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Weight loss - starting to panic

(8 Posts)
MuffinMouse Mon 25-Jul-11 09:55:58

Any advice please? My thirteen week old hasn't gained any weight in three weeks. She has actually lost 2 ounces. We haven't been too concerned, as she seems lively, happy and alert. But this morning she is noticeably thinner for the first time. On Friday I took her to the health visitor clinic, and they've asked for weekly weighing, and a GP appointment. The GP just wanted to monitor for a week. I feed at least five times a day. Each feed lasts from 15 mins to an hour. (I can hear glugging). I have loads of milk and I bf my last two for a year each. They also dropped off their centile but were back on their centile by about 2 yrs, but for different reasons (difficulty latching on - DC1 and illness - DC2). DC3 has been doing brilliantly up til now. Was 12'3 at 10 weeks. I don't want to formula feed. But dont know what else to do.

organiccarrotcake Mon 25-Jul-11 10:10:21

You have loads of milk - that's great - so you probably just need to get more into her. Can you feed more often? 5 times a day isn't that many (I know you say "at least") but can you try to feed 8 or more times?

Has anything changed over the past few weeks? EG is she still night feeding? Any latch problems?

MuffinMouse Mon 25-Jul-11 10:13:57

Yes - two things have changed. She is sleeping through. I fed her until 1am and she had her next feed at 8:30am. But would only take one side, and cooed happily under her mobile afterwards...I struggle to feed her out of the house because she gets distressed. I haven't worked out why. I do offer her the breast between feeds occasionally, she will typically turned her head away and get upset if I persist.

TruthSweet Mon 25-Jul-11 10:19:03

Echo OCC and definitely try for more than 5 feeds a day at 13w, 8 feeds would be good to aim for if not more if she's amenable. If she is awake off her a feed even if she doesn't seem to be interested/asking for one, she may surprise you and have a feed anyway.

I'd even say if she sleeps longer than 4 hours wake her up to feed (just until she starts gaining again then enjoy the sleeping!).

Is there anyone in RL you could see to discuss this? A Breastfeeing Counselor, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator (perhaps contact your Maternity ward to speak to her?), or a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC qualified one) woul be your best bet as a baby losing weight outside of the first few days would be beyond the scope of a peer supporter at a bfing drop-in.

MuffinMouse Mon 25-Jul-11 10:25:42

OK. Will head off to a HV clinic this am and will offer more feeds. Thanks.

LeggyBlondeNE Mon 25-Jul-11 10:25:49

I'd agree you could try waking her for a feed. When my baby wasn't gaining well, the HVs had me wake her after no more than 4 hours (they said 3 but 4 worked better for us!).

As for out and about, could she be finding it too distracting? Again, when I was having problems I was told just to stay in and feed feed feed. I'm not suggesting anything that extreme, but maybe keep trips out shorter and get in extra feeds at home? I know you say she isn't interested, but could that be distraction?

Alternativley, have you ruled out reflux? Does she need to be fed more upright? That could reduce interest.

organiccarrotcake Mon 25-Jul-11 10:42:03

Has your HV shown themselves to know about BFing? Most don't as it's not really part of their training hmm.

If possible you might be better off speaking to your local NCT/LLL or ABM breastfeeding counsellor (or give one of the helplines a call). Or does your maternity unit have a qualified IBCLC?

If you do go to the HV's clinic, check back here with the advice smile

Now, WRT feeding her out, this isn't uncommon at this age, as they get more interested in the world. Given the reduction in feeds it seems very likely that this is the reason for the weight loss, so getting more milk in would be the first route to take. Offering as often as you can (every 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours during the day) but certainly not pushing it if she turns away would be good. Trying to find time to feed her in a darkened, quiet room, or if you're out maybe a nursing room or the car rather than a busy cafe so she's less distracted, may help. As has been mentioned, even waking her at night for the time being (awful as that will be). Or she may just sleepy feed if you offer her a boob while she's asleep. Do you co-sleep? If not, bringing her into you bed if you can (check out safe co-cleep guidelines first) so she's got free access to the breast at night will make it easier for you to night feed and more likely that she will.

Is she a fairly "easy" baby? Often babies who are "easy" will just let life go by without demanding feeds and they sometimes are the ones who need an eye kept on their intake.

From what you've said - and clearly I can ONLY go on what you've said - I see no reason to think that formula will change this picture, and if it's just down to frequency of feeds you'll be fine if you just gently persuade her to take more milk. You are absolutely right not to push it when she says no. Just ofter again a few minutes later.

organiccarrotcake Mon 25-Jul-11 10:43:18

ofter? offer.

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