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3 and a half weeks old and not gaining weight

(8 Posts)
squashimodo Wed 28-Oct-09 11:09:02

I am breastfeeding dd who is 3 weaks old. It has not been easy. She was jaundiced and extremely sleepy and difficult to feed for the first two weeks. She reached her birthweight by 2 weeks. But since then she has not put on any weight. She is still somewhat difficult to feed, and often falls asleep after 5 minutes or so. I then change her nappy/wind her/ switch her to the other side, etc to get her to continue. She feeds for around 45 minutes, sometimes for an hour, but not all of that is good active feeding. She spends some of that time just sucking but not swallowing. I have tried compressions but that is difficult because I have also developed mastits and I worry that compressions are making me more susceptible to blocked ducts.
Yesterday was a particularly bad day, I was up with her until 4 am with her screaming, and refusing to feed, she kept it up for 4 to five hours, and finally fell asleep after around a 10 minute feed. She didn't wake up this morning, and I had to wake her at 7.30, and she has just gone to sleep. She fed quite well for 20 or 30 minutes, but in this time she should have had two feeds. I am worried about her not feeding very well, and about my supply dwindling. I woke up this morning and my breasts were not engorged. She is also refusing the left breast totally, and only wants to feed from the right.
Should I express from the left side to safeguard supply?
How do I store the milk, should I sterilize?
Would it be ok to give her a bottle of ebm now? Will she get nipple confusion?
I am worried about her lack of weight gain. The health visitor has said that she will weigh her again next week, and then we will try to do something about it and that she is confident that dd will have gained weight by then. I am not as confident as the health visitor, because I know she is not feeding very well.

Igglybuff Wed 28-Oct-09 11:55:54

Hi there, congrats on your DD. I'm no expert, being a first time mum of a nearly 4 wk old DS. But thought I'd offer my sympathy. I got quite down about breastfeeding (still do) and had a local counsellor come and check our latch. She also showed me different positions. Maybe this could help?

Also a friend of mine was in a similar position (jaundice baby not putting on weight) and she had conflicting advice from midwives - they even suggested expressing which had a negative impact on supply. I guess it might be worth speaking to someone other than your HV e.g BF specialists who have more specialist knowledge.

It sounds like feeds are stressful - maybe your DD is picking up on that? I found letting my DH take baby for a bit helped as he could calm him down and we'd start again.

I hope your DD gains weight and things get easier x

squashimodo Wed 28-Oct-09 16:18:13

Thanks for you reply Iggly.
I am really worried now and thinking that my supply may be low. I am thinking of supplementing her feeds qith formula, I know this is not ideal, but when I bathed her I could see her ribs sad
It is breaking my heart, but I can't continue like this.

Igglybuff Wed 28-Oct-09 16:50:01

I'm sorry to have made you worry more!! Hopefully someone with expert knowledge can advise you soon. My friend had supply probs because she expressed instead of feeding in the first two weeks but as soon as she started feeding instead, supply went up. Maybe give NCT breastfeeding line a ring for assurances/better advise than me!

I can't say whether or not you should supplement as it's what works for you which matters. But please think about ringing NCT. Also how is your DD when not feeding?

It's hard these early weeks and you're doing well as you are managing to feed her. This time a week ago I wanted to give formula to my little one as lacked confidence in my supply. Talking to someone helped (a BF counsellor, my midwife and other mums) and am on the up now.

Will find the NCT number x

Igglybuff Wed 28-Oct-09 16:59:28

NCT is 0300 333 0771 and open til 10pm. They can help you regarding supply etc x

Igglybuff Thu 29-Oct-09 11:38:59

Hi squashimodo just seeing how you are?

squashimodo Thu 29-Oct-09 14:10:02

Hi Iggy.
I have decided to take a calmer approach, and wait for her weigh-in on Monday tosee if ther has been any change and am going to take fenugreek capsules and eat oats to see if that increases supply. I am also hand expressing ti increase supply.
She has fed a few more times quite well and not missed any more feeds. I have also decided to continue with breast compression.
Things seem alot more positive today. smile

Igglybuff Thu 29-Oct-09 19:56:12

smile that's good news! Make sure you look after yourself and have lots of water, snacks etc on hand for during feeds (I find I get incredibly thirsty when feeding). And easy access to tv etc! Maybe have 24 hours in bed with baby just to feed and sleep and have people bring you food...

How's the mastitis? I hope that clears up soon and will make things easier.

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