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Tiktok help! Apparently happy breastfed 4.5mo only gained 3oz in a month.

(22 Posts)
Dawnybabe Thu 15-Oct-09 23:24:05

She feeds four or five times a day for half-three quarters of an hour each time, one boob each time, seems to feed well and drops off when she's had enough. Very occasionally has a bit of formula which she takes quite happily. HV said lack of weight gain, from 25th to 2nd in four weeks, is worrying and I have to feed her more. She suggested two hourly breastfeeding although I do have a toddler to look after as well, or a bottle top up in the evening etc.

Am very upset about this. Got over thrush, thought I'd cracked the feeding, meant a lot to me to be able to do it after totally ballsing it up with my first, now seems I'm starving my baby all along.

HV said she might be sleeping through so well cos she's hungry and trying to conserve her strength? Wouldn't she just cry if she was hungry? She does during the day if I'm busy with something when she wants feeding!

Been a bit gummy and dribbly lately, fists in mouth etc, I put it down to teeth moving around. Wouldn't take the boob the other night, thought the soft warm skin might be irritating her gums so gave her a bottle which she wolfed down before falling fast asleep. Now wondering if she's not getting the breast milk out very well.

Would appreciate any advice. sad

nappyaddict Thu 15-Oct-09 23:28:21

Has she gained every week or has she stayed the same some weeks?

Alibooobaandthe40phantoms Thu 15-Oct-09 23:29:32

Dawny - hopefully someone else will be along soon, but just wanted to say that it is very usual for BF babies to really plateau in terms of weight around the 4-month mark.

You say that you only offer one 'side' each time - try offering the other side, I used to wait for the gulping sound to subside and then swap. DS is now almost 15 months and swaps sides himself when he feels the milk isn't coming fast enough

Dawnybabe Thu 15-Oct-09 23:34:45

Aliboo that's a good point. I do try and listen for the gulping as opposed to just sucking but don't think I can always tell exactly, although will have to from now on.

Nappy, she had dropped from the 50th to the 25th a couple of weeks before the last weigh in, so she's dropped from 50th to 2nd in six weeks or so, from 3mo to now, does that sound about ok or not? I had to bottle feed my first dd so this is all a bit confusing.

Alibooobaandthe40phantoms Thu 15-Oct-09 23:37:47

If in doubt then swap, nothing to stop you from going back and forth 2/3 times. If she is hungry or wants to suck then she will re-latch and take more, if she's full and content then she probably won't.

Dawnybabe Thu 15-Oct-09 23:44:28

I thought she was full and content. sad
She comes off, looks up at me and then gives me the biggest cutest grin as if to say 'cheers mum that was lovely'. It doesn't look like a face that's saying 'I'm still hungry!'

nappyaddict Thu 15-Oct-09 23:46:14

A friend of mine had a baby that only ever gained 2 oz a week which slowed down to 1 oz a week until she was 6 months and on solids but she was the healthiest baby ever and definitely not FTT. For a few weeks she didn't gain anything at all. She was told as long as there was no weight loss and baby seemed healthy not to worry.

hairymelons Thu 15-Oct-09 23:54:24

Ah, that's so sweet! If she was still hungry she'd be trying to get back on, surely?
Also, I'm not sure about the sleeping through well to conserve energy theory?
We need an expert to come along obviously but I do know that it's normal for weight gain in BF to plateau around this age and I also remember teething interfering with DS's feeding.
If you don't get a response from one of the BF experts here,try one of the helplines. I've always found LLL to be lovely and reassuring when I've been struggling 0845 120 2918, I'm sure any of the others would be great too.
Hope you get the answers you need soon

Dawnybabe Thu 15-Oct-09 23:57:16

Thanks so much for all your help, you're all lovely! smile
Must go to bed now but will be back tomorrow, hopefully with sanity still intact.

tiktok Fri 16-Oct-09 00:06:33

Dawnybabe, the feeding you describe - 4-5 times a day, one side only - is not normally anything like enough for any baby. Your HV is saying something that sounds sensible - feed her more. This can be done by at least doubling the freqency of feeds and by offering both sides (at least) each time.

Some laid back babies do get used to feeding less than they need to - they sleep and appear content but they really need to feed more.

Hope this helps.

nappyaddict Fri 16-Oct-09 00:17:48

Oh forgot to say she had plateaus at 12 weeks and 20 weeks. I remember her saying at 20 weeks her dd had lost weight so she fed her and had her weighed 15 minutes later and she had gained a bit grin

Are you using the red book charts or the WHO bf babies charts? My friend's baby was miles off the chart in the red book but had only dropped off a bit on the WHO one.

verylittlecarrot Fri 16-Oct-09 23:50:27

as nappyaddict's friend experienced, my dd gained very slowly and plateaued around 4 months, falling slightly off the WHO charts but miles off the red book charts. (got your CAT NA)

However I was still feeding her at least two hourly, day and night too, and using both sides at every feed. I felt I had no avenues left to improve things as I was already feeding round the clock!

As tiktok says, there is potentially a great impact you could have on her weight by increasing frequency of feeds and using both sides. Don't beat yourself up, you weren't 'starving' her, but try to see this as a positive thing - that you have a big opportunity to make a difference to her weight gain.

Dawnybabe Sat 17-Oct-09 20:53:21

Hi there, sorry I missed you yesterday, had frantic couple of days. Had a viewer for the house this morning and dh is working nights at the mo so had to clean the house after he'd gone to work. As well as feeding dd every two hours or so!

Have decided to continue with the breastfeeding every three or fours hours as before but top up with a bottle in between, so she's getting a feed every couple of hours. She really didn't seem to want to know to begin with but have persevered and managed to get some into her. Once she realised there was extra food on offer she did have some so we're making progress.

Carrot, we're going by the red book measurements, haven't seen another one.

Tiktok I know you say I wasn't feeding enough but I was following friends advice that goes roughly along the lines of 8am 12pm 4pm 8pm and it seemed to work, for them and us. I really had no idea there was a problem of any kind until I got her weighed. In every other respect she's fine. She's content, she sleeps well, she wees & poos regularly and seems to be growing out of her clothes pretty quickly. I'll just continue with the extra feeding and if she's put on a reasonable amount of weight next week I will keep it up.

Thanks for all your help. I'm so glad you're there!

nappyaddict Sun 18-Oct-09 03:06:56

vlc glad you found this thread. I wrote of the experience of my friend but hoped you'd find this aswell as I remember reading that you'd experienced similar.

tiktok Sun 18-Oct-09 12:36:48

Dawnybabe - thanks for update

Not sure why you think your friend's advice was working for's good your baby is healthy and thriving from what you say, but her weight gain is not what is usually expected. Babies can drop two centiles - as yours has - and be fine, and most are...but it is a threshold for assessing what's going on, and a baby feeding four to five times in 24 hours is feeding unusually infrequently...them's the facts!

If you breastfeed 3-4 hours and your baby has a bottle of formula in between, your breastfeeding is very likely to dwindle. Your baby's weight will prob rise over the week, but at the expense of your breastfeeding. This is something you need to know, so whatever choice you make it is informed. Breastfeeding is very unlikely to continue longer term - again, it's just the way the body works.

KristinaM Sun 18-Oct-09 12:44:53

hi dawney - I'm concerned that you are making a lot of extra work for yourself by giving her all these bottles. as you know, the guidelines on bottles has changed recently so you cant make them up in advance. its a real faff. why don't you just do it the easy way and breastsfeed her more frequently?

i have also had a small baby and a toddler and its hard easy. its so much easier just to pop her on and sit down and pt your feet up for half and hour smile. even if you have to do watching cbeebies

Dawnybabe Sun 18-Oct-09 13:08:16

I'm just sort of going with the flow really. If I breastfeed that's fine, if I give her a bit of formula that's fine too. Hopefully my breast milk won't diminish if I'm still using them the same as I was, I'm just giving her a bit of formula in between. (I do feel though that I'm a bit torn between sitting and breastfeeding every other hour and being with my dd1, who will start pre-school after christmas.)

Dd2 can guzzle a few ouces out of a bottle a lot quicker than she can out of me. I don't mind giving her formula, I never intended to breastfeed for more than a few months anyway. I do love it but I do think that when she's on to solid foods I don't need to keep breastfeeding, except for perhaps first thing and bedtime, that would be nice. Nothing against those that do but the thought of having a child hanging off my boobs that can have a conversation about it with me just does not appeal to me!

tiktok Sun 18-Oct-09 14:10:27

dawnybabe - you can hope your breastmilk won't diminish...but hope may not work, sorry.

My concern would be your breastmilk is already marginal - hence your dd's weight issues. Giving formula between feeds will have an impact - she will feed less from you. Result will be less breastmilk. And you've had the hassle of buying, preparing, sterilising, and washing that comes with any formula feeding.

Up to you, of course - lots of people would think you have chosen the hard way, honestly

HerMomminess Sun 18-Oct-09 14:39:08

Can I ask: desperate to start giving 2230 feed as formula.To allow dh more input and (more important) give me some freedom.

Would that also diminish bm supply.Also only intenede to bf for 5 months and dd is now nearly 11 weeks.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 18-Oct-09 15:46:28

Mixed feeding works for a lot of people. a lot of people have talked about it working well on mumsnet and a lot of people in rl (including me) have found it works well.
There will always be people who will tell you that mixed feeding spells the end of breastfeeding, but this is not always the case.
But, you have to do it cautiously if you really want to keep bf.
If you replace one feed with formular, pref a daytime one the impact is negligable on your supply. If you can, always give the bottle at the same time each day. If you can, express the feed that you miss out.Keep the night feeds going for as long as poss because they improve your supply. Breastfeed exclusively for as long as you can before introducing bottles at all.
Topping up with formular between every feed is probably going to quite severely impact your supply. Why not just go with what your health visitor said and breastfeed more during the day and give one top up bottle at bedtime. I'm sure doing that will really improve the weight gain.

tiktok Sun 18-Oct-09 16:24:06

HerMomminess - best to start a new thread

Dawnybabe Sun 18-Oct-09 19:35:11

Well I've managed to breastfeed her quite a few times today but she's been a bit unsettled. I've noticed this before; getting angry once latched on. I wondered if the milk wasn't coming through enough. I haven't had a chance to give her much formula so hopefully it's not that. Might give a bottle before bedtime and see how the boobs feel!

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