...to think weighing newborns on day 3 undermines breastfeeding confidence?(78 Posts)
My DD was born on Monday and weighed at home on day 3. She'd dropped from 7lb 3oz to 6lb 6oz, a 10.5% drop, which obviously triggered something for the midwife because she went into overdrive with how often we're feeding, wet & dry nappies etc. and I was told not to leave her more than 2hrs without a feed.
We're BFing, and my milk hadn't come in, so a drop was totally expected, and as her latch seems good and she was feeding/weeing/pooing often, I wasn't concerned, up until the midwifes visit that is. Day 3 also coincided with the baby blues hitting me, and I was quite weepy in the evening.
Anyway, my milk came in by the evening, and when she was reweighed on Day 5 she was back up to 7lb 1oz, so she's doing well, and I'm feeling good again.
I already BF my DS when he was born, so I guess I knew it was going to be fine, but I still felt super stressed and down by the whole process, not helped by sleep deprivation, swollen stitches, and very tender nipples.
So AIBU to think that weighing BF babies on day 3 is potentially damaging to mum's confidence in her ability to BF her child?
Is there a better way? Or was my midwife just lacking in empathy?
I think the earlier any potential problem is picked up the better personally!
10+% is a big drop though. Confidence is great but not at the expense of the baby's health - there could be a problem that needs identifying.
The sooner problems are pinpointed the better IMHO. Last thing we need is a baby starving to death because of an inept or negligent mother.
10% is a big drop and midwives can't and absolutely shouldn't ignore it on the basis that "I guess I knew it was going to be fine".
In your case it was fine, in someone else's it won't be.
I'm a few weeks further down the line from you, and mostly agree with you. The statistics are based on formula fed babies, who shouldn't lose more than 10%, my breast fed baby had lost 11%. I moved to 2 hourly feeds, but it took until day 12 before we really turned a corner.
The guidelines that the midwives work off are there to help identify major problems, and are good at that, but definitely pick up a lot of normal breastfed infants along the way. I was very lucky that my MWs were experienced and were happy to bend the guidelines when they had a healthy baby who hadn't read the policy- if they hadn't been, or I had been more anxious we definitely would have ended up supplementing with formula.
Mine have all always been weighed on day 5 not day 3 not sure if that makes a difference. My youngest is 10 days old now and had gone from 7lb 3 to 6lb 12 at 5 days old not sure if she would have been less if she'd been weighed earlier
I thought I was breastfeeding successfully, but it turned out DD couldn't latch (tongue tie). On day 3 she'd lost 14% of her birth weight - we were told we had to get milk into her, and syringe fed her initially to do that. Looking back at photos of her, she was gaunt and dehydrated, but at the time I didn't realise. Another couple of days, and I suspect we'd have been in A&E with a seriously ill baby. Surely the earlier something like that is caught the better?
10% with good out put can be very normal - neonatal hyponatremia doesn't happen at that level of loss and if this is the lowest weight it isn't dangerous for babies.
The day three weigh in is often complicated by whether the mother has had fluids in labour. The more fluids the more apparent the percentage dip.
Actually I think weighing is great but that assessment of output and milk transfer just as important
Craicvac - the guidelines are for all babies - really not based on formula fed babies though I know you can read that they are in some places
Actually there isn't s huge body of research behind it at all!
I would rather someone picked up the fact that my newborn had lost 10% of their body weight in 3 days than not. That is a large drop and definitely a cause for concern. Of course I understand that it may cause the mother to lose confidence in BF, but what is the alternative? Checking their weight at a week or 10 days? It could be too late by then.
What if your milk wouldnt come in on day 5? Of course they have to weigh and identify any major weight loss. What an irresponsible post. I read many stories how babies were admitted with serious dehydration and worse and then the midwifes were blamed for not noticing and taking action.
My son also dropped over 10% and we were advised to supplement for a little bit before the milk came in properly. And im very grateful for that, there is no way i would sit and wait relying on a few drops past day 3
I BF’d as well but really appreciated the midwife/HV support and the information they were giving me with regards to his weight and all the advice they gave. I was also very weepy and a little bit stressed, but I put that down to the fact I was hormonal and suddenly had this huge responsibility which even though I knew would happen it was still a shock to the system. It’s important to weigh the baby in the early days so they can identify any potential issues.
No, you're so right. My DS's problems shouldn't have been picked up and he should have been left to die from the infection he had and/or starved to death. So much more important breastfeeders don't have their confidence knocked.
And of course in the very worst case scenario, there are people who don't feed their babies because they aren't coping or - in rare cases - don't want the baby. If the child isn't being fed properly then SS need to be involved. How is this meant to happen if no one weighs the baby?
Would rather your confidence was knocked than your baby was losing too much weight and failing to thrive.
10.5 is a massive amount.
10% is a big drop and should trigger additional attention and monitoring.
In my area they don't weigh until day 5. My baby had a tongue tie. I knew she wasn't transferring milk well, and was too sleepy. I rang on day 3 and begged the midwives to come out and weigh (second tongue tie baby, I knew what I was seeing). They were extremely dismissive, really snotty with me on the phone. Eventually they agreed to send the feeding coordinator out, who confirmed the tie and my worries. Dd had lost 9% despite my milk coming in on day 2.
Had we waited until day 5, she would have lost a lot more, and I would have been starving her for 48 hours. As it was, we started hand expression and top ups and got a private appointment for TT division booked for the next few days.
The earlier issues are picked up the better. You can do monitoring while still being supportive of breastfeeding.
YABU. Of course they should be weighed at day 3, problems identified earlier have more chance of being sorted earlier.
My DS dropped 7% day 3, I then had to syringe feed him as much as possible alongside regular feeding. When by day 5 he had lost 9.9% & was jaundiced & tongue tie was diagnosed & snipped.
It didn't effect my confidence in breast feeding, I knew that he was being monitored & that they they would act accordingly.
You can't ever be too careful with babies.
My grandmother lost her first baby at two weeks because she wasent producing enough milk this was in the 1930,s and vrry extreme but surely its better to pick up potential problems?
I had a c-section under general anaesthesia, baby was sleepy, I was unable to climb the bed with him for the pain, got little to no support in hospital, blues hit me on day 3 when we weren't discharged as planned because of a -10.5%.
Ended up FFing, baby is 3 month old and I'm still crying out loud for that.
So definitely YANBU
Also, checking the baby is having sufficient wet and dry nappies and 2 hourly feeds is not going into overdrive. It's the correct response to a baby who has lost a large amount of weight. It's not like she attempted to have you readmitted (common for a loss greater than 10%) or pushed you to top up or introduce formula (again common for that degree of loss). It sounds like she responded really well to me.
It's great things worked out for you. They don't for everyone and it's very important to catch problems when they are occurring.
Don't you think that it is more important to make sure that babies don't, you know, die than to protect bf mothers' self confidence!
In my area, 9% drop triggers for formula but 11% for beast, as bf babies do lose more. I think that's a better way to be honest, especially as the midwife also discussed latch and frequency before weighing. Made it much less stressful.
10% is a big drop and its important to find out problems sooner than later. Yabu. Weighing at day 3 can save lives.
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