My baby is not taking feeds

(102 Posts)
Summerlover Fri 26-Apr-13 15:18:21

Hi to all lovely Mums,

I am very new to mumsnet and in disparate need of help.

To start with I wanted to exclusively breast feed my chicken but he had jaundice when he was 10 days old and was in hospital for a night. There in the hospital the doctors put him on Aptamil and when he was discharged adviced us to do mixed feeding. Then he was diagnosed with severe reflux which he has until now. Can breast milk cause reflux?

My LO took just 270 mls yesterday and until now just 120 mls after loads of struggle. He is 4 months old I am really worried and stressed what shall I do?

Please help.

Ilovestackingcups Fri 26-Apr-13 15:37:20

Stay calm!

Breast milk does not cause reflux. Reflux is caused by stomach acid passing back up into baby's gullet from his stomach and burning. This can be made worse by prolonged periods lying flat if your LO is prone to reflux. As he is still only 4mo, have you got a sling you could use? Not a Babybjorn, but a wrap (solid or stretchy) means he can snooze upright on you during the day/after feeds. At night, can you prop up the head end of his cot/moses basket stand with a couple of books? This will mean he is never completely flat, and may help with reflux.

Feeds wise, are you getting wet and dirty nappies? And are you also still bfing? If you are, please try not to panic. You can't tell how much breastmilk he's getting unless you're expressing it and giving it in bottles. He may be having a slow day food wise. Babies are like the rest of us, they don't always want to eat. If his fontanelle looks depressed, he may be dehydrated. Keep him comfortable, keep offering him feeds. Don't fret if he won't take them as babies can pick up on emotional responses really quickly. He won't feed, you get frustrated, he will too, he won't feed, etc.

Also, please don't just take advice from me. If you want reassurance, call your doctor or HV today and get him seen. They are professionally trained to deal with this sort of thing, I'm not.

I really hope he turns a corner soon. I remember worrying so much about quantity of milk drunk.

Good luck!

Summerlover Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:04

Thank you so much for responding. After every feed I have him in my shoulder In fact he naps on me :-). Very tiring though but have to do whatever it takes to ease him. He wasn't taking milk properly like for 10 days before but one day he took what he should and made so happy even though I was knackered as he won't sleep at nights wakes up frequently. Any ways now we are back to square one again and he isn't taking. I also felt offering breast before bottle may be confuses him as he would refuse bottle altogether. I am not sure but this is what I figured out. I feel I am doing something wrong.

For breast feeding it says avoid wheat and so I and so on how can I do that? Wheat is in cakes, pasties they means what should I eat. I have been trying to speak to health visitor, GP no one seems to help.

I am not getting enough wet nappies and he seems hungry not content. He won't play or anything he is crying almost whole day and I rocking him. He won't sit in his bouncer swing or gym.

I also feel my breast milk isn't sufficient for him. Honestly I don't have confidence on that front though I want to bf him only. I have electric breast pump which I can't use as he keeps me occupied all day and night.

Is nursing pillow of any help while bfing him.

We have his cot propped up. When I read online it says he should be taking a lot more than he does anyway. Can it be the bottle that we are using? Started with tommee tippee now feeding with Mam.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Fri 26-Apr-13 16:29:39

The formula can cause reflux because of intolerance to milk protein

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Apr-13 17:14:35

Try googling the national Breastfeeding helpline and give them a call, I think you need to speak to a BFC.

Is there a bfing support group near to you too? It might be worth going along.

Just wondering if he has been checked for tongue tie too. My DS sounds very much like your DS and with him it was tongue tie and upper lip tie.

Just wondering who has told you to avoid wheat? Is there a particular reason for this? Is your DS wheat intolerant?

Have you tried him with a different formula? While lots of HCP recommend aptimil it is simply because of the way it is marketed to doctors and nurses, no one formula is better than any other.

Welcome to MN and I know you've had some great advice on here already smile

ExBrightonBell Fri 26-Apr-13 17:19:12

I really feel for you SummerLover, you sound confused and worried. Please do go back to your HV and discuss all this with them. Explain how many wet and dirty nappies you are getting a day, and get them to tell you if this is ok. Also get then to check his weight. Make it clear that you want to move to exclusively breastfeeding and ask for support with this.

There are many aspects of what you have been told that seem puzzling from the outside. I am surprised you were advised to mix feed when discharged - the hospital could have discussed ways to increase breastfeeds. Also who has told you to avoid wheat, and did they say why? This is something I've never heard before.

Remember if you are breastfeeding as well as giving formula, the amounts quoted for formula don't apply. They only apply to babies only getting formula. Try not to get hung up on giving a specific volume of formula. If he seems hungry after a breastfeed, either offer the breast again or give formula if you prefer. But don't try and give a specific volume of formula - just as much as he seems to want.

Have you been given any medication for the reflux? AFAIK there are several different ones that could help - maybe go back to the GP and ask about this.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Apr-13 18:49:09

Oh and keep posting summerlover. Let us know what you are thinking about all of this and how you are getting on smile

Summerlover Fri 26-Apr-13 19:32:19

Thank you so very much for your inputs. Very right I am confused. Being first time Mum and do many things going in simultaneously I am getting all confused and stressed out. My breast milk was sufficient even when he was admitted to hospital for jaundice but the doctors there just said to combine feed and we being first time parents hadn't even read anything about formula as we were planning to do just breast feeding in honesty that's where all this trouble started to happen. Any how we are offering him tetra packs of formula.

Here is the thing with breast feeding I realised that as soon as he takes it he gets curdled milk but not with formula so, I end up thinking its BM that's causing reflux.

He is on medication but I really want to stop giving him medicines he is just tiny weenie for that.

I will google the national breast feeding campaigns thank you for that.
The weird part is some paediatrician say he has reflux and a few day he doesn't so, we get confused but I am pretty sure he has it. We have googled it and read it online.

It does say on Internet that BM can't cause reflux but on some blog or something it says it can.

On mumsnet itself it says under the breast feeding section things to consider avoiding while bfing wheat is one of it.

I am already not drinking orange juice because of citric. I am taking lactose free milk, almost no coffee what so ever.

Did your babies start to sleep over night by 4 months. I am do knackered and desperately in need for guidance here.

Do you feel buying a nursing pillow will help me feel better while I feed him from better?

I can see my LO rooting then why would he not take his feeds that's really worrying me?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Apr-13 20:51:55

Really feel for you, can remember how exhausting those first fess months can be. Can do links now so here are the bfing helpline numbers. Think it would help to talk this through with a BFC.

As for looking at bfing information online, there is a lot of information out there and a lot of it is just opinion and not based on any evidence. If you are looking at bfing info online, have a look at kellymom and la Leche league.

I've not seen the wheat thing on Mn, but know that doesnt mean its not there obviously smile . Kellymom is all evidence based and this is what it says about your diet and bfing.

As for the curdled milk after bfing, I'm really not sure on that one. Maybe that's one to ask a BFC on one of the helplines smile.

How do you feel about the top ups? Are you happy to continue or would you prefer to wean Lo off them?

As for the sleep, very few babies do sleep all night at 4 months. Even babies who have previously slept through start to wake as this is a classic time for a growth spurt and a sleep regression. The ISIS website is a good starting point and the book Sound Sleep is good too smile

If he's still not taking his formula, could he just be full from your BM? Have you tried offering the breast again? They are never empty you know and the more you feed, the more you produce smile. Are you offering each breast at least once each feed too summer?

Have you been going to any bfing support groups? Sometimes you just need a cuppa and a bit of adult conversation with people who know what you are going through smile

Summerlover Sat 27-Apr-13 09:32:08

Hi JJJ thank you for trying to help me. Thank you to all the lovely ladies for your inputs. JJJ the link on MN- http://www.mumsnet.com/babies/foods-to-avoid-while-breastfeeding.

Haven't slept for more than an hour in a day in4 months in fact not even an hour been rocking him and then he is in my chest sleeping or won't sleep. Knackered literally on the point of breaking and crying because I can still cope up with not sleeping but he is not taking his feed. He won't drink anything for 9-10 hours and then after struggle just 30mls. He isn't taking the breast just screaming with hunger. I try to offer him breast first and then bottle but he won't take breast Allan's bottle with struggle lots of struggle. Makes me cry to see he is hungry but not taking. I don't why would that be? I can hear gurgling noises from his tummy when he takes such sma amount of milk.

I will give call to the Bfc.

We have recently moved in to our own house and I have still not heard anything from the new HV team. It's been a month no one has contacted me so far.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 27-Apr-13 09:45:03

Can remember my DS being just like that. He wouldn't sleep and then if he would, it would only be on me.

I know its tough to do things when you are so tired but is there someone who can have him for a bit today, either to give him his bottle or stick him in a sling/pram/car for an hour so that you can ring one of the bfing helplines?

I'm not trained but it does sound like it could be tongue tie. Milk matters do a diagnosis service or you could ask the BFC on the helpline if she thinks it is a possibility.

If you are that tired are you getting any help? Is arranging a cleaner, getting a milkman and doing your shopping online a possibility? You need to try and make things as easy for yourself as you can smile

Let us know what the BFC says smile

noblegiraffe Sat 27-Apr-13 09:45:26

Are you saying that he isn't feeding at all, neither breast nor bottle for 9-10 hours, despite your best efforts?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 27-Apr-13 09:48:11

Oh and as for the HV, you might need to call them if you want to speak to them. I moved areas when my DS was about 2 and the HVs never got in touch with me. If you ring your new GPs they should be able to give you the HVs number and the times of any groups she might run like the weigh in clinic.

Have you got a children's centre near to you too? They may run a bfing group and other groups you might like.

kritur Sat 27-Apr-13 11:16:18

Your local sure start centre should have a breast feeding support group you can go to. It sounds like he is uncomfy feeding so you may need to try different positions, he nay prefer to be upright if he has reflux. Are your breasts engorged making latch difficult? If so then hand express a little to deflate them and make things easier for him. Your breast milk is enough for him, I know it's hard as you never know how much he is having. Does he sleep in the pram or car? My dd was a snacker so if I was totally knackered (she has always been a rubbish sleeper) then I would get my mum to take her out for a walk for a couple of hours. She would sleep all tucked up comfy and I'd get my head down. When she got back she'd take a longer feed as well.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 27-Apr-13 12:50:24

noble makes a good point. Is he going 9 to 10 hours without anything at all? Have you tried finger, syringe or cup feeding? Have a look at this on alternative feeding methods.

You are right to be worried though. If lo isn't producing enough wet nappies, is screaming and refusing both breast and bottle I think you need medical help.

Have you had chance to ring one of the helplines yet?

Summerlover Sat 27-Apr-13 19:49:12

Yrs Noble that's right nothing at all for 9-10 hours. JJJ I have been to paediatricians before and they say they can't say why this is happening but that was when I used to rock him to sleep and feed him then hd used to take it but now he isn't even doing that. That was very difficult though but still comforting that he is drinking milk but now he just doesn't want it. If I am honest docs have been no use until now. I am going to try to feed him with alternative methods though I tried the cup and he sit that out straight away.

JJJ I didn't get chance to call them yet you can imagine I don't get to eat anything because he just wants meal, scaling hasn't been possible yet.y eyes are burning and shutting but it's all worth it if he takes his feeds.

ExBrightonBell Sat 27-Apr-13 20:01:45

Summerlover, can't your partner deal with some of this eg calling the GP, HV etc? Also preparing food that you can eat one handed whilst holding the baby?

Also, if your baby has had no food at all for the past 10 hours plus I would strongly suggest seeking some urgent medical attention. He could be at risk of dehydration. Please call the GPs tomorrow morning as soon as you can and ask for an emergency appt. Explain that it is for a baby under 6 months who isn't feeding. Or failing that, if he still isn't feeding tomorrow then go to A & E.

Accentuatethepositive Sat 27-Apr-13 20:47:28

Hi summer, I hope you're ok, your situation sounds very stressful. From reading your posts I'm not completely clear about how long you've been seriously concerned about your baby's intake. However if it's been several days of hardly any drinking, not enough wet nappies and him being very unsettled, might it be worth you going to a & e tonight? Or at least calling out of hours doctor. It may be that this would put your mind at rest as if necessary the docs will be able to make sure your son gets hydrated and you can also get them to investigate what's causing the problem, whether that's tongue tie or something else.

I really feel for you as having had my own fair share of feeding problems in the early days with my DD I know there is nothing more stressful than a baby who won't feed.

Hope you get some answers and some rest soon.

noblegiraffe Sat 27-Apr-13 21:51:40

I agree, if he is still not feeding properly then he needs to be seen quite urgently to deal with possible dehydration and to find out why he isn't feeding.

When you have seen a doctor (or a&e), you also need to ask someone for help for yourself. Have you got a partner or family you could ask to look after the baby for a few hours while you get some sleep? You can't carry on as you are with so little sleep.

Accentuatethepositive Sat 27-Apr-13 23:45:16

Hope you are ok OP. I'm sure to be up again later in the night feeding my DD and will make sure I check in. So do post if things get difficult later and you want to talk. But I hope you don't have to because you're getting the real life medical and emotional support you need.

halestone Sun 28-Apr-13 00:49:44

Hi summer, i'm just going to tell you something about my 4 month old it may help it may not.

She was EBF till about 8-9 weeks old and then combined fed till 2 weeks ago. Her sleep has always been horrendous her normal pattern is one sleep which is between 1-2 hours long. Then separate sleeps for the rest of the day which last between 10-30minutes long. We counted and she sleeps about 5-6 hours at most in a 24 hour period.

As i was increasing her FF's and decreasing her BF's we noticed a huge increase in poo from 1 a day to 6-7 a day and she sharted alot. So we swopped from apatimil to Cow and Gate. The poo's decreased but only to 4-5.

She has also vomited after most feed since she was born the Dr refuses to say its reflux although my HV is convinced it is. Anyway since swopping to FF her vomits all increased as well and she vomited between feeds as well. Also she really seemed to struggle against being fed and only took small amounts buy did this quite often.

Anyway the HV came on monday i sobbed my heart out. I was exhausted i just wanted her to sleep for a longer period and the HV said that her sleep pattern was abnormal. It was her that made me look more closely at bowel habits and vomiting habits. When we discussed the above and her sleep pattern together, the HV was able to come up with a couple of answers.

First she asked me to take my DD to the GP and ask him about a milk intolerance and also to talk about reflux Again So we did this we are now awaiting the results of a stool sample to see if she is intolerant to milk. GP refused to prescribe anything for reflux until the results are back though.

The HV also told me that cow and gate do a formula called cow and gate reflux and suggested we try that. She said they only sell it in boots though.

We managed to get hold of it and have noticed a huge improvement in her. She hasn't vomited since thursday, only has 2 poos a day and no sharts. Her poos where previously burning her bum despite me changing her bum as soon as she poo'd. That seems to have stopped. Also she is sleeping more settled shes not thrashing around in her sleep and has managed a 3 hour sleep gringringringrin but more amazingly tonight she actually self settled.

If you buy the cow and gate though please bare in mind that it is quite thick we've had to go to the next teat size up so DD can get it out.

Sorry its a mammoth post i was hoping it may help you, sorry if it doesn't. Also maybe think about joining a postnatal thread on here, i'm on the december 2012 thread, its saved my sanity at times

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 28-Apr-13 13:59:34

Are things any better summer. Has he bf or had any formula today?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 28-Apr-13 14:12:54

Agree with the others too, you need to get some help with this and fast.

Have you got someone to have him for a couple of hours so that you can rest? Can someone prepare you a few meals? You will feel better able to deal with this and think clearly if you can get some sleep. Have you got a partner, family, friend or neighbour who could help?

You really do need to find out why he's not feeding and that he is isn't suffering from dehydration..

Summerlover Sun 28-Apr-13 20:22:32

Thank you everyone. I feel like all of you are my family and supporting and guiding me thank you ever so much. I have been to A&e and they say he is fine, thank god for that. They say he is all fine but they don't know why he isn't taking feeds and can't help me with that. Which I didn't like to hear they' said he isn't dehydrated. He took couple of feeds in the morning today but again nothing so, I am still worried because I stressed this to the paed that if he hasn't list weight yet then he will. They said if he is hungry he will take it well, I was in tears there,they don't understand.

My LO just wants to be held by me so, he won't go to his Daddy hence, me suffering with no rest. He just wants to be as close to me as possible I really wanted to out my head down for sometime but not possible as he just wants me.

Accentuatethepositive Sun 28-Apr-13 20:37:14

Ah glad to see you back and hear your little one is ok. That must be a relief for you. I'm no expert on the continuing feeding issues but perhaps others will have suggestions. Personally I have found local breastfeeding groups very helpful perhaps you can find one near you? If you get one run by an infant feeding specialist hopefully they can help with the bottle feeding side of things too?

To give you a rest could your partner take the baby out in the buggy or sling for a couple of hours? Perhaps DS might be ok with someone else if he's in motion? Or you could look up the safety guidelines for co sleeping and if you can set things up safely perhaps DS will sleep snuggled up with you allowing you to get a bit of rest too? Sleep deprivation is hell, I'm sure it would help you see things more clearly to catch up a bit.

Good luck and once again I'm pleased to hear your son isn't dehydrated.

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