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I think I might have to admit defeat.

(20 Posts)
belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 18:46:45

DS - 18 weeks - has only put on 3lb in 4 months. He's dropped from 91st centile to 0.4th.

He appears perfectly healthy. His development is normal. He's utterly adorable.

I've tried to stop worrying and just accept that this is just the way he is (DD had a similar pattern but not as 'severe'). But I can't really accept this sort of weight gain.

We've been referred to a paediatrician to check him over, but we and GP don't think there's anything wrong.

Just my breastfeeding. That's what's wrong. So far he won't take expressed BM from a bottle but I think I'm going to have to work on giving him formula somehow.

He's wearing the babygro we brought him home from hospital in tonight. Admittedly, it was on the baggy side then, but still!

Loislane78 Wed 07-Nov-12 19:54:47


Sure you and your GP are FAR more knowledgeable than me, I was just wondering what his birth weight was and what he is now? Is it recently the weight has slowed or has it just been v slow all along?

belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 19:57:32

It's always been slow. 9lb at birth. 12lb today. Thanks.

belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 19:58:20

By the way, I meant DH and I and our Dr, not grandparents!

NotQuiteCockney Wed 07-Nov-12 20:02:33

It's possible that he would be the same weight, or similar, on a bottle. This may be absolutely normal for him. I've known mothers who moved to formula, only to find that their child really didn't gain weight on that, either.

Are you breastfeeding on demand? Is the latch ok? How long did it take him to regain his birth weight? How often did he poo, in the first few weeks?

Loislane78 Wed 07-Nov-12 20:08:52

I read on another thread recently that a baby was quite 'bloated' at birth as they were overdue and mum had been on a drip. In that case I think they lost a lot of weight initially.

Sorry, I don't know much about this but didn't want to leave unanswered as its v stressful situation for BF mums especially. Sounds like he's a happy chappy regardless so you've obviously done a great job smile. Hope you get some good advice from the paed smile

belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 20:11:16

Yes, breastfeeding on demand. And a bit more. He doesn't ever seem hungry. He took a couple of weeks to regain his birth weight and poos were fairly infrequent at that point.

His latch isn't great. But I've exhausted all real life help options (i.e. not much locally).

NotQuiteCockney Wed 07-Nov-12 20:14:59

People on the various helplines may be able to help you improve his latch.

I get the impression he's active and happy and doing everything he ought to? In which case, it may just be that you had a very effective placenta, and that fattened him up loads, but now that he's got control of his intake, he's a thinner child. The 0.4 centile is there for a reason, somebody is meant to be at that weight, iyswim.

belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 20:34:03

Absolutely active, happy, doing all he should be. Rolling over both ways already and has 5 teeth! (I know that's not important really!).

DD was also 9lb at birth and dropped to 9th centile. Now on the 50th, aged 3.

I'm small framed, though not tiny, and DH is shortish. I was a 9lb baby and then gained very slowly.

But I've really lost confidence now. GP keen for us to start weaning but I'd prefer formula I think.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 07-Nov-12 20:47:29

So, maybe this is just normal for him?

Was your DD breastfed?

It's a pity the charts have put you off - if you look at your son, I bet he's lovely and marvellous, and that's all down to you!

belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 20:50:29

Yes, she was breastfed too. I do look at him and think he's totally marvellous. But I'm so worried that maybe I'm starving him due to my own stubbornness and principles.

Boggler Wed 07-Nov-12 21:13:04

Personally I don't think I'd be considering weaning at 18wks it seems very young. I'd either try and persevere with bf or introduce some supplementary formula to top him up a bit. What does your HV say?

Iggly Wed 07-Nov-12 21:19:26

Hi belinda, I remember your other thread. And I've been meaning to reply about routines but lost it from threads I'm on as posted too much elsewhere blush

You say he looks healthy? Maybe he's just going to be a small one? If he's never hungry or seems it, then how can you be starving him?

Have you thought about a routine? I remember you struggling with feeding cues. My DD's routine at 4 months was:
6.30am wake, feed
8.30 nap, feed when woke up after 45 mins
11.30/12 nap after feeding to sleep. Nap for 45-90 mins
Feed around 1
Nap around 3.30/4 after a feed.
Bedtime and feed at 6pm
Feed Every 3-4 hours at night.

I can't remember - have you ruled out tongue tie?

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 21:35:56

Belindarose, was it you that posted about hating the car seat?

I recognise your name and have previously thought that your baby might have tongue tie, but also can't remember the outcome

belindarose Wed 07-Nov-12 21:54:12

Yes, I did post about the car seat! (No resolution there).

LC I saw didn't think he had tongue tie. Recommended osteopathy. Can't afford to see her again (and was not happy with the osteopathy - nor was DH who is a Dr).

mawbroon Wed 07-Nov-12 22:00:46

Some tongue tied babies absolutely hate the car seat it is thought because the angle leads to the tongue compromising the airway so they scream to keep the airway open.

I think you should get another opinion about tongue and lip tie. this thread shows you how often tongue tie is missed Lactation consultants can be wrong too!

There is an excellent tongue tie group on facebook. look for tongue tie babies support group andask to join

tiktok Thu 08-Nov-12 00:07:40

belinda, what is stopping you from just accepting this is the way he is?

He is happy.

He is healthy.

His behaviour is not causing concern.

You think he is marvellous and adorable which is as it should be smile

The GP and you and your dh don't think there is anything wrong with him.

How about just waiting for the paed's opinion and in the meantime stop using words like 'starving'?? He is not 'starving'. Babies who are 'starving' are not happy, healthy and rolling smile

Weaning would not get more calories into him - breastfed babies who wean early have a net loss of calorie intake (if you need a reference for this, let me know). Adding formula might make him gain more, but how will you ever know if this is physiological? Anyway, you can discuss with the paed.

But I would ask the question again : 'what is stopping you from just accepting this is the way he is?'

aamia Thu 08-Nov-12 09:40:55

How about trying formula in a sippy cup or one of those supplemental nursing things? If he then starts to gain properly then you know it was a lack of food. If he doesn't then you can always stop using it. I agree it needs to be tried. Principles should never be placed above a child's nourishment.

meebles Thu 08-Nov-12 10:21:09

tiktok that's a great way to put it, and I'm going to use it too!

I'm having similar issues with my DS too - he was 6 weeks prem, and has been putting weight on very slowly - we're down to 3 oz a week now, but he seems healthy to me, he's rolling and happy and smiley and laughing. I am finding it difficult because we're conditioned to expect babies to be fat and podgy, and he's skinny and still the size of a newborn! Also I'm getting a lot of pressure from my husband who just looks at the graph in the red book and sighs heavily - makes me feel really inadequate that I'm not doing a good job at feeding. He suggested weaning yesterday too! Tiktok I'd love that reference if you have it to hand.

ByTheWay1 Thu 08-Nov-12 10:31:12

Please try to change the way you are thinking about this - it is NOT "admitting defeat" to try to want to do the best for your child... it is being a caring mother who is actively looking for a solution....

If YOU think your child needs more - don't be afraid to give it - a top up formula feed with BF alongside is not "defeat"...

I had a fab HV who told me just that after I spent days with a baby attached to my boobs trying to get her to feed.... we did a single formula feed late evening and it worked for us...

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