Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breastfeeding HELP!!

My daughter is 11 days old and has yet to gain weight, though she's no longer losing. Midwife has been "strongly suggesting" a daily formula fed for days now, and insisted today it is the "final straw" and "Must" be given today. She's back tomorrow to weigh!!! Don't want to give formula if can be avoided. Did with son & he self-weaned from breast within 2 months. Baba well, not dehydrated, normal poos, wees, feeding well, and often, good latch, milk in. Does anyone know anything about weight gain in bf babies? Or any suggestions at all? Expressing & topping up with at least 1oz via a cup daily. She hates it! HELP!


At 1:15 pm , Blogger Sew Scrumptious said...

Hi,It is possible to do mixed feeding with no problems. I introduced a bottle of formula at 3weeks with both my children. My daughter had one formula bottle a day until she was six months and I did half and half feeding with my son who was really big and hungry all the time. Maybe you should give it a try? I think the most important thing is the baby gaining weight. Sorry if this doesnt sound supportive of breast feeding - I am but not at any cost. Sounds like you have tried all other options. My baby hated the cup too! Good luck.

At 1:20 pm , Blogger Insomniac Mummy said...

I had similar problem with Little E but she continually lost for a month.

Try looking on - Fab advice on there.

Or - You can email a breadstfeeding counsellor or call one on 0845 120 2918

Also the NCT has a breastfeeding helpline 0300 33 00 771

Don't be afraid to ring them.


At 1:21 pm , Blogger Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

My friend had a similar problem, baby didn't gain weight often, but was happy and contented. She had a dragon of a HV who kept trying to bully her into giving formula.

She resisted and BF for over a year. She now has three healthy, normal weight/height children under 5. She had the same problem with each.

I would certainly take the advice if your baby wasn't well, but don't be bullied into anything.

At 2:11 pm , Anonymous cartside said...

my daughter only started putting on weight when 14 days old. She had no dirty nappies, not a lot of wet nappies, but not dehydrated. It was never suggested that I top up.

I had lots of issues with bf. From what I learned I would say if you have wet and dirty nappies, baby feeds ok and is generally happy after a feed, there is no need to top up. Some babies put on weight slowly. Some babies are small and grow slowly. Switching to formula won't change that.

Do keep a close eye on nappies though and signs of dehydration. Ask to speak to a different midwife/health visitor or a breastfeeding counsellor (La leche league, local NCT group, NHS should have a breastfeeding support worker too).

At 2:55 pm , Blogger Laura C said...

Hey, I'm breastfeeding my little one just now, she's 16 weeks tomorrow. I know that BF babies tend to be leaner and put on weight a lot slower than formula fed babies. It sounds as if you're doing everything right and so long as she keeps having plenty of wet nappies and poos then I'd keep going if that's what you want to do. Don't let anyone tell you how to feed your baby, it's your choice! You might find that she has a big growth spurt at 14 days old, as your milk changes then and she has a big weight gain! Good luck! x

At 3:33 pm , Blogger Kelly said...

Congratulations on your beautiful girl. I am no help in these matters but I have linked to this to try and help. I hope that everything works out. All I can say is you are her Mum and you know what is best for your child.

At 4:23 pm , Blogger Cave Mother said...

Can you get an NCT bfing counsellor on the phone? Or a La Leche League leader? The number for LLL is 0845 120 2918 and the NCT is 0300 33 00 772 (it is open till 8pm).

If she's doing at least 6 wet nappies a day, feeding at least 10-12 times a day including once at night and she is settling OK then in theory she should be getting enough milk. I don't know how much time she is spending on the breast, but if possible I would keep her there practically all the time. Even if you don't think she's actually drinking, just let her suckle. I'm not sure that you need to express and cup-feed unless her latch is not very good - the best way to build up a supply is to have the baby on the breast as much as possible. And make sure you are getting plenty of rest too.

It's obvious that you are determined to breastfeed and I'm sure that even if you end up topping up with formula just to satisfy the midwife, you will eventually be able to phase it out and breastfeed exclusively. My partner's friend's wife had some problems bfing her newborn recently and she had to top up with formula, but she was back to fully breastfeeding within two weeks. Is your daughter content? Do you think she's OK? If so, she is probably fine. Could you tell the midwife a little white lie?

I'm sure she'll gain weight soon. Isn't it meant to take some of them a full fortnight to regain their birth weight anyway? I wish I could be of more help. I know it must be a bit scary when you so want it to go well. You will be fine, I'm sure. Can I give you a virtual hug?

I am thinking of you.

PS Emailed this as well xxx.

At 4:53 pm , Blogger Sandy Calico said...

As you say, all the signs are there that she's getting milk in her. Fingers crossed she's put on a little weight by tomorrow.
The midwife can't force you to top up. I would suggest making an appointment with your GP to get her checked out before you agree to anything - i.e. get a second opinion.
They may test her for a urine infection. P was tested for this when we were having weight issues.
Good luck x

At 6:48 pm , Blogger Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Tell her 'No.' If she's been wanting you to do it for days now, then she clearly has no idea what she's talking about.

Breastfed babies usually lose weight for the first week, at least, and it can take two or three weeks for them to start putting it on. As long as she is OK in other ways - all of which you've listed - she will be fine and will put it on in her own time.

How long is the midwife supposed to visit? Ours stop after six days and hand over to health visitor. Though after your CS, perhaps you see midwife for longer.

I was talked into topping up, too. Fortunately, Rosemary turned it down of her own accord within a couple of weeks and was exclusively breastfed until she started eating eating food (BLW) and had no milk other than mine until she was a year. So, it is possible to get back to exclusive breastfeeding after a week or two of topping up.

But I honestly don't think you're at the point where this needs to be considered. What is she going to do about it? If she's getting heavy, ask for a second opinion - there's bound to be at least one midwife or health visitor in your area who knows what's what.

I know how difficult it is to stand up for yourself, when you're being pressured like that, though. I had it in the SCBU and then at home and was rubbish at standing up for myself and what I KNEW was right. This time I'm determined not to take any nonsense. Though, may well change my tune when put on the spot.

Good luck and shout if you want any help (may be giving birth, of course, but will help if I can).

At 7:46 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Congratulations on your gorgeous little girl. I have a similar age gap (two under two for two months) in mine - its hard work but worth it!

I would try to get a breast feeding specialist in to advise you. I was lucky to have a breast feeding specialist midwife available to me (friend of my Mum's) and she felt that in general MWs, GPs and HVs weren't given enough training and updates on breast feeding.

La Leche League may be able to put you in touch with someone like that who can give you a bit of support and really know if your baby does need a top up or not.

When DS1 was two weeks old he was admitted to hospital with weight loss, put on a drip and given formula top ups. I never got back to exclusive breastfeeding and felt that I was fighting a losing battle with feeding him for a few months. I have always regretted stopping breast feeding him before I was ready.

What ever you decide, if you want to contact me (thru my blog) I've been there and done it with the weight gain worries (DS1 went from the 98th centile to the 2nd in two weeks) and can offer a sympathetic cyber ear.

Good luck and congratulations again. x

At 8:49 pm , Blogger Kat said...

I hope that you found the help you were looking for as some great advice here. Big hugs! Get someone to be with you when MW visits if you need some moral support. Big hugs xx

At 8:57 pm , Anonymous BFproblems said...

Hi! I would not give formula yet. It sounds like baby is doing fine. The nurses are too quick to give formula, they forget that your milk supply will go down if you do this. Get a second opinion, or go with your gut feeling.

At 6:44 am , Anonymous Josie @Sleep is for the Weak said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear you're being put through so much worry and pressure when you just need to be left alone to enjoy your beautiful girl. The other's are right - it sounds like your midwife doesn't know what the hell she's talking about. Definitely seek advice from NCT or LLL and every hospital should have a infant feeding specialist who you can ask to be referred to.

It sounds like you and baby are doing great though and just need some more time to get going. I'd agree - keep her at the breast as much as posssible, lots of cuddles, lots of skin-to-skin. Feed at night as much as you can (you produce lovely fatty milk at night when your prolactin is highest) and keep determined and stubborn! And most importantly keep the faith - you're doing great, you are producing lots of milk and she WILL start putting on weight soon.

Take care and lots of love xxxx

At 9:50 pm , Blogger Lydia said...

Hi - Congratulations on your baby girl! Hope she is bringing you great joy.

I struggled & put myself through hell to feed my 1st, but happily fed my 2nd till she was 1yr old.
With her I tried to be more relaxed & I flitted between top ups of formula when needed & only breast over the 12 months. 2 well known facts are that breast fed babies do not usually gain weight as easily as bottle fed - its a natural slower gain, and there is usually a drop in weight after they are first born. How sad that you are being told you 'must'. Speak to the HV first.

For my daughter I had a fabulous book by Clare Byam-Cook called 'What to do if your breast feeding - and what to do if you can't' It was invaluable (bible like qualities!)over the 12 months, and has been much recommended & passed round my freinds since. How I wish I'd had it for my 1st!

Wishing you and Little Miss all the best.


At 10:00 pm , Blogger clareybabble said...

Congrats on your baby girl! Just to reiterate what others have said really...I am still bf Baby B and she is almost 14 mths. She has always been lean and below average weight but is very happy and thriving, even though she is tiny! So perservere with the bf, don't be forced into formula if you don't want to be and contact LLL. I was lucky enough to have a very supportive HV who NEVER told me to give formula. Lots of love and luck, Clare xxx

At 6:13 pm , Blogger allgrownup said...

Thank you all for your wonderful support and advice at what was a very difficult time for us. I plan to do a follow up post with the outcome; stay tuned! I'm feeling much less stressed about the whole issue anyway.


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