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Slow weight gain, anyone been through this and still ebf?

(14 Posts)
smk84 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:32:11

Hi, ds is17 weeks and his gain is very slow. Have had all sorts of support and advice and have tried all manner of things, including tt division, lactation consultant advice, pumping, domperidone, frequent feeding, compressions, babymoon, support groups, osteopath, feels like we have tried it all. Ds has only gained 6oz in the last month, is on the 0.4th centile and if he carries on this way will drop off the chart. I found a thread the other day called slow weight gain support thread but it is very old. I found it really reassuring. Just wondering if anyone has come through this? In particular, did you find that weaning helped your lo to gain. I am not planning to wean early, but am interested to know if it can help. Have been so close to giving formula so many times, am still trying to ebf and for now will go back to pumping and hope to give ebf top ups, but this is not sustainable for me. Thanks for reading.

ApuskiMcClusky Fri 05-Oct-12 18:25:18

Hi smk84, I can tell you what happened with my ds, but ultimately what you do is a personal decision. Ds2 (I had successfully bf ds1 for 13 months with no real issues) gained very slowly, dropping from 40th centile to 0.4th and then below. No identified bf issues, saw paed. He did have reflux which wasn't helping. I started bottle feeding expressed milk as top ups, then when I felt he was doing better with bottles (added gaviscon) switched to pumping only (hired a hospital grade pump) plus formula to make up any shortfall. This stabilised things. Eventually the paed recommended high calorie formula, which I switched to, and he had this until 8 months (he was slow to get the hang of weaning).

I look back at photos and can see that he was gaunt at the time I switched to bottles, so I'm confident I did the right thing to supplement (and maybe should have switched sooner). I would have loved to ebf for longer, and busted a gut with expressing, but he ultimately needed formula.

TeacupTempest Fri 05-Oct-12 18:49:15

I had similar. In and out of hosp for tests etc. DD dropped off the chart but never lost weight iykwim. I was determined to keep going as in all other ways she seemed well and on target. Lots of tears, worry and heartache. Contradictory advice. Felt very alone and at times bullied.

Eventually she started to get back on track. Can't put my finger on the exact turning point but now at nearly 10 months I am still breastfeeding her and she is just under the 9 th centile, trying to walk and generally being a delightful menace!

Paed eventually decided she may have been slow due to bith trauma but I don't think they really know tbh.

Stressfully isn't it?

TeacupTempest Fri 05-Oct-12 18:54:03

Re weaning ...

We waited untill 6 months and are doing BLW ( hate labels). Lots of full fat foods. Sometimes she eats quite a bit but at other times she isn't fussed. She seems to have more milk at those times.

TheTermagantToaster Fri 05-Oct-12 19:00:41

We had this - DS was born on the 25th centile, dropped down to below the 2nd and then at about 26 weeks something just seemed to click and he zoomed up to the 90th+, where he remains at 23 months. I ebf (in fact I still feed him).

I was convinced at the time that either I wasn't producing enough milk, or he had problems with transfer but nothing was ever found. Luckily I had the support I needed to continue ebf and make weaning choices that suited us (we did the baby-led route). In fact, as we did finger foods only and he wasn't eating very much before 1yo, I can't point to weaning as a turning point either - even though the timing of his weight gain and the introduction of solids was around the same period.

With hindsight I think he was just following his own path. It was definitely stressful at the time, you have my sympathies!

TheTermagantToaster Fri 05-Oct-12 19:04:52

Teacup's comment has reminded me that we did emphasise meat (with the fat on), cream, butter and eggs with DS's diet - still do, actually. Also nut butters (with no added salt/sugar).

whenwill Fri 05-Oct-12 20:32:47

TheTermagantToaster where do you find nut butters with no added stuff?

TeacupTempest Fri 05-Oct-12 21:36:05

We used Cashew nut butter. Ssainsburys I think. In health food shops too.

smk84 Sun 07-Oct-12 16:54:15

Thank you so much for your comments, feel really encouraged just to know others have been/are going through this. I think ultimately we are going to have to supplement with formula as ds seems to be feeding worse and worse and am sure my supply must be dipping too and I find it hard to pump as he likes to be close/entertained when he is not feeding and it's difficult to get him to sleep alone during the day. I have tried just offering more feeds, eg 4 breasts each feed, but he doesn't take to it. It is so difficult looking at him all the time wondering if he is getting enough. Thank you for the sympathy too, it can be so soul destroying to put your all into something for it not to go well. I am hoping for a miracle turnaround smile

belindarose Sun 07-Oct-12 18:07:07

Sympathy from me, as you know. Has your pain improved?

smk84 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:32:45

Thanks belinda. It has thanks, very relieved as have had tummy bug and that plus the pain.... Eek ! How are you?

Moominsummermadness Tue 09-Oct-12 10:58:31

Hello, firstly, you have my sympathy. It is very stressful and worrying to be going through it.

I had DD1 nearly 11 years ago. To begin with, she gained weight well, about half a pound per week, after the initial post-birth dip. At about 2 months, her weight gain suddenly slowed. Over the next few months, she dropped right to the bottom of the growth chart, having been on the 25th centile at birth. She was closely monitored, and I introduced solids at about 5 months. We were referred to paediatrics, and a dietician. I was advised to give high fat/high calorie solids (lots of butter, cream etc) alongside continuing to breastfeed. DD had numerous tests for coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis etc. Nothing untoward was found. At no point was it suggested that I switched to formula, infact it was recommended that I continued bfing as DD would benefit with her being so tiny. She only weighed 15lb at a year old, by then I was pregnant again, and she was prescribed some high calorie formula and I stopped bfing, but she remained tiny.

DD would get numerous ear-infections, and would have bad breath and terrible snoring. Aged 6, she was diagnosed with glue ear, and enlarged adenoids. Just before her 7th birthday, she had her adenoids and tonsils removed, and grommets put in. Within months, my tiny DD had gained weight and become average height.

Sorry for such a long-winded post!

hlipop Tue 09-Oct-12 11:06:56

I also had this with dd2 she gained very slowly, had awful wind retention (we couldnot get her to burn / she would sick everywhere eew!!) and the HV checked her weight weekly - then she lost weight and became ill at around 3months =[ at this point (in hospital) they mixed fed her, my milk went dry after a few weeks and i think probably the quality / quantity of milk prob wasnt good enough for her - now at 18months she weighs 19lb and it has been difficult to get her weight up - in hindsight i slightly wish i had formula fed from when the hv first had worries about her weight gain as when she is ill and doesn't eat we end up in hospital as she has no weight to loose =[

sorry not sure that was helpful ://

smk84 Tue 09-Oct-12 22:22:25

Thanks moomin and hlipop , this weight business can be so difficultsad

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