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Will I be able to exclusively BF DS2 or is HV right?

(37 Posts)
kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 12:16:37

DS2 is 4 weeks old and we've had some problems with BF and his weight. He lost nearly a pound in the first few days. Then he only put an oz on so the MW made us give him formula top ups. I continued BF then he had his top up afterwards. I was told to continue this until he was back over his birthweight which he is now. I was planning on then dropping the top ups except maybe the one at bedtime.

Now HV said that I'll never be able to exclusively BF him and that although I can continue to BF and then top him up, she thinks it will be easier to just stop BF.

I feel pretty crap about it all as I really wanted to BF him as I didn't BF DS1 due to similar problems. I just feel like I have failed.

Will it be possible to just BF DS2 or should I just be happy that I have managed to get to 4 weeks with him having some breastmilk?

cmotdibbler Fri 09-Jan-09 12:19:33

She's spouting bollocks by the sound of it. You are breastfeeding him, and you can continue to do so for as long as you both choose.

I'd get along to the nearest Baby Cafe/Bumps and Babes/LLL/ABM/breastfeeding support group and get some good rl support and advice if I were you

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 09-Jan-09 12:21:16

Stupid cow. Grrr. angry
Feed him how you want. Carry on BF as long as you want. Mix feed if it works for you, or carry on trying to increase supply/reduce FFs to get to ex BF. I mix fed for 11 weeks (after similar bad start to you) and now FF with BFs when we feel like it it works. I love BF and want him to get BM as long as possible. Yes it would be 'easier' to stop (although actually, that's crap, as BF is great when he's upset, tired or just snuggly) but you just carry on as long as youi want to. Don't fret if you never lose the top ups, it's not the end of the world. But don't stop BF if you don't want to.

tiktok Fri 09-Jan-09 12:22:33

You haven't failed. Your HV has failed.

Jeeeeeez! It's her job to support you in breastfeeding. This includes knowing how to develop a plan so the top ups are stopped so you can return to full bf.

Her experience may be that this is not possible. With her attitude and knowledge of bf and her pathetic support of it, then this may well be what happens to her clients.

You do need a plan - get some good RL support so it happens

kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 12:24:08

There aren't any near here or I would go. Nearest one is 2 hours away by bus.

I rang LLL about 10 days ago and they suggested to just give the one top up at bed time once he was over his birth weight.

He was 10lb 5oz and now 10lb 10oz and HV says it is because he is a bigger baby.

I was planning on not giving him his formula top ups tomorrow to see how we get on. Now I'm not too sure as HV thinks it is a bad idea.

Lulumama Fri 09-Jan-09 12:25:10

you need to see someone in real life who can properly support you , as Tiktok has said. find a local breastfeeding group. surestart might be a good place to start. or the NCT. there will be peer support out there too

with an attitude like that , your HV is hardly helping you.

kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 12:26:43

We have 2 HV's here and she is said to be the best of the 2 for BF support. God only knows what the other one is like.

BlueSapphire77 Fri 09-Jan-09 12:29:10

She sounds about as useful as a chocolate fireguard IMO grin

backalleysally Fri 09-Jan-09 12:30:12

You could try reducing his top ups gradually. This will probably result in him wanting to breastfeed more often or/and for longer.But this will be good for your supply. Then see how you get on. As long as you monitor his weight I cant see the problem. It almost sounds as though the health visitor is pushing you to bottle feed because it's easier for her. If this si the case she should be in another job! sad

tiktok Fri 09-Jan-09 12:32:20

kayzr, I have just re-read your previous threads. You had terrible support in the early days - your midwife made your DH go out and buy formula which she then gave to your baby - because she said your milk looked watery and because your baby's initial weightloss was on the 'cusp' of being a problem (we did the maths and it was normal!).

If you have been giving formula top ups frequently since then, it is bound to mean you will need to work hard at getting him back to excl bf - but it can be done, believe me, with motivation, and support from the people around you.

You are now faced with this big challenge because of the truly awful apology for bf support, and you are doing fantastically well to have come through it and to still be bf!

kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 12:33:20

I'm going to give the LLL another call I think. I really would like to at least give it a good go so I can at least say to myself that I gave it my best shot.

kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 12:34:17

Thanks Tiktok, that means alot to me.

PortAndLemon Fri 09-Jan-09 12:34:53

How much top-up formula is he getting at the moment?

madlentileater Fri 09-Jan-09 12:36:02

am aghast at your hv.
I had a similar situation with DS1 TWENTY years ago....v sad that things are no better. Please listen to all these wise women, not your hv. DS1 was eventually exclusively bf, btw.

Bubbaluv Fri 09-Jan-09 12:45:17

Maybe next time the HV comes over you should call the LLL (with her present) so you can at least get her to address WHY she thinks your should stop and make her hear from someone properly trained inthe area why you needn't?

DorisIsAPinkDragon Fri 09-Jan-09 12:55:53

Kayzr I just wanted to give you some hope dd2 didn't feed at all for the first 2 weeks of life, had bowel surgery etc. It did not stop me reintroducing bf when she was phsically able to tolerate it (having pumped for 2 weeks. We had a few "bad days" when all I did was feed but things soon settled down. She was breastfeed to 14 months despite a second surgery and anopther 2 weeks pumping.

Your HV is just sooooooooooo wrong it scares me.

tbh think this is purely to make her life easier....is there an alternative HV who could see you and provide support.

kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 12:56:59

Just rang LLL. Started crying which was a little embarassingblush

She said that it can be done and gave me some things to do.

She said to put DS2 at the breast every 2 hours, she said it doesn't matter if he doesn't take a full feed but it will help.
To try and feed him at least twice a night because he normally only wakes once.
Put him to the breast when he is awake, he doesn't have to take a feed but just being near will help.
Carry him in a sling so he can feed and I can still do things with DS1.
Gradually wean off formula and maybe replace the formula with EBM so DH can still feed him so I can get a bath etc.

She is going to send me some information in the post. She did say to keep getting him weighed regularly so I know he is putting weight on.

Poledra Fri 09-Jan-09 13:00:18

kayzr, I cannot believe the rubbish advice you got. FWIW, DD1 had formula top-ups for nearly 10 weeks (I had horribly split nipples due to bad advice sad) and after that she was exclusively BF till I went back to work when she was 8 months. And DD3 was in SCBU for a week after birth in 2008 and she had both EBM and formula down a nasogastric tube for that time. Since she cane out of SCBU, she has been exclusively BF till we started weaning last week.

You're doing great - please do not let this woman talk you out of what you know is best.

27 Fri 09-Jan-09 13:00:54

Thats shocking advice from the HV. Im glad the LLL were more helpful. I bet people cry pretty often when they phone them, its such an emotive topic isnt it. Good luck with the feeding.

backalleysally Fri 09-Jan-09 13:01:06

I'm glad you've got some advice Kayzr.

Good luck. smile

Poledra Fri 09-Jan-09 13:01:52

x-posted, kayzr. I remember howling down the phone to the NCT BFing helpline with DD1 (still makes me well up when I think about how I felt and how wonderful the lady on the other end of the line was).

kayzr Fri 09-Jan-09 13:02:11

Thanks. I think it will be hard but I want to give it a go.

tiktok Fri 09-Jan-09 13:03:18

That LLL stuff is spot on

FromGirders Fri 09-Jan-09 13:17:24

Dear Kayzr,
Just wanted to add my support and my own experience.
Ms ds lost lots of weight in the first week, I seem to remember it was about 15% of his birthweight. He was a very sleepy baby, and struggled to feed without falling asleep. In contrast to you, I had a really helpful MW - she recommended I topped up, but was very clear that this was a temporary solution, and that I could continue bfing throughout. I cup fed, as ds was a lazy little blighter and much preferred a nice easy bottle to me envy and continued topping him up for about three weeks. After that, I stopped topping up at every feed, and only topped up occasionally, until at about 4 or 5 weeks, I was exclusively bfing him. I hope that's encouraging! The only thing was, the whole topping up thing had underined my confidence a bit, and I did fall back on top ups from time to time in the next six months, but that was a purely pschological prob. (When I had dd a year later, I was much more confident, happy to leave to leave her for as long as she needed to feed, and we didn't have a single problem).
It sounds like you're getting good advice now, follow that, and ignore your mad HV. I'm sure in a couple of weeks you won't need formula at all smile.

feb Fri 09-Jan-09 14:50:17

kayzr am i right thinking you live near Malton? i am near driffield and have seen a fab bfc in bridlington. i can give you her details if you're interested.
my circumstances and feeding problems sound very similar but i am now v close to ex bf my 5 week old.
good luck and let me know if you want her details

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