Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Feeding problems

The last 10 weeks have been the hardest weeks in my life thus far...

Written at 7 weeks old Well my bub is 7 weeks old now. I must say that my first was not an "easy" bub but I can honestly say that looking after him was a walk in the park compared to my experience so far with Zoe.

E had reflux as a bub and was constantly regurgitating his feeds, where here I think Zoe has what is called silent reflux. I feed her on a slope so her head is up high so gravity helps her with digestion. When I put her down flat for a play, or on her front for tummy time she will scream the house down. I need to hold her upright on my shoulder for at least half an hour to an hour for her to digest after a feed and then put her in her bassinet which is propped up by towels. If I'm lucky she'll go to sleep. But mostly she is hungry again by that stage and we start the process all over again. She is using up so much energy through lack of sleep and crying that she isn't gaining weight. Although she is getting taller. If I need to put her down to tend to something else I put her in her bouncer which has a good angle to it, she is sometimes happy enough in this position for a short while unless she is having a particularly bad bout of reflux.

8 Weeks old. Her Paediatrician admits us to hospital "Failure to thrive." She is diagnosed with insufficient suck and reflux. We had tried feeding her with all different types of bottles at home and she couldn't get milk from any of them. We ended up feeding her with those plastic syringes you get with children's medicine. In hospital she has all sorts of tests for various problems that babies can have. She has an ultrasound, barium test (scary), blood test (just horrible) and urine test (messy). All of these tests come back clear thankfully except for the barium which confirms that she has reflux.

Zoe is 10 weeks old now
and she is finally putting on weight. She is having breastfeeds and then is supplement fed with a nifty bottle called the Haberman feeder. This great bottle allows her to feed a lot quicker. She is also taking a supplement called poly-joule powder. It basically extra carbs to give her more calories (energy).

I am taking motillium to boost my milk supply since Zoe cannot draw the milk well and keep my milk coming strong. And I'm pumping when I can. I'm also eating all the things that are meant to help with milk supply.... Weleda breastfeeding tea (which contains fenugreek), steamed fish (the Chinese believe this helps) and sago (Indians say this helps).

And now I am looking towards breastfeeding her normally, am trying to see Speech Pathologist who specializes in infant feeding problems. There are only a few who practise in Sydney.

Some pages that have been useful...
Fact sheet on bottles


Bellgirl said...

Very best of luck with zoe, and try to look after yourself too! My son had sucking problems, silent reflux and was allergic to my milk when I ate dairy. I lost 30kg on my breastfeeding diet, and we had two hospital stays, but happily nearly 4 years later we have both come through happy and healthy. It was a very difficult period and I'm feeling for you and wishing you all well.

I'm in Melbourne so I can't really recommend any support services, but if it helps you could consider getting ready-made meals delivered to ease the pressure on the family, and if it would be helpful to chat on email or phone, send me a reply. Good luck, Supermum!

flossy-p said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you and little Zoe have had such a hard time. At least you know what it is and are taking all the right steps to help. Sounds from your post like things are getting a little more manageable. I'm sure you've already been put onto them, but the ladies at are an amazing support group. They all have first hand experience of reflux, and willingly offer excellent tips and advice.

Best of luck from here on in. I hope things ease up for you both. You're doing all you can, hang in there. :)