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Thread: Newborn eating enough?

  1. #1

    Default Newborn eating enough?

    Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum but I'm looking forward to learning more!

    I have a 6 day old son. He was born via c-section due to complications of pregnancy at 37 weeks. He was 6 lbs 3 oz at birth but his weight went down a bit more than the 10% allowed, he was down to 5 lbs 8 oz by day 4, but was 5 lbs 10 oz when we left the hospital yesterda

    The ped came into my room two days ago and said she wanted us to start supplementing with formula to get his weight up. I told her that my milk had come in a day and a half ago and I had tons of it. Plus he was feeding really well, no latch problems and was eating for 15-17 mins each side, both sides each feeding. But she wanted us to "top him up" with the bottle anyway. She wanted to see him eat 20 ml of formula after about 20 mins on each side.

    By the next day he had cut his breastfeeding down to maybe 10 mins a side, and that was with me nudging him or having to get him undressed. On a couple occasions he wouldn't feed at all from one side. He also started having latching issues.

    I told the ped yesterday that I was concerned that the supplementing might endanger the future of our breastfeeding, and her reply was, "well some babies just aren't meant to breastfeed". That threw me off as this wasn't a breatfeeding issue, it was a supplement issue. (btw at this point he had gained 2 oz from the previous day) Then she said its important that he get the formula as it will put weight on him faster.
    A few mins later she told me neither of her sons would breastfeed, she had to pump. Things became clearer.

    When we got home I was so sad that he was nursing less and less. I cried alot, then decided not to supplement anymore. He was gaining weight and I trusted my instincts that this situation did not require the end of breastfeeding for us.

    Since last night I've just fed him whenever he acts hungry. We were up nearly hourly all night. But this morning he was quite sleepy so he didn't have a full feed until this afternoon. He snacked for 10 -15 mins on one side. He's had four full feedings all day. Other than the snacks he's been sleeping. Its been a few years since we've had a newborn but they do sleep alot right? I took two tylenol three last night due to the pain of my incision, but I was told those were clear to take during breastfeeding, within reason of course.

    So I have a few questions. I have large breasts and until early this morning I was quite engorged but he relieved all the discomfort of it by this afternoon. Now I don't get engorged but he still gulps, I can feel let down. If he's eating very fast, clearly trying to keep up with the flow, for 12 mins, did he get enough to eat? I feed him whenever he gives me the sign, he's usually sleeping other than that. How do I know he gets enough to put weight on?
    He goes through TONS of diapers. Wet and dirty. Actually he goes through so many dirty diapers that changing him interferes with his sleeping. He keeps waking up when I have to change him. Boy he poops alot!

    I'm just feeling insecure that he's not eating enough to gain.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Newborn eating enough?

    Congratulations on the new baby! Sorry he had to arrive so early, and in such a hard way.

    Did you have IV fluids during your birth? And how long was your birth- did you go right to a c-section, or was there a long labor before that? The reason I ask is that a baby born to a mom on an IV can wind up with a lot of extra fluid on board. That fluid is quickly excreted, making neonatal weight loss appear more severe than it really is. The longer you're on the IV, the worse the problem can be. Anyway, that's my longwinded way of saying "Maybe your baby didn't really lose >10% of his birthweight."

    It sounds to me like you need a new pediatrician pronto, because she doesn't sound very educated about or supportive of breastfeeding. Early formula supplementation via bottle is one of the best ways to derail the breastfeeding relationship. I'm not surprised that your pediatrician's advice made you feel insecure, but I don't think you need to be.

    I think you made the right decision to stop the supplements and nurse exclusively. I wouldn't worry for a moment about those 2 Tylenols you took (unless they were Tylenol with codeine, a.k.a. Vicodin) because as far as I know they don't affect your baby. You may want to look into using some of these tricks to help your baby wake up when he needs to feed.

    I think you should continue to watch your baby's feeding pattern, diaper output and weight gain carefully. You want to hear lots of swallowing at the breast- and gulping hard for 12 minutes certainly sounds like a lot of swallowing!!! If I was lucky I'd get a minute or 2 of gulping before the flow slowed. You're seeing the right number of diapers, so that's great, and lots of poops- are they yellow and seedy, or greenish and watery? If they're yellowish and seedy, then there's no need to worry. Finally, weight gain: you can rent or buy a baby scale, or drop by your (new) pediatrician's office for a weight check. Most practices do them for free.

    Keep on keepin' on, Mama! You're doing a great job!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Newborn eating enough?

    I have to say I totally agree with mommal. It sounds to me like you need a new pediatrician that is knowledgeable and supportive of breastfeeding. If you are concerned about the tylenol, you should be able to look it up online. Regular tylenol is definitely safe, but I'm not sure of all the ingredients in Tylenol 3. I took ibuprofin after my section and continued to nurse exclusively.

    Did your hospital have a lactation consultant on staff? You might have luck contacting them to ask questions if so. Or try to contact your local LLL leader if you need in-person assistance.

    Again, I urge you to try to find a more breastfeeding friendly pediatrician because you can definitely successfully breastfeed (heck, you already were!!!) and if your pediatrician isn't supportive now, the problems will only continue as time goes on.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Paris, France

    Default Re: Newborn eating enough?

    Sorry your having a hard time mama!

    I agree with the pp you need to get a new pedi pronto - i was given the same advice about supplementing at the begining and it took me 3 weeks to get ds to nurse exclusively!

    I think you're so right in what you're doing and keep it up you're doing a wonderful job

    As far as nappies go as long as you lo is peeing and pooping enough (5-6 wets, 2-3 dirtys a day) your lo should be getting enough, but I'd keep a close eye on weight gain if I were you just to make sure. And if you have questions about HOW your lo is feeding - latch etc then perhaps you should find a LLL group or an LC who can just give you hands on help - even if it's just to make sure you lo is doing it right - peace of mind for you

    HTH and keep us updated - just a last comment, well done you for doing the best for your lo you can - that's all you can do

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Newborn eating enough?

    Hi I don't have much time to write very much now but was horrified by your ped's comments about how some babies are not meant to breastfeed and needing formula to get their weight up even before you left the hospital! I would find another pedi ASAP. I totally agree with all the advice given by the other posters. That pedi is TOTALLY ignorant about breastfeeding. It's really a shame. It sounds like she was actually trying to discourage you. You WERE breastfeeding and sounds like you were doing really well! And still are! She should have encouraged you because you were doing a wonderful job. I wanted to tell you to check out the website www.kellymom.com. It is a WONDERFUL resource that is referred to all the time on these boards. It has tons of pages regarding newborns and how to tell if they're getting enough. etc etc. Please look there for some info and I'm sure there will be other mamas on here to give you some more good advice here.
    Last edited by @llli*lovebeingmommy; November 21st, 2008 at 09:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: Newborn eating enough?

    This makes me so sad to think that there is a doctor out there that would say something like that about breastfeeding. I think that maybe she has some hard feelings about not being able to breastfeed her own son. If so, this is no excuse to discourage others in trying to provide their own children with the best gift a mother could possibly give!

    You sound like you are doing a great job. Eventually engorgement subsides. As long as you are hearing baby swallow and are having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, you should be all right.

    Please, please find a new doc.

    I'm Laura, mamma of 2



    We love and

    We have been nursing for over 2 years now!

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