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Please help me keep the faith

(11 Posts)
rachels103 Wed 14-Oct-09 15:10:43

Apologies for the long post, I feel the need to download to sympathetic ears and hope you lovely ladies will give me a bit of moral support (and prevent me from throttling a HV)

My ds2 is 14 weeks and EBF. He's been blessedly easy since birth, mostly waking only once for a feed at night unlike ds1 who was a dreadful sleeper, so I've felt really good and haven't worried at all about my supply, which I did constantly with ds1 as with both of them I've never felt engorged, leaked etc. unless after a really long stretch at night.

For the last 2 weeks he's been waking two or 3 times at night - last night at 11, 1 and 3, then through til 7. He seems hungry each time and has had a good feed then settled fairly quickly back to sleep. I've put it down to a growth spurt, been a bit frustrated as he had slept through 8 til 6 a couple of times before this started, but haven't been too concerned.

Why oh why then did I even mention this to the HV at his 3 month check this morning? She suggested topping him up at night (that'll help my supply then hmm), asked if I felt that he was getting enough milk in the evenings as I "might not have much left by then" (and here's me thinking that I produced milk when my baby wanted it) and that I might need to wean at 17 weeks since my baby is so big (he was 11lb4 at birth and is now 17lb2). Oh yes, and although he's only dropped from the 96th to just within the 91st centile and is now maintaining that curve, she wouldn't want to see him drop much further because of the size he was to start with, so I should keep an eye on his weight gain. (I was obsessed with the charts with ds1 so purposely haven't been weighing ds2 too often)

I could scream!! I've gone from feeling utterly laid back about this baby and my breast feeding to complete paranoia in the space of a morning because doubt has been cast on my ability to nourish my baby by someone who is supposed to be encouraging breast feeding. I expected it from my 76 year old mother (who has suggested topping up from day 1) but not a health care professional. Then to top it off I bumped into my otherwise lovely midwife on the way home who seemed astonished that I was 'still' breast feeding him. Why is that surprising! He's 3 months old FGS.

Grrrrrr! Rant over. I'm not looking for praise here, but I wonder if any of the breast feeding experts (Tiktok???) could reassure me about my supply - I've never felt that he's having to feed and feed in the evening to get enough, but I know I'm now going to be fretting about it and that's counterproductive I know. I have a couple of days without ds1 during the day, and dh is off Thurs and Fri, so I'm going to try and chill out and feed as often as I can.

I'm just so bloody cross angry

MrsBadger Wed 14-Oct-09 15:24:21

your ds sounds fine, as does your strategy smile

smile sweetly at the HV and don;t go back. Or if you do go armed with a big wet kipper you an brandish if she says anything so silly again.

can you get to a baby cafe or somewhere where no-one will be surprised at bfing a 3mo and you'll feel more normal to help get your confidence back?

Hulla Wed 14-Oct-09 15:31:34

Is he having lots of wet nappies? Does he seem happy to you? I know its hard because these are the people we're told know best but you know they're talking rubbish.

I wonder if its a generation thing and if the HVs & MWs who care for our children's children will be better informed.

Your ds sounds pretty fab - they all seem to wake more around the 3-4 month age and its a tough time but its normal.

Evn if your supply was a problem (and it doesn't sound as though it is) then letting your ds feed when he wants would be the answer anyway not topping up.

You've had rubbish advice but you sound as though you're doing a great job! smile

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-09 15:32:46

rachels - nothing in your post suggests anything but a generous milk supply nourishing a hearty, healthy, normal, thriving little boy.

Why on earth would a milk supply that nourishes your little boy somehow not be enough when he reaches 17 weeks? He has gained 6 pounds from birth on your milk alone in just 3 mths. Why would your milk not continue to feed him in four weeks time?

A drop of a centile is perfectly normal for all babies. It is only a sustained drop of two centiles which warrants assessment (according to the notes all HPs should have with the new charts issued in May. When assessed, most babies who drop like this are fine, BTW - but it's prob a good idea to assess. Another thing in the notes is that weighing more than once a month in the first 6 mths, once the baby has reached birthweight and is known to be healthy, is not necessary or desirable).

He is waking twice at night (the 11 pm is not a night waking). This is normal, very common and appropriate to his age and stage of development, and not a sign your milk is in any way deficient or inadequate.

Your HV's comments do not support current knowledge about breastfeeding or infant development, and it might be an idea to consider not having your son weighed any more for a while.

Will that do?

rachels103 Wed 14-Oct-09 15:42:01

Thank you wise and clever people, I shall print this out and read it in moments of doubt! smile

The thing that makes me cross is that lots of people (less stubborn than me and without the joy of mumsnet) will believe this tosh and may act on it, because these people are meant to have the answers.

KristinaM Wed 14-Oct-09 16:48:01

i am not an expert, just a bf mum. You and your baby sound like you are are doing really well and your Hv is bonkers. Or to be precise, her comments are not in line with the current guidelines

please do not fret and do not worry about fretting IYSWIM. AFAIK there is no evidence that "worrying" will adversely affect your supply

my HV was also mad, so i avoided her whenever possible. though at least she waited until the 8 month check up to say " oh you'll be wanting to stop that [bf] soon then!!!!"

rachels103 Wed 14-Oct-09 17:16:59

By the way *Mrs Badger* love the wet kipper idea! There is no breast feeding cafe around here that I've ever heard of - there is a breastfeeding group run by the HV but there are so few there that it's quite depressing, whereas the other general clinic is swarming.

I'm tempted to try and set something up myself - when I bfed ds1 there were a group of us all doing the same, and always 20+ at the bfeeding group, but I don't have that same support this time - even other friends who've had a second child seem to have stopped sooner than last time for one reason or another.

My strategy today has involved ignoring the housework and wandering idly around in the sunshine whilst ds napped in the pram!

rachels103 Wed 14-Oct-09 17:20:39

Another request...please help me find a new and slightly more interesting mumsnet name, preferably one that subtly reflects my current role as a milking machine smile
I feel like a makeover to cheer me up!
I think I'll post this in chat as well...

Hulla Wed 14-Oct-09 18:20:12

I second less frequent visits to the hv. I have only had my dd weighed 4 times in 8.5 months. At her 8 month check they suggested dd might be overweight because she is on the 91st for weight but 60-something for height and they've asked me to come back in a month.

Cue dh asking if I feed her too much (we're BLW - she is hardly getting fat off steamed carrot sticks and roast chicken, is she?). It had me worried for about a day and then I decided to ignore, ignore, ignore!

If I were feeding her a diet of kfc or something then perhaps but BLW and bf on demand - hardly!

littleweed10 Wed 14-Oct-09 19:11:26

Hi rachel, second everything the wise ladies have said above. I;ve found our local breastfeeding group a great support, sorry you've not found one nearby. Have you asked the NCT which is the closest group? Even with a car journey (always a rest I find, esp if baby goes to sleep and I can listen to the radio!!) it might be just what you need to be surrounded by likeminded positive people

As for the HV - what a numpty!

rachels103 Wed 14-Oct-09 20:35:08

This is the trouble hula - you think you're doing the right thing then have doubt cast on your decisions.
I think I'll make a concerted effort not to go anywhere near health visitors or centile charts for a good while smile and trust myself, which I was doing quite successfully until today.

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