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problems breastfeeding & weight gain Lock Rss

My daughter is 11 weeks old and for the last 5 days she has gone off her food, she attaches well and sucks for about five minutes, she then pulls back & cries & will not take any more for another 3 hours when she just repeats what she did the feed before, she has been doing plenty of wees but only pooing every other day and it is only about half the size of normal, she was previously pooing every day.
I was quite worried so I took her to my local clinic to be weighed & she has only put on 300grams in 5 weeks, so the nurse has advised me to give her a bottle after her last feed before bed, I told the nurse that I do not want to give her formula as I would like to breastfeed as long as possible, so she suggested expressing 150ml & giving her that after her last feed.
I don't understand why she would take a bottle if she won't take food from me, I am worried that if I start giving her a bottle then she will never go back. I feel that I have enough milk, but it's just getting her to take it.
any advise anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated
hi jelli,
i have had a similar problem with my 6 week old baby girl, she would latch on fine but then after a short while she would tense up and pull herself off, with the same nappy deal as you. the advice that i was given by our health nurse was to if she wasnt feeding well on the breast then to invest in "Avent" bottles as the teets on those bottles are almost identical to the nipple. that way shes feeding well and she wont have a problem going back on the breast. my daughter still has no problem going on the breast, its just the getting her to stay on that can be a challenge. i dont know if this is helpful at all but i guess its always nice to know theres a mother out there somewhere with a similar problem! good luck with everything

Amanda, Emilee Grace 27/02/04, Kynen 11/02/05

Hi Jelli,

Breastfeeding can be hard work for babies compared to a bottle! Also your milk might be getting low at the end of the day. If bubs is tired and your milk is low, she may not get enough or have the energy to suck hard for it.

Most babies have no problems with a bottle and breastfeeding, but i can understand your concerns about that. Just make sure it is a slow flow teat if you do get a bottle.

Maybe you could give it another week, and try and get her to feed every 2.5 hrs! Maybe this might help a little with her weigh gain!

Good on you for keeping up the breastfeeding and making an effort!

Best of luck,


DD5, DS3, DS lost to SIDS at 6mths & DD6m

Thanks for the advise
I think persistance is the name of the game
Hi Jelli

My son has always been slow to gain weight, he's 9 months old now and even when I introduced solids his weight gain didn't take off dramatically like I expected - his average weight gain is about 400g per month. I was always really worried about it but the nurse assured me he was OK. She said as long as he was having plenty of wet nappies and was mostly content not to worry too much and also breast fed babies don't follow the perfect curve of the growth charts, they tend to go up in steps. Their poos do tend to slow down at around 8 weeks - probably due to the fact that your milk supply settles down to what your baby needs, it's normal for breastfed babies to even go a few days without pooing - though many don't wait that long.

Maybe your daughter is getting all she needs in 5 mins, they do get faster as they get older - my son now only takes a couple of minutes on each side. Could she possibly be teething? My son does get a bit fussy with his feeds when he has teeth coming through (his first came through at 4 1/2 months). Another time when he gets fussy is a few days before and during my period - which came back when he was 13 weeks. Sorry to go on but I just thought my experiences may help a bit.

As for giving comp feeds of formula, I did with my son in the early days as I never seemed to have enough milk - he was always hungry. But I did just see the formula as a temporary solution until my milk supply sorted itself out - which it did, thank goodness. If you do decide to give formula or breastmilk from a bottle just make sure you use slow flow teats and don't make sure she has to work to get the milk from the bottle. Some babies do get lazy and start to prefer the bottle as it is easier - I'm not trying to scare you, this is the advice I was given by the nurse.

Good on you for wanting to stick to breastfeeding - it can be really hard at times. Unfortunately sometimes there is no easy answer and we just have to persevere. I'm sure everything will work out for you and your daughter. Hope I have helped.

All the best
Thanks everyone
It's nice to know that I'm not alone here, My daughter will have nothing to do with the bottle & we even tried to give her breast milk in a cup but failed.
Our next step is to go to the lactation consultant at our community health centre, so we will have to keep our fingers crossed that they have the answers.
Thanks again
I experienced similar problems with my first baby, who after 6 weeks was only putting on 30 gms a week, and was refusing the bottle. My second started the same behaviour at 10 weeks, and her weight gain has started to slow since then. So here is a list of various things that I was advised to try - they may or may not work for you. Just keep regular weighing appointments so you can tell what works.

If the feeding behaviour continues get her checked by a doctor for an ear infection or urinary tract infection as they can both cause babies to go off their food. It is good to be on the safe side and rule these out.

Try different feeding positions - get a clinic nurse to show you the underarm/twin position as sometimes they will attach or suck better/longer in this position.

Try switch feeding if you can get her to reattach - after giving her both breasts and burping her, wait a few minutes and then reoffer the first breast. This sometimes works for my baby, and can double the length of time she is attached, but other times she will refuse to reattach - so don't give up after one attempt.

Stretch the time between feeds to up to 4 hours. It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you feel you have plenty of milk, it may just be she is getting lazy, and just snacking. When babies do this they get a lot of the fore milk, which is filling, but not much of the hind milk which is fattier and more nutritious but harder work. By lengthening the time between feeds she may be hungrier, and so willing to work harder.

If you do have milk that she is not taking, you may want to express after feeds to keep your milk supply up (this can also increase your supply). With my first because she was not taking my milk my supply dropped to the point where I had no choice but to move to formula.

If you do need to supplement her feeds either with breast milk or formula, investigate using a nursing supplementer/supply line - this is a thin tube which you attach to your breast during a feed - the baby gets the formula or expressed milk through the tube, while still attached to the breast. This aids in maintaining/building your supply. My eldest refused this, but I have had some limited success is getting my youngest to use it. The younger they are when you first try it, the more chance you have of them accepting it.

Good luck.

mum to 2 girls

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