My LO is now 4 months old. We have had to work hard at breastfeeding and I have had to supplement with formula so that she could gain weight. When I've tried reducing formula, she loses weight so I have very reluctantly accepted that this is a necessity, but I have worked really hard to keep my supply up so that she can get majority breastmilk.
Since around 3.5 months she has become very easily distracted at the breast. She'll seem to be hungry, feed for just a few minutes and then come off and won't get back on. She is then happy to play for a couple of hours without food, but hard to settle at nap time. When i then offer the breast it often happens that she will feed for 5-10 minutes and then fall asleep on the breast.
When I can't get her to feed and really believe she hasn't had much, I will often give her the expressed milk from a previous (unsuccessful) nursing session or give her formula. She will happily finish these bottles (and cry if i take it away before she's had enough), which makes me think she is genuinely hungry even though she's come off the breast herself.
Could it be that she has just become more efficient at feeding? From my experience in pumping I am familiar with how my breasts feel when they are emptier, and after a short feeding from her they often don't feel that way. If I express after she has done a short stint of feeding I will often get 4-ish oz - so she doesn't seem to have extracted much from the breast at all.
To complicate things a bit further, she has always been quite a 'chucky' baby - often enough to warrant a change of clothes. Usually she will smile right after, but lately she's been obviously uncomfortable and the throwing up is much more like vomit (with curdled milk, and smells like vomit) rather than spit up.
Is this a case of:
- More efficient feeding?? Do all healthy babies become more efficient at this age? I should add that my milk flow is pretty slow when expressing so I can't imagine she is able to empty so quickly all of a sudden
- Normal distraction of a 4 month old?? Should I just feed her in short increments throughout the day?? (not sure i would ever be able to leave the house) - any tips on keeping her focused
- She simply prefers the bottle now because it's a much faster flow?? (I still have her on newborn teats)
- Reflux - explains the vommiting and why she doesn't want the breast (but then why does she often take a bottle more happily?)
She's been a bit slow to gain weight but is now consistently gaining around 150g a week (about 5oz).
We are travelling overseas tomorrow (time change will be 11 hours) and I am really worried about my milk supply during our 2 week trip - not only will we both be jetlagged initially but I will be unable to express as frequently when she won't feed.
Sorry for rambling post - any suggestions would be really appreciated.