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Poor weight gain - reflux and supply issues - help!

(9 Posts)
Gavotte Sat 01-Aug-09 17:10:01

Hi, my daughter is 8 weeks old and we were sent into hospital a couple of days ago due to poor weight gain (she's dropped from 50th centile to 25th in a couple of weeks). They diagnosed reflux (she has vomited a lot) and possible milk supply issues. Before going in I was feeding her almost constantly (every 1-2 hours), had tried to switch to a routine at 6 weeks (3 hours start to start) but she quickly became dehydrated. In hospital they got me to express sufficient milk for her weight and feed her this from a bottle every 3 hours, after 10-15 minutes on the breast. She took all the expressed milk (still appeared hungry after a couple of the feeds even though this added up to more than the recommended amount for her weight). After the diagnosis one doctor me to go back to feeding her on demand. Another said that I should keep to a routine as I was exhausted and it would help me to replenish my supplies. Still another said I should top up with formula (once a day only - someone else said I should do this after each feed). In all I had about 10 different opinions from various nurses, etc, and tried to see their breastfeeding counsellor but he was unavailable. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, what worked? My instinct is that I shouldn't need to top up as I was expressing the recommended amount, but don't want this to adversely affect my baby if she needs more. Also I'm keen to do a routine as the constant feeding is exhausting me, but need to make sure that she is getting enough milk. If you have any experience of this, I'd really welcome advice. Many thanks.

goldenpeach Sat 01-Aug-09 20:58:12

I know of a lady who mixed gaviscon with expressed breast milk and gave it to her child in bottle. The child is now big and bouncy. Do ask the doctor, though, I'm a breastfeeding helper not a medical person.

Health visitors are very concerned with weight, but be aware that topping up with formula will reduce your supply of breastmilk. It's up to you decided what is best, if you want to continue breastfeeding, then the more you feed or express, the bigger the supply. For babies who fail to thrive, the advice is to feed every three hours.

But you were doing that so I'm now wondering if it's an attachment problem, if this is the case, it doesn't matter how long she sucks or how often because poor attachment means she won't get much milk out of you and this will in time affect your supply. Go and see a counsellor or talk to one on the phone line. There is the nct, the breastfeeding network, the nhs has a breastfeeding line, they mostly are open till 10pm.

colnelcustard Tue 04-Aug-09 15:23:35

I had the same problem. I had to give up breastfeeding after two weeks and was given Enfamil from the doctor in a vain effort to reduce the vomiting. Enfamil is basically a formula for children that are allergic to absolutely everything.

It did help a little bit but the only thing that assisted with the vomiting in the end was getting older. good luck

tiktok Tue 04-Aug-09 15:55:59

(Enfamil is a normal infant formula, catchymonkey - nothing different about it for allergic babies....are you sure this was the name of it? Or maybe it was a special sort of Enfamil? There is Enfamil AR which has rice starch in it to thicken it - maybe that was it?)

Gavotte - yours is a complicated situation, not helped by all the conflicting advice you have had

A drop of one centile is not usually thought to be an issue, even over a couple of weeks.

Can you get advice from one person you trust, whose knowledgable and accepts your wish to fully breastfeed? You said there was a hosp. based breastfeeding counsellor - prob worth making an appointment.

Hope you find the right help.

colnelcustard Tue 04-Aug-09 16:15:23

I think it was Enfamil Nutrimigen. It was prescribed by the consultant and you can't buy it in the shops.

It was pain going from breast to bottle as I didn't particularly want too but worked out better so I could get some rest.

tiktok Tue 04-Aug-09 16:21:16

Aha! Nutrimigen is the one. It is made by the company that make Enfamil.

goldenpeach Wed 05-Aug-09 00:04:51

Check out this site, recommended by many charities.

kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/index.html

Gavotte Thu 06-Aug-09 16:15:36

Hi, thanks for the advice. She had a check-up today and had put on a good amount of weight. I've been trying to space her at 2 and a half hours (more regularly if she is really hungry), which seems to be working. She's still being a bit sick but have been told this is likely to continue and fine if she is putting on weight. Goldenpeach, the site you recommended is excellent, thank you. She's still about half a kilo less than she should be on her projected birth weight on the breastfeeding chart but looks as if things should be ok now.

goldenpeach Thu 06-Aug-09 16:27:40

Hooray! I'm happy for you.

I had problems breastfeeding but persevered and I'm now bfeeding a toddler, something that was 'freaky' to me a few years back. As a new mum I was well read but still heard lots of 'stupid' things about breastfeeding from health professionals and only made sense of it after I trained as bf helper.

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