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Slow weight gain

(7 Posts)
CuteLittleToes Thu 06-Feb-14 19:17:24

I EBF my DS (11 weeks), and his weight gain has been quite slow.

When he was born he was just under 25th percentile, had good weight gain at 3 and 4 weeks (14 and 11oz), but then it slowed down and he only gained 3.5oz per week over the next 2 weeks, which made him slip under 9th percentile. Since then he just followed his new curve, but today when he was weighted he dropped further just onto the 2nd percentile... He's still gaining weight, not losing, but just slower than expected.

I'm in 2 minds about this. On one hand, he seems happy, alert and active baby, he doesn't seem hungry, gives lots of smiles and gurgles. He already can push himself up on his arms when on tummy, can "stand" when held up, started grabbing toys... So he is developing fine. He doesn't look skinny, but I wouldn't call him chubby either.

On the other hand I feel like I'm not doing well enough every time I see that curve flattening... HVs are not concerned and said as long as he's gaining weight all is ok... He's still wearing newborn size clothes!

I've been to bfing group today and a very supportive and knowledgeable HV there suggested I offer him both breasts every feed (he used to take just one and only recently occasionally started going for 2nd) and make sure he gets 8-10 feeds in 24h.

I feel like I'm doing everything I can - I always feed him when he is hungry or I think he might be, let him feed as long as he wants (unless he falls asleep and is just comfort sucking), but somehow it just isn't enough...

Also - I know this is silly, but - he is not very good sleeper and I've heard once babies reach 12 lbs or so they tend to sleep better. I know this is not necessarily true, and even if they can doesn't mean they will, but I'm just really tired waking up every 1-2-3 hours, and it's this bit that doesn't quite let me enjoy motherhood as much as I would like to...

Not sure what I'm looking for - reassurance and similar experiences?..

Thanks for reading!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Thu 06-Feb-14 23:04:02

Great you are going to the bf groups.

Advice to offer both sides is good. I used to s
witch nurse with DD, so every time she came off/slowed down I'd swap sides to get a new letdown. Sometimes 5/6/7/8 sides in one bf session. Now she's older she does it herself.

You could also try breast compressions to increase milk transfer and skin to skin helps too.

Did the knowledgeable HV check her for tongue tie?

Hang on in there. It is so tough but sounds like you are doing brilliantly.

MissRatty Fri 07-Feb-14 07:50:31

I'm in exactly the same boat. LO was on 25th centile, dropped to ninth and is now following the second. Last weigh in he didn't gain as much as we'd hoped, but hopefully that was a blip. I'm sick of hearing people say how small he is...he doesn't look skinny but is petite. Also docs and HVs just saying that any gain is good and jealousy of chubby babies!

We're mixed feeding, boob first, then offering a top up of ebm or formula. I went to a bf clinic and he did have a poor latch, they were very supportive and helped us improve that. They were quite anti formula though.

The same too with feeds, erratically spaced (unless he has milk from a bottle in which case an ounce lasts him an hour, so if he takes four, he tends not to be hungry for about four hours). I'm determined to keep boob feeding though as he's getting comfort as well from it.

The trouble with bf is you can't see how much they are getting, so I worry he's not getting enough, even though he's alert, does fab napies etc.

Wish I could just throw those charts in the bin! In perspective though, for every 100 babies, he's second for weight, so not abnormal, just on the low side. He may catch up, and I hope ours does as hubby and I are 6ft and average build. Genetics has more to do with final weight than baby stats.

Just to say that I know how you feel, and I can't help but worry. X

MissRatty Fri 07-Feb-14 08:02:59

Also, we've had such conflicting advice! Feed him often/let him go longer so he's hungrier/feed on demand! We feed on demand, then offer a top up after each feed (laborious, but only just started so hopefully it will pay off). It feels really demoralising to be feeding constantly but not seeing the results :-(

If anyone has hints and tips from their experiences, I'll be watching with interest also!

We also had conflicting advice on boobs, offer only one so they get the hindmilk/offer both etc. It is a minefield and I don't think the health professionals appreciate the worry.

Can you express at all and offer that as a top up? Bf will be very well established for you so there should be no concerns over nipple confusion. Our LO has been given a bottle from week one, but still prefers booby!

Don't listen to people saying the charts are based on ff babies, they haven't for a long time now.

Tips I was given at the last bf clinic which I'll be trying were to compress the boob, keep a good eye on latch, get comfy when feeding etc. its hard as I find feeding quite stressful now just because of the weight thing.

I would definitely offer rhe second boob, since doing this for the last few days he seems to eat a wee bit more as he's eager again at the second, even if only for a few seconds!

tiktok Fri 07-Feb-14 09:23:08

Not sure whose thread this is....these are two different situations.

I'll respond to OP (*MissRatty*, maybe start another thread? You also don't say how old your baby is).

Cute, it's understandable you are concerned about your baby's growth, but he is still within normal limts, and dropping through two centile spaces as he has done is not a diagnosis in itself, just a signal to work out what's going on with the feeding. The fact the HVs - who have seen him and have checked out his health and development - are happy is reassuring.

The advice to offer both breasts each time and to ensure frequent feeding is sound. This may well enable him to grow as he needs to.

You are weighing him very often - is there a reason for this?

His sleeping pattern is on the normal spectrum. It may well change. Easiest thing to do is to work out ways of making these wakings simpler to cope with - so explore co-sleeping, for instance smile

MissRatty Fri 07-Feb-14 13:35:01

Sorry...it wasn't my thread, I was just posting my experiences on it. I hope you don't think I was hijacking. Just so you know that there are others in the same boat. We are only one week behind you in age, so have similar worries but have been assured that the nappies, alertness and developmental milestones are better indicators if something is wrong. In our situations it may just be something that needs adjusting to help their gain, latch etc.

CuteLittleToes Sat 08-Feb-14 22:34:20

It's fine, no one is high jacking the thread, I would like to hear about similar experiences, although I would prefer them to end something like "and then one day the weight just started climbing through centiles out of the blue" ;)

He had a slight tongue tie at 7 weeks but she (the HV) didn't think it was serious enough to get snipped. The latch was good too.

I've been told to get him weighed weekly until his first GP appointment (8 weeks) but the as I was at bfing group they suggested to get him weighed after I paused being asked about his weight gain. Otherwise I wouldn't get him weighed until he's 3 months, so in 2 more weeks.

Another strange thing is that at GP's they measured his head circumference, and he was on 75th centile for that. They didn't measure his length, only when he was 2 weeks old, but I did try to measure that myself and he seems to follow 9th centile curve. His head doesn't seem disproportionately big, so how come such difference?..

We did co-sleep until very recently, but I prefer not to - I don't find it particularly comfortable, although I do take him into my bed if too tired to face putting back to crib and rocking at 5am...

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