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Urgent: Please advise

(19 Posts)
girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:17:08

My friend has just been told her baby has lost 14.5percent of her birth weight.

Midwife sent her to scbu and she is in a state.

She is breastfeeding, seen a breastfeeding nurse who said all was fine. She is happy to give formula if it will help.

Anyone know what scbu will say or do?

sarah293 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:23:18

Message withdrawn

girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:24:44


will pass that on.

She is not having a good time...she delivered the baby herself, alone the other day after her dp went to get her mum!

Anyone know anything else?

CookieMonster2 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:27:51

In my experience they just want to check there isn't anything medically wrong with the baby, and it is very unlikely there will be. They will then start to look at feeding issues, she needs to get someone to help her with the breastfeeding. It is highly likely that she will be advised to top up with formula if the baby continues to lose weight so she needs to consider how she feels about that. Most people on Mumsnet will say topping up isn't necessary, but I know what it is like to have a baby that is dropping weight by the day.

Most of all I would say don't worry. It seems to be quite a common problem, and one way or another it will get sorted out quite quickly.

girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:31:06

Thanks for that,

I will pass it on. Shes in bits so just trying to support but not sure how!

sarah293 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:31:57

Message withdrawn

girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 14:41:03

She is on her way there now, not sure if they are going to keep her in. I would love to visit but I live a good 2 hours away and have a 4 month old. I will go though if they keep her in, if she wants me too. Her mum is a nurse so can be more support I think.

pseudoname Sat 08-Aug-09 14:47:07

not the time for your friend to ask now but I am wondering what a 'breastfeeding nurse' is.

she needs to talk to a breastfeeding counsellor from one of the 4 volunteer breastfeeding charities if at all possible. They can address the specific questions she will have about her dd's individual case.

ABM 08444 122 949
BFN 0844 412 4664
LLL 0845 120 2918
NCT 0300 330
National Bfing Helpline: 0844 20 909 20

tiktok Sat 08-Aug-09 14:59:25

A baby who has lost 14.5 per cent off birthweight may be in a very difficult situation...I cannot believe the 'breastfeeding nurse' said all is fine, and left it at that, unless the weight was shown to be incorrect (which is possible). It's not a common problem at all - we hear about it a lot on mumsnet, but in the real world the incidence of this amount of weight loss is actually quite rare.

This mum and baby urgently need specialist advice on the spot - more than can be obtained via helplines, though they will help.

The mum may need to express and give the baby ebm in addition to bf without any restrictions.

The baby should be medically checked, too, and that has probably happened. It's not just low blood sugar they will be looking for but high sodium levels too. Both, untreated, are dangerous.

All may be well, as long as the baby is feeding effectively and often.But this may not be happening.

Hope things turn out ok.

girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 15:09:43

Hi again,

the breastfeeding nurse came from the hospital and spent 2 hours with her and said there was no issue.

She has mastitus(sp)? and on antibiotics from doctor. She cant express milk, had trouble last time as well.

The midwife had a go at her this morning as the doctor she saw yesterday had told her off (the midwife) for only having a policy of visiting every 2 days because of staff shortages.

Arrrggg....she is just not getting the help she needed! Im so far away and I cant help. She should be at scbu by now though.

tiktok Sat 08-Aug-09 15:16:18

girly - did the bf nurse know the baby had lost all that weight? How old is the baby? Is the baby producing soft yellow poo at least twice a day? Is the baby weeing?

She has infective mastitis already??? This is really unusual in the early days but would be consistent with the baby not feeding well.

It's prob a good thing she is headed for the hospital, I think.

girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 15:19:38

Im not sure if the nurse knew or not to be honest.

Baby is 5 days old. She did get mastitis badly with her 1st dc 3 days in as well.

She said the nappies were fine so im not sure how many had poo.

YouLukaAmazing Sat 08-Aug-09 15:31:36

Message withdrawn

Aidensmama Sat 08-Aug-09 17:26:16

If your friends baby has lost this much weight in just days I am pretty sure they will want her to supplement she can do this initally with formula but she needs to express her milk to as well as put babe to boob if possible. Your friend certainly needs to see the lactation consultant or peer supporter if available. If she expresses her milk she can give this and the staff can monitor the babys intake easier.
They will probably do this until they see an increase in weight for a few days and as things start to improve she will probably be able to start demand feeding again.

Scbu will probably monitor baby's temp, weight, blood sugars, weeing, pooing and vomiting (if any) she may be put in an incubater to keep her warm.

if she does not want her baby to have a bottle they can give feeds ebm/formula via feeding tube.

girlylala0807 Sat 08-Aug-09 18:59:17

Just an update,

the hospital decided to keep them in for a few days .

Best place for then i suspect.

Thanks for all the help.

pseudoname Sat 08-Aug-09 19:09:34

TT, I suggested contacting a BF counsellor line for emotional support and debriefing to let the mum get her head around how things have gone so drastically wrong and if she would like suggestions to make breastfeeding work after the crisis has subsided somewhat. I am already thinking that this mum can end up feeling guilty that she failed her baby which is so not the case apparently.

so often on this board we read of mums who have been failed by the support hmm given to them by those who are paid to be informed but give dreadful information and then the mums go on to AF as their confidence have been so shattered by the experience.

I couldn't make my self clear earlier with grabby baby at my knee. smile

CookieMonster2 Sat 08-Aug-09 19:22:20

Tiktok, in response to your post saying this was not a common problem, the reason I said it was a common problem was because I ended up in paed A&E with my second due to extreme weight loss. While we were there another similar case came in. The doctor told me it was a common problem with new borns. It may be that she said that to make me feel better about the situation.

What I can believe is that she was told the breastfeeding was fine. I had help from someone the midwife arranged for me and they told me I was breastfeeding fine. My experience is that a midwife sends you to hospital because of the weight loss that they can't explain (because they are happy that breastfeeding is going well), you get to the hospital to be told there is nothing medically wrong with the baby and get sent back to the midwfie to discuss feeding issues. This is repeated until you buy the formula on the way home from the hospital.

I'm sure the op's friend will get lots of help, but surely if a baby is losing weight fast some formula is going to be needed, if only for a few days to get things back on track? Having re-read the original post she seems happy to do this.

tiktok Sat 08-Aug-09 19:50:23

pseudoname - I understand, and I agree a counsellor/helpline would be really useful...I just wanted to clarify that it wouldn't be enough.

cookiemonster - I suppose it depends on the definition of common. I've just had a look at the incidence figures and they vary a lot, and one piece of US research uses the word 'common' but their incidence rate (of dehydration associated with poor bf) was 47 out of 10,000 bf newborns which is less than one in 200 (hope my maths is right!). If this is replicated in the UK, then an average hospital with 5000 births a year, sending 50 per cent of the babies home bf, will still see one baby a month readmitted for this....that might well feel 'common' to a paediatrician, or at least not unusual.

I agree with you that in these cases it is often a result of poor midwifery care - this has been shown in a no. of studies. Babies don't suddenly become dehydrated....ineffective feeding should be spotted and dealt with and in many cases mothers are told their baby is feeding just fine and he really isn't Another clue that's often missed is what the baby eliminates - pooing and weeing are helpful signs or rather lack of poo is a sign that needs following up.

girlylala0807 Wed 12-Aug-09 18:31:44

Quick update,

stayed in hospital for 2 days then came home. She is now BF little one for as long as she can
and the giving formula after to help keep her
weight up.

Thanks for all the help.

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