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baby losing weight; tears of anxiety flowing

(62 Posts)
forevermore Sun 07-Aug-05 11:19:02

i have a 9 day old baby born 4 weeks early and weighing 6lb 3. Now weighing 5lb 4oz and been told to try to hand express and top up the suckling to make sure she puts weight on. Only managed to hand express 5mls!!!!!
feeling really exasperated and 'down'. Didn't want to formula feed, but feel like if she loses anymore will be forced to!
is this weight loss really serious. should i be formula feeding now?
any advice really appreciated. thanks

hercules Sun 07-Aug-05 11:21:14

You need to speak to a breast feeding counsellor asap. NCT or la leche. Is your hv any good?

Twiglett Sun 07-Aug-05 11:22:46

why hand express and feed .. why not just breast feed more

can you take baby to bed with you for a couple of days and get partner to bring up drinks and food and chocolate .. spend the time skin on skin and feeding on demand and bonding

good luck

(tiktok will be along soon if she's around)

hunkermunker Sun 07-Aug-05 11:25:46

Can you see a breastfeeding counsellor and ask them to check the baby's latch? Expressing's no indicator of how much milk you're producing - I wouldn't bother, I'd just feed, personally.

But you need to speak to someone who knows about breastfeeding, very soon. Give the NCT, Breastfeeding Network or La Leche League helplines a call.

katzguk Sun 07-Aug-05 11:26:00

have you tried using a breats pump to express?

if so have you tried expressing off of the oposite side to which shes feeding on - you might need an extra pair of hands to do this.

have you had your latch checked?

have you tried feeding in different positions? the rugby ball style fed drains different ducts and might suit your baby better.

a couple of formula feeds accommpanied by extra expressing might help to get your supply up.

there are some breast feeding experts around keep bumping this until one of them sees it. sunday is a slow day on mumsnet so try agin tomorrow when more people are around.

and i know its hard to do but relax!!! it helps with expressing

moondog Sun 07-Aug-05 11:29:48 sorry that you are having a hard time.
A premature baby needs breastmilk even more (if you see what I mean).
Are you a first time mother?
How often are you feeding?
This is a fulltime job in the early days,so you need to put your feet up,or go to bed and just concentrate on b/dfeeding as much as possible and let other look after you.
How is your m/wife?
Have you tried the Association for Breastfeeding Mothers helpline?

0870 401 7711

Give them a ring. They're lovely.

You're doing a great job.So many of us know how hard and emotionally and physiacally draining it can be,but we are here for you,holding the fort until mears,Tiktok or Pupuce come charging in like knights on their horses!!!


forevermore Sun 07-Aug-05 11:31:19

pump expressing has given nothing. Latching on is said to be fine and i see milk in her mouth. her poo is now tinging yellow which should have started at day 7 i hear??? to show breast feeding well.

how could i introduce the formula without giving her a tummy upset or compromising the breast output????

moondog Sun 07-Aug-05 11:32:01

Sorry,katzfuk,but if forevermore really wants to keep with the b/feeding,introducing formula feeds at this stage will diminish her supply.

Be warned forevermore...this is often a rocky road to full formula feeding.
Fine if that's what you want to do,but otherwise.....

moondog Sun 07-Aug-05 11:32:50

forevermore.....what she seems to be needing is more time at the breast.

katzguk Sun 07-Aug-05 11:35:27

i wasn't suggesting she bottle/formula fed just offer a way to try and do both and keep her supply up whislt getting the baby to gain weight to get the HV ect off her back!

some of the june mummies have been using domperidone(spelling) which is supposed to help milk supply.

i think the key is to keep trying and putting baby to the breast even if shes not asking for milk those few extra mls here and there will add up.

Roobie Sun 07-Aug-05 11:37:22

Hi forevermore

I know it can be worrying when they lose weight (particularly as your baby is on the petite side anyway) but really it is quite normal for bf babies in the early days (as I'm sure you have already know). If she is weeing and pooing and seems otherwise in fine fettle then I really wouldn't worry about the weight issue.

If you are keen to continue with the bf then I definitely wouldn't supplement with formula as this is a sure fire way to reduce your supply.

My ds is 3 months now and it took a good week plus for my milk to come through properly and for him to start feeding with any real gusto (he was absolutely fine though). He lost nearly a pound and then piled a huge amount back on in a really short time and is now a real bruiser.

hercules Sun 07-Aug-05 11:38:55

trouble is katzgut giving formula will diminish her supply not build it up.

forevermore Sun 07-Aug-05 11:40:42

i am a first time mum...can't you guess. She has fed one time for about 3 hours on and off, and other times for 2 minutes!!!

i really want to give her the best start but not if her weight is compromised. i will have to switch to formula if this is the case

hercules Sun 07-Aug-05 11:41:43

speak to a bfc now!

Roobie Sun 07-Aug-05 11:48:03

Ahhh the mammoth feeding sessions....I remember them well. Everything you have described sounds perfectly normal including the weight loss - believe me, if you continue bf'ing loads she will put on weight. She's just learning the ropes and will soon get really efficient at the whole feeding lark. So I certainly wouldn't switch her to formula just because of the weight loss if you are otherwise keen to bf.

hunkermunker Sun 07-Aug-05 11:49:13

Forevermore, please don't introduce formula as there is a good chance it will spell the end for breastfeeding. Even a couple of feeds dropped at this early stage will affect your supply. Expressing is nothing like the effect of a baby suckling for increasing or maintaining supply at this early stage.

Take her to bed with you for a day or two (safely - make sure she doesn't overheat, go under the covers, etc) and feed her literally every time she stirs.

Yellow poo is a very good sign - but you do need to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor.

ScrewballMuppet Sun 07-Aug-05 11:52:12

Definately give the breastfeeding numbers a ring. They are really helpful and supportive whatever you want to do.

If I remember right its normal for babies to loose weight initially. I think I remember something about that your milk supply doesn't come straight away and what your feeding them first is something else can't remeber what the name is(sorry) and that the best thing to do is feed as often as possible to encourage the milk supply.

I had a nightmare with breastpumps I could hardly get anything would end up in tears thinking I wasn't producing enough for my ds. HV just told me that breastpumps don't work for everyone and reassured me that I would be producing enough milk.

Don't turn yourself in knots.....speak to hv again and let her know how upset you are and unsure.....speak to those breastfeeding numbers too they really do help.

hunkermunker Sun 07-Aug-05 12:08:34

But be warned that lots of HVs are very pro getting a bottle of formula down the baby asap - take that advice with an ocean of salt.

forevermore Sun 07-Aug-05 13:31:53

thanks for the advice. its hard to believe when people say its normal for them to lose this much wieght?? its a pound already??

also she is so tiny i just feel like crying when she won't feed more. I will defiently give it till her next weigh in. Thanks for the support.

forevermore Sun 07-Aug-05 13:33:48

any tips for waking her up to feed. this is the biggest hurdle at the moment. especially if trying to feed 2 hourly??? (is 2 hourly okay??) so many questions, please forgive me.

hercules Sun 07-Aug-05 13:40:59

You need to speak to an expert. Please ring one of the helplines. You should be able to speak to someone despite it being a Sunday.

hunkermunker Sun 07-Aug-05 13:45:53

Yes, definitely speak to an expert.

Tips for waking to feed - change her nappy, strip her off so she's not too toasty (not cold, just not warm and cosy). If she falls asleep while feeding, try changing her clothes.

But please speak to someone. It would be a shame if you struggled unnecessarily when there is free help out there from v knowledgeable people.

Please don't get too hung up on weight though - of course there are breastfed babies who do pile it on to start with, but there are loads who lose to begin with, then gain slowly. But if she's too sleepy to feed, that could be a problem - which is why you need to get expert help.

Lots of hugs - and well done for getting this far with it - it's a worrying time and you need all the support you can get xxxxxxxxxxx

mears Sun 07-Aug-05 13:49:07

The most important thing to do forevermore is phone a breastfeeding counsellor to give you personal help. A pound weight loss in a small baby is not good, however, you have said a positive thing in that her poo is turning yellow. That is a sign she is getting milk. It may well be that the weight loss is incorrect - we have had instances where the birth weight has obviously been recorded incorrectly and therefore the apparent weight loss is wrong. Was she slow to establish feeding?

Forget what has gone on before but concentrate on now. You need to ensure she is feeding efficiently - that is where a counsellor can help. Not all midwives are good at assessing a baby's latch. If she is feeding for very long periods it could be that she is not on the breast as well as she could be. That makes feeding prolonged.
The best way for her to gain weight is to breastfeed more often. Try 2 hourly for a couple of days - that should boost your supply. The best way to do that is to take her to bed with you during the day and have a 'feeding fest'. Being skin-to-skin with her will encourage her to feed.

There is no need to resort to formula at the moment. Increased feeds will increase supply. Also feed her from both breasts at each feed to increase supply. If you find she is falling asleep on the breast then switch sides. 'Switch' nursing is a way of stimulating a sleepy baby.

Is she alert, does she have wet and dirty nappies? If so, then you are on the right road. It can take some babies up to 3 weeks to regain their birth weight (if it was correct in the first place)

Definatly phone a counsellor though.

nicky111 Sun 07-Aug-05 13:57:21

Just wanted to say - my baby lost a pound in the first week after she was born - she wasn't very well - and this was with top ups of formula from well-meaning midwives. The best advice I got was from a midwife with 22 years experience "throw away your clocks, don't worry about a routine, and just feed that baby." and that is what I did for a week. Just sat in our hospital room and fed her for a week. She re- gained a pound in 7 days. HTH

anorak Sun 07-Aug-05 14:01:38

Just a little thing but I found it hard to make enough milk for my babies. My top tip to increase milk supply that worked really well for me is to drink lots and lots of water.

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