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Breastfeeding problem

(11 Posts)
Mia5678 Sun 17-Jul-16 12:18:16


I was exclusively breastfeeding my baby up until 7 weeks, at her 6-8 week check with GP I was advised to offer top-ups as my baby wasn't gaining enough weight and had dropped on her growth chart - she hadn't lost weight but just gained very little. We have also been referred to a pedetrician (I'm awaiting the appointment). Since then I've been given top-ups and have been shocked that she can feed from me and then take 1-3ozs of formal or expressed milk.

She's now starting to come off the breast and scream for food which is very distressing I therefore offering the other breast but result to given her the top-up to calm her. It's horrible seeing her in such distress for food. Can anyone offer any advice? Part of me feels that I have no option but to formula feed as she's not bring satisfied by me alone!

Tilly28 Sun 17-Jul-16 12:25:28


My opinion of this (I Ebf my daughter to 15 months) is the more top ups you give the more she will need them as the less your body will produce.

Can you spend a couple of days a home, lots of skin to skin, offering boob frequently to try increase your supply? Also eat well, drink at every feed! Then hopefully you will find she will be more satisfied as your body should catch up. Drives me nuts when doctors immediately say top ups, babies weight does fluctuate and I feel the advice should be offer boob more rather than immediately offer top ups if a mum is happy breastfeeding and baby appears well.

That said if you are happy to give formula then that's completely up to you :-)

Tilly28 Sun 17-Jul-16 12:26:52

Also see if there are any breastfeeding support groups in your local area or call the breastfeeding helpline! You shouldn't feel forced to change to formula if you are happy breastfeeding and and want to continue :-)

SpeakNoWords Sun 17-Jul-16 12:31:40

How often are you feeding her, and do you normally offer both sides? You can do breast compressions when feeding to increase the amount of milk you're getting in to her. You can also keep swapping back to the other side as many times as you need during a feed (called switch feeding).

Rather than do top ups after each feed, it might be an idea to give one full feed as ebm/formula and express at that time instead. That can affect your supply less than doing top ups at each feed.

You could also see a lactation consultant for specific advice, as it sounds like some expert input would be ideal.

fedupofpeppa Sun 17-Jul-16 12:39:59

Your job is to feed your baby whether that's breastfeeding or formula or a combination. Don't feel guilty for doing any of them.
As a previous poster said, you may be able to increase your supply by offering your breast more often and not using top ups but speak to the breastfeeding helpline for advice.
Benefit of formula is its measurable. You know exactly what baby has eaten. I think doctors can recommend formula quite quickly but at the same tine, they are medical professionals and obviously have some concerns o
with your babies weight so I wouldn't just ignore their advice. If you are keen to exclusively breastfeed, get advice from the breastfeeding helpline then discuss it again with your doctor or paediatrician making it clear on your preference.

Mia5678 Sun 17-Jul-16 12:45:47

Currently, she feeds between 1-3 hours day and night so I don't feel that the formula is really lengthening the time between feeds.

I don't always offer the second breast -maybe I do half the time. I just keep trying to get her to relatch or change position to see if that helps.

The doctor said they want to know how much she is taking and I understand that - I went to the baby clinic on Wednesday and she has put on weight which is really good.

I'm not opposed to formula feeding in general but having EBF her for 7 weeks I just want to understand why she wasn't getting enough from me to cause concern for the doctor in the first place - I'm going to look into support. I attended my local breastfeeding support group on Thursday and the midwife wasn't able to explain why it's happening but said it may be because I'm vegetarian!

SpeakNoWords Sun 17-Jul-16 13:02:53

Being vegetarian is not likely to be the cause! Unless you have a very poor diet and are very undernourished, but if they thought that was the case I would have expected further urged follow up.

The thing about breastfeeding is you really can't tell the volume of milk the baby is getting, and doctors aren't used to dealing with that. You do need some proper advice from a breastfeeding expert - maybe the HV/GP or breastfeeding clinic can refer you? Or you could try going private.

adjsavedmylife Fri 22-Jul-16 09:17:43

Double check for tongue tie just in case.

bunny85 Fri 22-Jul-16 11:04:12

Hi, I fully agree with Tilly28. I think if you want to persevere with BF you can increase your supply by doing exactly what she said, spend few days in bed with lots of skin to skin and cuddling, lots of feeding and drink plenty. Google La Leche League in your area and go for a meeting. They will be able to answer all your questions, better than a midwife at a regular support group. I found the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding helped me massively, I have an 8 months old who's been EBF since birth and I plan to keep going. I awe my success to this book and La Leche League in general, it's an amazing organisation. It's free (charity) and extremely helpful.
Good luck!

sianihedgehog Fri 22-Jul-16 11:45:15

I'd try offering the second breast, and try to avoid topping up after a feed - as others have said, that will reduce your supply. Absolutely agree with everyone saying lots of skin to skin and offer loads of extra breast feeds to bring your own supply up, too.

Someone told me something I hadn't really grasped about how much milk a woman has - that it's actually two questions. Firstly how much milk you can produce and secondly how much milk your breasts "store". Some women produce plenty but store very little and their babies will always feed more frequently and swap breasts more often than women with a lot of storage capacity, but crucially are still getting a perfectly healthy amount of milk. I'm like this - my boy fed every 2 hours up until starting solids seriously at a little over 6 months, and almost always takes both breasts at a feed. He's huge and healthy, so I know he gets plenty, he just gets lots of small servings instead of one or two big ones!

2015mom Fri 22-Jul-16 18:33:42

Well done for breastfeeding!! You are doing so well!

I think professionals need to encourage breastfeeding more rather than telling you to top up.
My midwive did the same when my LO was a couple of weeks, he did not lose weight but he was the same weight when she weighed him 4/5 days later but that was partly cos of his jaundice, she asked me to top up with formula which I did and I started giving LO breast and formula until 8 weeks.

I think what they should give you is information about increasing breast milk.

It is a supply and demand and the more your child wants to drink the more your body will produce.

If you top up then your body will produce less milk.

It is entirely up to you if you want to mix feed or exclusively breastfeed. They say you can reestablish ur milk supply even if you have stopped so the more your baby is at your breast the more milk you will supply.

But if you are happy to give formula as top up go for it.

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