Worried mum of 11month old(31 Posts)
Hi mums, I'm not sure I'm posting in right area (first timer here) but I'd be grateful for any advice, shared stories and experiences.
My LO is 11 months old now and finally back up to the 25th centile for weight. I breast fed him for 6 months, however at 8 weeks his weight dropped by two centiles and stayed down untill 6month, when he started solids. The only times before that that his weigh improved was if we gave him a bottle, I was (I feel selfishly) not wanting to bottle feed, because I would have been the only one in my group to give up-( I know already bad mum award for not putting baby first) he was showing signs of hunger and I clearly wasn't meeting his needs with BM. I did ask HV and DR at time but received no help.
Now he is 11 months old he does not wave or clap, he does point. He doesn't speak apart from mama, dada and ca. He crawls and furniture surfs. He seams happy smiles and laughs. But looking back I feel I have starved him and worried sick I have hurt him or it's effecting his development.
I have been to dr and HV with my concerns and they don't seam to be listening- in fact the dr has prescribed me antidepressants and said I have postnatal depression yes I feel down, because I feel I have failed my son, and worried for his long term health. I know it's too late now- I should have been this concerned at the time!
But if anyone has had same experience I'd love to hear- many thanks
I understand how you feel. I starved, literally starved, my newborn DD trying to breastfeed her. I now know she was showing signs of dangerously low blood sugar. We moved to formula once we realised but I know I'll always feel guilty for what happened, especially as she has chronic bowel issues and I wonder whether it's connected... but I sure it's not. I also ended up with PND as a result.
Your son sounds totally normal for 11 months, and there's no way that he could have been harmed from dropping down the centiles when he was smaller. Babies do different things at such different times at this age.
What do you mean when you say they don't seem to listen? Are they saying his development is on track or do you feel they haven't assessed him properly? Keep talking to HVs, different ones if possible if you really feel there is something wrong but from your brief description he seems to be fine (obviously you see him in person and can judge better than people on the net). It is normal for weight to drop after birth before following the curve.
Do you feel you have postnatal depression or do you disagree with the GP? I had PND and anxiety and it does make you pull yourself apart scrutinizing everything you have/haven't done. My DD didnt crawl until 12 months, has only just walked at 22 months, so I understand that feeling of what did i do wrong? And fixating on a reason (feeding in your case) but honestly he sounds right on track.
Your son is crawling, cruising, saying some sounds, pointing, is happy, and laughs. He's not even one, that's totally, perfectly normal.
I think the early feeding issue is making you worry more than you should, though. Maybe ask the HV to come to your house for a proper discussion and she will be able to lay your fears to rest, I'm sure.
Anxiety can be a symptom of PND; I think it would help for you to have a really good chat with a HV, or even a friend with kids that you really trust for a balanced opinion.
Sweetheart, are you telling me he dropped from the 25th centile to the 23rd? Because that's nothing. Weight under the 10th centile is cause for concern iirc, but dropping two centile points is nothing. To me that suggests that he found his 'line' and then stuck to it.
When you say the only time his weight improved was when you gave him a bottle, do you mean you were feeding a bottle then weighing him at home?
You haven't failed your son. Let's just get that clear. And his development seems pretty normal to me. And I agree with what Snoz says too.
Oh OP, sending a cyber hug. Sometimes as mothers we just cant win. We continue to breast feed as we would feel guilty to stop and then we feel guilt for breast feeding!
I had major feeding issues with my son who is now 3. I did stop breast feeding and the guilt that I felt was awful as was the diapproving comments from peers, relatives and health care professionals.
For what it is worth, your little one sounds perfectly normal to me. I will however say this and I do it gently, with good intentions and with your best interests at heart.
Your guilt and worry to me does sound like they could be symptoms of PND. And I say this as someone who suffered too. You see OP, when these thoughts of guilt (it is my fault it is my fault IT IS MY FAULT) consume though like this it is not healthy. And you do not deserve to feel like this.
You are a lovely mum, who is doing great.
With the right treatment you will put these things (that you have no control over) out of your mind and you will be able to enjoy this time with you precious little one.
Thank you for your replies and comments.
He dropped from just above the 25th to just below the 2nd. He fluctuated in between the 9th and 2nd, until 6 months. It went up if I added in a bottle- then when I felt guilty for adding in a bottle I stopped it and weight went down. Looking back I can't get my head around why I stopped if he was doing better on it, and why I didn't just bottle feed right from when his weight first dropped. The guilt is killing me, we had formula and bottles in house too so I don't understand why i didn't switch. (Just to keep up with the jones)
My LO also had colic and terrible reflux due to cows milk intolerance, so I was dairy free too, so not the best dirt for feeding him, I lost weight too- should have just stopped
I think the HV and DR are just seeing my anxiety over it, rather than properly looking at it for me. They haven't done a full check on him no, I'd like them too. When I ask for it they say I'm being over anxious again.
Thank you for sharing 'seaoflove' I hope your little girl is doing well and bowel will be ok. Most def not connected. Hard not to feel guilty I know tho xx
I got the brick wall every time they realised I had anxiety too, it is frustrating and just makes you feel worse.
Do your HVs do a 12 month check? Are you taking the antidepressants?
She's four in September and totally fine now KP The bowel issues are still there but are unrelated to her lack of nutrition during her first week.
I really understand the anxiety though. ADs really helped me.
There is nothing wrong with being on the 2nd centile - they show the full range of normal, it may be that by being breastfed this maintained your son at a smaller size, but this wouldn't have affected him, birthweight is dictacted by the efficiency of your placenta, so some babies do grow at a slower rate than they did in pg (my son was one of these - born 50th, then dropped to between 2nd and 9th and then crept back to 25th). Your 11 month old is doing WAY more than mine did at that age. I don't think your son needs a full check over, but I think you need some help for your anxieties and feelings of guilt .
Aw that's lovely to hear seaoflove
My little boy was like it for months
I am taking them yes, as I don't feel I'm enjoying him or giving him my all at the moment because of worry, if I could just sleep, he may get his old mummy back.
Tho my feeling is still that they could review him properly and set my mind at easy that way- or spot if something is wrong and help us rather than medication for me. But as some of you have said they help, I shall keep going with them (started yesterday)
I just really hope keeping him underweight for so long hasn't caused him any harm.
Thank you for saying what he us doing at the moment is normal, very reassuring xx
You didn't not formula feed to keep up with your peers, you tried to keep breastfeeding because you felt at the time that it was the right thing to do for you and your baby.
You haven't done anything to harm him, he will be fine and his development sounds totally healthy. There is no need to feel guilty, we are all only doing the best we can and making decisions on the information we have.
'I just really hope keeping him underweight for so long hasn't caused him any harm.'
That's the belief you need to rid yourself of, you didn't keep him underweight - anything on the centile chart is a normal weight. You fed him, and he sounds like a completely normal (and slightly more advanced than some) 11 month old.
Another one who starved her DD here. . She ended up passing out and even then doctors didn't pick up what was happening. In the end it took an intervention from MIL and DH's cousin to make me see what was happening. . The experience really scarred me and has made me a far less confident parent which I noticed when DC2 came along.
Honestly though DD is a normal 4 year old now and shows no signs of being affected by it.
Your DS sounds just great to me OP. His weight is increasing, he is pointing, saying more than DS and DD both said at that age. I can understand that you feel worried but congratulations, you have a beautiful son.
I really wish I had had some help and anti depressants after what happened to DD. Rather than not taking your concerns seriously, could you try seeing instead that the doctors are happy with your son's progress and think he is doing well? This is the best news I think they could give you!
You have donr absolutely nothing wrong and he hasn't been harmed, he sounds lovely and right on track.
Keep taking the anti-d's, they take a while to help but they really are great and you will be able to say "yes I have PND and am treating it, now can we get back to discussing my son?" when you get the brush off.
I think it might help to ask about booking a 12 month check, for your peace of mind mostly as he seems perfect but most babies are offered these routine checks. They'll go through a checklist and watch him play while you chat and it should put your mind at ease.
At 11 months my DD couldn't do any of those things either, and she definitely wasn't hungry! At 18 months she can walk, wave, clap, dance, has about 50 words and can put together 2-3 word sentences...
He sounds completely normal for 11 months to me!
Oh and OP these centile charts are terrible. My ds was always at the bottom (cmpi and reflux). Then all of a sudden he is at top end and no that is a concern too...
I have stopped looking at the chart now
Yes yes yes to mrscog and mariposa. Read it over and over - they are right
My cousin was an atrocious feeder and then a terrible eater - terrible reflux meant he refused bottles and was a very picky eater. He was so bad at one point all his hair fell out. My aunt was beside herself and took him for every test going but the paediatricians said that as long as he was up and about, moving, making noise etc then there was nothing wrong with him. Whatever nutrition goes into the body gets diverted to the important things first - that's why weight drops so quickly, because it's all being used up for brain development etc. It's only when a child is lethargic and unable to function that it's serious and even then that can be remedied pretty fast. Your child may not have been as heavy as other children but all the nutrition he was getting was going to the right places and did all the things that it should have. He just didn't lay down fat reserves. Fat reserves are useful for small children in the event they get ill and can't feed but other than that they're not that important. He was lean and healthy and ok and will continue to be ok.
BTW - weight charts are there to keep track of things like 'failure to thrive' which is a recognised symptom of some genetic disorders. Fluctuation in weight within the centile chart aren't that interesting and don't tell that much about a child - it's only when severe fluctuations happen (eg a child suddenly drops from 75th to 5th) that it can indicate a problem. Long term they are most interested in how well a child's height and weight match up as again that can indicate some disorders plus it gives a handy record of development for comparison as a child gets older. The chart shows the range of weights you expect in a normal population. Your child was on the chart, at the lower end, but then someone has to be there!
Tho my feeling is still that they could review him properly and set my mind at easy that way- or spot if something is wrong and help us rather than medication for me.
But they have reviewed him properly. They see a healthy baby who's development is well within the realms of normal. That's why they're resistant to any further checks - because they are not needed.
Can you see how you're taking a positive: 'the HV and GP are totally happy with my son, otherwise they'd do extra checks' and turning it into a negative: 'they're missing stuff because they're not doing checks'.
I would gently suggest that thinking is a symptom of PND.
Also, in your mind what would a proper review look like? 11 month olds are quite superficial in terms of development, and a qualified health professional who sees a few 'standard' behaviours such as a couple of words, cruising, pointing, would be more than satisfied that all was well without needing to probe any further.
This thread illustrates the problem with the black-and-white "breast is best" message – yes it's best if it works! But if it doesn't, or it's just too hard and you can't cope, it's not necessarily best. My farmer friend knows that not all sheep can manage to bf, some need help or the farmer needs to provide another option. I can't see why humans would be any different.
It's terrible that you felt so awfully guilty about formula feeding - you should never have been put in that position. (And I say that as someone who did BF.) What you have been through has probably contributed to your anxiety and it's not your fault.
However I agree with others, his development sounds normal, he sounds lovely and healthy and you mustn't beat yourself up. It's hard but let go of what happened and remind yourself you are a very loving, caring mum who really wants the best for him, and that's the best mum he could wish for. Onwards and upwards. What does he need now? Everything you're giving him –lots of love, attention, interaction and care.
I suffer from anxiety too and I know JUST what you mean – but being anxious doesn't mean you can't have a valid concern. I say to GPs and HVs "I know I am a worrier and this might be nothing but I am worried about XYZ." Brazen it out! Some of us are worriers, so what, that doesn't mean we should dismiss a perfectly valid concern. (Quite often the doctor or whatever will be sympathetic and say "yes I am a worrier too when it comes to my own kids").
You are doing great OP
What do you think a 'proper review' should look like? If he's happy and reaching milestones (which he is!) then I'm not sure what else they can do to put your mind at ease.
Your baby sounds entirely typical. Being so worried in the absence of any objective evidence is less typical.
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