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starting to panic

(20 Posts)
mrsjuan Fri 26-Jun-09 09:17:15

DD is now 6 weeks. Birth weight was 5lb 7, dropped to either 5lb 1 or 5lb 4 (confusion with kg to lb conversion by midwife) and is now 6lb 10 and a half. She has been putting on about 5 oz every week and seems to have grown in length.
Went along to a breastfeeding cafe as she was being a bit of a pain to feed - lots of pulling off, head butting, crying etc. and not really feeding 'properly' for longer than 5 mins at a time.
The consultant there said she seemed skinny (she is the only person to have said this - HV always pleased with her) and that we should try expressing to give her some top ups & to see if she is still hungry when she is doign her headbutting or if it is just becasue she's finished.

THey have lent me one of the electric pumps and I gave it a go this morning but hardly got anything after 20 minutes - about half an oz.

I know that a baby can get more out than the pump but this seems very little and now I',m worried that I'm actually not giving her enough.

I'm very tempted to go onto formula as I don;t want to be responsible for her not gaining enough weight but I don;t know if that's the answer.

Please help!

tiktok Fri 26-Jun-09 09:40:45

Oh dear.

This is really awful 'support'.

On the basis of what your baby looks like, someone has told you to top up with ebm???

Sorry - that is so lame. Exressing to top up is a real pain and very time consuming. If the 'consultant' - whatever she was - had a concern about your baby, the first thing to do would be to explore your baby's bf history with you and if she thought there was an issue (and babies can sometimes feed the way you are describing for no reason at all, anyway, often when they are in an unfamiliar place), then feeding more often would be the first thing to try.

I think it would help to get a second opinion.

Hope it works out.

cory Fri 26-Jun-09 09:41:18

I wouldn't rush onto formula. She is growing and the HV is happy with her weight gain. Maybe try feeding her a bit more often for few days if you think she is still hungry. That should up your milk supply as well.

If she is unhappy at the breast- could it be something like thrush? Just a thought.

moanyhole Fri 26-Jun-09 09:41:42

omg, thats terrible advice. send them back the pump. your dd is gaining great. no reason at all for top up/formula.

christ id be avoiding that place in future if i were you hmm

GruffaloMama Fri 26-Jun-09 09:44:12

Hi there. Congratulations on your little girl!

Others will be along soon. However, PLEASE don't judge your milk supply by what you can express - it's completely irrelevant. I've lost count of the number of mums I've heard of who have successfully breastfed but who get little or nothing when expressing (particularly the first few times). Your baby seems to be doing well - she's gaining weight and your HV is happy.

BTW my little chap got a lot more interested in the world around him at about 6 weeks and did a bit of the thrashing around thing. Also it's the time when your milk supply has started to stabilise so she might be getting what she needs a lot quicker than before. It could also be a bit of growth spurt thing so she could be encouraging you to produce more milk - which is totally normal.

I can really recommend some of the breastfeeding helplines - they're great for ou to talk to someone in real life who can reassure you, or identify if there might be something to work on. Any time I've called they've been brilliant.

BF Helplines

mrsgboring Fri 26-Jun-09 09:48:21

5oz a week is a perfectly good weight gain. Some babies look skinny; it doesn't mean they're unhealthy. You have had really good advice on this thread, and IMO really poor advice from your BFC.

Can I just reassure you about expressing? I have never ever ever managed more than an ounce of expressed milk ever and my more normal score was virtually nothing (if it covered the bottom of the collection cup, I counted it as a successful express). I fed DS1 for 3.5 years and am now on DS2. They're not fast gainers but they're supremely healthy.

Everyone I know has said expressing (especially if it's to help a BF problem) is the most depressing experience. It's certainly time consuming and dispiriting and confidence-knocking if you get nothing out. It's a pain, and personally I'd need more evidence than "looks a bit skinny" before I'd do it again.

How about give yourself a few days of major TLC (staying in bed and eating bon bons as much as you can) to see if it improves things for you, before you flog yourself to death with the blasted pump.

(Disclaimer: not a BF expert, just a BFing mum)

seeker Fri 26-Jun-09 09:49:50

I fed both of mine successfully - and I could NEVER EVER express more than a drop. I once tried so hard I made my nipple bleed - but no milk.

I think you have been given very poor advice.
If your baby is gaining weight, and if she has plenty of wet nappies - dirty ones not so important in bf babies she's doing fine. Please don't worry.

Could you take a day in bed with her and just cuddle down and feed and snuggle all day? You'll get a good rest, it'll help your supply (if it needs it - doesn't sound that way to me) and it will be lovely!

cfc Fri 26-Jun-09 09:54:49

You've had great advice here and the helplines and getting other help IRL will help, but just to let you know when my LO starts messing about on the boob I transfer him to the other one, whether or not he's been on it before during that feed. This usually works for us. Good luck with it and keep the faith!

mrsgboring Fri 26-Jun-09 10:00:29

I used to give DS1 a squirt of infacol which would set him smacking his lips in delight and then he'd settle better to feeding. blush

DS2 however, hates the stuff.

mrsjuan Fri 26-Jun-09 10:58:53

Thanks for the replies. I think my issue is - yes she is putting on weight but could she put on more? I try to feed her a lot and would be more than happy to spend a day or two constantly feeding her but the more I try the more of a battle it becomes which leads me to think that either she's full or there's not enough for her.

I've tried really hard to eliminate every possible reason for her fussiness (which has been fairly typical of most feeds for the last 3 weeks) and there's no sign of thrush, tongue tie etc. She is a windy creature and I think this may be the issue sometimes but not always.

I also would have thought that if she is only feeding for short periods she would want to feed more often but she will easily go 3 hours in between in the day and night (evenings are another story!)

~It's all a mystery to me but I suppose I'll just carry on as we are and hope she keeps putting on! Only another 4 and a half months until she can have some solids!

foxytocin Fri 26-Jun-09 11:07:30

try wearing her in a sling during the day and sit down and offer her a feed every 2 - 2.5 hrs? if she refuses the offer just wrap her up again and offer again in another 1/2 hr.

babies like to be kept close all day at this age the 2 - 2.5 hr gap ensures that you are at least offering a feed more frequently which may address the question of 'maybe she can put on weight faster.'

ChocolateRabbit Fri 26-Jun-09 11:31:58

As a mostly ff mum, I thought I'd drop in and give you some reassurance from the other side. I started BF but had a lot of problems, some of which were the same as yours (head butting and disengaging etc) so I started mixing ff and bf.

DD was an utter pain with ff as well. She would never feed for very long and regularly wanted 4 x 2 oz bottles through the evening and night so actually I had less sleep. She was/is very skinny but wouldn't eat more. BTW, DD's regular weight gain was more like 2-3 oz per week so I think 5 oz is doing pretty well particularly with the wet nappies etc.

Sounds like you're doing a brilliant job and don't let a piece of bad advice destroy your confidence, please

mrsjuan Fri 26-Jun-09 14:12:03

ChocolateRabbit - that is really helpful thanks- I would be gutted to go onto formula and find it was no better - it's just the not knowing.

We are getting plenty of wet nappies and she tends to do at least 2 poos a day which tend to be massive. She is alert when she's awake and sleeps reasonably well so I am pretty sure we are doing ok.

We'll just take one day and week at a time.

Dalrymps Fri 26-Jun-09 14:20:13

My guess is that your DD is just made this way. A snacky feeder. My ds is the same, no reason for it, just always has been that way. The other things you are describing are the important bits, alert, wet nappies, poos, etc

For what it's worth my attempts at expressing produced hardly anything also but I still bf(later ff but supply not the reason). Also, my ds has always been quite slow to gain weight but formula (high calorie formula at that!) has made hardly any difference what so ever, he's just made that way!

Don't let the health professionals undermine your breastfeeding, you're doing great.

doulalc Fri 26-Jun-09 15:37:47

A 5 ounce gain each week is fine. Could her coming off be due to an overactive letdown? Or perhaps letdown is not occuring fast enough for her and she is getting frustrated?

You could determine if either of those might be an issue, but otherwise her weight gain is not an issue, her output is good, she is alert and content....sounds fine. I wouldn't worry about top ups.

ImOverHere Fri 26-Jun-09 15:43:38

Just so you know, I had so much milk I ended up sleeping in a patch of it curdled every night for weeks, BUT, when it came to expressing I could get virtually nothing off. Don't judge your milk supply by what you express please.

Sounds to me like your doing great. I wouldn't go to that 'support' group again and talk to us other mums on MN. We'll help and support you. Promise.

mrsjuan Fri 26-Jun-09 16:10:10

Doulalc -from my investigations I think it is a mixture of the 2 - let down is very fast at first - she often gets sprayed as she pulls off - we are getting the hang of this now together. It could well be that it's not fast enough after the initial rush but I'm less sure how to help her with this. Have tentatively tried some breast compressions but it is a bit awkward.

I'mOverhere - no I'm not going again! There's another one which I go to which is great - I just wanted to get out of the house and be able to feed her somewhere it didn;t matter if she created!

I think the key is going to be for me to relax a bit more - I just get so worked up by people's comments about how tiny she is (I know they are just making conversation but it makes me feel guilty!) and for the couple of days before she gets weighed I manage to stress myself out to the point of crying worrying that she won't have put enough on. I know its stupid and everyone says she's fine but I can't help it!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Jun-09 16:28:39

Message withdrawn

ImOverHere Fri 26-Jun-09 18:44:47

I had a forceful letdown, and someone very helpful on mumsnet sent me this link

forceful letdown - kellymom

which had some useful hints and tips. I'm all settled down now with it (DS 4mths old) so it does get better. And I fed my DD for 15mths and she was always skinny, but is now one of the tallest of her friends and a real livewire (3.8yr old).

Good luck and keep trying.

jaffacakeaddict Fri 26-Jun-09 19:06:22

If you do decide to express you may find that you get different amounts of milk depending on the time of day that you express. I had to give both DSs top ups in the early weeks and always found that I got more milk in the morning. Also, I tried to express about an hour or so after the first feed (and after some breakfast too) so my body had a chance to build the supply back up again. Good luck with whatever you decide

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