since the tube weaning (more on our situation here: http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ding-24-weeker) my DS (14m/10m corrected) is exclusively breastfed. He lost a lot of weight (8,8kg - 7,7kg) during the weaning, especially since he had a bad cold (no appetite) right after taking out the tube and since we thought he would eat solids by then, the doctor thought to prevent me from getting mastitis and told me to stop pumping. So by the end of the weaning process and after the cold there seemed to be not enough milk anymore. For one week he virtually drank all day with no break at all, he always wanted to be at the breast and during nights I pumped to get back the milk. After one week it came back so that his weight jumped back to 7,9kg an I got plugged ducts. After this he settled at around 7,7kg and kept this weight ever since the mid of October. Plus mainly because of his VP-shunt his head circumference is not growing since July to some extend it might as well have been worsened by the weight loss. So he knows when he is hungry and can show it plus he is not hungry all day.
But he also drinks now maybe 1/2 to 2/3 of his waking time (and 1 to 3 times during night). I thought he would get "better" after some weeks and make longer breaks between meals. His meals are maybe a tiny bit shorter now.
And so this is our problem, what is wrong here or is this still completely normal? Do you have any idea how to safely extend the breaks? Of course I would love to have time maybe for a walk with him (and still we are having a lot of medical appointments every week, six or more).
I don't feel this is a question of low supply although he does not gain weight (he still is not far as skinny as most micro preemies we know 7,7kg at 68cm), since he also sometimes shows no hunger signs and refuses the breast, he has enough wet diapers (at least six plastic diapers per day, poops about once in two days to two times a day), is very happy and lively and develops well and whenever I try to express some milk, there is milk coming. But maybe it nevertheless is a question of supply? Maybe the milk is coming too slow?
He keeps a (to me) strong vacuum, but his drinking is strange I have nothing to compare with, except the videos at http://www.nbci.ca where I see a suck-swallow ratio of 1:1). At times (especially at night) he can suck-swallow 1:1, at day he often sucks way more often (maybe 10:1) or sucks with no swallowing at all in several minutes.
We keep offering him solids but I think it still will take maybe weeks to months till he really eats solids, so I concentrate on improving the breastfeeding here.
To sum it up: Of course I would most love if he started to gain weight now, but my heart says, maybe this is still okay the way it is seeing that his head cannot grow, his body hardly grows and that he keeps a reasonable BMI. So if you have any idea, how I can help him gain weight, I would like to hear it. My main question for this thread is his drinking performance: The suck-swallow ratio and the long and often meals. Is it normal? If not, how can we safely improve it? (We are living in Europe and as far as I know we have no professional LCs around our area.)