Anyone else have issues with breastfed baby not growing?

Dianne - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 93 moms have responded )

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My daughter Laura is 8 wks old now and from birth she has been a lazy, ineffectual nurser. In the first couple weeks I had to pump for every single feeding, and give it to her in a bottle. She ate every 2-3 hrs and was growing, slowly...I was also supplementing quite a bit with formula because sometimes I just couldn't get enough milk by pumping. She inevitably developed nipple confusion and it was really hard to get her to nurse at all...but over the past six weeks I have worked very hard to get her nursing full-time and now we're doing great--she latches on fine, she likes nursing, etc. The problem now is that she is still not a very effective nurser and has a relatively weak suck compared to most other babies this age (I have two older children whom I nursed till 14-15 months, each). She has gained about a pound since she was born but for the last three or four weeks her weight has plateaued at 7.2 lbs and she has not gained a single ounce. So now the lactation consultant says I absolutely have to supplement with at least an ounce of either formula or breastmilk and wants me to pump at least a few times a day to keep up my supply. I am to put Laura to breast for every feeding and then supplement. The consultant also said to begin a fenugreek regimen to keep up my production. But Laura has to be able to empty my breasts; otherwise my production will decrease again anyway. My main frustration is that I have a 4 yr. old daughter, a 22-month-old son, and now Laura, my newborn...it is absolutely unrealistic for me to be able to pump 5-6 times a day or whatever, and nurse, and supplement too...I have three kids to care for. Therefore most of the supplementing will have to be with formula, as much as I hate the idea. I guess I'm just venting here and wondering if anyone else has had the same problems...I do NOT want to give up on nursing and my sincere hope is that with several weeks of supplementing, so that Laura grows, she will become a stronger baby overall and nurse better, and I can return to exclusive breastfeeding and not have to worry about supplementing at all. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Or encouragement? I'm just about sick over this b/c breastfeeding is so important to me, but I can only do so much on my part--the baby has to be a good nurser as well, and she just isn't at this point; no matter how long she nurses at each feeding, I guess she still isn't getting enough milk. Sigh. Will we get past this?!

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Jaye - posted on 02/19/2011

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Sweetie - you need to know WHY your baby is having a hard time draining the breast. Babies should be able to do that - you say her suck is weak - why? Has anyone been able to determine what baby's actual problem is? Has anyone actually investigated the WHY of her breastfeeding challenges?

Not all LC's have the experience to figure out exactly why babies have some of these complicated and frustrating challenges. It doesn't mean they aren't good at their job, it just means they haven't learned that particular skill yet...I didn't know about this stuff when I first started 16 yrs ago - but now, as an IBCLC, I specialize in babies with complicated situations.

There are many reasons baby may be having a hard time suckling effectively. It could be a tongue tie or tight muscles that are making it difficult for her. Baby's are NOT lazy nursers - if they have been labeled a "Lazy Nurser" then that 100% of the time tells me something is going on with the baby that is causing a problem.

I work with babies with these challenges on a regular basis. If you like, you are welcome to email me and we can talk about your circumstances and I can possibly give you some ideas to help make it better. :)

Warmly,
Jaye Simpson, IBCLC, CIIM
ibclc@breastfeedingnetwork.net

Laurie - posted on 02/19/2011

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I notice one of the complaints you have is not having enough time to pump while looking after two other children - i.e. how are you going to pump 5 or 6 times a day. You don't actually. I suspect if you were to pump yourself dry after her feed first thing in the morning and again before you go to bed at night and feed her directly the rest of the day as often as she wants to eat, then supplementing with the pumped breast milk - you will find your milk supply will increase in leaps and bounds anyway. I used to pump almost exclusively for my two children as I had the opposite problem - they sucked very hard and it hurt. I couldn't feed them directly more than about once a day most of the time. I got to the point where I could pump everything I needed in four sessions a day (7am, 12, 5pm and 10pm or so) and at the height of "production" I was producing close to 40 ounces a day so if you are feeding directly most of the day on demand then I would think that twice a day would be plenty. I used to get my husband to bottle feed our kids while I pumped in the morning. For you, if he is around, I would suggest you let her eat as much as she will take directly, then let your husband bottle feed her if she is still hungry while you pump. After feeding her, still experiencing let down, you should only have to pump about ten minutes or so to get 6 to 8 ounces of hind milk (which has all the fat to help her grow/keep her full longer) assuming you are producing that much over and above what she is drinking. First thing in the morning after a full 8 to 9 hours, I could usually get close to 15 ounces total so if she is drinking first you would probably get 7 ounces or so. If not, the tea and oatmeal as suggested by others may help and make sure you drink lots of water.

Danielle - posted on 02/18/2011

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i had the same problem..bought fenugreek and it helped out alot!!! i do also have one other child which is about to be 2 the one im nursing just turned 8 months so i can understand about the time crunch that you have... just dont give up pump pump pump some more lol that what i had to do, it felt like i was walking around with my pump stuck to me all day long...i now know what the cows feel like getting milked all day long!! but you as their mother and the doctors know best..good luck! oh and my son didnt gain much from birth weight until he was about 4 months old... :)

Jessica - posted on 02/23/2011

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I actually just experienced this myself! I have a 9wk old that was losing weight and had lost 10 ounces in 2 weeks. We were exclusively breastfeeding and I thought he was receiving enough milk, they even weighed him after a feeding and reported that he ate 4 ounces. I was freaked out that their was something wrong and that he could possibly die. I began taking fenugreek capsules 3 times a day and 3 capsules each time and I would pump on the side that he wasn't eating on. I also have a 4yr old son and a soon to be 2yr old son so I understand your frustration with how much they want you to pump, they told me the same thing. First of all, your a good mother. Despite what you may be feeling right now, you are doing a great job and you will find a solution to this. I recommend nursing and pumping at the same time to keep your supply up and after she nurses at the breast, give her the bottle of BM you just pumped. The fenugreek will increase your supply which if she is like my 9week old son will make her want to nurse better. As soon as I started doing the 3x3 with the fenugreek and pumping while he ate a few times, he gained 6 ounces in 4 days time (I couldn't tell a difference in my supply at the time). They want them to gain 3/4 of an ounce to an ounce of weight a day so I understand your frustration, its a lot of pressure on us, the supplier. Don't give up, you will overcome this and your DD will gain weight again.

Jenelle - posted on 02/22/2011

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I am just now at the end of this exact problem...only I have seven kids I have been trying juggle with all the fortifying and pumping. I don't care much for Lactation specialists, they are either "Nazi nursers" or give you unrealistic tasks and assignments to help! My doctor put me on Reglan...totally safe for nursing baby. You pump for two days, three days max, and then you have enough milk to feed the village! Plus a side effect is that it calms you and baby down so neither of you get frustrated as easily. As she gets older she will get stronger and will be more alert. My baby is only twelve weeks, and was born six weeks early. And I was blessed with flat nipples...not easy. Rent a Hospital grade pump. They not only empty your breasts but stimulate milk production, where store bought pumps only empty your breast. Stick with it, you will regret it if you don't. BF is very important to me, and I don't have any support from family or friends. They think I am crazy going through all the trouble just to BF, I think the trouble is worth it. And despite my nipple issue, and the fact that all my kids were preemie, I still eventually managed to nurse exclusively. Good Luck! I have a lifetime supply of ideas if you need more. I have had to do a lot of research on this subject. Hang in there!

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Dawn - posted on 03/03/2011

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My daughter, who is now 3, wasn't a very strong nurser (compared to other infants I suppose) Although she didn't take in a lot per sitting, she fed more frequently~closer to every hour and a half than 2 hours. She was in the bottom 2% for weight and height for her 1st year, but she met all of her milestones on time, if not early. Her ped wasn't overly concerned because of this combined with the fact that her petite size was consistent with most of the breastfed girls in my family. At about 3 months her doctor and I agreed to do a full blood panel just to make sure that we weren't overlooking anything, and everything came back perfect. I would say try breastfeeding more frequently, and pay more attention to her development than her weight gain. My daughter is now in the 50% range for size, and hits growth spurts (skipping over 2 clothes sizes in a week sometimes) and still remains petite. But again, it seems to be the norm in my family line. I think many times doctors are quick to worry if a child isn't developing according to some scale they created, but we mustn't forget that all kids are different, too. Just because one child grows at a different pace than another down the street doesn't mean that there is anything wrong. Mommy's intuition is usually closer to accurate than any text book answer. It doesn't hurt to have a little blood drawn to make sure that there isn't an underlying condition that is being missed either. If nothing else, a clear panel will help give you peace of mind that everything is okay.

Stephanie - posted on 03/02/2011

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I did have this issue as well with my first and my third child....the first was easy to just pump when he got done nursing (he was terrible at latching on), then the 2nd came had no issues at all with him. And now my 3rd which is almost 11months I had issues with in the beginning as well...its very hard to pump after every feeding with 2 other children but it does all work out if you keep up the good effort, it takes alot of patience...I know so many people just kept telling me oh supplement but I am very stubborn and wouldnt do it, i would just have the other 2 pull out some toys while I would pump and the baby would be sleeping...good luck!! Not sure the ages of your children but mine are 4 yrs, 2yrs and almost 11months (very close together)

[deleted account]

My daughter was only 9 lbs at 4 months. I breastfed her exclusivly up to 3 1/2 months when I noticed she wasn't gainning weight, so I started to give her mashed banana. Even the lactation consultant couldn't figure out why she wasn't gainning weight. I produced about 9 oz total when pumping and with the weighing trick they do they saw that she was getting about 9 1/2 oz in a 15 min feeding. After I started feeding her baby food she gainned 2 lbs in 2 1/2 weeks and grew 2 inches. Something was up with my milk obviously. She slowly made her way from the 2nd percentile to the 20th were she has stayed.

I think that there was something wrong with my metabolism during this time. While she wasn't gainning weight I was. I gainned 3 lbs during that time. I have a feeling that I wasn't taking in enough fats and b12. So my body wasn't giving all that it needed to my daughter.

Krista - posted on 03/01/2011

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My daughter was solely breastfed daughter is off the charts. She is 26 months old and is 19 lbs. She is the same size as my 1-year-old niece. She did have average growth rate for a while, but nothing spectacular. All the docs could figure out was she is just small and needs to eat more. Now she's on regular food and eating normal meals and snacks and is still small.

Robyn - posted on 03/01/2011

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I like what Jessica McGuire said. My 3rd child was tongue tied. It took him 30 minutes on each side and he still wasn't getting enough. He lost weight and the pediatrician thought I needed to supplement. The thing is, I had been fighting, since the hospital, for them to clip his frenulum. The pedi finally conceded when my son was 4 months old. It just took a second, and he barely felt it. His feedings IMMEDIATELY decreased from 1 full hour to 20 minutes. He also began to gain weight. He is now a fat and happy 2 year old.

Erika - posted on 02/28/2011

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My son was lazy at nursing from the start. I have been to hell and back with him it seems! His problem began with acid reflux. He became a snacker to avoid pain. He would only nurse for so long each feeding, therefore wasn't gaining weight. By the time he was 2 1/2 months old he gave up on nursing all together! I was just sick about it because I breastfed my daughter for a year and felt guilty if I didn't do the same for Miles! Since I would be returning to work he would have to eat from a bottle so I just gave up the fight to "nurse" and began exclusively pumping. Now he is almost 9 months old and we're still going strong. We sometimes need to supplement with formula, but never more than 4 oz in a day. I will be able to give him breastmilk for as long I want, just not the way I wanted! If you end up going this route you can use me a resource;)

Esther - posted on 02/27/2011

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dont supplement that will make it worse you need to eat longer and get the fatty milk she is just getting the thin milk. my first baby duid this. and pum0pming was making it worse for me. it made me make to much milk for her she would get full off the thin milk and not get enough fatty milk

Pamela - posted on 02/27/2011

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Eats on Feets.
Check for lip and tongue tie.
Try a nurse in.
Some people have sucess with nipple sheilds.
SNS feeding system might help.
How is your diet? Are you eating enough foods that will make your milk rich and fatty? (Google it, quite simple things will sometimes do wonders)

If you have to continue to supplement, and are against human milk sharing, everything I have read indicates liquid formula is the better option.

Hope it all works out, and your little girl gets the hang of it.

Susan - posted on 02/26/2011

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my fourth child was much the same. medically, your baby growing is more important than anything. you can pump and give it to her in the bottle but i'm thinking for your baby like mine, bottle may be best. i lasted for four months with my guy, nursing, pumping, supplementing. when i went to the bottle exclusively he was a much happier baby, my other kids got more of my time and we ended up being much happier all around. a failure to thrive baby is not something you want!!!! brain development is going on and you need to just remember that you are doing this for the good of your little girl. good luck to you!

Deanna - posted on 02/24/2011

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My little one was 9 lbs at birth and 8 lbs 15oz at her 2 mo checkup - it was a huge shock. We switched her to nursing 2x a day and 24oz formula - she gained over a pound in 8 days! I wish I could ebf her but she is lazy as well and even if she was a chunk at birth she still needs to gain. I thought we would go back to ebf but with 2 kids the bottle and formula is soo much easier and my supply has gone down. I generally nurse 3x a day but am going back to work next week. I do have a lot of frozen breast milk but pumping is not working anymore. I breast fed my son for 15 months and miss it with her even though the bottle makes life more convenient overall. Hope things smooth out for you and that your little one keeps growing. Know that you are not alone.

Wanda - posted on 02/24/2011

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Have you had her mouth checked by lacation consultant? I had some of problems as you are having. My daughter's tongue was tied. Could'nt latch or suck properly. Also did'nt gain any weight. We had it cut. Then I had to deal with nipple confusion. Scratching, screaming at every feed, the consultant came up with a great idea. To use a nipple shield and it worked. My daughter had collic also. Brewer's collic relief was a life saver. My advice to you is to never give up. I joined a breast feeding group for encouragement. I did battle with supply issues. Cause my daughter could'nt breastfeed for 4 weeks.Pumping was the only answer for me :( I bought a medulla mini electric breast pump (portable) for $189. The best money I ever spent. I had to feed or pump every two hours. To get supply up. Breastfeeding was extremely hard for me. But I look back now and realise I did what was best. I give it my all. that's all anyone can do.

Samantha - posted on 02/23/2011

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My daughter had a hard time gaining weight for the first month - 2 months of her life. She had a hard time getting a hang of nursing to begin with, so did I, I am a first time mother. Breast feeding was very important to me also and the doctors were at the point they wanted to keep her in the hospital a couple of days to monitor her and weigh her before and after feeding/bowel movement to see how much she was actually absorbing and try and pinpoint the problem. This was very scary for me and I doubted that something was wrong with me. I had her going to the doctor every week for 4 weeks to be weighed, the first two times she stayed the same the third time she had gained a lb and the second time another pound. We really hadn't done anything too different, I think my supply just wasn't high enough. Once she started nursing better and I would pump after 2 feedings a day/night for 15 minutes and just drink at least 3 bottles of water between every feeding that was about 2.5 - 3 hrs apart my supply went up dramatically. I'm sure you know and have tried all the tricks but also laying down feeding was a huge help for us. She does so much better when we lay down vs me sitting up w/ a boppy. Idk if this helps at all or if you've heard it all before but I know the frustration/fear of them not gaining weight. Good luck.

Ania - posted on 02/23/2011

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maybe it will sound crazy...but is she a happy baby? maybe you just need to relax and start fengurek and put her more often to the breast....it would be bad if she again got confused or God forbid weaned herself because of bottle....maybe she just needs more practice.

Merry - posted on 02/23/2011

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Anything you need just ask!
And I highly advise kellymom.com and kathydettwyler.org
Awesome sites on breastfeeding!

Dianne - posted on 02/23/2011

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So sorry everyone; I had no idea I was getting responses because I wasn't getting any email notifications...but thanks for all the support!! I am reading thru each answer and I appreciate you all taking the time to help. I may be contacting a couple of you for more help. :)

Terra - posted on 02/23/2011

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I had that problem with my second. I had to breatfeed him and then go pump and whatever I could pump out, feed him with the bottle. It worked like a charm and as he got older, he got better at nursing and I didn't have to do that anymore.. good luck.

Nicole - posted on 02/23/2011

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pump the other breast while your baby is nursing on the other side......this will get your pumping time in and it will also increase your let down speed and the baby might eat more with the same amount of work.......this is what I do when I need to increase my supply.....I have 3 kids as well. I have also only nursed on one side in a four hour period....this increased my supply as well and helped to empty out my breasts.

Chantelle - posted on 02/23/2011

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my daughter had no sucking reflex when she was born last march. i started finger feed right from birth. use a syringe and put a little bit of formula in it then put a small tube on it and put the other end on ur finger and in their mouth. then push the plunger a little bit and try to get them to suck. i also used a nipple shield for the first three months. it's a pain but it helps a lot. ur doing great to keep at it that long. i know it's frustratng. but i also knew breastmilk is the best thing. that's what kept me going. my stubbornness. good luck:)

[deleted account]

I agree that you shouldn't have to pump every 3 hours. I had to go back to work, so I can't possibly pump that often. I pump every 3 to 4 hours getting 6 to 8 ounces at a time. My supply went down some around 4 months when I had been back at work for a few weeks and couldn't nurse on demand. To top it off I got sick and had my first cycle in over a year so I was practically dried up. I started keeping a drink with me all the time and making sure I wqas eating enough to produce milk and got the fenugreek. It worked great! I know breastfeeding can seem so hectic sometimes, but it's so worth it. Maybe your older kids can have quiet time with you while you pump. I know sometimes if Walt wants to eat when I need to pump so he can have a bottle while I'm gone I'll feed him from one side and pump from the other. I've also read to him while nursing when it's bedtime. You could pump and nurse your daughter simultaneously while reading a story to the other kids or during their naptime.

Billie - posted on 02/23/2011

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I will be difficult but you can do it. You may have to supplement alot but some breastmilk is better than none. I used to work for my local wic office as lactation educator and seen that alot

Lisa - posted on 02/23/2011

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I did have similar problems with both my kids. Although my issues were in the first month. With my firstborn they had me freaked out before I left the hospital. He lost quite a bit and they had me supplementing w/ formula before we even left. He also had jaundice so I went along with things- but then he ended up with nipple confusion and it took weeks for me to get him back to solely nursing. With my second I vowed not to let that happen again. But sure enough she was not gaining the weight they wanted and against my liking we went down the same road. I was so afraid for her health I also gave her formula. For her first 2 weeks we were at the dr almost every day just to check her weight! Of course she ended up with confusion again and it took a long time to get her back to nursing and I almost gave up. Now she is almost a year and refuses a bottle- lol! But looking back, I would have gone with my instinct and kept nursing. The nurses are looking out for the health of the baby, but I really new she just needed a couple more days and she would have been on track. So I feel your pain. It is very hard to continue pumping with the other kids around. So I would say if you feel like she will turn around and nurse better, keep at it. But if it is too much and you aren't seeing a turnaround, it is ok to go the formula route! You have a lot going and don't needed the added pressure!

Melissa - posted on 02/23/2011

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You are doing nothing wrong, there is nothing wrong with your baby.
My baby developed a weak suck. . . because she could!
In the realm of TMI, my right breast shot out milk with the slightest touch, so she backed off, opened her mouth and let it squirt in, she'd even go to sleep and have it all over her face. From that side she usually only got the creamy stuff.

From the other side she sucked ok, but had a hard time maintaining a balance.

To keep her and I awake while feeding, I bounced her gently and said, "Go Bekah roo! Go Bekah roo! Go Bekah Bekah Bekah Bekah Bekah Bekah roo! " till she was done.

If she fell asleep I switched up sides to make it interesting.

Breastfeeding can be a lot of work. If you don't have the time to put into it, know you're doing the right thing by supplementing, bottle feeding etc. You will be a better mother for it.

By the way, the lazy sucker will suck your head off these days. =)

Lorena - posted on 02/23/2011

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I had the same problem with my last daughter (the second). I am also a stay at home mom with the two girls and have physical disabilities that makes taking care of them a big job. I also had a lactation consultant help me with the same advice, but she also gave me the website of a lactation doctor Jack Newman http://www.drjacknewman.com/default.asp
I think you should try breast compression to help the milk flow heavier during the feeding which stumulates drinking and to emply the breast naturally. Here is a link to an article on the subject: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_...

You should also just brouws around the videos, there is also a video on breast compression to help you get the right technique. Breast compression is also done is many of the other videos, they are all short so just look at several of them. My daughters drinking improved dramatically with this technique.

Also if you need to give supplement you can try giving it while she is on the breast through that device they use with newborns. It has a litte tube that you can slip in along your finger (or breast). This also stimulates feeding called a lactation aid here is another link from Jack Newmans web site:
http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_...
Here is a link to the Medela site where they show the 'Supplemental Feeding System"

I know how hard it is to take care of the newborn and have to wrangle others as well. Best of luck to you and just hang in there, I'm sure it will all come together and then it will be worth all of the trouble. It took my little one about three months before it all began to go smoothly, but I also found it so important to breast feed and I just hung in there. My little Irene also had acid reflux and kept spitting up the milk I had worked so hard to get into her, also very discouraging. Keep at it, and ask for help with the other two if you can, it is temporary. Send a message if you need a cheerleader and I'll be there.
With much respect, Lorena

Veronica - posted on 02/22/2011

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My daughter was a slow feeder. Even after she got good at feeding, it never took less than 45 minutes to feed. I know that the big problem (i.e. what slowed her down) was my milk supply. It never came in. I ended up having to rent a hospital grade pump, supplement with formula for a number of weeks and take domperidone and a fenugreek/blessed thistle combination. The hospital grade pump helped b/c it was more effective than the medela pump and I could do it for shorter periods of time. I was able to compare the two because when my daughter was 5 months, I needed emergency surgery which resulted in my losing my milk supply that I diligently brought up. Following the surgery, I used the medela pump, which was very good, but not as good as the hospital grade one.

I ended up having to use domperidone for the entire time I was breastfeeding, although I did give up the supplemental pumping other than a pump in the morning. Even then, my supply was marginally good. When I went back to work when my daughter was 8 months, despite pumping at work, I ended up slowly losing my supply that I had no choice but to stop BF at 1 year. Fortunately, my daughter didn't have weight concerns, but that is primarily because of the formula supplementing. I used a bottle once her latch was good and never had issues with nipple confusion.

Having said all that, I agree that you will need your doctor to determine if there is something going on with your child that is causing the difficulty feeding.

Good luck. It certainly can't be easy with 3!

Tracey - posted on 02/22/2011

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Dianne, I feel your pain! My son, now 21 months, was a similiar feeder. I had to express after each feed, take vitamin (fenugreek) supplements and also a medical supplement (motilium). I am also 7 months pegnant with #2, and the idea of needing to pump that often is unrealistic with other children to care for! I think pumping morning and evening are about all I'll be able to mamage while staying sane... With that being said, I think this time around I'll be less concerned about the weight gains, so long as there are constant gains - the Australian weight scales are based on predominately bottle fed ameican babies - generally bigger than breast fed babies. I think I will also be less concened about fomula top ups this time around - whatever it takes to keep baby happy and healthy!! All you can do is nurse often, and if the little one is still hungry use pumped milk first, try the breast again, and then use formula as the last resort. My son eventually weaned himself at around 11 months, which was too early for me, but what he wanted - so be it, he tranistioned onto a cup and never really formed a striong attachment to the bottle! Hope this helps - and good luck

Melanie - posted on 02/22/2011

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I had problems with my daughter not gaining weight the first couple months of her life. I had talked to the dr. about it and I was starting to get worried. She had my poor girl go through some tests and come to find out I had low milk supply, no matter what I did, I couldn't get my milk supply back, I ended up having to go on medicine. I successfully am still breastfeeding and my daughter will be 10 months next week.
I agree with Jaye. You should find out why she isn't sucking well. I also found out that my daughter needed both breasts in order for her to feel satisfied. Their were times when my daughter would eat for about 45 minutes on both breasts. I would also say that maybe you should try feeding her more often; my daughter, at that age, she would eat every 2/3 hrs. and sometimes would want to eat every 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. and I know it's tuff when you have other children. Hope this advice helps.

Amy - posted on 02/22/2011

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have you tried supplementing at the breast? this will give her instant positive reinforcement for nursing and get her the supplementation she might need while keeping your milk up. this is actually how I got my son to latch and feed, I had forgotten to mention it in my earlier post. ask your lactation consultant for a supplemental nursing system or an SNS. it is a bottle that has two very thin tubes that come out of it. you will put formula in the bottle and wear it around your neck during feeding. one tube will run right to your nipple where the baby will feed you will tape the other tube up above the bottle so formula or EBM doesnt leak out of it. when she nurses the tube will not interfear but it will give her milk when she sucks at the breast.

AJ - posted on 02/22/2011

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Hi, I had similar issues breast feeding my oldest son, and from my experience if your girl is an inefficent feeder and has trouble actually suckling it could actually be a physical issue such as a high palet and or short toungue, these things can make suckling difficult for little ones, i suggest taking her to your pediatrician and getting this checked out. I ended up putting my wee man on the bottle after 5months when we found out he also had a milk allergy, and we used the Pidgeon bottles with the peristeltic teats.

Suzie - posted on 02/22/2011

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could be reflux, could even be a milk or soya allergy. I had a daughter with cows milk/soya allergies and had to exclude them from my diet to find out. I was surprised how much in the milk from just my diet affected her. Doidy cups are great too as they don't cause confusion and can use them from birth upwards I believe.

Nicki - posted on 02/22/2011

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i went thru somthing similar with my son. we had too suppliment with 1-2oz after every feeding, and i was told to pump as much as possible, wich wasnt often, mayb 3 times a day. i was also told to take fenugreek, brewers yeast, and eat lots of oatmeal. it seemed to take forever for him to start gaining weight lik he should, but after about a month he was doing very good.

Jennifer - posted on 02/22/2011

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I'm afraid I don't have any helpful advice. Good luck, I'm sending out a prayer for you and your family.

Stephanie - posted on 02/22/2011

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I had a similar situation with my first. She was under 6 lb. at birth, so the nurse said I HAD to give her a bottle. Then I tried nursing and she never wanted too. She would nurse weakly for 20 min. on each side and then down a bottle. I got very frustrated which I think made my milk production go down as well. I was nursing and then handing her over to my husband to give a bottle and then pumping. I would suggest a very good breast pump. Mine was not that good and my milk kept going down. I kept trying till she was 4 months but quick after that b/c I was only able to get 10 ml of breast milk out. I took the fenugreek and drank a bunch of the Mother's Milk tea. I think once mine nursed from a bottle, she decided it was too easy and did not want to nurse. I tried tube feeding. You put formula or breast milk in a syringe type thing with a very small tube coming from it and she attaches to you and gets a little formula from the tube. The problem for me was my one day old would pull off and suck on the tube like a straw. The nurse said she had never seen a new born do that before. I know pumping is very time consuming and you need a good pump to make it worth your time. And if you decide, you could always pump and feed her that way. I had a few friends do that and think it was faster b/c they could get a lot out in a shorter amount of time. There babies had a backward suck. Hope that helps a little bit. Breast is best, but do not "beat yourself up" if you cannot. Do what you think is best for your family.

Dawn - posted on 02/22/2011

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i had a preemie baby, she's almost 3 now, but she was in the NICU and drs didn't want me to breastfeed at all until she was a week old due to her prematurity and scared she would lose weight. I was very frustrated that she was never able to nurse, but i ended up pumping all day long for 3 months. It wore me out, but i wanted her to get my milk, but i would give her some time, if she wants to thats great, but if u can pump as much as u can, with my work schedule, i ended up drying up after 3 months and went to formula. I was pretty upset, but know i tried and all that mattered along with baby being happy. It's honestly how much pumping you can do, any kind of breastfeeding will help, know it's better than formula, but if it's wearing you down and the kids, possibly talk to your lactation consultant, know you can dry up if you are not getting enough rest, fluids, so whatever makes you happy, breastfeeding for a short time is better than none at all. good luck and do whatever makes you happy...

Amy - posted on 02/22/2011

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is she showing any signs of reflux? My son was the same way, and he could not coordinate the suck, swallow, breathe routine. He had a difficult time latching from birth and we had to work at it until he was 10 weeks old before it finally worked and he started sucking. Does she use a pacifier? I know many people are against them, but we were ordered by our LC to use a soothie pacifier because in order for our son to keep it in his mouth he had to bring his tongue forward and replicate nursing. Between that and him going on reflux meds and me cutting out all milk and soy (he also had food intollerances) we got things to work and he began growing. He did still grow very slowly for the first year but he did grow. good luck to you.

Sara-lee - posted on 02/22/2011

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I had problems with my first who is 4 now and ended up giving up breast and pumping and giving in a bottle for 6 months. It was hard work but do - able with being my only child. with the second who is now 19months I was determined to breast feed and not use bottles until he was well established on the breast. He was lazy and did not have a strong suck either - also only fed for few mins - He was only week or so old when I was told to supplement with formula. I had lots of issues with my first that lead to him being hospitalised at 4 days old,and him then refusing the breast after being forced to supplement - so this time I did my own thing - I used a cup like a shot size plastic cup and supplemented every feed with breast milk for three days after he had fed from the breast and that way my production stayed at what he was having. I got my hubby to do the cup to avoid him turning his head smelling my milk. After a few days he had put on an oz a day and I was able to go back to just breast. I found with first that hunger affects their suck as if dont have enough to eat they get latharjic and feed less and its a vicious circle. It worked for me - hard few days but did the trick. Sounds like you are prob knackered as so busy - wondered are you eating enough? Can affect supply - I was recommended mars bars with my first due to low supply and ate lots with second - also I pumped and froze to keep my supply up from very early on while we were having problems and I had loads of milk. I also used to pump a few mls before he went on to get to the fattier milk through earlier so that what he got was better and get it flowing so feeding was easier for him - and he then took more - Its very much a supply and demand. I used to pump some from the other breast too a couple of feeds a day so that I always had more than he used so had no issues with growth spurts etc. At the end of the day you have to do what suits you and fits with your life and the families too. Good luck!

Christina - posted on 02/22/2011

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You should have your Dr check to see if she is tongue-tied (sometimes babies are born with that) my 3rd had it and I noticed that he almost got tired of feeding! So we supplemented with fomula too. Really you have to other children you can't be a machine. With my 3rd I supplemented with formula for the 1st two months and then he was good to go. Do whatever is best for the baby. If you can pump than do it but really don't kill yourself. Are you getting enough rest in order to produce milk? You need to rest as well. I'm a mother of three and all my kids are 20 months apart - something's gotta give or else it will be you. You're a good mom, formula is okay. Just top her up after each feed... sending you some mommy strength to get you through this time... it's hard. Drink lots of water!!!

Nicole - posted on 02/22/2011

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If you can't get your supply up by pumping and your baby isn't emptying your breasts you will lose your breast milk. You can either pump and nurse, or keep nursing and gradually transition to formula. Our breasts work on a supply and demand basis and it take 2 weeks of work to recover from 1 bad week of supply. The other option although not so orthodox, is to find someone with an oversupply of breastmilk and use donated milk. It would have to be someone you know and trust, and you'd have to feel comfortable with it, as breastmilk is a bodily fluid and can pass on certain organisms, illness and meds. Only you can decide what works for you. In my case I pumped for 6 weeks, then got my son latching and he did well until he was about 6 months old and then my supply started dropping. I took fenugreek, nursed and pumped but still ended up not having enough. A friend donated her extra milk to me and my son was able to continue getting donor milk and my milk through the first year so we only did about 2 weeks of formula. I'd go that route again in a heartbeat over formula, but that's me.

Stephanie - posted on 02/22/2011

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I've always breastfed and I never supplemented with formula. My 18 month old is very tiny for her age - she's about the size of a 12 month old. But, she's healthy and happy. My 4 year old is an amazon so it took me a while to be okay with my little one being so small.

Stacie - posted on 02/22/2011

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How about Blessed Thistle? It helps with supply. Do you take supplements? You need them for you and for baby. Keep at it. I wouldn't introduce formula again....

Kim - posted on 02/22/2011

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Try a supplemental nursing system..you can either put pumped breast milk in it or formula or some of each, but this way she won't get nipple confusion....she will get more milk while latched on, and hopefully you can reduce using it to one or two feedings a day as her suck gets stronger. It may be a hassle at first, but having to only nurse and know she's getting extra calories at the same time, will surely help. They are pretty simple to use.
http://www.amazon.com/Medela-00901S-Supp...

Julia - posted on 02/22/2011

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You've been given some very good advice - the fenugreek, the supplement feeder, getting your daughter evaluated to find out why she is having trouble. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned your diet. You've nursed before, but some babies are more sensitive than others, and if you eat garlic or spicy foods, gassy vegetables (which seem to be some of the healthiest foods in existence), ANY alcohol, even half a glass of wine, or other foods with strong flavors it's possible that Laura doesn't like the taste. Another possibility is that she dislikes the smell of your soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc. I have been in a position similar to yours, at 24 I had 3 small kids, all skinny and looking underfed, but all healthy in their natural shape. Everyone thought I was a bad mom and many people told me I had to stop nursing... but I stuck it out and we are all ok now. The kids are still skinny but healthy and tall, and now that they're older being skinny is a good thing?! You will get past this. Don't get frustrated with your baby. She is your partner in this and she's doing her best, just like you are.

Marisa - posted on 02/22/2011

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Please remember that by supplementing with formula you are NOT harming your baby. Don't beat yourself up about this and put extra pressure on yourself during a difficult period. Breast milk is ideal, but formulas are safe and nutritious for healthy infants.

Kimberly - posted on 02/22/2011

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Dianne did you know that oatmeal also increases your milk supply? There is also lactation cookies that have brewers yeast in it to help with the supply. I would like to reccomnd you "Like" the leakyboob on facebook. They have been very supportive with lots of breastfeeding issues. DD was very slow growing. She is 2 now & only in the 5th percentile for weight. Our doctor is not concerned because she trended in the low percentile since birth. I did find that when my little one was not being a good sucker, that she did not like the perfume I had on. I realized that when she would nurse better at night & was a horrible nurser in the morning. Their sense of smell is very strong. DD #2, did not like a new soap I bought & went on a nursing strike one day. Maybe try some different soaps? I hope that gives you a few more things to try.

Pamela - posted on 02/22/2011

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Not sure if this has been mentioned, but have you hd her checked fortongue or lip tie?
Also, maybe try blockfeeding?
Good luck!

Hanna - posted on 02/22/2011

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Hey, you could always decide to give your home-schooling a four-week holiday, and give yourself a bit of time to get to the bottom of all this :) it should be easy enough to catch up on school work again later.

Jessica - posted on 02/22/2011

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I had the same problem. I have a son who is almost a 1 year old and I also have 1 older child (I breastfed her for over 2 years) and she keeps me very busy! I tried everything I could for over 2 months time and could not bring in enough milk for my son. I too did not like the idea of formula but I accepted the fact that I couldn't give him what he needed and eventually fulltime fed him formula. I am also a stay at home mom but sometimes these things happen. I tried pumpimg, hot water, hot heating pad, mother's milk tea, fenugreek, other herbal supplements, and even a RX from my doctor. So I really see it as I tried my best. Sometimes it just doesn't happen the way you want it too. The important thing is not to stress out! I hope your milk comes back in but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't.

Shannon - posted on 02/21/2011

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i myself havnt had any problems as i have heaps of milk but ive been told by heaps of mothers that sometimes you may not have enough milk to feed you wee one but like other mummys say i would pump after as the more you pump the more milk that comes through if you do before it takes all the nurshment that they need. me i feel my milk come through i dont think its either of your fault either so dont feel bad it just happens sometimes. i only have one child but have learnt alll baby are different and just talking to heaps of mummies you can find so much information not that you have to do as we say but knowing that it's ther if you need help.. best thing for lots of milk is relaxing its's hard to but it helps with breastfeeding

Kristin - posted on 02/21/2011

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My first two were really slow growers. She may be one of those. If I were in your shoes, my kids' dad would be picking up a lot of slack until bub's appetite picked up and I had a handle on what needed to be done to keep my supply up. Then we would transition over to new "regular" routine.

With my second he hit a big plateau at about 9 months and I was advised to supplement. I really didn't like that they were telling me that when I new he was due for a growth spurt and had just gotten mobile. I did supplement. It didn't really have any impact on his growth rate. I did find, with all of my boys, they ate best when they were with/on me all the time. A good quality sling or wrap, and you can practically feed without stopping your other activities. I also bed shared with the first and third, the second in a pack and play beside the bed, so I could feed at anytime during the night.

What I am trying to say is you know your child, your body, and your life. Just do what you feel is best for the both of you. If she really takes off with the supplementing, that's great. If she really takes off without the supplementing, that's also great. While many believe breast is best, the goal is always going to be a healthy, happy, growing baby. Maybe kick back and give the 24 hour nursing cure a try. Good luck, this too will pass and she will be a weed before you know it.

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