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4 days old and hes lost 6.6% of birth weight. Very worried.

(74 Posts)
Bekki Sun 07-Sep-03 14:40:05

Ds2 was born alot lighter than his brother, almost 2lbs lighter. I know they are two different babies but I can't help but compare and it is very worrying. Since he was born on Thursday he has lost alot of weight and I can't do anything about it. He has barely opened his eyes for more than a few seconds at a time since his birth and I can't wake him for a feed. He sleeps all the time and when he does feed its just for a minute or two every 3-4 hours. I'm so engorged I'm having to express all the time. The midwife didn't seem concerned as I said that his nappies were brown/yellow and loose. But hes so tiny I can't help but worry about it. Anyone else experience this?

tiktok Sun 07-Sep-03 14:49:44

Bekki, nothing in the figures you give - 4 days, 6.6 per cent - is worrying. But yes, of course it would be best if your baby was interested in feeding and not asleep a lot.

It will help to have him skin to skin with you as much of the day and night as you can manage. This will mean you can spot early feeding cues, and it also is a good way of stimulating your baby's feeding behaviours, as he will smell, hear, taste and see you far better than if he is wrapped up in a crib. Any midwife should be able to guide you how to have him skin to skin comfortably and safely.

Collect your expressed breastmilk and give it to him in whichever way the midwife advises.

Good luck - hope things get better soon, and keep us posted.

hermykne Sun 07-Sep-03 15:08:39

my dd was similar in the amt of weight she lost in the first week, but she soon cauht up and my hv assured me it was ok. she too was bf. i am sure he's just adjusting to his new world.

Bekki Sun 07-Sep-03 15:08:43

Thanks Titktok, I'm sure its nothing to worry about but when you've had two very different babies it can be difficult to understand what is and isn't normal. I will try the skin to skin contact as at the moment he seems to be living in his moses basket. I don't quite know what to do with myself. The contact will do us both some good. Should I be collecting the milk? I know its a waste but its just extra that he isn't drinking.

Bekki Sun 07-Sep-03 15:14:02

Oops sorry Tiktok (about the spelling), you can see where my mind is.

tiktok Sun 07-Sep-03 16:34:43

Yes, collecting the milk is a good idea. Ask the midwife about options for giving it to your baby. Any extra you can freeze - don't chuck it away

princesspeahead Sun 07-Sep-03 17:41:26

bekki, is he jaundiced? that might explain why he is so sleepy and not eating as much as you think he should. ask the midwife what she thinks if you aren't sure - sometimes it is difficult to tell that your baby is a bit yellow if you are used to looking at him all day IYKWIM. She'll have a clearer idea.
otherwise, everyone else here seems to have good advice - best of luck!!

aloha Sun 07-Sep-03 18:16:08

Weight loss is normal in newborns. MY ds lost weight too, but he's a little chubster now. I'm sure he will wake up soon, but definitely keep the milk and freeze it. It will be great for later. Keep talking to your midwife or GP about your worries.

pupuce Sun 07-Sep-03 18:37:31

Bekki - only want to echo the others----- NO WORRIES
Very common for babies to loose up to 10% of birth weight. - and some loose more to gain plenty afterwards...
Don't throw that milk away!
Good luck and keep us posted !
Hugs {{{{{}}}}}}

sobernow Sun 07-Sep-03 20:10:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

musica Sun 07-Sep-03 21:36:57

Ds was a very sleepy baby, and he lost 15% of his birthweight - he was big to start with though, so it was less dramatic! But we did find that we had to take the responsibility for his feeds - i.e. wake him up for them, and make sure he stayed awake through them - easier said than done I know, but we found taking his clothes off, putting him on the changing mat (which was cold), and splashing him with cold water, or changing his nappy worked. But it was hard work, and we did end up supplementing with bottles, because I didn't have a lot of milk. If you're managing to express then that's fantastic, and I reckon (though I'm no expert like tiktok and pupuce) it would be well worth giving him any milk you express, just to wake him up a bit. Good luck!!

Jimjams Sun 07-Sep-03 22:02:22

bekki- what sort of delivery was he? Ds2 was born at 38 weeks from an elective section and was very sleepy for the first 10 days. I could see when he would have been born as he suddenly sprung awake.

ds2 lost a lot of weight after the first week or so- and at 6 weeks it was realised he had a cord infeciton- HOWEVER from the time this infection started his poo was green and stayed green (a sign of a hungry baby or something) so I wouldn't worry if his poo is yellow. I had to force him to stay awake as well when I fed him- and I also had to wake him to feed him- he would stay asleep for hours. Now of course he won't sleep

pupuce Sun 07-Sep-03 22:11:20

Jimjams here is Bekki's birth story
Not a section

wobblymum Sun 07-Sep-03 23:48:12

Bekki - I had a pefectly normal birth yet my dd was exactly the same as your ds except she lost well over 10%, getting to her lowest after 3 weeks, rather than improving after a few days. It took until she was 6 weeks before she was back to her birthweight and she's still 3 centiles down from the one she was born on, which hopefully will improve within the next few months.

And IMO, she only started putting on weight because I started introducing more and more bottles until she finally became solely bottlefed. However, I'm NOT suggesting you bottlefeed her. I feel I was forced into this out of necessity because I wasn't given the right advice until far too late and the damage had been done.

My advice (if wanted!) would be please PLEASE pester anyone and everyone to give you help and advice whenever you want it, even if that's 10 times a day. Since dd was my first, I just went with whatever the mw's said when now I can see that I should have insisted on them getting more concerned about her and not leaving it so long before they tried to help. The mw may not be concerned, but if you are that should be good enough. Get her to weigh your ds regularly and if she won't get onto a paed at your hospital because that's what I was advised to do. The mw wanted to weigh dd every 2 weeks but the paed wrote to her insisting that she weigh dd AT LEAST twice a week. I know normally this isn't wise to do, but if you're concerned about weight loss it's the only way to keep an eye on things.

Hope something in there helped!!!

Bekki Mon 08-Sep-03 00:18:18

Thanks everyone. I've just spent the rest of the day snuggling with him, which seems to have made a difference. He has woken a few more times than normal to feed, although he still can only manage a minute or two. He wouldn't wake at all by himself when he was left in his moses basket.

I suppose I should be thankful that I have such a content baby that won't grow out of all of his clothes in a day or two.

What do you freeze breastmilk into and how long does it keep?

tiktok Mon 08-Sep-03 08:44:01

Good news, Bekki. The reassurance you have had here about weight gain is valid, but I can't stress enough that babies who do not wake for feeds and who would sleep for hours and hours if 'allowed' to should be making alarm bells ring - it was the fact your baby was sleeping and not feeding very much at all on day 4-5 that made me respond, not the weight loss which was within normal. However, if you had continued being 'relaxed' about him not feeding, you might have got into difficulties.

Babies who sleep for hours in the early days are not good news.

New babies belong beside their mothers, able signal when they are thinking of having a feed, and close enough for the mother to respond gently and quickly before the baby has dropped off to sleep again. The very fact of being close means the baby's instincts to feed are stimulated. Getting the baby attached so he can feed effectively is easier, too.

Some babies - whether from temperament, jaundice, recovering after the birth, side effects of drugs - are content to sleep away the time, and this can lead to a milk supply that spirals downwards, and poor weight gain.

Intervening, as you did, well before this stage is really helpful.

Hope things continue to be fine

jasper Mon 08-Sep-03 12:52:48

Congratulations on your new baby Bekki.
My third baby lost more than ten percent of his body weight in the first three days. Ten percent was the magical cut off used by the hospital to determine whether to intervene in case there was a risk of of dehydration. Evereything worked out fine - I just kept feeding him and politley (okay, tearfully and a bit worriedly) declined their offer of staying in hospital and having repeat blood tests to check for levels of urea and electrolytes ( one blood test was quite enough).
My wonderful midwife friend explained to me that weight alone is a very poor indicator of a baby's health and that using your eyes and ears and hands is a far better way.

jasper Mon 08-Sep-03 12:55:00

You can buy platic bags in Boots to freeze breast milk but they are ridiculously expensive.
I used cleaned out yogurt cartons. No doubt someone will tell you if this is not a good idea.
My sil used ordinary freezer bags in the smallest size she could find.

acamum Mon 08-Sep-03 13:03:09


Congrats and glad to hear that feeding seems to be going better.

My son weighed 7 11 and dropped to 6 15 very quickly. He didn't feed well initially and was also very sleepy. Doctors decided he was dehydrated and so we were kept in hospital and he was topped up with water through a tube in his nose for a couple of days. Horrible experience but everything ok now. If you feel at all worried I would insist on seeing a doctor

Good luck

Karen99 Mon 08-Sep-03 15:50:22

Bekki, pls don't worry yourself. As with the other mum's my ds lost 10% of his birth weight over the first three weeks and only gained 2oz in his fourth week. However, once bf established he's been gaining roughly 11oz a week since 6 weeks (now 11weeks). We found that my ds had a tongue-tie which is why it took us both so long to get bf right. Again a very sleepy baby and we found a cold flanel on those exposed legs the best wake treatment! Had to do that every minute or so to ensure he'd keep going..!

I know it's scary, but talk with your hv about what is considered the bottom weight loss amount and keep persevering with the bf until then. Then you can decide what is best for both of you (boob, bottles, spoons, cups etc). We had set ourselves one more week, but then he gained those precious 2oz and has never looked back.

Good luck and let us know how things go.

pupuce Mon 08-Sep-03 16:35:39

Bekki - Avent also does BF freezer milk bags. Available in many shops.

I want to echo Tiktok - make sure your breasts are stimulated enough.....

Bekki Tue 09-Sep-03 02:04:25

I've started to collect and freeze my milk now which is taking alot of the discomfort away during the day when baby is most sleepy.

He still won't wake by himself during the day and I have to try to wake him every 4 hours. Thankfully the feeds are getting a little longer (5 mins) and are now less uncomfortable as I'm expressing. He feeds more at night time although I would hardly say he was more awake. I'm hoping that he becomes more alert as the feeds become a little longer.

I'm not sure on his weight as the loss was under 10% they aren't going to weigh him again until the weekend. But I've just been out shopping for him as all of his clothes are huge and hes in premmie clothing. I can't help but wonder if its something that I did during pregnancy that caused him to be so small and sleepy. I just don't understand how I could have produced two such different babies.

I feel very happy that I have managed to breastfeed this time as I felt such a failure with ds1 and I felt like I let him down by not feeding for longer than two weeks. It seems that ds1's toungue tie was the only reason that it failed last time as latching on is relatively easy this time. Every aspect of this pregnancy, birth and baby have been in contrast to my first and it feels great that everything is going well especially concerning the breastfeeding, I just need him to wake up! Thanks for the advice, no doubt it won't be the last time I'll need it regards to feeding.

Marina Tue 09-Sep-03 09:15:32

Bekki, by the time I caught up with your post the news was better, that's good to hear. Ds1 lost over 10% of his birth weight but recovered in due course without my resorting to supplementary feeding; and dd, FIVE WEEKS old today, has just recently moved from being a dozy, sleepy feeder (I got seven hours one night last week - after a five hour colic bender, however ) to feeding more regularly and for longer. He will make the transition soon, I bet, and as long as those nappies stay yellowy you should be fine. It is disconcerting when you expect them to be yelling for milk constantly, isn't it...

Demented Tue 09-Sep-03 13:17:37

Bekki, I can't add anything to great advice you have had already but I do have a couple of packets of Avent sterile milk bags going spare if you would like them? I was a bit overambitious with the amount that I bought and it is so long since I expressed I don't see me needing them and I would rather they went to a good home than continued gathering dust in mine. Anyway if you want them contact me through the Contact Another Talker button.

Bekki Tue 09-Sep-03 16:37:20

Thanks demented but I've just brought 40 Boots bags. All's well at the moment although he slept through for seven hours last night, thankfully he woke up very hungry and had a good 10 min feed. He is definatley starting to get into a routine for the feeding but is still extremely reluctant to open his eyes. Today we had a full nappy for the first time so hes obviously starting to feed enough now.

I think I might be able to call myself a successful breastfeeder! Does anyone know when the milk calms down. I'm leaking everywhere!

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