What more could I be doing to boost BF baby intake? Sorry - very long!

(28 Posts)
Accentuatethepositive Fri 08-Feb-13 14:24:56

A bit of background: DD is 8 weeks old. We had a tricky start to BF ? had problems latching to start with, and she was also very sleepy. Plus I was discharged the morning after she was born then had no home visit for 4 days which didn't help!

Day 3, worried she was ill we took her to A&E where they told us her blood sugar was low and made me give her formula top ups for 1 night ? much to my sleep-deprived, hormone fuelled distress. Anyway, got help from a Lactation Consultant and things improved though for several weeks had to wake her for feeds (stripping her off etc ? was hard work!). Was also topping up with EBM when I felt BF hadn?t gone well but was able to gradually phase this out, and now I?m not expressing any more. She gradually woke up and I mostly try and let her let me know when she?s hungry.

But I still don?t feel I trust the feeding process very much! She doesn?t seem as hungry or demanding as any of the other babies I know, and her feeds tend to be very short. I think they are fairly efficient but of course it?s impossible to know how much she?s getting. This wouldn?t worry me too much but her weight gain, while OK, isn?t great ? so the combination of things means I feel I should somehow be trying to get more into her, the question is, how?!

I?ve read loads and know the theory ? offer often, offer at least both sides, etc etc. But what about when the ?offer? is refused? When she doesn?t want any more, the just purses her little lips and there?s not much I can do! I lack confidence in reading her cues, and sometimes feel like we?d be better on a schedule ? when circumstances mean she goes longer between feeds (if I?m out and about for example) I sometimes feel like she feeds better ? but this seems to go against all the advice! Also she has periods of being v fussy on the breast, pulling off and seeming discontented. I?m reluctant to go back to expressing and bottle feeding though I know this would mean I?d know how much she was having. Also the last time I tried to give her a bottle she refused so that option might be off the table. I could be more determined about trying to keep offering, stripping her off etc, but not sure how effective this would be.

I have been to quite a few local BF cafes where the response tends to be, your latch is fine, she?s drinking fine, it all seems fine ? but I can?t shake the feeling it?s not, and really want to preempt having health professionals jump in like they did in week 1 - it really kicked my confidence and I felt I lost all control.

Anyway, I thought I would post a sample days feeding on here and see what people think ? does it sound like she?s getting enough? Sometimes the timings are pretty vague especially for the middle of the night, but you get the idea.

(A note on her weight: she was born on 50th, by week 2 was on 25th and by week 7 had dropped to 9th. At 8 week check she seemed to be holding the 9th, but I?m worried she?s going to drop down again. Lately she seems to be gaining roughly 140g a week, give or take. To my eyes she looks lovely, not fat but well covered with folds in all the right places! She has good periods of being alert and smiley, and seems generally well)

Yesterday

0303 L 7mins, R 2 mins
0535 R 6 mins
0700 L about 5 mins, R a little bit
0830 Little bit each side
0930 3xR, all short attempts, kept coming off coughing
1100 L 5 mins, R 5 mins
1200 R about 6 mins
1310 L, R, R
1530 L about 5-10 mins
1640 R about 5 mins
1744 R ? not v effective
1940 L ? about 15 mins not much active sucking, R a bit more
2040 R about 5 mins, bit frantic
2120 Both sides comfort sucking ? latched on in bath with me but not much drinking
2230 fed to sleep, not much drinking
2300 L 7 mins off and on

Over the course of this period had 3x big yellow squitty poos, one slightly greener one,3 wet nappies (I'm assuming there was also pee in the pooey ones ? also a couple of times she weed while I changed her)

Today
0100 Can?t remember which side but think was about 5 mins? Forgot to write down
0350 L 4-5 mins, R about 4 mins
0720 R about 7 mins, L about 2 mins but nor really interested
0920 tiny bit L but fell asleep again
1010 L about 2 mins, R about 7 mins ? good sucking but had to help with compressions
1225 L 7 mins quite good sucking, R about 5 mins

So far today have only had wet nappies. This is really unusual but have had one day with a very long gap between poos before and eventually one came. Am currently trying not to go into a panic that there's been no poo so far....

Sorry for the detail but wanted to give a snapshot of what feeding is like.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

mobellydance Thu 14-Feb-13 19:55:22

Glad I found this thread, I'm in a similar position. My DD started on the 75th centile at birth, at 8lb 6. At 12 weeks she is now on the 20th centile, having just gone over the 11lb mark. I went to a breast feeding club for the first time yesterday, and found it a massive help. It might be worth considering looking for one in your area if you haven't already. Got help with my latch..... Think I must have nipples made of old shoe leather, cos I thought no pain meant good latch, but I needed to get more boob into her mouth, which I was shown how to do. I was also advised to feed for longer on one side before switching her over. Apparently when she does the little nibbly sucks towards the end of the feed, that's when she's getting the fattiest milk. Having to blow on her face and tickle her feet to stop her nodding off though. So the lactation expert said to try that, then she'll weigh her next week and see if it's helped. I read on the iterpipes somewhere that drinking nettle tea can help your milk supply too. Giving it a go, as it won't hurt, and I quite like nettle tea anyway. Fingers crossed for a better weight gain next week....

minipie Thu 14-Feb-13 21:01:28

have you had her checked for tongue tie? including the harder to spot posterior tongue tie?

I ask because I think a lot of my DD's feeding problems (which sound much like yours, ie short feeds, keeps coming off etc) are caused by posterior tongue tie. she gets quite a lot during her short feeds, because she is sucking so hard to compensate for her crappy latch, so weight gain isn't a problem - but she can't keep it up for long so has to have lots of short feeds. and it causes sore nipples in me (not always, but any time she has a bit of a growth spurt).

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 22:26:18

ah yes, I used to stroke dd's wrist to mske sure she was still awake and sucking

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