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Baby not recovered birth weight

(22 Posts)

Sorry for the long post. I obviously needed to let it all out more than I realised...

DD3 (DC4) was 9lb 13oz when she was born. She was considerably bigger than my other babies which the midwife has put down to me having steroids at 27 weeks pregnant then being on bed rest until 34 weeks. Anyway, DD3 is EBF just like her three older siblings were. When she was weighed at 7 days old, she had dropped to 9lb. She was then weighed at 12 days old and was 9lb 12oz. Because she wasn't over her birth weight, the midwife asked me to get her weighed on day 15 so that we could be discharged to the HV. She weighed 9lb 12.5oz. I was utterly deflated and had a little cry on the way home.

I've never had a baby not recover their birth weight within the two weeks. In fact, my babies all have climbed the centiles then settled around the 75th centile for their first year of life.

Now I don't know what to do. She is fed on demand and I always offer her the second breast. She is very alert when awake and very settled between feeds. She has plenty of wet and dirty nappies and seems to be totally healthy.

I have asked on numerous occasions to have her latch checked in case it isn't perfect but I'm continually told that I will be fine because I have so much BFing experience. The first week of BFibg was awful as I had bleeding nipples as a result of DD3 being tricky to latch on (didn't open her mouth very wide) but now BFing is pain free and my nipples no longer look compressed with a line down them when she comes off. She can sometimes latch herself on now but at other times it takes us quite a few goes as she doesn't open her mouth very wide and tends to have her tongue on the roof of her mouth as she is already 'milking' before she has the breast in her mouth (probably because my milk has already let down so I dry us both off and keep trying).

I don't know what to do. I've been trying lots of skin-to-skin today but that makes her more settled and less bothered about feeding. I also try waking her up by changing her nappy to prompt her to feed more but she isn't wanting to feed unless she instigates it.

I'm really worried about her being weighed again on Monday. I feel under a lot of pressure to 'perform well' with BFing DD3 but don't seem to be producing the tight results <sigh>

RhondaJean Fri 19-Jul-13 19:54:51

I'm not very Much help I'm afraid bit I think the main thing is she is steadily gaining, alert and wet and dry nappies. Please don't stress.

I was very interested that your doctor thought the steroids made the baby bigger though. My dd was apparently big for her gestational age (preemie) but I had the steroids 3 weeks before she was born and didn't make the connection.

Oh and apparently I can't even type! That should be right results.

Who knows if it was medication or simply nature that grew DD3 so big. I would have happily settled for a good 2lbs less (and she still would have been bigger than her siblings shock)

AmandinePoulain Fri 19-Jul-13 19:59:37

Don't worry smile (easy for me to say I know!)

It sounds as if you're doing really well, and she's so close I really wouldn't panic. She sounds very similar to dd2, who hadn't quite got to bw at 13 days, the HV (not my usual
calm and collected one) got in a bit of a tizz about it. She was producing wet and dirty nappies and was alert before and after feeds. She too had a painful latch that was checked and ok, but she was small (6lbs 9) and once she had grown a bit it got much better. Anyway, the day after the HV visited my mw sent us for bloods as she was still jaundiced and she was weighed at the hospital and she'd gained over 100g in a day shock. Her weight gain has been fine ever since smile.

Wait and see what Monday brings, but for now it sounds like you're doing really well. It might be worth going along to a bf group if you are concerned about your latch, did your mw give you a list?

pingulingo Fri 19-Jul-13 20:09:35

My DS1 was 9lb 9oz so was also quite a big baby. He took 6 weeks to return to birthweight and although I was very stressed over his weight gains, luckily the midwives and health visitors weren't. The midwives didn't discharge him until he got back to his birthweight, so I had a few extra visits that was all.

He was ebf for the first few months and although I did end up mix feeding that was later. He's now 85th centiles for both height and weight. Hope this helps lessen the worry for you a little!

I've had a list but (and forgive me for sounding arrogant) they are only run by peer supporters and the HV has just asked me to be a peer supporter so it feels a bit like I might as well carry on by myself! It's at times like this that I wish we still lived in Southampton where there was free access to a lactation consultant from 10-1 mon-fri sad

blueberryupsidedown Fri 19-Jul-13 20:18:46

I really don't see a problem if your baby is alert, happy and contented. And if you are feeding on demand. I had a big baby and fell into the mix feeding trap because I simply couldn't keep up with his demand! I know I had enough milk but I had another two young children to look after and he was feeding for what seems like hours on end. I ended up giving him one bottle of formula a day just to fill him up, but it was my choice really, I think that if the weight is not dropping and keeps going up (even a little) you are doing all the right things.

SoYo Fri 19-Jul-13 20:31:24

Hi Room, I had the same and found myself crying and anxious before every weigh in despite knowing in the sensible, non hormone ravaged, part of my brain that if she had plenty of wet nappies and was feeding ok she was fine. She regained her birth weight at week 4 after dropping to 50th centile, she was weighed again at week 8 when she had her check and jabs and had climbed to 75th. I've only had her weighed again once since then as I think the HVs try and make Bf babies fit into a box rather than look at individual babes and I know that my baby is growing, peeing, happy and eating plenty so is fine. She's 20 weeks now and a real little chunk! Just get past this hurdle and then you can carry on as an uber experienced wonder mum!

AidanTheRevengeNinja Fri 19-Jul-13 20:33:11

It took my baby a good 3 weeks to regain birthweight and no-one panicked. The important thing was that he stopped losing weight. From your OP, your baby has gained weight, so you are obviously doing something right! The weight goes on in fits and starts and 12oz in 5 days is a lot - so not necessarily surprising it slowed down in the subsequent 3 days.

It does need monitoring but I would not panic or doubt yourself at this stage. The overall trend is on the right track.

Is there an infant feeding coordinator you could speak to, or better yet see in person, in your area? Mine was fantastic. It doesn't sound arrogant to say you want to see someone more experienced than yourself. If not, can you pay for a lactation consultant? I never used one so don't know about getting recommendations but others might be able to help with that.

My baby had steroids too at 29 weeks, never heard of the link to a big baby (he wasn't, although he is massive now at almost 5 months...) - not to say there isn't one though. Were you checked for gestational diabetes out of interest?

Thanks everyone for the support.

I was checked for GD as I kept on peeing large amounts of glucose but both GTTs were normal. I don't think I'll be having DC5 to see if it happens again though grin

Oh and it's £100 to see the private lactation consultant. I'm sure it's fab value for the time and experience but I wish the NHS prioritised BFing support more given how good it's reported to be for both mother and baby's health.

Right, I've just finished feeding from side one so it's bath and bedtime now...

blackteaplease Fri 19-Jul-13 20:43:54

My second dc took 3 weeks to get back to birthweight, we were on the threshold of being readmitted to hospital and he had jaundice. It was such a shock as dd fed like a dream.

I was advised to express milk and syringe feed top ups after every feed and I also had a breastfeeding midwife out to observe a feed and give some pointers.

My youngest was 9 weeks by the time he regained his birth weight. He was the biggest at birth of my 5 (9lb 9 1/2 oz), slowest to gain weight afterwards though. The HV was going nuts about it, she managed to get him admitted to hospital at 4 weeks when his weight remained static, right after sending a breastfeeding advisor around (who got the gp to prescribe me domperidone to see if that helped). He was an active little baby- rolling at 4 weeks- and I suppose stuff like that used more energy at that age. I ended up giving him a bottle of EBM then formula as I could never pump more than 10mls at a time, but suddenly at 4 months he shot off the 2nd centile and hated the bottle and never looked back.

Had a doctor tell me in the hospital when he was 4 wks that I was feeding him too much by feeding on demand, I should leave 3 hours between feeds because feeding too much means the baby gets air from your breasts not milk hmm My 12 yr old dd now sees this dr and I can't take him seriously...

ZingWidge Fri 19-Jul-13 22:12:56

have you checked for tongue tie yet?

my last 2 had it - 9lb 14 (DS5) and 8lb 3(DD) birthweights, he took 5 weeks and she took 6 weeks to gain back to birthweight!
both had op

she actually dropped from 75th centile to 0.4 centile!
she had a soft palate problem and had cranial osteopathy treatments which worked brilliantly (only needed 2 sessions)

ZingWidge Fri 19-Jul-13 22:16:24

oh DS3 also had TT, but I only discovered it when he was 8 months old!

nightmare feeding with him too, born as 9lb 6, took 3.5 weeks to get back to birthweight. at 3 months he was on 4th centile, dropping from 90th at birth!

I suspect a posterior tongue tie but (I think) we are managing a good latch. DS had a tongue tie but it caused ongoing problems for him so he had it snipped. I'm not convinced that DD3 needs to have the op. I also can't get anyone to check for a TT because of this ridiculous idea that BFing is going to go perfectly because of my BFing experience hmm

Forgot to say that I have booked an appointment with the cranial osteopath for her.

mawbroon Fri 19-Jul-13 22:40:16

Yes, my slow-to-regain-birthweight ds1 also had tongue and lip tie, but I didn't know until he was much older.

There is a facebook group called Tongue Tie Babies Support Group which is very helpful if you get a min to join.

mrsmartin1984 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:46:24

Took my DD 3 weeks to regain her BW after losing 11%.

ZingWidge Fri 19-Jul-13 23:01:48

look at her tongue - if tip of the tongue looks like there's a dent in the middle (not pointy or round) that's definitely TT

hard to explain, the tip might look like 3 <- that's the tip IYSWIM

also try to look under tongue and try to feel with your finger.

DD had posterior TT and she was my 6th - I'd had plenty of experience in BF!
tell them to stop pussyfooting and take a proper look! (gives me the rage, sorry!)
if she's not gaining weight and latch is incorrect she's going to struggle, which is unfair on both of you! I really think she should have the TT released asap

If you PM me I can give you the number of the DR who did the op for DS5 and DD - maybe he can help you find someone good near you?

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