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Conflicting advise on feeding....help needed(11 Posts)
This is going to be a long one so apologies in advance!
My DS is 8 weeks old today, weighs 10lb 7oz. He was born at 36w weighing 5lb 9oz. I breast fed for 3 weeks then had to stop and now he is on formular.
3 weeks ago the HV mentioned his feeding. I said he was drinking 5oz every 2 1/2-3 hours but seemed hungry after. She worked out that this was twice what he should have been having in a day. She told me to up his feeds to 6oz in the hope he would go further apart with feeds. I started doing that. Some times he would eat all 6oz but more often it would be between 4.5-5. His hungry didn't get further apart!
2 nights ago my DS wouldn't stop screaming, had a slightly higher than normal temperature (not fever) and wouldn't sleep. After 3 days of only clocking up 5/6 hours sleep he then started vomiting his feeds. After 4 bouts of vomiting I went to the urgent care clinic at my local hospital. They checked him out then referred us to a main hospital.
The doctors/nurse there (after tests to rule other things out) said he was being fed too much and they were appalled that the HV had suggested I fed a premature 8 week old 6oz every time he was hungry. I did explain that he didn't always eat 6oz. They said a baby will always eat when offered and I could be making him seriously ill. He was kept in over night and given 4oz every 3 hours.
Now, my reason for the thread is this:
1) Surely, like adults, a baby will stop when full and won't just eat for the sake of it?
2) he would be sick or spat up if there was too much in his tummy?
3) he is still clearly hungry after feeding and for the third time today I've spent nearly 2 hours trying to calm him down. Usually, after feeds he would drop straight to sleep
4) who do I listen to?!
I don't want to see my DS hungry but I also don't want to make him ill. I'm a FTM. Even though he is my first born, I'm not precious by any means. I've, so far, let my common sense lead me not books Or now age rubbish!
It might be the sheer lack of sleep I'm running on but I feel very conflicted.
Please help me
Maybe he's not hungry after and just needs soothing? I had a similar problem with my DD when she was 6-10 weeks and then I realised that a dummy satisfied her. It is difficult to differentiate between the two but I always try a dummy first and if she's still moaning/crying then I feed her
My DS was very prem so I know what you are going through.
I was lucky with my HV but thy are often horrifically uneducated about prem babies. I've know parents of early prem babies (who aren't yet self-regulating their temperature) whose HV has told them to stop wrapping the baby up and to turn the heating down.
I would always listen to the hospital first and foremost.
As for your son's feeding, I think over feeding can become a vicious cycle. I thought my DD was always hungry. So I fed her more then she'd keep crying so I'd feed her more again. Years later I'm convinced she was crying because she had tummy ache.
A baby might not keep eating forever if offered because obviously at some point they would throw it all up. But if they are suckling for comfort then they may very well end up taking more than they need.
I would say an 8 week old feeding every 3 hours is very normal.
Hmm, is he getting any other symptoms? Reason I ask is that reflux/silent reflux can cause babies to overfeed, as drinking milk will temporarily soothe their burned throat/oesophagus. Unfortunately it then makes reflux more likely, as their tummies are too full. You would see other symptoms, though, such as lots of crying, appearing to be in pain etc (what might be dismissed as 'colic'), plus possibly eczema and diarrhoea, if the reflux is caused by an intolerance (it isn't always). Has he had any of those?
My prem baby (born weighing 4lbs at 36 weeks) has acid reflux that is now mostly under control with medication. She ate more than expected but no way near as much as your baby. Prem babies have tendency to eat more to catch up. When I read your post I did think reflux to be honest. My daughter was comfort eating at times due to the reflux, I think the milk soothed her throat. Will your baby tolerate smaller feeds more often? Do you have the slowest flowing teat? This was crucial for us. Nhs formula advice says upto 200ml per kg divided by number of feeds per day as a guideline. There's a lot of conflicting advice about though. My daughter is 3 months now and it's much easier to read her body language and she makes it v clear now when she's had enough! X
I should add, and I mean no offence by this, but are you totally sure baby is hungry after feeds? I say this because I used to think this when my daughter seemed unsettled but it could be wind or acid making baby upset? X
Also, feeding every 2.5/3 hours seems completely normal to me.
It could well be tummy ache from too much formula milk, this can be very unsettling for them and very painful.
Bottle fed babies can over feed - formula milk is very thick and filling for them. Breastfed babies can't be overfed so please be aware of this difference. Xx
Thank you to everyone for their replies.
He does have a dummy but If I'm honest I've only just found out I should give it to him after feeds to check hes not hungry.
The hospital asked me lots of questions and they said it sounded like a tummy ache due to over feeding and not reflux.
I'm not sure if he was still hungry or not before as the HV told me to just feed him More and not how to check he wasn't just feeding for comfort.
I'm sticking to what the hospital told me for now as he seems fairly content. Last night, I do think he was hungry and that's why he wouldn't settle. The hospital said it could take a couple of days for him and his tummy to learn he won't be getting as much food.
Thank you again everyone
Hope he's settled and happier very soon. I think it is a wise move to listen to the hospital dr, rather than the HV.
Bottles release the milk at a higher rate and in an easier way than the breast, so formula fed babies can take in more than they want/need, you do have to limit their intake to the guidelines. Isn't there an issue with the sodium quantity if they have too much formula too? As mentioned above breastfed baby can't be overfed, it must be difficult to adjust to the differences of formula feeding after breastfeeding to begin with.
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