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Thread: Please help if you can... :(

  1. #1

    Unhappy Please help if you can... :(

    Hello, this is my first time posting but I'm really hoping I can get some help. My daughter has been breastfed since she was born and is 6 months old now. She has only just recently opened up to the idea of solids and has some sweet potato daily. She is in the failure to thrive category with her weight in the 1 percentile. She may just be a small baby but I'm thinking there's something wrong with either my milk, her body or it's all just normal for her.

    I believe I have a milk imbalance because she is constantly and always having green poo. My local LC has told me I have an imbalance with there being too much foremilk. I can tell when my DD gets to the hind milk because she starts freaking out I'm assuming because of the extremely slow flow on comparison. Through different methods... Hand expression, pumping and even hubby, I've determined that I have little to no hindmilk. She is constantly feeding every two hours and sometimes in lesser times so we are on a block feeding system at the moment of 4 hours. Sometimes we cannot do that because she refuses to stay on a breast when there's no foremilk left. (if she drank more hindmilk would mor HM be made?)

    Also she would sleep through the night before but now that she's getting older she needs more nutrients, therefore more feeding times so she is starting to wake up every one to two hours during the night for a feeding. I really feel like she's not getting enough from me and that she is starving.
    Last night she was screaming for food and I just didn't have any bm left in me. I don't want to be in that situation again; I want her to have a full belly

    Once she fell into the FTT category i somewhat panicked. I tried giving her formula which she downright refuses. I was going to switch to bottle-feeding BM but I cannot express more than a few cc's with a pump or hand expression.

    I just had oral surgery for 3 wisdom teeth and was told to pump and dump when I can't even get anything out that way. (which is frustrating bc with ODD I was a milk making machine for the pump). So my husband helped out there and then we hit another problem where I started not producing enough bc I couldn't eat properly. Again I freaked out because of her FTT situation and I tried formula. I cannot get her to drink it whatsoever.

    Main questions:

    Should I include formula in her diet? - if the underlying issue is an internal one, wouldn't breast milk be safer for her to digest?

    If I should include formula, what type should I try that is easiest on her digestive tract?

    Also, I would want to mix it with breastmilk at first but because my only successful way of getting bm out happens to be my husband could he just do a suck and spit method? This is really me reaching out in the dark here but I'm desperate. I would think his saliva would break down the nutrient she needs. (hopefully no one is grossed out by this.)

    I do NOT want to switch to formula because I believe the nutrients from my BM is what's best for her, but I also believe she cannot afford to skip a meal. We don't find out anything about what could be wrong until November 29th which is ridiculously far off. I'm not sure what to do here because when putting her on solids... The sweet potato is the only thing she accepts right now but I can tell she has such a hard time passing it through as well as in her diaper it comes out as non-digested sweet potato. Hopefully I'm not confusing anyone. I'm very tired, on pain meds and waking up to feed like she's a newborn again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Boring ole Michigan

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    Hi mama! First of all, what type of pump do you have?
    July 27 2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    How long has all of this been going on?

    Night waking is really NORMAL and starts around 4 months.

    Have you ever tried breast compressions while nursing? What happens if you just keep switching baby back and forth between breasts?

    What did your local LC suggest?

    The suck and spit would not be a good one.

    What about using an SNS, so baby gets more milk at the breast but your breasts are stimulated. But then the question arises...what to put in it...

    I'll think and come back later...
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    I'm confused about what you mean by little to no hind milk. Do you mean the amount of milk you produce drops off after the initial letdown? My very first thought is that you might be dealing with more of a low supply than a FM/HM imbalance, which, if that is the case, would want more nursing stimulation instead of block feeding. Switching sides, as Susan mentioned. The fussiness and night-waking really do sound common for the age. I don't mean to tell you to dismiss legitimate warning signs, but that one isn't necessarily a warning sign by itself. How is her poo, other than green (because green is part of the normal range of poo colors, in the absence of other problems)?

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    with the PP. Measuring hindmilk is very difficult to do, particularly via expressed milk. Can you tell us EXACTLY what you observed that led you to believe you believe you have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    It doesn't sound like foremilk/hindmilk imbalance to me. It sounds like allergy to something in your diet like dairy. That will cause green stools too, and sometimes ftt.

    The thing is with too much foremilk, it almost always causes oversupply. And with oversupply, you usually can pump lots of milk. I get that not everyone responds to the pump well and that pumping is not a good indicator of supply. But in my personal experience with oversupply- and I really didn't have it too bad as my baby never had too much green stool- is that you can pump A LOT of milk. My son does have a dairy allergy that manifested itself in screaming episodes as a newborn and now that he is 9 months old, if he personally ingests dairy he will break out in hives just to warn you as far as solids.

    I think I would really consider an elimination diet. And I do think her crying out of hunger is probably because block feeding has tanked your supply. Generally, with foremilk hindmilk imbalance even though they can start to suffer with reduced weight gain, the oversupply at least initially will make them gain pretty quickly. I would offer both sides a feeding, maybe even switch back and forth a few times.

    Also the deal with hindmilk is that it's not as simple as there is straight foremilk for x minutes and then hindmilk for y minutes. Both are available throughout a feed.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013

    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  7. #7

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    Hi all, thanks for your responses!

    Zorky, I have a Medela and an Avent. I’ve used both on manual and electrical settings. I’ve also used a hospital grade one. I can’t remember what type it was but I got it from my local hospital. None of them worked past a couple cc’s. That’s out of both breasts too, not just from one. I can get more out of hand expression, about an ounce out of both.

    April, The frequent feedings have been going on since she was born, which is normal I know… and I don’t mind at all. I can live off of 3 hours of sleep or even 2. I’m very grumpy but I can live with it. Either way, she started sleeping through the night around 3 months up to 5 months. She was 12.7lbs at 4 months and then she started losing weight around 5 months. The night feedings started back up to every 2-3 hours. Then come late 5 months to 6 months it has been 1-2 hours. I’m assuming the pattern is based off of her growing and her need for the sustenance.

    What do you mean by breast compressions?

    I can’t get ahold of my local LC right now. She only works 2 days and never seems to call me back. I’m not mad at her or anything I know she must have a lot of people to talk to. My next step is to go to the LC assigned to the hospital.

    Well darn. I figured so though =(

    I’ve heard of an SNS machine before but that was back when she was born. I forgot completely about those. Where would I find one of those? I’ll look that up in a bit. I’m assuming I’d have to put formula in it. =\

    Duckpond, What I mean by that is that I only have the skim milk not the fatty kind. When I do have my milk come out and I’m able to see it, it is almost always clear or thinly white. Once she drinks all of that is when I try to help hand express more out for her with the hindmilk because she refuses to work for it. Barely comes out even with her stimulation, like there’s none in there. There is definitely a difference in color so I dumb it down to that definitely being the hindmilk and her only getting foremilk. I feel like I’m making 99% foremilk and 1% hindmilk =\ There are times when I do not have enough milk but that is when I miss a feeding or she’s going through a growth spurt. She’s been fussy since birth. People told me she was colicky in the beginning but I honestly feel like it was because she was super gassy and fussy because of having so much foremilk. Other than it being green it is not seedy. It’s mostly a mucous-like substance. Slimy at times.

    Melissa, That’s what I have is a lot of milk, so oversupply : yes. I cannot get it out via pump but I could with my ODD. I was able to pump 8oz out of each breast. This is one of my huge frustrations as to why I can’t do it this go around? I was only able to do it for a month with my first however.

    The only time I’m lacking milk, even with block feedings, is if for some random reason we miss a feeding. (Like having to dump and pump because of medication.) This happens very rarely or when she just so happens to sleep past 2 hours. Recently it’s because of the teeth being pulled, I can’t eat very well/much. It struck my supply hard and instantly. Either way, she gets quite a bit but it still doesn’t seem to satisfy her for the long run, only short term. (I don’t mind the frequent feedings but her bum is on fire and in a constant rash =(

    I had tried doing the switch in her early months and then my LC told me to do the block feeding because of all her cluster feedings. I have honestly been doing the switcheroo almost every other feeding if not every feeding. Mostly because she drains one breast very efficiently and then will start fighting eating that breast so I’ll offer her the other before ending the feeding. She gets a lot and when she spits up sometimes it is in excess… so sometimes I give her too much.

    So based on what you said about both foremilk and hindmilk being available all the time, should I just focus on trying to end something in my diet? I had tried the dairy thing based off of what my mother had suggested but that didn’t do much. I tried broccoli next and that didn’t work either. Chocolate I couldn’t eat and still can’t eat because that makes her super gassy and fussy. I’m not sure what else to eliminate. We strictly eat white meat and tons of veggies. I don’t drink a lot of milk to begin with, maybe 8 oz’s a day at most, other than that it’s water. Any suggestions? =\

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    I think you are mistaking a lot of very normal 6 month milestones for her starving because of her slow weight gain. So let's start with what's normal. It's NORMAL for babies even babies who were previously sleeping for longer stretches to start waking more often through the night between 4 and 6 months due to physical miles stones. It's NORMAL for babies night waking and nursing to increase to the point of RESENTMENT on the part of the mother due to TEETHING. And the desire to night nurse is directly tied to PAIN they are feeling and relief they get from said pain due to ocytocin in your milk. NOT because she starving.
    Also if your DH is getting milk when he sucks, so is your child. So let go of the idea that he is somehow more effective at getting it out than she is. It's true they BOTH may be more effective than the pump but if he gets milk, she gets milk. And based on your last post I am going with the fact that it's definitely NOT A milk production problem! You make enough for your baby.
    It's also NORMAL for breastfed children to slide DRAMATICALLY one the charts between 4 and 9months. Because that is when they get moving. So if your child was already on the small side and then began rolling over or spending time every day in the johhny jumper or exersaucer and is now beginning to crawl, or try this is very normal. To give you and example, my son weighed 17.5 lbs at 4.5 months old. He was in the 95th percentile. up until that point he had consistently gained 14oz a week since birth. At 9months he only weight 19lbs. So he went from gaining 14 oz a week to only gaining 3.5 oz a week. And he slid to the 70th percentile. Now I never worried. And I am SURE it's different for you since your baby is on the other end of the scale. BUT remember that someone HAS to be in the first percentile and some has to be in the 100th percentile for the chart to exist. And that WHOLE RANGE is considered NORMAL.
    That said, I too would be concerned about a FTT diagnosis by my doctor. Although to be frank it seems if they were actually WORRIED about it, they'd have you bring her back every two weeks to weigh her?
    So give us her stats. From Birth till now. So we can see if she has always followed the same curve? Is she still gaining even if it's greatly slowed?

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    On the green slimy, mucousy poops: could be a reaction to something in your diet. In order to cut all dairy you need to eliminate hidden dairy also (casein, whey, etc.) Dairy shows up in the most unexpected places (cold cuts, chicken stock cubes, bread, etc.)

    There is a whole list of foods that trigger digestive reactions. Not only dairy but also soy, wheat (all gluten), nuts, corn, eggs, etc. You need to figure out what, if anything, your baby is sensitive too by doing an elimination diet and then challenging.

    The green mucousy poops are more irritating to your baby's bum and will cause more rashes. Spitting up a lot could also be related.

    This might not solve all your issues/questions, but it might help at least a little bit.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  10. #10

    Default Re: Please help if you can... :(

    Thanks again for your replies everyone. My daughter was 7.4 lbs at birth. The doctor told me she should be a minimum of 14lbs at 6 months. She was 11.2lbs at 6 months and had lost weight since her 4 month which was 12.7lbs.

    I understand that waking up during the night is normal. I have another child that did the same. With her being in the FTT category and being her mother of course I'm going to think there are other reasons for her waking up instead of the normal. I'm not concerned about the amount of milk she is getting. She is getting enough except for recently with the surgery and lack of eating... therefore lack of milk.

    I'm worried that the type she is getting (just foremilk) isn't enough for her (she needs more calories -> more hindmilk?). This is my first time breastfeeding for so long so I've never gotten to the 6 month marker. I was questioning whether it was a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and since I couldn't get adequate answers with pumping I had my husband check after she was done to see if she stopped because there was no milk left or because she was stubborn and didn't want to work for the hindmilk.

    I also know that the charts they make for babies to follow through on are made for formula fed babies by the CDC. The doctor didn't seem to know what to do with babies that fall into the FTT category. He had to go do research while I was in the office. He gave me a referral that I had to wait for in the mail which took 10 days to get to me. When calling to make an appointment with the specialist they gave me an appointment for Nov 29th. I don't know why they wouldn't want to monitor her weight more after telling me it could be organ failure, a gastrointestinal problem or hormonal imbalance. I am doing the best I can in the mean time by using the scale we have at home.

    Thanks again.

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