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Feel like I'm starving my baby

(25 Posts)
Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:20:35


Sorry if I'm repeating myself, I keep posting here.

DD is 4 weeks old and has been on formula top-ups since week 2 when she was admitted to hospital for severe weight loss.

I am feeding her all the time, literally the whole time she is awake. I normally feed her for about 3 hours straight before finally resorting to topping her up with formula. She then downs about 90 mils in about 5 minutes. She seems to be starving and I feel like I'm not producing enough milk to fill her up.

I only give her a top-up when she has fed for hours, it feels like there is no milk left (boobs totally soft) and she is basically screaming with hunger.

I feel like I'm starving her, but she is taking the milk and I can normally express a fair amount when I get a chance to try.

Does anyone have any ideas for upping milk supply other than skin to skin? Have ordered some fenugreek tablets today.


Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lauraloola Tue 09-Sep-08 19:28:05

Is she a windy baby? Maybe she is screaming as she has trapped wind? Dd had this and it took us a while to work out that was the problem, we gave her gripe water for a few weeks and now she is older she doesnt need it.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:29:05

I'm not sure, the only thing that seems to satisfy her is more food.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:30:00

Oh, she keeps sticking her tongue out and chewing her hand, I was told those were hunger signals.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:30:48

20 per cent of her birth weight tmmj.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:30:58

20 per cent of her birth weight tmmj. Overnight in one night she lost 200 grams.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tapster Tue 09-Sep-08 19:32:00

The feeding for hours is what they all do at this stage even though your boobs are soft she is stimulating you to produce more milk in the future. It is very normal. I would personally stop top ups and spend a few days in bed just trying to feed her when ever she wants and do nothing else. Nobody warns you about cluster feeding my DD used to feed almost continuously 6-11pm then slept for 6 hours at this stage.

Flapjack I found the best for improving my milk supply but thats because I don't really like porridge.

Sorry I'm very anti formula top ups and it stops your body being able to produce milk on demand.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:32:24

reallty???? do you think that could be it? i would love there to be another explanation. Her weight gain is still pretty slow though.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:34:01

Tapster i stopped the top ups and her weight gain stopped and she also started doing browny almost meconium like poos so I gave her some more.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:36:39

I know tmmj,have been through all the weight stuff, were the scales wrong etc. They thought her birth weight could have been wrong but she was weighed on the same scales on day 7 as on day 6 and was 200 grams lighter.

The hospital have basically washed their hand of us. The m/w was suposed to be in touch but hasn't.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:46:28

They took us in and said the only way they would let us out is if we gave her formula and she gained weight.

Did lots of tests, all clear, it is just the feeding that is a problem.

Cluster feeding is at every single feed.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lulumama Tue 09-Sep-08 19:51:46

forget the midwife, i agree the scales could well hvae been wrong or there is an error somewhere for such a huge weight loss over night

phone one of the free support lines and get someone to come and give you some help ! on the right of this website

skin to skin and closenes,, feeding as much as she wants, and trying to reduce the amount of formula

Chequers Tue 09-Sep-08 19:53:34

Yes she's gaining, alert, wet and dirty nappies. She seems fine, just permanently hungry.

Saw my NCT friend last week - her DS put on 21 oz in 1 week exclusively b/f, dd put on 4 oz feeding constantly plus having top ups.

I know every baby is different, shouldn't really compare but all the other NCT babies are gaining so much faster than her just on breast milk.

pudding25 Tue 09-Sep-08 21:45:11

21oz is a huge amount!!! My dd is 17wks and only ever puts on 4oz per wk. She is bf and has one (sometimes 2) bottles of formula a day. She was 7lb 11oz when born so a decent size but has dropped a bit. She is very healthy and HV said 4oz a wk is fine.
As long as she is healthy, don't worry.

wastingmyeducation Tue 09-Sep-08 21:59:48

Chequers, my DS was very slow weight gain, he took about seven weeks to get back to birth weight, and then we just got it.
Even though the scales were checked, human error is still a possibility, someone had to read the numbers off.
If the baby's been checked over (checked for tongue tie?), and it doesn't sound like you have problem with production, then its about making your supply is as sound as you can, and formula undermines that.
Did you have any low iron level problems during or immediately after pregnancy? If so, it might be worth taking a supplement.
I'm no expert, but having had a baby with slow weight gain, I know how worrying it can be.
Oh and DS still feeds for hours sometimes, some babies do.


madmouse Wed 10-Sep-08 09:55:19

21oz a week is not the norm. My ds did it once when he came out of scbu and switched to demand breast feeding. An ounce a day on breastmilk is very good going.

Let me add that my ds was born just under 25th centile and made his way down from about 4 months to the 0.2 centile and since solids is now (7months) up to second and climbing. He is lighter as he has a very small head (below centiles) and quite skinny because he is soo active. he is also very bright and alert and into everything.

I have been lucky with health visitors wh were more laidback about it than I was (pfb plus brain damage just before birth)

Don't do what i did and that is take 6 months to leanr that it is how your baby looks/is that matters.

Chequers Wed 10-Sep-08 09:59:55

Thanks, does anyone have an idea how to cut out the formula? At the moment she only has it after she has fed for about 3 hours. By this point she is trying to latch on and coming off crying - it seems as though there is hardly any milk there and I end up giving her a top up as she seems to be sreaming with hunger.

She has about 2/3 top ups a day.

tiktok Wed 10-Sep-08 10:07:00

Chequers, I think it will help to speak to someone knowledgable in real life. Feeding continuously for 3 hours is not normal - plenty of babies are on and off the breast for periods a lot longer than that, but feeding for 3 hours 'straight' (by which I think you mean without any gaps for a little snooze or look around, so it's the same 'feed') is a sign all is not well with the milk transfer from you to her.

I don't think it is wise to stop the top ups until you have had a serious and skilled assessment of what is going on - someone needs to observe you feed, assess the weight of your baby, and help you will a plan.

I agree about a loss of 200g overnight....very hard to explain that apart from human or scales error. But she may still have lost a lot over a longer time.

Hope this helps - I don't think you will resolve this with a talkboard, to be honest. You get support but along with a lot of conflicting advice

Chequers Wed 10-Sep-08 10:08:47

Thankd Tiktok, have been putting off speaking to one of the helplines (not sure why, didn't want to admit it was that much of a problem I think). Will try La leche league today.

Thanks for all your advice everyone.

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