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Thread: Help with 5 week old

  1. #1

    Default Help with 5 week old

    Looking for some help and advice with my 5 week old:

    Her demands to be fed have reduced in frequency (from around 9 in 24 hours) to 6-7. Duration of feeds has reduced from 15 mins to often less than 10.

    DD is struggling to poo - amount of dirty nappies has reduced from up to 6 a day to 1. It's making a normally very happy and content baby very upset - she is inconsolable at times and is exhausting herself. I find it very distressing and nothing I do seems to help. The only thing that is different is the number of poos - winding/possetting normal, and she's not ill. She is frequently straining as if she needs to poo.

    I've had mastitus twice which has been treated with antibiotics, which I continued feeding though (ouch!) I've had a blocked duct for almost 2 weeks that I can't shift - have tried massage, cabbage leaves, applying heat pads, cold compresses, used shower head etc - it just won't budge. It's in the opposite to the mastitus, so don't feel I can feed more from the blocked duct side, or I end up painfully engorged and and get masititus.

    I really want to continue bf for the first 3 months (going back to work at that point, and hope to continue expressing), but i'm finding it really hard just now.

    Still getting plently wet, heavy nappies (arouns 8 per day), and DD shows no other signs of dehydration.
    DD weight has increased steadily since the initial loss - ranging from max gain of 1lb, min gain 5oz.

    A friend suggested giving my DD some formula for constipated babies to see if that helps - is this worth a go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Help with 5 week old

    It is a good sign that baby is having lots of wet diapers! But 6-7 feeds is indeed on the low side. Will baby feed if you offer more frequently? Is baby refusing the breast, or just cue-ing less often? Is baby sleeping longer stretches and missing feeds this way?

    It is normal for some breastfed babies to decrease poo frequency as they approach 6 weeks old. Some babies even go a week without a bowel movement--breastmilk is easily digested and some babies break it down and absorb it in a manner that leads to infrequent stooling. This is NOT constipation. Constipation would be indicated if baby was passing dry, hard, formed stools. Definitely don't give formula to "treat" constipation. Breast milk is itself a mild laxative! Formula is harder to digest, and more likely to cause constipation.

    Many babies become fussier at around 6-8 weeks of age. This is the age that colicky behavior often peaks. Not saying you have a colicky baby, just saying that this is usually the fussiest time for little ones! Fussy behavior can also be caused by oversupply issues, which you may be experiencing, based on your recurrent bouts of mastitis/plugged ducts. Do you have any other symptoms of oversupply, like forceful letdown, baby choking/gagging early on in the feed, excessive leaking/spraying?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help with 5 week old

    Thanks for your reply.I offer the breast every 3 hours if did hasn't fed within that time. If she's fully awake she'll just sit there and smile etc at me,and if I can pauade her to latch on she won't suck,so I assume she's not hungry? I'll try for about 10 mins,and after that she'll get annoyed with me trying to make her eat! When she cues she latches on pretty much straight away and eats hungrily. But again I'm concerned that the length of feeds has decreased-i've started properly timing the length of feeds.so far today she's done 5 mins at midnight, 6 mins at 4, and took 60mls ebm form a bottle at 8. She often won't go back to eating when I stop to burp her.she gets v uncomfortable with wind if she's not burped frequently. I've tries not taking her off to burp but then she seems to bring back almost a whole feed.
    she normally sleeps 4 hours at a time at night, and daytime naps vary from an hour to 3 hours, I let her sleep when she wants to,and put her down when she's acting sleepy. She was going 3 hours at night swell,but I kept having to wake her to feed,and she sometimes wouldn't eat.at least going 4 hourly she seems to be eating steadily for at least 5 mins.she eats pretty constantly and quickly when she does eat.

    Is there anything I can do about her discomfort that seems like she's straining to poo?

    I think you may be right about the over supply - I leak while feeding,and she spills out the side of her mouth at times. I often continue leaking after a feed,even if it's been a 'long' feed (like about 10 mins)-i'm never empty and could always get more about out. I'm not really sure what to do about it-did is just so unpredictabile,some days she'all eat lots and others day not so much?
    Much appreciate your response

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Help with 5 week old

    What does the baby look like when it seems like she is straining to poo? Does the behavior stop when she does poo? Anecdotally, I can say that a warm bath pretty much guaranteed a big blowout in my daughter at that age--might be worth a try?

    I am far from an expert in oversupply, so hopefully one of the other ladies will chime in to help you out with that. But it does sound like you may be having some oversupply, which could explain why your little one is feeding for only 5-10 minutes, especially since you said weight gain has been good. If you have lots of milk, baby can often fill up quite fast. Also, you mentioned a bottle of EBM--are you pumping very frequently? Pumping can definitely worsen oversupply issues!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help with 5 week old

    It does sound to me as if you have overproduction possibly. Also your baby is not nursing frequently enough. Typically with overproduction babies gain very rapidly and poop quite a lot. But not if the baby is not nursing frequently enough to get enough milk overall.
    Kelly mom.com has a good article on overproduction. I do NOT suggest block feeding at this point. But you could try the other ideas.
    Are you nursing on cue when your baby requests or on a timetable? If you need help recognizing baby's cues let us know. If baby really only cues six or seven times the day then you do need to encourage more frequent nursing. A baby of this age would typically be nursing a minimum of 10 times a day.
    Some people think that if the problem is overproduction they should nurse less often. That is not the case nurse more frequently and that will prevent things like mastitis and also lessen the force of the flow hopefully making baby happier at the breast.
    Formula will possibly cause constipation breastmilk does not. If you have overproduction or normal milk production there is certainly no reason to be supplementing with formula.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help with 5 week old

    Thanks for taking time to reply :-)
    She goes bright res, almost purple(!) when shes straining to poo. Previously she'd strain, then poo, then be a happy baby again. Now the straining is still going on, but we're getting a pump, but no poo apart from the big one a day. She did a big smile after she did the poo today! She's content once she's filled her nappy.
    Weight gain of 6oz from last week (DD will be 6 weeks tomorrow), so apart from the massive 1lb weight gain a few weeks ago, it's more consistently 5-6oz.
    I only pump once a day - when I wake up about half 7 my boobies are absolutely solid. They seem fine through the day, but are really quite painful in the morning. DD varies, but last night fed at 11pm, 2:30am then again at 6:30am (DH gave her bottle of ebm).
    I dont' feed on a timetable, I just try to feed her after 3 hours if she hasn't given any indication of being hungry (and so then being fed) before then. I really do watch DD carefully for feeding cues (apart from during the night when I'm asleep) - normally she turns her head, starts looking side to side and then will start sucking her hands when she's hungry. Is there anything else I should be looking out for? Is there any way to encourage her to eat more frequently? When I try when she's not hungry she just refuses - won't open her mouth, won't latch or suckle, and will often just turn her head away.

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