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combining bf, exspressing and ff for a lazy feeder

My little boy (11 weeks) has always been slow and steady at gaining his weight - approx 3 oz a week and following the second centile. He was sick last week and lost 10oz in 2 days and his weight dropped right below the centile charts. He was admitted to hospital so they could monitor his weight. This meant me staying in hospital with him as I am bf.

They asked me to express to establish whether i was producing enought milk - I managed to express plenty and so they felt his slow gain was due to his not having enough energy to suckle properly. He definately suckled properly in the past - in fact I posted on here about the pain of the first sucks - anyway he latches on properly with a nice open mouth and curled down lip and his little jaw works hard but I've noticed he tends to munch up and down rather than suck.

So while in hospital and since leaving I have been continuing to put him on the breast but also expressing milk to give him from the bottle so that I could be certain he was getting enough food and also topped up with formuyla a couple of times when he has still been hungry.

Trouble is its thrown me right out of sync and I'm worried about losing my milk supply. My aim is to go back to exclusive bf and just wondered if anyone has any tips for encouraging a lazy sucker and for combining all feeding methods.????? :\? :\? :\? :\?


  • not sure if I can help as my lo wont drink from a bottle but didn't want to read and run!

    I think the idea is that you should express roughly when lo should be feeding so that your body keeps making milk for that time of day.

    I used to tickle my baby's feet to encourage her to feed more!
  • Hi there

    my lo was born prem and tube fed (with expressed milk for a week before I could even attempt bf directly - even then he just was too little and 'weak' to suckle well for very long so this is what we did. I used nipple shields as he fed much more easily from these so he fed from me on the nipple shield then when the edge was taken off his hunger I put him directly on the breast and he had a try there (he found this v frustrating to begin with but it was important for himt o keep the skill as I didn't want to use nipple shields for ever, and then he had 30mls from a top up bottle (expressed milk and he didn't always take it) and then after all that I would express. I think we kept this up till about 6 weeks when we dropped the top up bottle and then about a week after that I went cold turkey without the nipple shields. THis was all v successful for us as he was exlusively bf till 6 months and still has a bf now at 10 months.

    BUT all that was extremely hard and tiring for those weeks and there were times (generally on night feeds) when me and my hubbie both wondered why we were putting ourselves through it and considered giving up! But I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I perserved!

    It is possible but I would give up the ff top ups as soon as you can if you are serious so your supply stays up!

    GOOD LUCK imageimage
  • You could also try switching from one breast to the other just as soon as you notice he is not sucking efectively anymore or is about to fall asleep. Try to offer both breast at least twice though.

    Some children are not vigourous drinkers and will not drain one breast all at once so ou might have to wake him up between switching(change nappy, burp him etc.)

    Keep trying because alt least you have enogh milk which is not the same for me.
  • thanks for the advice ladies - especially craftycharlie - it's really encouraging to hear that other people have gone through simialr things and come out the other side - despite the exhaustion!
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