So, my friend. She has an EBF 19 week old DD who is perfect in every way, except she is rather diddy - 6lb 12oz at birth, 11lb 7oz now. Because of this, my friend is being told to take her for weekly weigh-ins as the HV is calling it FTT.
She's gained weight steadily if slowly - an average of 4oz a week - until 2 weeks ago when the family had a sick bug, the baby had it too, and she only gained 2oz that week.
The HV's suggestion? 'Oh, she's probably ready for something more than milk - I bet she's started watching you when you eat now'. The baby was 16 weeks old FFS
The following week HV wanted to know if baby had been weaned yet and friend explained again that she was going to EBF til 26 weeks and that baby clearly wasn't ready as she can't even take Calpol off a spoon without gagging. HV now has an even better suggestion - they want friend to take baby into clinic next week and they will show her how to
force feed her some baby rice.
Friend has no intention of doing this btw but feels under extreme pressure.
Is there any reason why your friend keeps going to baby clinic? I'd just stop going if my HV was that much of a loon. I'd probably write a letter to my local surgery too, but I'm a bugger like that
Actually, your friend could ask the HV to refer her to a paediatrician or paediatric dietician since the baby is Failure to Thrive - bet she'd back off then!
Stop going! We had a v similar situation with our dd1, ended up paying to see a private paed who diagnosed a healthy, small dd and told hv to back off! He also showed us the thrive lines, which were like an overlay to the normal centile charts, and which clearly showed she was NOT ftt. Might be worth telling your friend to ask about them? Our first port of call had been our gp but sadly she was pushing formula and early weaning too.
Eh? Rice doesn't have as many calories or as much fat as milk, (and much less nutrition) so how on earth will that help a baby to gain weight? All it will do is fill her tiny stomach so she wants even less milk. Early weaning with baby rice is considered to be an option for babies with severe reflux as it can help them to keep the milk down, but that is all - I can't see how it will help a baby gain any more weight than breast milk alone. (Outraged emoticon!!!!)
This HV needs to re-train!!!!
Kinda agree with rest of the posts, in that IF the baby just needs to "put on weight" and hasn't shown any signs of being able to take food, then baby rice and bits of puree has less nutrition and calories if that's what baby needs at 19 weeks. Normally (not always) babies who are ready for early weaning are huge because they drink so much and are still not satisfied, and normally show all signs of being ready for food. They need something to make them feel full, perhaps because they're stomachs have developed to be able to digest food already. That's just my theory anyway, hope I'm right.
Don't you (or rather the baby) have to cross two centile lines to be ftt? I would definatly complain and not go back. This hv needs retraining (inc do explination of averages. Why can't they just accept that some babies are small and healthy?)
To be honest if the baby did genuinely have ftt and the HV was just monitoring in the community once a week, no paeds referral, no actual action apart from breaking NHS guidelines (rec. weaning under 17w) I would be surprised if she didn't get a kicking (metaphorically speaking of course - shame) from the powers that be.
Has your friend go the new (2009) charts in her red book? Are all the weights plotted correctly?
TBH a weight gain of 2oz on a week when baby had a stomach bug is fantastic so she's doing the right thing to keep bfing baby as long as she/baby want to.
Are there any support groups in your friend's area that she could go to, to get professional backing of her bfing (especially if there is a HV run one please God may her HV not be the area's bfing 'guru'])?
Oh the lactation consultant at the hosp where dd was born was v helpful to us!
Tell your friend to ignore HV, better still just stop going and trust her own judgement as a mother who sees her child every day. If the baby is sick and your friend is worried she can see the Doctor there is no need to keep seeing HV. Once my bf DD reached 5 weeks old I stopped going and she is absolutely fine. Most weight charts are based on ff babies anyway and so long as baby is gaining slowly there should be no problem. This site says 1-2 pounds per month for the first six months for bf babies is the average, your friends DD would fall within that average range for weight gain having gained 4 lb 11oz by 19 weeks. Apparently the WHO have produced a breastfed baby weight chart here that shows only data for breastfed babies and at about 5kg around 4 months your friends DD would in fact be just above the second centile (below which they would be underweight) even after a vomiting bug.
4oz a week is fine and I thought in the normal range albeit at the low range. DD on a good week gained 3oz but luckily I had sensible HVs who could see she was otherwise fine. She was also 6lb 12oz at birth. Got to 12lbs at 6 months, 13lbs at 9 months (so weaning admittedly with learning to walk slowed down weight gain a lot) and then to 16lbs ish at a year. We have seen a lot of different people due to moving and now see a pead as we're in the states and no one has ever mentioned her weight at all.
I'd say to her to tell the HV she's taken advice from GP/other HV now and won't be returning. Once a week is ridiculous at that stage
If I were here I'd a) tell the HV to jog on, and ask her to back up her claims of fft b) make a complaint and c) stop going.
Oh definitely agree with all those who say she should stop going. I've hardly been at all with DS2 and that's despite his feeding issues - your friend's baby sounds like she's doing absolutely fine. In the absence of other issues, there's no problem that needs fixing. Silly HV.
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