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Thread: LO not eating.

  1. #1
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    Default LO not eating.

    My LO is going through a period of not eating...again. She does this every few weeks where she wants nothing to do with eating (though she comfort nurses, just never eats), and doesn't really take the bottle when I'm at work. Yesterday, she ate 14oz total in 24 hours, which is clearly not enough. She's 3.5 months, 8 weeks adjusted, and weighs just over 11 pounds.

    Her pees and poops decrease, and while she doesn't seem to lose weight when she does this, she certainly isn't gaining. The interesting thing though is that she seems pretty content and doesn't act like she's hungry or thirsty.

    What is she doing? I feel like this can't be good for her in the long run, so how do I fix this? I've tried changing my positions, trying to get her really awake, feeding her when she's drowsy, give her a bottle of EBM...nothing gets her to take in more food.

    And, this is also quite a detriment to my supply, as you can imagine. Even with pumping, it's still not cutting it right now.
    I'm Erin, mommy to Ella, born at 33 weeks 4 days, and Addison, born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    How did you determine her intake so exactly, mama? Were you bottle-feeding on the 14 oz day or nursing? And if you were nursing, were you also doing weigh-feed-weigh measurements?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    A combination of both. I worked Monday, so was gone from 6:30am-8:30pm. During that time she took 8oz from a bottle. When I got home, she only nursed another 6oz from me until 6:30am the next morning. I have a Medela Baby Weigh scale.

    She also has started STTN, about 8 straight hours. I try to wake her overnight to nurse but she wants none of it. She'll push herself off or fall asleep on the breast after only nursing a minute and then fights being woken back up.

    Nursing this kid is going to give ne an ulcer.

    ETA: I also seem to have supply fluxuations of unknown origins, and it's lower now even though I'm not pregnant, not menstruating, and it seems like these little eating strikes come at the same time. I work my tail off to pump my supply back up when this happens, but man is it exhausting. And wouldn't the lower supply only affect her intake at the breast, not the bottle as well?
    Last edited by @llli*larkface; June 13th, 2012 at 07:05 AM.
    I'm Erin, mommy to Ella, born at 33 weeks 4 days, and Addison, born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    how long do these "not eating" phases last? i'd be much more certain about a 24 hour average intake over a couple of days, than just one day's count, though 14 oz does sound really low. and how does she nurse when you're home with her all day? and are you weighing her before and after every single feed? that sounds exhausting (and maybe is causing you more anxiety than necessary?)
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    I did the weigh-feed-weigh with her Monday because her bottle intake was so awful as well. I don't do 24-hour counts often, I go mostly by daily/weekly gain and diaper output to gauge overall intake. Over the last 3-4 days she really only has like 3 wet diapers a day. I know she's not getting enough right now. I just don't know why and what I can do to stop this from happening.

    And she nurses better when I'm home all day, but again, her diaper output has still been poor.
    Last edited by @llli*larkface; June 13th, 2012 at 07:16 AM.
    I'm Erin, mommy to Ella, born at 33 weeks 4 days, and Addison, born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    so, the new guidelines from Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple say that pee diapers are actually not a very good indicator of weight gain/intake, plus they're super hard to count (sodden vs damp diaper etc). they say you should look 1) at weight gain 2) poops.

    are her weekly weight checks all gains?
    is she pooping every day? before 6 weeks average is 4 poops per 24 hours.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    I have read the new guidelines regarding wet diapers, and while I know they are not the most accurate or preferred method of measuring intake, they still give an a picture of hydration, just like adult urination does. Her output is not good. I have weighed her diapers too (I know that's a little crazy, but it's what is done in hospitals to measure hydration in incontinent patients, and I'm a nurse) and where she used to put out 16-18oz of urine a day, Monday it was 7oz, yesterday 9oz.

    And she's older than 6 weeks, even by her adjusted age, so again poops aren't likely going to be an entirely accurate indicator since by her age some breastfed babies do not poop every day despite sufficient intake. She used to poop multiple times a day, and then in the last 3 weeks or so have gotten less frequent. Her longest gap in poop was a week. She is on day 3 of no poop right now.

    I'm not trying to discount the advice from those more seasoned in breastfeeding than I am, but I can guarantee that she is currently underfed and that she has little interest in eating.

    On Friday, which is when I do her weekly weights (I stopped daily weights a little while ago), her weight was 11 pounds even. This morning, 5 days later, her weight is 11 pounds even.
    I'm Erin, mommy to Ella, born at 33 weeks 4 days, and Addison, born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    You are right, that doesn't sound so good.

    Have you tried keeping her skin to skin as much as possible when you are home? Or tucking her in a sling, keeping her on you, and nursing her while you are up and about? Maybe that way you could get her to eat just little bits a lot more frequently, even if it is just through comfort nursing.

    Could she have a recurring ear infection or other illness? My son just went through a very brief nursing strike because of a cold. I think his throat hurt, so even though he wanted to nurse he wasn't drinking much because of the discomfort.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    We were at the doc Friday and nothing is wrong health-wise. We co-sleep. She's held all day because she screams if she's put down. We are almost always practically naked because we can't leave the house since the only position she kind of nurses in is side-lying. And not only does she mostly hate slings, she won't even stand to try and learn to nurse in one.

    I don't know why this keeps happening, but I feel like it's ruining my relationship with my daughter. I hate breastfeeding and the stress it causes me. I only do it because it's good for her, but I'm starting to think that maybe it's not. Maybe it would be better if she had a mother who was less exhausted and stressed out. I work full time, and I'm working on my master's, and no, I don't have the luxury of quitting either.

    This is getting ridiculous. I think I'm about done.
    I'm Erin, mommy to Ella, born at 33 weeks 4 days, and Addison, born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: LO not eating.

    I'm so sorry. I would never suggest quitting a job or education that is important to you for any reason.

    If she is comfort nursing, then at least you have a tool to help you with fussiness. If she's not taking a bottle well, then I'm not sure that weaning is going to make life any easier. It seems like there is a much deeper feeding issue, beyond just nursing difficulty. Have you discussed this with her pediatrician? I wonder if maybe an appointment with a specialist is in order; perhaps a pediatric gastroenterologist. Could she have GERD? The need to be held constantly and the feeding difficulty could indicate that.

    I wish I had more to offer. Hopefully some other mamas here have some other (better) ideas.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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