When to give in to giving formula?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by gracegrace, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. gracegrace

    gracegrace happily pregnant with 2nd

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    LO is now 5 weeks, and I've been BFing since she was born. She's really alert but still hasn't regained her birth weight and has gone from the 9th to the 0.4th centile. I've tried going from feeding her on demand to feeding her 3 hourly, but she's often refusing to feed especially at night (she's been virtually sleeping through since birth). I've tried expressing to boost my supply, too... and she's still not gaining.

    Is it time to give her formula as well as breastmilk...?

    Would welcome advice...
     
  2. Seraphim

    Seraphim Amazing Baby Girl

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    I don't have any experience, but just from what I've picked up from talking to other people... was LO full term?

    I thought they say for low birth weight babies you should wake and feed them regularly, something about not having the calories to wake themselves?

    3 hourly sounds very spaced apart for a 5 week old - I've only just managed to persuade Hazel that the milk will still be there if she gives it a rest for 5 minutes ;)
     
  3. pennysbored

    pennysbored Well-Known Member

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    That's tough. It really is. But I don't need to tell you that. Perhaps it is time to supplement. Does your lo have any underlying health problems?
     
  4. MrsSixx

    MrsSixx Yummy Mummy

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    What is your health visitor's advice on this? It does seem a long time to have not gained back her birth weight.

    My worry would be that she is getting dehydrated thus making her more sleepy. In your position I would supplement a feed or two a day (Aptamil seems to be the one touted as closest to BM) to get things back on track.

    :)
     
  5. soootired

    soootired Well-Known Member

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    I wouldnt count giving a formular feed as giving in, you could prob always go back to just breast later?? Try calling your local nct breasfeeding counciler ours has a weekly drop in.
    Any way nice to here from you. Hope you and your littleone are otherwise well, how did the birth go did they let you have a home birth? I ended up being kept in for ages and had to threaten discharging myself although i couldnt have coped without the epidural :) Considering saving for the portland for the next one, hopefully there a silly young student midwife wont stand there and tell me i have to take atenolol in front of her so she knows i have take it lol.
    All is well now though apart from absalute exhastion (and forgetting how to spell) Maybee this should have been a PM lol Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  6. MrsSixx

    MrsSixx Yummy Mummy

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    PS: if you do supplement, don't be suprised if LO doesn't accept the bottle straight away having got used to the breast for 5 weeks. Might take a few attempts at different times of day.
     
  7. soootired

    soootired Well-Known Member

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    Yea ive not tried the bottle but gave the dummy a go and was suprised when she was having none of it.
     
  8. Lu28

    Lu28 Aisling's mammy

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    I'd have a chat to your HV and possibly also your GP and local bfing group to get a bit more info and see where you are there. Like the others, I wouldn't see giving some formula as giving in, this is quite a while not to regain birth weight. Difficult when you're trying to wake and LO isn't having any of it! I'd also be worried about dehydration.

    Hope you get it sorted hon :hugs:
     
  9. florabean1981

    florabean1981 mum to Harry 06/10/09

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    :hi:

    My LO took 22 days to regain his birth weight, but is still on the 0.4th centile, but following the curve 'nicely' & is gaining, so our Dr isnt too worried.
    That being said, between weeks 4 & 5, I supplemented once a day with a 3oz bottle of Aptimal formula...when doing this I expressed to keep my supply up. LO never had any issues taking the bottle or anything luckily. I stopped giving formula after this though, as I didnt feel comfortable with it, so instead, I started feeding him every 2 hours & hand expressed off the first lot of milk during the night so he was getting more hindmilk rather than tons of foremilk & also used compression feeding to encourage him to feed more when he was really sleepy. I now make sure I feed him from one side, then burp him, change him (even if he doesnt really need it) then burp him again as this makes him more awake, then I feed him again from that same side to increase the likelihood of him getting more of the fattier hindmilk... then if he comes off still awake, then I let him have the second boob, and he has 1 4oz bottle of expressed milk before bed every night too.
    That's worked for us, but I would definitely advise speaking to your HV/GP about your concerns & see what they think, as they might have more helpful suggestions.

    Does your LO have at least 6-8 wet nappies a day and also at least 2 dirty nappies a day? (sign LO is gettin enough) Is the fontanelle sunken at all & if you pinch her, does her skin pinken up again quickly (signs of dehydration or not)? Is she reaching other milestones & does she appear happy in herself?

    (I know a friend of mine added 1 spoon of formula to her EBM each day to make it richer & help her LO gain weight, but I dont know if it worked or not as I havent seen her for ages. I also dont know if that's a good thing to do or not, so dont do it until you speak to your hv/gp, ok?)

    Giving the odd bottle of formula is definitely NOT giving in; we all have to do what's best for our babies!
     
  10. bana

    bana Mummy to Tristan

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    florabean1981- gr8 emoticon, i want it! lol

    gracegrace- its not giving in, just remember happy baby happy mum or vise versa! my lo wont take a dummy or bottle, so just be prepared for a tantrum if u do decide to top up. If u dont i wud feed more often than 3 hourly, make sure yr reading all the hunger cues and maybe wake at night to feed, i dont no y everyone gets obsesed bout sleeping through, that seems to be the only question ppl ask u, like yr a bad mother if they dont! weird! anyways i think mb uf u offer more feeds and mb both boobs initially this may help then if this doesnt work try ff top ups. I wudnt worry yr lo is still gaining weight. xx
     
  11. gracegrace

    gracegrace happily pregnant with 2nd

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    Sitting here with a bottle :cry: I know this shouldn't be about my ego, but I feel such a ****ing failure and OH is furious with me for giving in to formula.

    But thanks for all your comments and PMs... will reply individually to those asap. LO seems OK other than being tiny... she was full term without any apparent health problems. So I don't really know what to make of it all. But thank you for your advice...
     
  12. Lu28

    Lu28 Aisling's mammy

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    Aww hon, huge :hug: It's difficult, even though we know there's nothing wrong with it, it's only a top up, we're doing it for all the right reasons, it's hard giving that first bit of formula. Only you know what's right for your LO :hugs: What is your OH angry about it?
     
  13. florabean1981

    florabean1981 mum to Harry 06/10/09

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    ur not a failure in any way, shape or form!
     
  14. Maffie

    Maffie Guest

    Can you give EBM after baby has had the boob, some hospitals recommend this to gain weight. Also 3 hourly seems too spaced out at 5 weeks, Noah fed every 1.5-2 hours at that age.

    Noah took over a month to regain his birth weight and now at 8 weeks we are just between the 2nd and 9th percentile.
     
  15. Soph&Bump

    Soph&Bump Well-Known Member

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    You're not a failure at all. I know how you feel though. I had planned to exclusively breastfeed and couldn't have imagined not doing this. Problems? That's what happens to other people, I thought. But I've had problems, from being really engorged and LO not able to latch on to general agony from BF. I'm now doing a combination of BF, expressing and 1 or 2 bottles of formula a day. The way I am looking at it I'm giving 4 or 5 sixths breast milk. And much less than half formula. I read somewhere the other day that they get the same amount of antibodies even when you don't exclusively BF.

    My LO also had no problem going from bottle to breast. I'm hoping once my boobs are less sore I'll be able to build up my milk supply so I can meet the demand. I'm sure once your LO has built up her weight you can do the same. But even if you can't, you're not a failure. I know it's easy to say. I've cried in the last few weeks feeling like I'm failing my baby but we're not.
     
  16. MelanieF

    MelanieF Guest

    Dear GraceGrace
    All of us mothers do the best we possibly can by our babies. We love them so very, very much and we want so much to provide them with the best start! Many mums though are seriously let down in our society; health care professionals often have minimal training in BFing, society can make it really hard to BF successfully by touting concepts like "sleeping through"; so many of us don't have a network of knowledgeable, caring, family and friends. I found this article which I thought was really sensitive: https://www.llli.org/NB/NBMayJun05p108.html.

    Perhaps, when you're ready, you might want to think about relactation. The National Breastfeeding Helpline is 0300 100 0212 and please, do call them.

    Melanie
     
  17. pennysbored

    pennysbored Well-Known Member

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    Supplementation is not giving up. You can still breastfeed. Perhaps a week of a few bottles a day will give your LO that leg up they need to really dig in.
    I'm sorry your OH is furious with you, I wish they would be more supportive to you. Its not like you weren't trying.
    And this isn't your fault. Although I believe breast feeding is the best thing for LO, we are lucky to have an option to feed our children in situation like these.
    Express if you can to keep your supply up, and keep breastfeeding often enough to avoid the nipple confusion.
    :hugs:
     
  18. SianMA

    SianMA Mum to Ryan TTC#2

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    Ryan went from 25th centile to below 0.4 centile and is now just bobbing along following the 0.4th. It was due to a combination of a poor latch, being a sleepy feeder and bad reflux so I still have to have him weighed every week at 15 weeks old!

    Supplementing isn't bad or giving up, I would have done it but my HV didn't think Ryan was suffering from being a small baby as he was always alert between feeds and she was right. Maybe once your LO has gained a bit you can go back to exclusive BF, just make sure you keep your supply up by pumping the same amount as you LO has in formula.

    Maybe your OH could read these replies so he knows theres nothing to be worried/ angry about? It would be worse if you didn't supplement and our LO lost more weight so well done for makign that difficult decision.

    My OH is completely the opposite - he wants me to give LO formula so he can do some feeding so I've had to convince him that BF is worth all the hassle and tears! I've only just managed to express more than 1oz after 15 weeks of trying so hopefully he can now get in on the feeding time!
     
  19. gracegrace

    gracegrace happily pregnant with 2nd

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    Thank you all for the reassurance. I'm now trying 2 hourly feeds... TBH she was only feeding 4-6 hourly before, so maybe that's part of the problem. And I'm still topping up with formula and EBM.

    Gracelet's getting weighed in 10 days (aaaargh... Christmas in the way) so we'll see. Hoping, hoping she'll have gained by then...
     
  20. Pyrrhic

    Pyrrhic Well-Known Member

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    Is you baby happy? Bright eyes? Wet and dirty nappies?

    If so, don't worry about what she is on a chart! Those charts that HVs use are for formula fed babies only! MervsMum posted a chart that was made for BF babies, and these are what our BF babies should be measured against.

    Niamh was in the 0.4%. I started giving her formula at 4 months on the advice of my HV and it didn't make a jot of difference, so I went back to BF. She has always been happy, healthy and full of beans.
     

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