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Struggling and don't know where to get help

(12 Posts)
strugglingmum Thu 09-Oct-08 09:21:50

Hi everyone. Wasn't really sure where to put this post, this seemed as good a place as any! I'm really struggling at the moment with my little girl. She never seems happy any more and I don't know how to help her.
She's 20 weeks old now. We've had a bit of a tough time all along, mostly with problems with weight gain. She's never gained particularly well and from being on the 75th centile at birth she's now just above the 0.4th. We seem to be bobbing along now, making small gains each week and following the growth curve (albeit the bottom of it). She's breastfed with a bottle of formula at 6.30ish just before bed. The past few weeks she seems to be regressing, crying a lot of the time and not sleeping. On an average night she wakes up every 1.5-2hours to feed. This in itself is getting me down because I'm so tired. Yesterday was a particularly bad day, she literally cried all day. She had 3 little naps of about 20 minutes all day and that was it. I had a bit of a breakdown last night, drank a bit too much wine and bought a pack of ciggies. Woke up this morning feeling a bit more positive as she only woke once in the night (woohoo!!) but then after being awake about 1 hour she started crying again and would not be consoled. Had a little feed and I've just put her down in her cot. She cried for a bit but has gone quiet now so I think she's asleep. She doesn't seem to feed particularly well from the boob so I don't know if she's crying because she's hungry? Seriously losing what little confidence I had in breastfeeding and although I really really don't want to I'm wondering if going to formula feeding would make her happier. My problem is I don't know where to go to for help. HVs aren't great, don't really offer any useful advice, and weigh-in clinic is not a great place to go into all this as its busy and rushed. I've been to my GP a couple of times about weight gain and again she doesn't offer any useful advice. She told me at 16 weeks to give her Infacol and Gripe Water which I don't think is the problem. question is, who can I talk to about this? Is she just going through a grumpy patch? Possibly teething? I don't know how to help her when she's upset and that's breaking my heart. Please help.

berolina Thu 09-Oct-08 09:28:36

oh sweetie, you do sound fraught and tired. I really honestly do think she is going through a growth spurt, a new developmental stage, possibly earlyish teething... It's not regressing, she is still so little and so much changes for little babies in such short spaces of time.

Feed her when she needs it, wrap her up warm and get out of the house, preferably with a sling - do you have one?

I really don't think FF will have any effect here, apart from more work and hassle for you (bottles, sterilising...). I wouldn't worry too much aboit weight either - it seems she is following A line - not everyone can be at the top!

Look after yourself too. (I would avoid the fags tbh but you probably know that yourself - no harm in a glass of wine as long as you don't co-sleep straight afterwards).

Eirlys Thu 09-Oct-08 09:31:20

hiya strugglingmum,

On the right hand side of this page are various breastfeeding helplines.

Sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time but well done for keeping going. Especially with so little help from the health services.

I can't offer any advice but it does sound like you ideally need someone to look at the latch and positioning. Maybe someone more knowledgable will be along soon too.


Lib76 Thu 09-Oct-08 09:32:15

Hi strugglingmum! i know how you feel. my DS is 17 wks and when i BF and gave formula he was so unsettled. ended up giving up BF due being admitted to hospital with mastitis. when i came home much more settled baby on formula. This was FAR from what i wanted, i was so against formula but i tried EVERYTHING, expressing, BF counsellor, nipple shields! gave it my best shot and ended up SO ill with mastitis!

anyway enough of my ramblings. If you are stressed when BF then DD will pick up on it. I found my DS was all over the place when i tried to top up with bottles cause i was not giving him enough!

Also at 20 wks MAYBE she is a baby that needs solids sooner??? not sure though, best of luck smile

Lib76 Thu 09-Oct-08 09:33:33

meant to say DEF phone BF counsellor they are SUCH a great help, and is so good just to talk to someone if you are having a bad time smile take care.

berolina Thu 09-Oct-08 10:02:46

Lib, I am sorry but that is not helpful advice.

20 weeks is too soon for solids. Waiting until 6 months does no harm, and not waiting might do harm. First weaning foods are not as calorific as milk so very unlikely to make Struggling's dd more 'settled'.

I am sorry you had such a terrible time bf and it sounds like you really did all you could It must have been beyond shite for you to feel you had to give formula when you didn't really want to. I do think, though, that Struggling's difficulties are unlikely to be resolved by moving to FF. It is normal that a baby who has been feeding/sleeping 'well' (however one defines that) will change and move over to a more frequent feeding and more infrequent sleeping pattern. This can, then, change again just as quickly and seemingly inexplicably. Struggling, I would really advise you to carry on as you are, go with the flow as much as possible, get help in other areas (dh/family/friends to do stuff round the house) and get a sling if you don't have one already - she is very likely to sleep in one when you are out and about.

berolina Thu 09-Oct-08 10:03:16

(oh I take part of my post back! The advice to phone a bf counsellor if definitely helpful )

Lib76 Thu 09-Oct-08 10:25:28

OK Ok berolina!!! angry hence the reason i put MAYBE and lots of ???? obviously i am no expert BUT my sisters kids went onto solids early so was just exploring the possiblity!! and what was wrong with the rest of my advice?? all i was trying to say that i found when i mixed bf and ff DS was unhappy!

strugglingmum Thu 09-Oct-08 10:39:02

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for the helpful advice, and I mean everyone. For the record I have no intentions of weaning before 6 months but that's my choice and I appreciate that some people believe it would help to do it now, and maybe it would, but I'm not going to. Please lets not turn this into another weaning debate!!!
Moving on, all good advice. I think I will try to get in to see a bfc, I think there's been a bit of pride stopping me from doing it so far (apart from in the early weeks when I did). I kind of feel that after nearly 5 months I really should have got the hang of it by now! Not sure if feeding is the problem of if I'm attributing it as I've got so little confidence now in my abilities in that area. It may have nothing to do with her being unsettled. Just don't know. I feel like by now I should know why my baby is crying, and I don't. sad

Lib76 Thu 09-Oct-08 10:49:26

well said strugglingmum, wish you all the best! pride is a bad thing sometimes, i was was the same!! wink

Lib76 Thu 09-Oct-08 10:49:27

well said strugglingmum, wish you all the best! pride is a bad thing sometimes, i was was the same!! wink

AnarchyAunt Thu 09-Oct-08 18:27:47

You absolutely should see a BFC - you should be so proud of the fact you are still BF after such crap advice and support, and want to carry on.

They will be able to give you time and expert advice, far better than what you have had from your HV and GP.

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