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I am fantasising about switching to bottle feeding, please talk to me!!

(28 Posts)
Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 19:55:45

Will try not to repeat myself as have posted before.

DD is 3 and a half weeks old. She lost 20% of her birth weight at 1 week and was admitted to hospital. Has been on formula top-ups ever since and is now gaining 1oz per day.

Have reduced the top-ups to one last thing at night - on Monday I didn't give her a top-up at all. She woke every hour in the night and fed for hours yesterday, only taking a break when she fell asleep in the car and out in her pram and at one point when I had a nap feeding her lying down.

I've been reassured that this is totally normal and I know that my supply needs to get established which will have been made harder by the top-ups.

Anyway, I saw my NCT group today, none of them have experienced feeding anywhere near as frequently as my DD is. For example I fed her from 9AM-1PM today, only stopping to put her in the car to go and meet the group. Whilst there (2 hours) I fed her twice, although she slept for some of it.

I am having fantasises now about switching to formula, after having a bottle is the only time she doesn't seem absolutely ravenous. Her latch has been checked and seems ok and she is doing plenty of wet nappies.

I really don't want to formula feed, I want to get back to exclusive breastfeeding. Guess I am just looking for reassurance that her feeding will calm down eventually...

Febes Thu 04-Sep-08 20:02:43

You will be fine!! Its really hard in the first month when you feel like you are permanently attched to the sofa feeding and your nips are sore but I found it settled down a bit at 5 weeks and got easier and easier.
You sound like you really want to stick it out so get everyone looking after you and just feed that bub.
DD is 9 and a half months and feeds twice a day with 3 solid meals and snacks. You will get there.

noonki Thu 04-Sep-08 20:02:44

Sounds like you are doing a brilliant job

at three ish weeks they often have a feeding frenzy for around a day or two, both of mine did, nearly drove me to distraction -

also I remember being shocked at how long each feed takes, this will change in a few weeks the length of the feed with dramatically reduce to about 10 minutes a feed only a few times a day

hang in there smile

ThisTooWillPass Thu 04-Sep-08 20:03:27

Message withdrawn

Febes Thu 04-Sep-08 20:03:44

You will be fine!! Its really hard in the first month when you feel like you are permanently attched to the sofa feeding and your nips are sore but I found it settled down a bit at 5 weeks and got easier and easier.
You sound like you really want to stick it out so get everyone looking after you and just feed that bub.
DD is 9 and a half months and feeds twice a day with 3 solid meals and snacks. You will get there.

LaTrucha Thu 04-Sep-08 20:04:30

It will calm down. I was doing these top ups, starting when DD was about the same age as your DD. It was very difficult. We carried on, reducing as time went by, for three months, when DD rejected the bottle. We have been happily ex bf since then.

For various reasons, unimportant here, I have to stop in the next few months and I am going to miss it so much. One part of me will be relieved because it is demanding on the mother, but it is also so special. When my daughter preferred me to the bottle I felt so proud, and it's been a lovely bf relationship.

Is she your first dc? It sounds like your doing really well with reducing the bottles. You should be proud that you did what you felt you needed to then. But it sounds likeyou realy want to bf, so you should, even though sometimes they do go through these marathon stages. They don't last forever. DD takes what feels like moments to feed most of the time now.

I know how it feels to have your baby lose weight. And if your experience is anything like mine, you will have been really encouraged to go onto bottle, whether implicitly or not. Bottles are very reassuring for some HV types as they can measure how much has 'gone in'. Could this kind of response be conditioning your 'fantasy'?

Also, it may not feel like it, but you are lucky to have a 'ravenous' DD. Mine was constantly falling asleep!

Good luck to you anyway. It's not a nice introduction with life with your sweetie baby!

ThisTooWillPass Thu 04-Sep-08 20:06:29

Message withdrawn

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:07:37

Thanks everyone, yes she's my first (that obvious!!)

Is there a particular time I can expect it to settle down by? I keep thinking if I can tell myself to grit my teeth until 6 weeks or something and see how we are getting on it might be easier.

I think I am partly just envy of my NCT friends who seem to have thriving babies who are putting on 3 x what dd is and feeding for only a fraction of the time!!

cafebistro Thu 04-Sep-08 20:13:23

My breastmilk supply had established by about 6 weeks when I noticed that feeds were less frequent and DD slept for longer at night. It will all calm down eventually, the first few weeks are the worst and then once your supply and demand is sorted its actually less hastle than bottle feeding. hang in there you're doing a great job! smile

LaTrucha Thu 04-Sep-08 20:19:46

IT's very worrying when your DC is small, believe me I know. But you have to remember that not only are the stupid graphs truly stupid (based on bottle feeders 50 years ago)but that SOMEONE has to be at the bottom of it.

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:22:08

Thanks LT, she's not actually small - she started at 9 pounds 11 then dropped to just under 8. She's about 8 pounds 9 now I think.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 04-Sep-08 20:25:42

you, and she sound like you are doing all the right things. the first few weeks can be very intensive and it seems like they never stop. Tey have a bit of a growth spurt at about three weeks too, and I've always found that hormonally this is a very hard time for mums (myself included)

she has had a shaky start and the bottle feeding has probably affected your supply to some extent. She is doing her utmost to increase that supply to meet her demands.

Can you take to bed with her this weekend and have a babymoon with lots of skin to skin and alowing her free access to the breast, and DH keeping you supplied with drinks and snacks? Also, is she feeding lots at night? This is when your hormone production is at it's highest and night feeds are essential at this stage for maintaining a good supply.

How is her weight now? Is she gaining? she might be playing catch up, or it mught just be that this is her and she'll gain steadily at this rate; all babies are different and provided she is gaining, is healthy, happy and alert when awake and producing lots of wet and pooey nappies then she will be fine smile

congratulations by the way smile

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:31:46

thanks daisy, she is still gaining but its pretty gradual. The 3 week growth spurt, how long should i expect it to last?

Olihan Thu 04-Sep-08 20:33:07

Hang on in there smile. Like everyone else has said, it usually gets better by the 6 week mark. Round about 3 weeks is often when they have a huge growth spurt too and it does sound like she may just be working to up your supply to meet her new requirements. You'll probably find that it will settle down again by the end of the weekend.

Have you seen a bfc from one of the bf organisations? They tend to be much better at being able to identify tiny latch issues that make a huge difference to how efficiently they feed.

My ds2 seemed to feed constantly and the bfc who came to see me adjusted the latch ever so slightly and it made all the difference. If you've only had the latch checked by a mw or hv (who tend to be as expert as bfcs) it might be worth ringing one of the helplines or going to a Baby Cafe for an expert's opinion.

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:33:13

meant to say, can't do a babymoon this w/e as my parents are visiting. could try it monday when dh back at work.

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:35:09

thanks olihan - was a MCA (??) maternity something who checked her latch. Might try a baby cafe, not sure if there is one local to me...

LackaDAISYcal Thu 04-Sep-08 20:36:32

It should settle down in a few days smile

Are you getting some BFing support? Local BFing group or Baby Cafe? It's nice to share your experiences with others going through the same thing, and they usually have a BFC on hand to help with any problems.

There are often local organisations who offer peer support as well. Ask your HV if she has a list or there might be some local information in your red book.

AnyFuleKno Thu 04-Sep-08 20:36:45

It will get easier every day, until one day you notice that it's so so easy!

I remember the days of wishing I could just pop dd on the breast as it seemed like such a struggle every feed and seemed to go on for ever, but after 6 weeks things were noticably easier and by 12 weeks I was so glad I hadn't switched to formula as I knew bfing was easier. By six months she was feeding in about 5-10 minutes every three hours.

Don't think about the future just the day in front. That's one of the best pieces of advice I was given.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 04-Sep-08 20:38:06

Baby Cafe locator

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:40:54

Thanks everyone smile

cmotdibbler Thu 04-Sep-08 20:41:34

You need a proper breastfeeding counsellor to look at her latch - a maternity care assistant is not qualified to give advice on breastfeeding at all.

This weekend would be a perfect time for a babymoon - with a three week old you shouldn't be running round after your parents, so taking to your bed with DD whilst they bring tea/food - and of course sit on the bed and chat - is ideal.

Chequers Thu 04-Sep-08 20:45:26

Ok, I will try and get to the baby cafe next week (it's not that near unfortunately).

My parents aren't getting here til 4PM on Saturday. Have I got time if I do it all of tomorrow and half of Saturday?

cmotdibbler Thu 04-Sep-08 20:54:45

That would be great - just spend as much time in direct skin contact as you can so that she can feed as soon as she feels like it, and swap breasts really frequently too. Having a bath together is really nice and relaxing for both of you.

You could give your local NCT BFC a call too, rather than going to the baby cafe. I'm sure she'd be able to help

LaTrucha Thu 04-Sep-08 21:08:36

Chequers - yes, sorry. I realised afterwards that I'd assumed that.

Would support going to bf group. - Breast Feedign network were great tome and I still go in for a chat.

madmouse Thu 04-Sep-08 22:27:37

chequers did anyone bother telling you that bigger babies can afford to and do lose more weight than smaller ones?

sounds like your dc is catching up nicely.

it will get better.

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