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BF baby losing weight

17 replies

Wilkie100 · 27/09/2018 19:07

DD is 10 days old. She was 3.42kg at birth dropping to 3.35kg at 5 days and dropping again to 3.3kg at 10 days. She had tongue tie - this was cut 2 days ago. Latch is still quite shallow - she’s leaving me with lipstick shaped nipples. She also falls asleep on the breast and can be quite a dozy feeder. At night she will sleep all the way through without waking to feed - I have to set an alarm to feed her and fed her expressed last night as giving her a bottle when she’s in dream state is easier than nipple.

NHS are doing another weigh in on Sunday and sending someone to help me with breastfeeding. I hate extra monitoring - it feels like being reported to social services more than help. Tempted to just feed and pump, pump and feed from now until Sunday in an attempt to get her weight up but that’s not a long term solution. I feel crap that despite feeding non stop in the day she’s not gaining but I’m not sure what the BF person is going to tell me that I don’t know already.

OP posts:
cakesandphotos · 27/09/2018 19:12

Take the help, it’s so worth it. I had the same with DS and ended up in a&e with him at 2 weeks old. We mixed fed from then because my supply was crap. If your supply is good then with some help from a BF specialist, you should be fine. Try tickling baby’s feed when she nods off to wake
Her up and keep her feeding

Wilkie100 · 27/09/2018 20:52

I’ve tried tickling feet and face, wet wipe because she hates nappy changes, picking her up. None work. A full nappy change has some effect but only for a bit. She’s feeding almost all of her waking hours but the latch is shallow so I think a lot of it is really ineffective. I feel really depressed about the whole thing. She’s feeding so much I’m not getting out and about like I normally would and she’s still losing weight so I’m not sure why I’m bothering. If we’re going to end up on formula I’d almost rather we just jumped to the end instead of fighting a losing battle

OP posts:
cakesandphotos · 27/09/2018 21:19

I don’t think this is a popular opinion but it’s perfectly fine to go to formula. You need to think about you and your health, both mental and physical and if BFing is extremely stressful and exhausting and baby isn’t gaining weight then personally, I would seriously look to moving on to formula. For us we just did a bottle a day and gradually increased it. I stopped BFing completely at about 4 months. Do take the help though, if you crack it you might find it’s much easier and you really enjoy it. But don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work for you. You gave baby a fantastic start by BFing this long Smile

oopslateagain · 27/09/2018 21:26

If she's finding sucking really tiring, could you maybe express and feed it in a bottle?

eatthepineapple · 27/09/2018 21:27

If she is constantly feeding that will be telling your body to produce more milk. I know it can feel trapping (my daughter is currently feeding so I know how it feels!) but that's what has to happen to increase supply. If you want to bf then stick at it. It just works differently to FF so try not to compare or think that constant feeding is a bad thing. If you have now had the latch sorted then hopefully it will get easier. Do you have a local bf support group? Or you could call la leche league or NCT for support. Midwives and health visitors have varying levels of training so I have found a massive range in helpfulness! However if combo or FF is the way you want to go, then that's your choice. Don't give up if you don't want to though, you can make it work I'm sure!

Isittimeforbed · 27/09/2018 21:30

Have you tried breast compressions? That helps get more milk into a sleepy baby. Also, if she skips a feed at night or you give expressed do you pumpat the same time? It's the night feeds that get your supply up. If your boobs feel ok with a skipped feed your supply may still need to be increased.

ClaireFraser · 27/09/2018 21:32

Has she been checked for tongue tie? That can cause shallow latch and ineffective milk transfer? You want someone who is IBLC (international board of lactation certified) certified as they really know their stuff.

Both of my two had substantial weight loss and tongue ties identified and then snipped, DD at 5wks and DS at 5days. Dramatic difference in feeding efficiency and weight gain. Not saying that is tongue tie with your little one, but well worth being checked out. I was told by three separate midwives that DD Didn't have one, IBLC certified midwife picked it up immediately. They will also be able to assist with getting a good latch etc if not tt.

National breastfeeding helpline also worth a call for advice as seems to be complete luck of the draw re support from your local nhs trust

Wilkie100 · 27/09/2018 21:39

Thanks for the sympathy and advice. I’m going with a pump and feed combo at the minute to try and make sure that she actually takes in milk instead of just sitting on the boob. Alarm set to go off every 3 hours tonight. If that and all the pumping isn’t enough I guess we go to every 2 hrs after Sunday

OP posts:
BernardsarenotalwaysSaints · 27/09/2018 21:44

I found Kelly Mom a great resource for various 'things' with my dc.

Wilkie100 · 27/09/2018 23:33

She had tongue tie. It was separated two days ago but she still has a shallow latch and I think she’s still adjusting to feeding with the new tongue. We have been given exercises to do with her to encourage a deeper latch but she’s always on my boob if she’s awake so there’s not much chance to do them.

Feeling tired, depressed and hormonal!

OP posts:
GreyDuck · 28/09/2018 09:28

Hi, I'm not an expert, just another anxious mum muddling through. My baby boy lost a normal amount of weight in the first 5 days, but then his weight stayed completely static, while he got more and more unsettled, and I got exhausted taking literally all day and night to try and feed, up until 19 days old. We then started to follow this advice here
It basically says that putting a baby who can't extract enough milk by themselves to the breast for long periods of time is just tiring for both baby and mother. So, what we have been doing is 10minutes feeding on each side (to encourage him to bf, and breasts to produce milk) then top-up with expressed milk (so he gets a good volume of food in without too much effort on his behalf), then I express ready for next feed. Doing this, he has finally gained weight for the first time in his life.
The website says you should be able to manage all this in an hour, giving you a chance to eat/sleep etc yourself. We haven't got close to this, but it certainly is more manageable than previously.
It isn't really a long term solution for us, as I wouldn't feel comfortable expressing while out and about, plus there's a lot of equipment. It has definitely helped hugely in the short-term though.
My boy had his tongue tie snipped yesterday, so now I am hoping we can wean off the top ups, and back onto breast fully.
Good luck, I hope you find something that works for you.

Wilkie100 · 28/09/2018 09:46

That sounds very similar to us except that I’ve done expressed between feeds and she’s had the expressed and then come back to me for more. She’s feeding all day but not gaining. It’s so depressing.

OP posts:
Wilkie100 · 28/09/2018 09:47

I’ll look at the site you mention though - a different technique might help and I’ll try anything right now!

OP posts:
ClaireFraser · 28/09/2018 15:15

Have you tried breast compressions whilst feeding as well? Will help milk flow faster so less effort needed for baby to suckle

ClaireFraser · 28/09/2018 15:30

Would recommend seeing if there's an IBCLC near you for support and advice sooner the better is best with bf issues.

I really feel for you OP, the newborn days are overwhelming and hard, you're learning how to look after/feed this tiny new person, I had a rocky start to feeding with both my two (DD now 3 and DS 10mo) with a lot of weight and readmitted to hospital with DD, but with the right support we cracked it. But it really does take support, it feels like it's one of those things that you should just 'instinctively' know how to do is breastfeed a baby, but in my experience it's really not and it definitely takes the right help to things underway.

To echo a PP, nighttime is when your supply is built in the early days as prolactin levels highest, so v important to wake her to feed or express to keep supply up.

Shelley54 · 28/09/2018 23:43

DS2had a tongue tie cut at 9 wks and the next two weeks were worse. He fed 20hrs a day as he relearned how to feed and caught up on lost milk.

I share this because I didn’t know it’s normal for a tongue tie snip to take two weeks to result in improvement. Hang on in there!

louella99 · 29/09/2018 02:20

My little boy is 5 weeks old. He lost 10.6% weight and like you I felt under such scrutiny and pressure. Breastfeeding 'support' team in my area was sadly unsupportive and just kept encouraging formula top ups. Nothing wrong with that if you're happy with it, but I felt it would be a slippery slope for me. After tongue tie snip things improved, but breastfeeding was sore and it took almost 4 weeks to regain birth weight.

Five and a bit weeks in, he's gaining weight well, feeding well, and I'm no longer sore. You can do it! But equally, if it's not working out that's ok too. Happy mum = happy baby.

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