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Weightloss in bf newborns - when to worry?

(32 Posts)
titferbrains Sun 25-Sep-11 20:59:59

DD lost over 10% at the beginning, bfing was v stressful and ended up mix feeding after only a few weeks.

DS is 2wo today, was 2.665kg at birth and weighed 2.430 on Friday. He was/is jaundiced, sleepy feeder, I've been switch feeding for past few days, I try to feed him whenever he roots, keep his feet out during feeds and don't really let him sleep for longer than 1-1.5 hrs to ensure regular 2 - 2.5hrly feeds. But feeds are generally taking about an hour or more (with all the jiggery pokery to keep him awake and nappy changes etc). He has plenty of wet and pooey nappies and has at least 3-4 alert periods thruout the day when he is awake and looking around but not crying.

He had a tongue tie snipped last monday and has fed really well since then, just v sleepy for a lot of feeds (tho we've jsut had quite a good awake one).

Re: how stressed I was with DD - am trying to remain calm about weigh-ins for htis baby but of course it's difficult - given his small size (weight in lb was 5lb 14 at birth) when do you think he might go back to his birth weight? When do I need to be concerned about his weight remaining static? or losing? So upsetting that his feeding had improved by friday but he had still lost weight.

we generally go to sleep at 11 or 12 at night and he feeds once at 3 or 4, then again at 7 or 8 and after that I feed as often as poss.

crikeybadger Sun 25-Sep-11 22:25:29

So from his birth weight of 5lb 14oz, he'd down to about 5lb 7oz - is that about right? Has he gained any weight at all or is today's weight the lowest figure?

It certainly looks like he's had a tricky start with jaundice and tongue tie but you seem to be working really hard to try and get as much milk in to him as possible. From what you say about alert periods and nappies, it doesn't sound like you should be panicking just yet and it seems that he is starting to be less sleepy.

You could also try breast compressions along with the switch feeding. Here's the video from Dr Jack Newman

What did the mw say?

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 08:22:17

Mw seemed calm and said tricky start also, asked me to express and top up if poss but I can't see point when he is feeding this often . Just not sure whAt her expectations are and if they are realistic given his size. Surely ifhe's smaller it will take longer for him to regain?

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 08:27:21

Weight now 5lb6 approximate. Have also Been doing comps.

lilham Mon 26-Sep-11 09:05:47

I don't know when should you start to be concerned as I'm just another mum. But what you are saying is that your DS has just been losing weight and not gained any in 2wo? FYIW, my DD was born 5lb8, very jaundiced (she needed phototherapy) and regained by day 5. Has your DS blood been tested for jaundice level? Or he's just mildly jaundiced judging from skin colour? Have you seen a bf counsellor to check his latch? I'm sure someone more knowledgable will be able to tell you what weight loss should you see before you demand to be referred to the hospital.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 26-Sep-11 09:17:34

People tend to get concerned around the 10%-20% weight loss mark.

But, it's also a question of looking at the bigger picture. You say your baby is pooping lots, about how many poos per 24 hours? (a poo being something at least the size of a £2 coin)

With the tongue tie, there are understandable reasons why your DS would struggle to put on weight, if snipping that has made a big difference, then you should be fine.

Breast compression is a very good idea, as is lots of skin to skin. If he takes very small feeds often, that can be fine.

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 09:19:17

Note tongue tie snipped afte one wk so immediate regain of weight not expected.

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 09:20:34

About 5 or 6 poos a day.?

Needsomewine Mon 26-Sep-11 10:27:12

Ooh I could have written your post. I have a 3.5 wk old dd who was a v similar size, 6lb 3. V sleepy, Tongue tied but snipped on day 4, jaundiced. Bf was also v stressful mainly because of the sleepiness and she also gave me bleeding nipples. She only lost 5oz of birthweight which was her day 3 weight but by day 13 she had still not got back to birth weight, so gaining weight very slowly. Then at 2.5 wks I stupidly weighed her on our baby scales at home and she still hadn't gained from day 13. I was very upset and got myself in a right old state because I thought we were getting somewhere with the feeding and was getting lots of wet nappies etc. But I think it just took a while for the weight to go on as she then gained 9oz in 8 days. You sound like you are doing everything right, I a,so do breast comps btw! I think you will see the weight go on very soon now smile.

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 10:33:14

Thanks so much for reassuring post NSW - I do feel he will put on the weight in time but I find even having the "deadline" of a MW visit stressful...

I just think if he's small then it's going to take a bit of time for him regain his weight - he is drinking for his own energy to function as well as to grow!

Am going to have a go expressing today as and when I get the time between feeds and see how that goes. I did so much expressing with DD that it's hard not to feel the old feelings of failure when I hear the machine groaning away...

I did end up bfing DD for 10 months in the end, mixed feeding but mostly bfing and I am still really proud of that! Really just thought I'd have an easier time of it this time round...

Needsomewine Mon 26-Sep-11 10:48:06

Oh yes I know the feeling, I got stressed before the mw came for weigh ins but I also knew, as you do, that I was trying as hard as I couldsmile. I did loads of expressing with dd1 but wanted to avoid it this time because of lack of time. But I ended up expressing lots with dd2 in the first 3 weeks too. Sometimes I was just too stressed or sore or worried about her getting enough that it was the easiest option for me, though I have always found it quick and easy to express. I think you need to do whatever it takes in the first few weeks, like you say, with our small babies it must be very hard work for them to bf at times. Dd is still not a great feeder and needs constant tweaking in some feeds but I can see an improvement and is more awake every day. You are doing really well, you got there with dd and will again. I also fed dd1 for 9 months! All so similar.

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 10:53:20

much girding of loins here grin am off to have shower and then will express!

Can I ask how long yr DD2 slept at night? I meant to feed after 4 hours last night but fell asleep before I remembered to put baby on boob, so he fed after 5 hrs - feeling v guilty but he then fed again after about 1 1/2 hrs as DD woke us up. He is on the boob so much during the day that I'm not surprised he sleeps a bit longer at night!

Needsomewine Mon 26-Sep-11 11:05:50

I set the alarm at night so that she doesn't go anymore than 4 hours. Have been known to sleep through the alarm though so she has also gone 5 hrs. Am Trying to do every 2-2.5 hrs in the day.

BedHog Mon 26-Sep-11 11:07:01

DS lost almost 2lb and at that point they were concerned, recommending that I take him to bed with me and do nothing but skin to skin and feed for a few days. I also gave him a few 1oz top-ups of formula at their suggestion, as if he'd lost any more weight he would have been re-admitted to hospital and I didn't want that.

He had jaundice and phototherapy in his first week and would fall asleep as soon as I tried to feed him, which didn't help to increase my supply. We managed to mix feed for 4 months, despite nursing strike from 9 weeks onwards.

I'm hoping it will be easier with DC2!

RitaMorgan Mon 26-Sep-11 17:20:24

Is he gaining weight now or still losing?

PrincessScrumpy Mon 26-Sep-11 18:05:32

dtd1 was similar weights and got back to birth weight 3.5w after birth. Have you been expressing? We are now (dtds are 4w tomorrow) giving 1 bottle feed of expressed milk for the 3am feed. Mostly this was so we could manage twins easier and both dh and I can get through the feed and get to sleep, but it also ensured they were getting enough and gave me confidence in how much milk I am producing.

Good luck xx

PrincessScrumpy Mon 26-Sep-11 18:08:18

dtd1 was 5lb 15 at birth and went down to 5lb 4oz. dtd2 was 4lb 6oz, lost 2oz but has gone up and up and been far less worry than the heavier one!

MainlyMaynie Mon 26-Sep-11 18:34:33

I'm convinced jaundice makes a massive difference to bf and weight gain and that there is not enough information given about it. Has he had phototherapy?

titferbrains Mon 26-Sep-11 21:33:12

No therapy for jaundice. He is still a bit yellow and u can see in his eyes, but improved. He has been weighed twice post birth and last time he had lost.

Any info u can link to mainly?

titferbrains Tue 27-Sep-11 14:17:44

Anyone else out there who noted slow weight gain after jaundice?

RitaMorgan Tue 27-Sep-11 15:31:01

Mine was jaundiced, but he didn't lose weight after the first few days just wasn't a fast gainer (dropped through the centiles).

Have you been refered back to anyone for the weightloss? I would be concerned that there could be something else going on.

magpieC Tue 27-Sep-11 22:25:03

DS was jaundiced, requiring chemotherapy and took 5 weeks to regain his 11% loss.

magpieC Tue 27-Sep-11 22:26:32

Phototherapy not chemotherapy shock - bloody phone!

theboobmeister Wed 28-Sep-11 07:49:45

Mainly you are right. Jaundiced babies are often very sleepy, which means they often struggle to feed enough and hence the weight loss.

The first treatment for jaundice is very frequent BF, which helps to clear the excess bilirubin that is causing the baby's jaundice (note formula doesn't do this as well, so EBF is best so long as baby is getting lots of it). Phototherapy is the next step.

So OP, sounds like you are doing the right thing by trying to get as much breastmilk into him as possible! And I'm assuming that the MW has her eye on the jaundice - has it been assessed by a doctor too?

titferbrains Wed 28-Sep-11 15:54:27

Want to cry. Ds weighed today and only gained 60g - 2oz in5 days. He has been feeding for ages and cries when I try to put him down. Need to put him down to express as advised by mw. Dd obv feeling left out as came home early from park w cmindef as wanted to see me. They are busy and settled now so don't to give baby to cm as will disrupt dd's play, she is obsessed with new brother and wants to wake him up, rub his head squeeze hand etc. Just want to express once today! Sodding headache to top it off. Want to sleep. All local friends have kids so can't come to help.

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