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Variety of issues - BFing 3wk old DS

(21 Posts)
SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Sun 31-May-09 16:56:34

DS is 3 weeks old and am exclusively BFing. 90% of the time, he only settles to sleep at the breast and at night we co-sleep.

BFing is going ok with the main issue being that DS lost weight initially (8lb 9oz at birth down to 7lb 8oz on day 5 and still only at 7lb 11oz.) HV is coming tomorrow for another weigh in. I'm worried she may suggest FF if there's not been further significant weght gain. To be fair when she was last here on Thurs she said she wasn't overly concerned as he seemed healthy in every other way - alert, good strong cry, mild jaundice had cleared.

DH is finding it hard that he's not able to feed at all and as a result, DS doesn't always settle easily with him. We've discussed the possibility of me expressing so that DH can feed via a bottle but I've read you shouldn't express before 6 weeks so as to ensure supply and prevent latch problems.

DH has also suggested using a soother as he's worried about me getting too sore (not as much of an issue as it was tbh) and also DS may be able to settle in his moses basket then or on DH.

For some reason that I don't really understand, I feel really anti using a soother.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to help DH feel better and any thoughts on use of a soother or any other helpful comments?

ChairmumMiaow Sun 31-May-09 17:01:22

Your DS sounds like mine (although we were lucky not to have the weight loss) in his settling habits. At first DS would only settle with me but he and DH soon got used to each other, and they bonded really well over long walks in the sling with the dogs (blissful peace!)

There's nothing wrong with expressing before 6 weeks, but giving a bottle can lead to nipple confusion - as it is so much easier for them to feed from a bottle they can get to prefer that and start refusing the breast - the idea is that by around 6 weeks, they are more used to the breast and much less likely to reject it.

I got so desperate when DS fed and fed and fed that I started expressing and giving a bottle of EBM from 4 weeks. No problems with breast refusal, but plenty of bottle refusing and it never helped at all. DH hated giving a bottle and much preferred the sling or a nice snuggle on the sofa.

If your DS won't settle on DH, get him to try some motion - my DH has always paced when he needed to settle DS, or has used the sling.

I'm sure people will be along with more advice, but in the mean time, stick to what you feel happy with - 3 weeks is so very little and everything changes so quickly for all of you!

ruddynorah Sun 31-May-09 17:01:58

dh can take him out for walks to give you a break. he can do bath time. he can do winding. he can do nappy changing.

he can also do things like washing, hoovering, cooking smile

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Sun 31-May-09 17:06:35

Thanks ChairmumMiaow and RuddyNorah

DH says he gets left with all the jobs that make DS cry - nappy changing, bathing, etc! He has taken him for a couple of walks in the buggy with the dogs. Not sure our sling would fit DH!!

Can use of a soother cause nipple confusion too?

wastingmyeducation Sun 31-May-09 17:06:48

It's advised not to give a soother if the baby has slow weight gain, better to let them suck milk when they want to suck.

The only thing your DH can't do for your DS is breastfeed him. He can bath him, change his nappies, take him for walks, talk to him, play with him.

He should be making your meals too - by feeding you he'll be feeding DS.

wastingmyeducation Sun 31-May-09 17:08:10

x-posted Ses, yes soothers can cause nipple confusion.

seeker Sun 31-May-09 17:10:23

My dp got over the sadness at not being able to feed our babies by looking after me - making me nice food and bringing me drinks and generally cossetting me while I sat and endlessly fed our newborns - maybe your dh could try and look at it this way?

Your baby is teeny tiny. Just feed him whenever he needs - your breasts will get used to it and stop being sore very soon. I really wouldn't suggest a soother at this stage, particularly if there are any concerns about his weight - not that it sounds as if there are, it's quite normal to lose a bit post birth. Don't worry if he's not back to birth weight tomorrow, by the way, so long as he's gaining weight and he's peeing and pooing and doing all the other things he ought to. It sounds as if you're doing brilliantly!

Don't be bounced into giving formula even if it's suggested, come back here and talk about it first!

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Sun 31-May-09 17:17:37

Thanks - I knew I'd get some support here

DS does get plenty of wet and dirty nappies which I know is a good sign. I am worried that he hasn't gained any more weight but don'r really have anything to base that on other than looking at him!

I'll talk to DH about the ways he help feed DS indirectly and maybe show him this thread.

ChairmumMiaow Sun 31-May-09 20:31:24

Ses - Tell DH that babies who love to be breastfed often don't take to bottles, so he could end up in a situation like my DH where he would rather do anythign - even the nappy change and dressing etc - than try to give DS a bottle!

And don't worry if your DS takes a while to be able to settle on his own. Needing help is not the worst thing in the world and they all learn it eventually. The idea that they should be sleeping on their own, is one that is imposed on us by society - the poor thing never knew need until 3 weeks ago, now we expect it to sleep on its own with no cuddles or no heartbeat!

As for slings, if your DS likes to be held it might be good to invest in something like a stretchy wrap. DS was in his a lot for the first 6 months, and DH loved carrying him in it!

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Mon 01-Jun-09 19:38:05

Thanks for support

Just to update...
HV came and his weight had gone down to 7lb 10oz.
She says he seems to latch and feed fine from what she's seen and he seems healthy in every way except for lack of weight gain. She made us an appointment to go and see a dr at surgery at 4.20 so they can rule out infection of some sort.
HV had briefed GP perfectly and supportive of my wish to BF. She checked him over and said she was happy with him in every way except for weight so she phoned paediatric registrar at the hospital to check things through and we all agreed to continue as things are til Thurs. Will get him re-weighed late Wed or Thurs morning and then have appointment to see Dr again on Thurs at 11.30

I'm going to ensure I take it easy over the next few days, drink lots of water and eat lots. (Stuff getting into pre-pg clothes!)

Will maybe give NCT BFing helpline a ring tomorrow too...

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Tue 02-Jun-09 14:01:44

Today's update is that someone is coming to weigh him tomorrow early afternoon which will have given him 48hrs to hopefullt put a bit on.
This morning I've been feeding him almost constantly which I'm fine with but my mum and DH think this "is not normal" and I will need to use formula.
DH very supportively ( hmm ) said he wouldn't say "I told you so" if that happened!!

I've also got some fenugreek capsules so have taken a couple of those this morning.

Any other ideas to ensure a successful weigh in tomorrow?

ChairmumMiaow Tue 02-Jun-09 16:28:48

just feed, feed feed. Feeding frequently if they're gaining weight is on the annoying end of normal. I have a reliable 75th centile DS and we had the odd day in the first 3 months where he must have been latched on for 18 hours a day. More often in that period he was on for somewhere between 4 and 8 hours from mid-afternoon to late night. Its just how it worked for us, and thankfully the lovely folks here assured me it was all normal, and over the months things eased up

However, if he's not gaining weight then something isn't right, but if longer feeds do make him gain weight, then clearly that's the solution. If he doesn't, then definitely try every breastfeeding helpline you can, get someone else out to look at your latch etc.

Good luck!

wastingmyeducation Tue 02-Jun-09 16:47:40

When we had weight-gain issues at the start I did very little else other than feed, feed, feed, it is normal for many breastfed babies.

A 'babymoon' is often recommended on MN. Spend as much time skin to skin as you can, hold him whenever you can, ie. other than showering or going to the toilet, you shouldn't do anything else but feed, feed, feed. Eat one-handed while feeding etc.

Oats are very good for milk supply. Porridge is great and flapjacks are yummy.

It doesn't sound like your DH is being as supportive as you need him to be.

Good luck!

tiktok Tue 02-Jun-09 17:01:00

it's awful when you feel worried and under pressure like this.

Questions:

* are the weights accurate? It is very unusual for a 3 week old baby to have this sort of weight pattern. If the weights are accurate, then the HV is justified in flagging it up, but often, weights (including birthweight) are not done or recorded totally accurately

* are you offering both breasts, at least, at every session? It's best to do so, at least at first, and to 'switch nurse' ie swapping from side to side to keep the baby's interest up

* have you tried breast compression? (google it)

* what happens at night?

Babymoons are great, and supportive family is important, too.

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Tue 02-Jun-09 17:36:09

Thanks guys! It helps simply to have people that understand what I'm feeling and what is involved.

I'm not convinced that all the weights are accurate as I've had 3 MWs and a HV - hence 4 sets of scales! Tomorrow will be a 5th set of scales as HV on holiday so her colleague is coming.

At night we are co-sleeping. We go to bed about 11pm and I sit up and feed for about half an hour. Then lie down and latch him on to the other side. we both settle ok and get some sleep. He normally wakes around 3am when I change his nappy before sitting up for a 20-30 min feed. Then lie down and latch him on. We sleep like that until about 6.30am when he wakes up and I normally latch him on again lying down for about an hour.

Have googled breast compression and will give that a go.

tiktok Tue 02-Jun-09 17:45:12

What sort of scales have they been using to weigh your baby, Ses? And has the baby been naked every time?

Scales should be up to date digital scales and ideally weight should be done in metric and recorded in metric...sometimes translation into imperial is done incorrectly.

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Tue 02-Jun-09 17:49:02

They are portable digital scales and do weigh in grammes.
They don't seem overly sensitive though. For example, yesterday they read 3440g, 3460g and 3480g. She did ask for a full bag of sugar to weigh to check them and that weighed 500g no problem.

tiktok Tue 02-Jun-09 17:53:41

Yes, all scales will weigh in metric, but sometimes the imperial calculation is done incorrectly.

Do you mean that on three separate occasions no more than seconds apart your baby weighed 3440, then 3460 and then 3480? That's prob par for the course, actually, with a wriggly baby...

3480g is 7 lbs 10 oz.

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Tue 02-Jun-09 17:56:34

Yes, within a matter of seconds. He was a little wriggly and she did try on different surfaces - carpet and coffee table.
Guess Ijust have to keep feeding and hope tomorrow's weight is encouraging...

tiktok Tue 02-Jun-09 18:20:42

It has been known for birthweights to be inaccurate hmm

It's just it's so unusual for a healthy baby who appears well and active to be a whole pound under his birthweight at 3 weeks.

I think it's sensible to have a medical opinion, to be honest, with a thorough check of everything.

SesHasFinallyBecomeAMum Wed 03-Jun-09 16:47:01

Quick update...
On Monday she recorded his weight as 3440g (even though we also got a reading of 3460g and 3480g). Today he weighed 3480g. No further loss which is something and she was supportive enough. She also measured his length and head circumference, both of which have gained 1cm in the last 2 weeks so that's encouraging. Have to see GP tomorrow to get him checked over again and then HV back Mon or Tues.

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