyroid disease.

We ended up with a combination of bottle feeding EBM, a little formula ( about one bottle a day) and some breast feeding. I continued with the Bf until he self weaned when he was 15 months

i feel sad that i coudln't exclusively Bf him but feel i did my best to ensure that he got as much Bm and as little formula as possible. Like you i coudlnt hold out for only BF as he wasnt gaining weight and looked terrible sad

i wept buckets though and felt like the worst mother in the world sad

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 17:38:28

Thanks for the replies. I'll check out that link now Starlight.

Kristina; it's a terrible feeling isn't it? Sorry you went through it too. I'm trying to give expressed milk instead of formula wherever possible (although it feels like my whole life is feeding or expressing at the moment!)

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 17:45:43

Do you mean he's 7lb 8oz now?
Did he lose any weight in the first week. My dd lost 5oz by day 3 and then started to put weight back on.

Out of interest, what do 'hungry baby nappies' look like?

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 17:51:18

No, he's 8lbs now. He did lose some in the first two weeks.

Hungry baby nappies are apparently consistently green and mucousy with not much poo.

tiktok Sun 20-Jul-08 17:58:25

WhuyIsItRaining - I agree with the paed that there is an issue here, but I also think you need some expert observation and help to decide how best to move towards full direct bf.

It's not normal for babies to be scrawny or sleepy or lacking in energy, but sometimes normal nappies are green.

When you say you have seen a lactation consultant, what 'type' of LC was this? If she was helpful, would be it worth seeing her again? What was the meds you were prescribed for your milk supply?

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 17:58:35

Okay so he has put on over 12oz in 7 weeks. That's not bad.
I'm obviously no expert, but he doesn't sound dangerously underweight to me.

By sleepy and no energy - does he never cry energetically if he's due a feed? Does he feel floppy? Some babies do sleep a lot between feeds in the early weeks. I presume he's not jaundiced or the paed would have mentioned it.

Were all the nappies green and mucousy? Or did it just come out along with the other stuff in some of the nappies?

Sorry for all the questions.
I think that you should do as Starlight advises and contact one of the bf0ing organisations for 'proper' advice.

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 18:27:49

Thanks again for all the replies. Yes all the nappies were green and mucousy. The first mustard one we have ever had was with formula. The LC was great and I think I might try and see her again - will also contact some of the organisations on the earlier link.

tiktok; the medication was metoclopramide. It's worked in that I have a lot of milk now but DS is still not keen to work to get it.

To be honest it helps a lot just to hear people say 'yes, there is an issue here but you can try and work through it'...

KristinaM Sun 20-Jul-08 18:29:35


i know that mixed feeding is not ideal, especially when you are still establishing your milk supply, but for us it was better than stopping bf altogether

and i was able to go on bf until he was 15 months, when he self weaned when i was 6 months pg

but i do remember how horrible it was at your stage and i didnt think i coudl go on another day, let alone another year

although no one on MN coudl offer me any practical advice, at least they gave me encouragement not to give up

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 18:49:03

thinking about it, 12oz isn't a great deal in 7w. Ignore the weight references in my posts.

Take note of everyone else's posts, which it sounds like you already have They've given you good advice.

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 18:54:07

Oh dear, that didn't come out right. Will stop digging myself deeper in a hole now.

Good luck with the lactation expert.

WhyIsItRaining Sun 20-Jul-08 19:18:03

You're not digging at all Juule - I'm grateful for any and every reply!

Kristina - I'm really encouraged that you kept mixed feeding for so long. Up until now, I'd thought it was a slippery slope to stopping BF altogether.

KristinaM Sun 20-Jul-08 19:44:10

I know its not recommeded, as some mums find it reduces and stops their milk supply, especially when started so early. i tried hard to limit it to one bottle a day, which seemed to work for me

also once my thyroid disease was identified and treated i got more milk

i think a problem can be that once the baby gets used to teh bottle, they cant be bothered to work at the breast for a feed. my Ds got better as he got a little older, although he wasn't a small baby at birth. I think now that he was very traumatised by a ventouse delivery and too much handling by strangers when in hospital. because he wouldnt latch on we had everybody and their dog man handling him sad

i ended up with the choice of bottle only or mixed and i went for mixed

i knwo soem mums end up expressing only as a last resort. i think there will be threads on Mn and info on google. But its a major hassle and best option is to get Bf sorted if you can

good luck

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 21:36:33

*whyisitraining" You may already have seen this thread. If not, you might find it interesting.

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