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Breastfeeders- please help me to get a grip re 4 month old weight gain!

(9 Posts)
Moominlandmidwinter Sat 02-Feb-13 18:20:27

I have a beautiful 4 month old DD. She is my fourth. Was born on 50th centile, rose to just above91st centile after 2 weeks. 2 weeks ago, I took her to the clinic to be weighed. She'd slipped to just below the 91st centile.

On Wednesday, the health visitor came to do a four month check. She'd gained 9 oz in 2 weeks, at 16lb 4oz this put her just above the 75th centile. The HV seemed concerned about this, said I should get her weighed again in two weeks, and if she's gone any further down the centiles, I need to seriously consider early weaning. DD will be 20 weeks at this point. I had attended a sure start baby group the week before, where they had a weaning talk by the same HV. She'd stressed how important it was to wait as close to 6 months as possible before introducing solids.

I feel a bit rubbish, to be honest. I've ebf for four months, yet I feel as though I'm being told I'm not nurturing my baby enough. I have issues from DD1, who was failing to thrive. It doesn't help that I don't feel as though I have enough milk, and DD is constantly feeding during the day this week. I've tried pumping to increase my supply, but can only get 20ml!

SeeYouSoon Sat 02-Feb-13 18:26:51

Are you happy with how she is? Would you be concerned if she hadn't been weighed? My ds dropped a bit at around the same time, I just fed him as much as possible and he want back up again. If you aren't worried I would just keep feeding as much ad you can and stop getting her weighed tbh, it's not compulsory.

Moominlandmidwinter Sat 02-Feb-13 18:43:04

I wasn't worried, but she has been so clingy these last few days. Maybe she is picking up on my anxiety. She's been on the breast approx every hour today, since 7am. I'm exhausted! I'll just keep feeding and hope it's just a blip.

BuntyCollocks Sat 02-Feb-13 18:56:11

There's a growth spurt at 4months, which explains the clinginess, and extra feeding. The centile drop is also fine IME - ESP as she hasn't dropped below birth centile. I believe they only worry when the drop is 2 centiles below birth centile.

Wrigglebum Sat 02-Feb-13 19:50:49

I can't believe the advise you've been given by the HV! She is still above her birth centile so she's clearly not starving. In the early days the lines are so close together that it's hard to see exactly whereabouts they are anyway. Plus early weaning would be replacing calorific milk with fruit, veg and rice- things we might eat to lose weight.

My ds1 was and is right on the bottom of the charts, but our hvs have always been relaxed about it as he's happy and full of energy. With ds2 I just don't get him weighed as I know he's fine.

You're doing really well and as long as you keep feeding on demand you will almost certainly have enough milk. If your dd is alert, generally happy and producing plenty of output then she's fine.

Wrigglebum Sat 02-Feb-13 19:52:47

Btw- how much you can pump is no indication of how much you are producing. As long as you can hear/see swallowing when your dd is feeding then there is milk.

Moominlandmidwinter Sat 02-Feb-13 20:24:34

Thank you, wise, kind mumsnetters! I feel a bit better now. Am sure Dd must be having a growth spurt. She does have plenty of wet and dirty nappies, I can hear her swallowing, and she's very lively and alert. I'm not surprised that so few women exclusively breastfeed at this stage, the support from professionals is not great. I totally lost confidence after the problems with Dd1, so mixed fed DDs 2 & 3 from 6 weeks. Was determined this time to ebf til 6 months, and continue til at least a year.

zoobaby Sat 02-Feb-13 22:17:52

Get another opinion before you make any decisions you're not entirely comfortable with. We had a glitch just before Christmas with a less than helpful HV who basically had me questioning everything. I went in thinking we'd been getting on very well and was feeling really chuffed with our team effort. The HV warned about dropping percentiles which gave me sleepless nights and an almost manic approach to getting him on the breast. Result was an anxious me and a DS whose sleep patterns were screwed up (having too much milk early in day, then not hungry before bed, then hungry at 3am). Did a bit of Googling and read advice on mumsnet and decided to be aware of (and thankful for) her general advice but to essentially ignore in relation to DS as it clearly didn't apply to him at this particular time. I kept the follow up weighing appt and breathed a great sigh of relief to discover that he'd maintained his new percentile line. Yep, it honestly meant that much! But the best part was seeing a different HV who, when I confessed my relief, pretty much said "you're kidding right? Have you LOOKED at him? He's totally healthy".

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Sun 03-Feb-13 22:35:31

I don't know if this helps but my Ds is 16 weeks now and was born on the 75th and went up to the 91st and has just this week gone down a bit on the line. He weighs 16lb 9oz and the HV said to me they aren't worried about the drop and I'm doing a fab job EBFing.

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