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13 week old underweight

(19 Posts)
clementine89 Wed 10-Jun-20 15:18:22

My daughter was initially EBF. At her 8 week check her weight had dropped from the 4th to 2nd percentile. We got an appointment with the health visitor and 2 weeks later she had only gained an additional 20g and her weight had dropped so far it was off the percentile chart.

I was told to express "as much as I could" and feed her an extra 4oz a day of expressed milk/formula. A week later she had gained 100g but this still isn't enough so was told to up her additional feeds to 6-7oz.

We were given two weeks and she was weighed again today. She STILL isn't gaining enough weight and is around 400g underweight according to her charts.

I feel like an absolute failure and so incredibly guilty. I also feel like breastfeeding just isn't doing the job and that pumping hasn't fixed the problem either. I use nipple shields but just can't get her to feed without them. I also have eczema all over both breasts which is making the experience very painful.

I know when I have my meeting with the health visitor tomorrow she's just going to tell me to pump more and I just can't. I find it a huge hassle, uncomfortable and it yields very little (1oz per session if I'm lucky).

It feels like I'm spending all my time just trying to get my daughter fed instead of doing anything nice with her like playtime. It's making feel really negative and miserable about parenting

OP’s posts: |
Laylor Wed 10-Jun-20 15:24:45

Oh bless you. I'm not sure where you are from but I used the 'FAB' breastfeeding team who were amazing and really helped me. Unfortunately I only lasted around 3 weeks and baby is now 15 weeks old and I still feel like a failure.

Would you ever consider swapping to formula? Baby dosent care where the milk comes from as long as fed. My baby is absolutly thriving.

If I was in your position I would try and stick out breastfeeding and do some good research and really get some help but on the other hand if its affecting your relationship with baby then move to formula - its really okay.

But I know exactly where you are coming from and it's so hard. My mental health really took a nose dive in those first few months. My husband cried watching me cry watching baby cry. Now he is such a joy and only feeds every 3-4 hours so plenty of time for playing
Hope you are okay x

Abbccc Wed 10-Jun-20 15:32:25

That sounds hard. I would definitely stick with breastfeeding, but perhaps stop expressing as that's causing stress and use formula for the top ups instead. Is she alert and developing?

legalseagull Wed 10-Jun-20 15:33:54

I did formula top ups in the evening when I was in this situation. It really helped - both my DD and my mental health. I was getting so stressed and anxious. I carried on BF for 9 months

ButLittle Wed 10-Jun-20 15:39:19

If you don't want to pump don't. If you need to stop bf that's fine.
You sound incompatible with the health visitor. You can ask to see someone else. If she was weighed today why are you seeing someone tomorrow?

If you want my opinion, it's more likely to be a problem with baby than you. Do you feel like you have a low supply? D oes baby seem feed well? Does baby take the bottle?

Letsallscreamatthesistene Wed 10-Jun-20 15:50:59

Lets look at the facts -

1) your baby isnt gaining enough weight
2) BF is painful because of eczema
3) you dont like pumping
4) you're not getting to 'play' because of the constant feeding

Id 100% switch to formula

FATEdestiny Wed 10-Jun-20 19:38:37


Lets look at the facts -

1) your baby isnt gaining enough weight
2) BF is painful because of eczema
3) you dont like pumping
4) you're not getting to 'play' because of the constant feeding

Id 100% switch to formula


What is more important - your wish to breastfeeding or your baby's health?

Are you really considering prioritising your own hopes over your baby's health?

KellyHall Wed 10-Jun-20 19:45:12

I'd second contacting FAB, I believe they have Facebook groups even if there aren't any in your area.

Alternatively, how about formula feeding, with breastmilk mixed in? If you're not breastfeeding and pumping hopefully your pain and hassle would decrease.

Wowcherarestalkingme Wed 10-Jun-20 19:52:38

I also had this. My baby was prem so a small weight to start with and continued to loose when I was EBF. I tried everything including expressing and topping up round the clock. I constantly felt like I was failing. In the end it was the choice between topping up with formula or have to be readmitted to hospital so I did it. I managed to combination feed until four months then switched over to Formula full time. I wrestled with it for ages and still felt guilty even a few months later. However, now my baby is gaining as he should and I look back and wonder if I let my own stubbornness and guilt get in the way.

I am not suggesting you are doing this but I was so determined to breast feed and felt like such a failure that it wasn’t working that giving up or introducing some formula was almost like admitting defeat. Now I am out of my hormonal sleep deprived state I can see if was the best thing all round. If you do want to continue though I would seek support from your local breastfeeding councillors as they may be able to help. If not, try topping up with formula every so often. I can o lay go on personal experience and it worked for me.

SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Wed 10-Jun-20 19:57:06

Your baby isn't getting what she needs - i think you ought to consider switching to formula.

According to my mum, the same thing happened with me. I fell off the chart, and the HV told her to switch to formula (and give baby rice, i was 11wk and tiny but also it was 28yrs ago, so maybe don't do that bit?)

Can confirm i am healthy and happy and love my mum tonnes. BF isn't working for your baby, it's time to let go and do something that will.

clementine89 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:50:53

Thank you so much everyone for your advice, sympathy and reassurance, I massively appreciate it! I was starting to feel really stressed and anxious and it makes me feel so much better that other people have had similar experiences and come out the other side! I will probably try to keep some breastfeeding but going to up the amount of formula we're giving her and remind myself that plenty of healthy, happy babies are EFF (I should know this as I'm one myself lol.) Will also look up FAB - great recommendation!

Thank you so so so SO much again xxxx

OP’s posts: |
KatieKat88 Thu 11-Jun-20 01:48:59

OP have you had any breastfeeding support? Ask to be referred to your local infant feeding team if not. What are your baby's nappies like?

Freewanderer Thu 11-Jun-20 07:31:39

I know exactly how you feel. My baby is 19 weeks now and I’ve really struggled. 2 admissions for severe jaundice, weeks of no weight gain, mastitis.. the list goes on. I had to supplement with formula early on due to the jaundice and so that’s taken over now and the mastitis killed my supply. I know you feel sad right now, but in a year or so you won’t even think about it. Better baby is healthy, thriving and well fed. Give the formula and enjoy the baby without guilt. The fact you are worried about it shows how great a mum you are.

Freewanderer Thu 11-Jun-20 07:33:01

Oh and throw the pump away!! Why make things more stressful?

clementine89 Thu 11-Jun-20 22:06:59

Thank you so so much @Freewanderer, that's exactly what I needed to hear!! (Especially the bit about that arsing pump grin) Hope all's well with your little one now, they don't half put us through the ringer, don't they?

@KatieKat88 yes spoken to two feeding consultants but I'm finding zoom calls are of limited use - I'm a hands on sort of gal! Her nappies are fine I think - 5-6 heavy wet ones a day.

OP’s posts: |
KatieKat88 Fri 12-Jun-20 01:09:32

@clementine89 I'm useless at pumping, just bear in mind that that's not an indication of poor supply as babies are much more efficient than a pump is. Nappies sound reassuring. If it were me I'd carry on breastfeeding and top up with formula as you get the benefits of both. However it's completely your choice and whatever you decide will be the right choice for you both. Nothing wrong with EFF if that's what you decide. You've done so well to persevere this far and I agree that face to face support is invaluable, I'd have stopped without it. Such a tough time to have a new baby!

KeyboardMash Fri 12-Jun-20 13:02:47

MOST babies are formula fed. Breastfeeding can be hard. Combi feeding sounds like a great compromise. Baby gets fed, you can stop pumping and stop stressing, but she'll still get some breast milk. Win win.

bluebluezoo Fri 12-Jun-20 13:13:22

Ok. I had the same.

If they are that worried about the babies weight you should be referred to a paed for investigation.

Pissing about with formula and top ups will delay a diagnosis if there is an underlying reason she isn’t gaining weight.

Dump the pump. IME they can actually have an adverse effect on supply, and make you fucking miserable. Feeding, feeding and feeding is better.

I was told that if my baby was having wet & dirty nappies, was hydrated etc then they were getting milk, and there would be no reason to suspect it would be lower quality than formula. Switching to formula may increase weight, but again, if there is an underlying cause it will mask that.

It is entirely your choice whether you bf or ff, but I would ask for a paed referral now, at least a blood test to rule out common causes- and there will be indications if they are truly underfed..

Once my dd had dropped 2 centiles I was referred to paeds immediately. Blood test came back fine, they saw her and concluded she was absolutely fine, just very active, naturally small. It happens a lot apparrently.

octobersky19 Fri 12-Jun-20 13:32:57

I had this exact experience. My son was hospitalised and we pumped to top up feeds, still didn't gain enough weight.

I combi fed with formula, his weight gain improved. I struggled with pumping and the baby still wasn't gaining as much weight as the doctor would like so we moved onto exclusively formula feeding which worked best for us.

He's now a happy and healthy 8 month old. I'm pregnant again and plan to combi from the beginning as I was quite traumatised by the whole experience.

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