Hi, apologies in advance for length!
DS1 now ten weeks old. Difficult birth - induction, epidural, emergency c-section - meant that my milk didn't come in for a while and he lost 13% of his body weight by day 4. We were put on formula top ups for a few days but rapidly reduced this to only 35-40ml per day (given by cup feeding in the evening) after getting help with the latch etc. He regained his birth weight (3.8kg) within a fortnight and put a decent amount of weight on by week three.
However when I had him weighed again at five weeks, he hadn't put on a single gram. Straight away I was put back on the formula top ups (60ml seven times a day so 420ml per 24 hours). Lactation consultant diagnosed posterior tongue tie which we had treated by week six. The 'test feed' straight after the procedure showed that he wasn't transferring milk effectively and so I was told that as well as him needing to relearn how to suck, my supply had probably nose-dived, so was told to go to my GP and request domperidone which I did (30mg/day, now 40mg/day). I am also now taking nine capsules of fenugreek per day.
For the ten days or so after the tongue tie snip we carried on with 60ml supplements, mostly formula but some expressed breast milk. He put on good amounts of weight at the two weekly weigh-ins following the snip (310g and 280g respectively) so I reduced the supplement to 40ml x7 or 280ml in 24 hours. Have done this for the last two weeks and recorded okay but much lower weight gain (140g and 150g respectively).
He had his eight week check a bit late earlier this week where the GP said she was concerned that despite now tracking between the 9th and 25th centiles, he is much skinnier than he should be (based on his birth weight which was 75th centile and also his length - between 50th and 70th - and head circumference - between 91st and 75th). She suggested increasing the formula top ups.
In contrast, lactation consultant has now suggested dropping night time supplements ie reducing total to 200ml/per 24 hours. I am going with her suggestion for now, and will get him re-weighed on Tuesday.
However I'm having a real crisis of confidence - I'm so worried he is so skinny (he still fits into newborn body suits although length-wise is filling out 0-3 month sleepsuits) and can't bear to think that he is hungry. He has recently started chewing his fists and a lot of the time seems to either give up on the breast and start to doze, or gets very frustrated - kicking, beating his arm back and forth and pulling his head back, even when I do breast compressions. I rarely hear the sound of swallowing or milk hitting his tummy although I accept he must be getting some to be putting on some weight.
Whilst I think my supply has increased a bit, I'm really concerned it's still too low to be giving him the nutrition he needs. I hardly get anything when I express, even if I don't do it immediately post-feed. For example I feed him to sleep at 7:30pm but when I express at 9-9:30pm I only get about 25ml max. I manage to express again in the middle of the night and after the first morning feed, and sometimes during the day - but find it so demoralising and struggle with all the sterilising etc. My breasts hardly ever feel full even after three hours which is the longest he goes without a feed at night.
I'm not sure what else I can do on top of feeding on demand, expressing, breast compressions, domperidone and fenugreek! I tried a day of skin-to-skin yesterday but haven't seen any noticeable improvement and found it really hard not leaving the house even once.
I really trust the lactation consultant I am seeing (in case she is reading this!), she has been fantastic - but am just struggling with the regime and worrying about DS being hungry and too thin, so am seeking other opinions and perspectives. Does this sound like an 'upward curve' or do I have a real problem with my supply? Does it sound like I'll ever get off formula completely? And if not, what would a possible mixed feeding solution look like (i.e. could I consolidate current mutiple formula top ups into two more mangeable ones or would that mess up my supply further?).
I warned it would be a long post! So grateful in advance for any suggestions.
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How long do I persevere trying to get off formula supplements?
haggis81 · 19/02/2016 10:23
Hi, apologies in advance for length!
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