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Breastfeeding Difficulty, Doctor not Breastfeeding-friendly

  1. #1
    Nashua852's Avatar
    Nashua852 is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2008
    Yuen Long, Hong Kong

    Question Breastfeeding Difficulty, Doctor not Breastfeeding-friendly

    Hi All,
    I took my 4 month old to the docs for his vaccinations today. LO is exclusively breastfed but recently I've been having some real trouble at some of his feeds where he would drink for a few minutes and then pull away from the breast, crying hard frantic, flaying and trashing about. It's been difficult to manage but I've been trying to go by his cues when feeding and deviating from his usual 6-7 feed schedule (he's meant to have 5 now I'm told)
    He's usually a really happy little baby and doesn't fuss much so this has made feed times really distressing for us both. Also, because he's feeding so unpredictably, sometimes my breasts overfill and the milkflow chokes him exacerbating the situation. This has been going on for 3 weeks now. I thought it was just because of teething but now Im not sure.

    He has quite a late bedtime in comparison with other babies (9pm-7am) but isn't tired enough whenever we've tried to put him down earlier and he doesn't settle til 9 anyway. Maybe he's overfeeding because he's up for long? He doesn't seem bothered by it otherwise.

    I asked the doc today --Bab was measuring 8kg and the doctor (75th percentile) pretty much told me to stop breastfeeding and put him on formula (!) a red flag went up there but I guess the logic goes that formula fed babies dont feed as frequently. Doc then he went on to say that my son has a 4 month olds head but a 9 month olds body. I was taken aback by that because he is a normal, strong healthy young bab and is definitely proportionate. My son's size is akin to those of a similar age and I never even considered him a big baby, but his doctor seems to think that he's the size of a 10 month old and shouldn't gain any weight til then (??!)

    I'm sorry this is so long but I'd love to know what others may think of this. I intend to breastfeed for as long as I can, and I will be cutting his feeds to 5 a day. He had 5 feeds today and a few minutes before bed (before crying frantically) and went down at 9 as usual. Any tips or advice? Is anyone going through something similar? How can I resolve this situation?

    Thank You for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
    Dr Thondup at the Veritas Medical centre is very pro breastfeeding, I would seek his opinion. A doctor who is supportive of continuing breastfeeding would take a much more holistic approach to why he's fussing at the breast and make efforts to find a different solution. As to size, my baby is 95th percentile and Dr Thondup is entirely happy!

  3. #3
    wenyihsu is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2007
    You can also try Dr. Dannie Ting at Canossa Hospital. She's also quite pro breastfeeding - in fact she tried to convince me to breastfeed even longer. The nurses / mid-wifes at the Child Center are quite helpful as well. Perhaps they can also help you figure out what's causing your son's fussiness. My son has been in the 95th percentile since he was 2 months (he was 50th percentile at birth) and Dr. Ting never seemed to have any problems his size.

  4. #4
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong
    I wouldn’t worry about your baby’s weight if you are fully breastfeeding. You know that everything bit of the breast milk is good nutrition for him. So your baby has grown big on good food. If you’d been feeding him lots of sweets – that would be a different matter.

    When babies are allowed to continue breastfeeding they will work their weight out. Below are the records for my younger son. At the time my doctor told me it was very common for breastfeed babies to grow quickly in the first four months and then slow down. You don’t need to put your baby on a diet of only five feeds a day – he will take the milk his body needs whether he has five or ten feeds a day. Both my sons had lots of feeds but generally they only fed for between five to ten minutes each feed.

    birth = 3.63 kg = 70 percentile
    four months = 8.62 kg = 97 percentile
    nine months = 9.90 kg = 80 percentile
    twelve months = 10.0 kg = 65 percentile

    I would look for other reasons why your baby has become fussy at the breast. Has anything changed at home? Have you had visitors, been away or started something different? Emotional and environmental factors are the most likely cause of an older baby fussing at the breast.

    I would consider seeing a second doctor as your doctor is clearly not a supporter of breastfeeding.

  5. #5
    jools is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2004
    Discovery Bay
    You may also want to consider that the fussiness is due to teeth. I know it's early, but my second child cut her first tooth at four months.

    Also contact La Leche League for breastfeeding advice. They're fantastic and will give you the support you need.

  6. #6
    capital is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I wouldn't take the advise of your doctor and I would find someone who knows what they are talking about when it comes to BF. The growth charts of BF babies often show that they are much heavier than their height the first half of the year and then their gowth slows down the second half of the year. It is not possible to over feed a BF baby as they take what they need, but it is very possible to overfeed a FF baby as they may just keep drinking the milkas it is flowing out of the bottle, if they want to suck but not drink they cannot control the fow of milk out of the bottle. a bf baby can change their suck so they are sucking nonnutritively. BF babies also are less likely to be obese as adults compared to formula fed babies, so do ot worry about the future if your baby is big. I wouldn't drop to 5 feeds/day, your baby know when he needs o eat and when he is growing, feeding on demand will give you a healthy baby. You a re doing a good job of feeding your baby .

    Do you think he is fussing due to the fast letdown? I found with my second I had fast letdown for the first 3 months and baby would fuss, choke, milk running out of hisnose while he ate, I had to feed with him basically sitting up so he was more upright and that helped a lot. Does your baby have green stool?

  7. #7
    noc is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2007
    Maybe your baby is fussing during feeds because he is full?

    I found that when I got to three months, my milk supply was really strong and my letdown became really fast. Anyhow, I found that because my milk was so fast, my baby took his meals very quickly ... sometimes, only 5-10 minutes on one side would last her 3-4 hours. If I tried to put her on the breast after she came off (thinking she needed more time), she would thrash, cry, etc. too. Finally, I just let her be and pumped the rest out if it made me too uncomfortable - though this is a problem too, due to oversupply.

    Anyhow, I think as long as the weight gain is ok, there is no need to force your baby to eat more than he wants to.

  8. #8
    Nashua852's Avatar
    Nashua852 is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2008
    Yuen Long, Hong Kong
    Dear all, Thank You so much for your replies, they really have been reassuring! We are considering changing docs as this one has been very quick to recommend formula on past occasions as well ( when I was ill etc - no mention of expressing any milk.) Bab and I have been taking it easy today and so far so good! He's been happy to feed for a short time and then kick about and play. Off to the park then! :-) Thank You all one again!

    <b>jools</b> what symptoms did your little one have when she was teething? Kian's been drooling lots with loose stools and munching away at all of his rattles. Did you have any feeding problems? This doc told me that none of the symptoms previously associated with teething are related to teething at all. So apparently drooling, aversion to feeding, face rash etc are just normal occurences that coincide with teething but are not caused by it as such?

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