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Please help - really struggling with breastfeeding - worried about weight gain

(10 Posts)
onehitwonder Fri 04-Sep-09 08:44:08

My DS is now 12 weeks and I could really do with a bit of a sense check from others who are breastfeeding. If he was my first I would have given up by now, but grim determination and a few glasses of wine have kept me going .
I had him weighed yesterday and he had only gained 1lb in 4 weeks. He has been a nightmare to feed (compared to my DD who was always happy to feed and piled the weight on).
From about 6 weeks he started to scream at daytime feeds, which I think was down to oversupply. Now he is so distractable that he will latch on for a few minutes and then stop feeding and stare around the room (even though i am doing most feeds lying down in my bedroom with curtains shut). Last night and this afternoon, the only way I could get a decent amount of milk into him was literally to lay him on his back and go on all fours over him literally dangling my nipple into his mouth - don't laugh!
The only time he feeds really well is if I catch him immediately after a sleep (not always possible if he wakes whilst we are out) or in the night.
He is feeding approximately 6.30pm, 12am, 4am, 7am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, so 7 feeds a day, but maybe only 4 good feeds amoungst these - the rest he just bits and bobs on and off.
Does this sound normal? Should I be worried about his slowish weight gain over the last month? Any suggestions on how to improve things? (I am trying skin to skin at feed times).
Update (copied and pasted the above from yesterday). I got an ok amount of milk into him at bedtime (I think?), he then didn't wake as usual at 12am ish and DH eventually woke him for a bottle of EBM at 4am shock - when he took 3oz but this was very hard work according to DH. Since then (nearly 5 hours he has barely fed and is screaming again when I get my boob anywhere near him) sad. Any suggestions - should I be as worried as I am about all of this?

brettgirl2 Fri 04-Sep-09 09:00:57

Is 1lb in 4 weeks slow weight gain? It doesn't sound that bad to me.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 04-Sep-09 09:12:32

That is 4oz a week which I think is perfectly good weight gain.

Why did your DH wake him at 4am? I would just let him sleep if he wants. It's difficult at this age because suddenly they notice everything and they do get distracted when feeding.
It sounds like he's full though, if he had to be woken and have milk encouraged into him, and then hasn't wanted any this morning.

tiktok Fri 04-Sep-09 09:18:42

onehitwonder - a gain of one pound in four weeks is perfectly normal. There is clearly no need to worry about his health or growth.

However, the struggles and dangling sound a real bother.

It could be your baby is at the age and stage where he takes milk in short, efficient and perfectly satisfactory feeds. How about just 'colling it' and letting him set the pace? Bobbing on and off and being distracted is very typical of a lively, observant, healthy 3 mth old, but a pain when you suspect he really 'needs' a feed...but resisting it doesn't help, truly, and builds up a tension at feeds which actually works against happy, comfortable (if short) feeds at other times.

I think it will help to talk to someone in real life about this - try the helplines?

tiktok Fri 04-Sep-09 09:19:04

colling it = cooling it

onehitwonder Fri 04-Sep-09 16:07:45

Thanks that is so reassuring! smile I think lots of things are making me stress over this....comparing him with DD who was up on the 90th centile at this stage and was a happy easy feeder, a nightmare week away where he was really unsettled and consequently hard to feed.
His feeding varies so much too, sometimes 2 or 3 minutes, sometimes 15 -30 minutes and sometimes a few sucks and then he starts yelling.
Should I just let him sleep through the night if he isn't waking for a feed? I worry about this as he seems to generally feed best at the night time feeds. Also at 3 months would my supply be ok with this?
I did try the helplines a month ago, with no call back from LLL and a nice lady from breastfeeding support line who did't have much advice for me, which organisation would you recommend Tiktok?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 04-Sep-09 16:35:20

If your DS is getting EBM during the night then there isn't going to be an effect on your supply, as you are already missing that feed.
Personally I would let him sleep. DS slept through for 6 blissful weeks from 12-18 weeks and hasn't done so again, he is now 13 months! So enjoy it while you can I say

onehitwonder Fri 04-Sep-09 16:48:00

At the moment, DH and I alternate the first 'night feed', so that I get a longer stretch of sleep every other night, I express for this feed on DH's nights at 9.30pm. On my nights, of course I just feed DS, rather than giving a bottle of EBM. He normally wakes for this feed anytime from 12am to 2am which is why DH was a bit freaked out by 4am (coupled with my concern over how DS has been feeding) and so woke him up to feed him.

tiktok Fri 04-Sep-09 16:51:38

OHW: I am from NCT and we are usually quite good

But no one on a helpline is likely to 'advise' you...'tis not what we do. We listen, support, share information. In your case, there may not have been much 'advice' to give that tackles a 'problem' as the problem does not lie with the bf (as far as I can see, as it's going ok...prob is with your confidence, stress, tiredness and worries, I think )

onehitwonder Fri 04-Sep-09 17:03:58

Think you are right Tiktok blush. I guess I expected breastfeeding at least not to be harder this time round and the first 6 weeks or so were a breeze, which is why I have been freaked out a bit by the various refusals to feed, screaming at the boob and now the fun and games with positioning etc that have happened over the last 6 weeks.
So I will be taking a deep breath, dropping my shoulders and trying to relax about this -thanks again! smile

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