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Thread: advised to supplement-help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    3

    Unhappy advised to supplement-help!

    I have an 8 week old little boy who had been breastfed from birth with small gradual weight gain-birth weight 8lb14oz and last week was 10lb 2oz.I have had numerous problems such as bleeding, sore nipples and then got thrush!! my little one then started with colic last week and fed badly! when weighed by health visitor had only gained 2.5oz and told me that I should supplement at 2 feeds with 3oz bottles and start to feed from one side only for as long as he would suck for, then offer the bottle to get my milk supply up! I had previously been feeding 30 min each side. I am now having problems with feeding he is becoming frustrated when b/f and not sucking properly and wanting more milk. I want to carry on b/f however I am concerned that my baby is not getting what he needs/wants should i carry on? can I do both? or should I just switch? please advise me this is stressing me out!!!! thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    1,967

    Default Re: advised to supplement-help!

    Sorry you have been having such a rough time! I don't have a lot of experience here, and I know some smarter ladies will come along with great info, but for the time being, don't stop nursing. Nursing works on supply and demand so nurse as often as you can or you will risk losing your milk supply. Have you been pumping between feedings to increase it? It sounds like the weight gain is a concern but there are alternatives to increasing your supply and if formula is neccesary, you don't have to give it to him in a bottle. If he is already showing a preference to the bottle, you might try other techniques such as finger feeding or feeding with a syringe (although I am not the one to give instructions on HOW to do that but I know many mommies have) Have you been to an LC to see if he is latching on correctly? Sounds like an improper latch could be to blame, and a good one will make all the difference in the world. It is definitely possible to keep breastfeeding and you have come to the right place for help if that is what you want to do. But I would ban the formula for now or you will continue to be tempted to give up and you don't have to!

    Misty
    Loving my two sweet girls Audrey (7/18/06) and Annie (6/18/09) Baby #3 due to appear 8/5/10

    Feel free to ask me about my successful HBAC , food allergies, cloth diapers, and the joy of having a high-needs, non-sleeping little dear who has grown into a wonderful preschooler.

    Blogging here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: advised to supplement-help!

    There is certainly no reason to stop breastfeeding. So keep nursing. But let's take a closer look at your baby's growth and try to figure out what is going on there.

    You mentioned his birth weight was 8lbs 14 oz, and that last week (at 7 weeks of age?) he was 10 lbs. 2 oz.

    What were his weight checks in between those two? In particular, when and what was his lowest weight? Babies normally lose some weight after birth, and we want to be sure we are calculating their weight gain from that lowest point to get an accurate picture.

    Can you get a hospital-grade double electric pump where you are? Many mothers find that if they pump after nursing, it boosts their supply, and it also gets some expressed breastmilk which they can use instead of formula if a supplemental feed is necessary. I'm not sure what the system is like where you live, but try to find out if a good breast pump is available to you somehow.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: advised to supplement-help!

    thanks for your advice. My son dropped to 8lb 2oz following birth and initially was slow to gain however started to put on gradually putting on 4-5 oz per week. this was through the trush and extreme pain! last week he started to struggle with colic(i think) and started to feed badly, pulling off the breast, thrashing around, crying etc and only gained 2.5oz so at 8weeks he was 10lb 2 therefore my health visitor advised to supplement 2 feeds after offering the breast for as long as he would suck and to get my milk up. I was not convinced that there was a supply problem it was due to colic and not feeding properly but was concerned about the weight so did as advised. I have an electric pump however due to the amount of time that I am feeding for I dont think I could manage this as well ( I'd be feeding and expressing allday! well I am literally at the moment) what is the current thinking on how long it takes the baby to reach the hind milk?as I had wondered whether he was getting too much fore milk and not enough hind milk and this could be the reason why he seems unsatisfied. Before this problem started I was feeding for 30 min each breast and he was gaining weight and was exactly on the 25th centile, not sure what has happened! thanks again, not given him anymore formula anyway and he has now settled to sleep after much crying this afternoon!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: advised to supplement-help!

    Quote Originally Posted by deeli View Post
    what is the current thinking on how long it takes the baby to reach the hind milk?as I had wondered whether he was getting too much fore milk and not enough hind milk and this could be the reason why he seems unsatisfied.
    This is something that varies tremendously according to how effectively the baby is transferring milk from the breast, how frequently the baby is nursing, and how easily the mother's letdown response is happening.

    A foremilk/hindmilk imbalance due to oversupply would not usually be found in a slow-gaining situation like this one. I'm not saying it's impossible, but let's put that theory on the back burner while we look at some other possibilities.

    Your health visitor gave you some good advice and some bad advice, in my humble opinion. Yes, you should let the baby nurse on the first breast until he "finishes" -- that is, until he either comes off the breast satisfied or falls asleep at the breast. But -- please note! -- this assumes that the baby is effectively feeding -- transferring milk from the breast to his tummy -- and that is an assumption that I cannot make based on your description on a message board.

    Still, if you watch the baby not the clock and let him stay on the first breast until he is finished ... following that with a bottle of formula is NOT going to increase your milk supply. Supplemental feeds tell your body to make LESS milk than your baby actually needs. So that is the "bad" part of your health visitor's advice, in my opinion.

    I'm going to post a link to some video clips of effective breastfeeding -- watch them closely, read some of the information on the same website, and see how this all sounds to you.

    http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=18&Itemid=42

    My recommendation at this point, based on the information you have shared so far, is to let your son "finish the first breast first," watching closely for signs that he is effectively transferring milk while he nurses. Then, offer the second breast. At the next feeding, revers it: start with the second breast and let him "finish" that one, then offer the first breast again. Don't watch the clock while he is feeding, but do watch it between feedings and make sure he is beginning to nurse again not more than 2-3 hours after the START of the previous feeding. Track his diaper output (wets and dirties) for the next 24 hours and then let us know how things are going.

    Don't hesitate to post again if you have any questions or concerns.

    --Rebecca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3

    Talking Re: advised to supplement-help!

    Thank you so much for your help. I watched the videos and yes you were right he wasn't latched on properly!! seen my health visitor today who has helped and guided me attach Lucas to the breast. He is feeding much better however now have to get my milk supply up and have started expressing now I have some more time! he is currently sleeping! He has also gained 12.5oz this week(however has been topped up!) but I breath a sigh of relief!
    Thanks again for your help if it wasn't for the advice I think I would have given up now!

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