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Is this a growth spurt?

(8 Posts)
mags98 Tue 16-Jun-09 20:00:44

DS is almost 6 weeks. He is breast fed apart from one bottle of formula a day which he gets at night. He was very slow to gain weight and was jaundiced initially, then he dropped off the bottom of the centile charts and so we began to top him up, as everyone was gettig concerned.

We had a rocky ride getting the feeding going, as I have very inverted nipples and the poor chap couldn't latch on at all, and was getting so hungry and frustrated it was so distressing. I was getting so sore and my nipples were bleeding - once he opened his mouth and it was completely full of blood, very scary till I realised it came from me, not him. I was about to give up and just go to formula when a friend suggested nipple shields and they have been a lifesaver, it is still painful but I have kept going. (Why did none of the 3 different breast feeding advisors I saw suggest this? Even when they watched me feeding and saw I was getting desperate?)

The right boob is much worse than the left and I feel there is much less milk there. when I express there seems to be 4 or 5 squirty holes on the left, but only one on the right, and I get less from that side too.

So for the last few days he has been feeding well - 20 mins or so each side, then seems to be constantly hungry and wants to feed all the time. The last time he did this it was at 3 weeks, lasted 24 hrs and we assumed it was a growth spurt. On sunday night he was very unsettled and fed all night too but now it is just the days. He seems to feed well, and falls asleep if I keep holding him but the second I try and put him down in his chair/pram/cot he wakes and begins screaming the place down. The last 4 days he has not slept at all during the day without being held/lying on me.

I can't decide if he is hungry or not, sometimes he seems to be but I can't always tell. he is doing lots of wees, one or two soft brown poos a day now - but lots of it!

I have changed his bottle to be a dream feed at midnight/1am when we go to bed, this gets him through till 6 or a bit later. He takes about 5 oz or a bit more at that feed with no vomiting.

I worry that I have not got much supply and that the reason he is not settled is that he is not getting enough (then settles at night because he is full at last).

Is this s growth spurt or something else?

mags98 Tue 16-Jun-09 20:02:53

PS he was 6lb 6 born, dropped to 5 12 after first week. Eventually regained birthweight at 4 weeks. last weighed on friday and was 7lb 6 then.

mags98 Tue 16-Jun-09 22:30:35

Anyone got any suggestions?

cfc Tue 16-Jun-09 23:40:58

Not an expert on this so not gonna comment, but I do think it's time for a growth spurt.

Anyway, just bumping for you so the real helpers will see it tomorrow when they log on, it's bedtime for normal people now!! Not us with little babies...!

frekkles Wed 17-Jun-09 07:34:13

hello! i have a six week old (today!) who is behaving like yours is. I'm suspecting a growth spurt too. He does seem bigger! good luck xx

mags98 Wed 17-Jun-09 15:07:46

anyone around today?

tiktok Wed 17-Jun-09 15:25:44

mags98 - you've had a hard time, that's for sure

The reason nipple shields were not suggested is because they have drawbacks - sometimes quite serious ones. They should not be used long-term, generally speaking, because they may reduce the stimulation of the milk supply, leading to a shortfall in production (this doesn't always happen, but it can do, and there is no way to be able to predict which situations will be adversely affected. Your friend may not have known this).

Use of nipple shields plus the use of formula might mean your suggestion of a supply issue is right....but it can be rescued. He may be going through a spurt, or he may be just trying to ensure a good supply anyway, and the only way he can do that is to feed a lot. This is a good thing - it makes sure you make milk, but it would be a good idea to find someone knowledgable to be with you, observe you feed, and work on how you can ditch the shields and drop the formula, to help protect your supply (the formula could be reintroduced later).

Does this help?

mags98 Wed 17-Jun-09 19:12:00

Thanks tiktok

I have heard that the nipple shields can reduce the supply - but the trouble is that without them I really think I would not have been able to feed at all, and I figured that would decrease my supply a lot less! What are the other drawbacks?

I am now trying to do some feeds (or part feeds) without them to try and ditch them, but it is still often painful without. I have had a couple of breastfeeding advisors watch him feed and they say he is basically latching on ok and the pain is the nipple being pulled out, which may well not really improve much.

When he feeds, he does usually come off by himself and usually seems satisfied eventually, he will be quiet and happy when I hold him but then just won't settle on his own when I put him down. I do wonder if I maybe am misreading some of his crying as hunger when maybe it is something else.

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