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Why don't my big ebf babies thrive?!

(65 Posts)
YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 19:13:05

I am ebf my second ds. BF my first DS who is now 2.5 to 14mo and now ebf my 5mo. DS1 was 9lb 13oz at birth, and DS2 was 9lb 2oz but 1.5 week before edd so probably wouldve weighed the same. Both born on 75th centile.

I have taken time to educate myself on the ins and outs of bf on demand and have always been very baby led. I have always gone with the flow of cluster feeding and night feeds (which DS2 does a lot). I feed to sleep and DS2 doesn't have a dummy (DS1 did) so I offer a feed at every whimper practically.

However DS1 stopped gaining weight for 2 months from 3-5 months and then it was a slog to get him to even gain a few ounces before he started solids at 6mo. DS2 hasnt been quite as bad, he has always gained but has slowly dropped two centiles since birth and is now on 25th centile. He has gained 7.5ounces only in the past 19 days.

I was so disappointed getting him weighed today. I am exhausted from not having more than 2 hours sleep in a row in 5 months and not having a break and I feel that it isnt even paying off.

I honestly think ny breasts just must be crap! I never got engorged or felt my milk noticably come in either time, never leaked, and only one of my breasts becomes engorged if I miss a feed (which is worrying).

I have these lovely big healthy babies and I cant sustain them. I have taken every bit of advice for successful bf and feel a bit angry and frustrated that my babies don't thrive. I wonder how much more effort I have to put in to make it work. I could express between feeds, I could spend hours trying to get a perfect latch, I could spend lots of time trying to get ds to stay on the breast longer...but I am already spending way more time and headspace on feeding than if I was bottle feeding. I just want to enjoy my baby for once. I also have a toddler I want to enjoy time with.

Is there something obvious I am missing and doing wrong?? I desperately want to make bf work well and I want to feed well into toddlerhood, rather than limping to a halt like I did last time...

SaulGood Mon 15-Jun-15 19:16:27

What weight/percentile is your toddler now?

SaulGood Mon 15-Jun-15 19:19:00

Sorry, posted too soon. Was it only the weight that concerned you with DS1? Have there ever been any other health concerns, allergies, intolerances? What was weight gain like on solids?

Same with DS2. If you took weight gain out of the picture, what picture do you get of him?

What help/advice/support have you received?

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 19:20:59

Just checked his red book as havent had him weighed since he was 2 and then he was on the line between the 75th and 91st (not sure which one that makes him). So he is obviously supposed to be bigger.

SaulGood Mon 15-Jun-15 19:24:33

Was weight gain slow from the very beginning? I know you said there was a 2 month gap of no gain but was there always a slow gain?

Were both checked for tongue tie?

Cherrypi Mon 15-Jun-15 19:25:22

I think birth weight is not indicative of their future size just how effective your placenta is.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 19:26:51

Sorry just saw your second post...have just looked at DS1s book and he actually fell to the 9th centile. After solids he gradually climbed the centiles to 75th at 18mo. He had very bad colic for the first 3mo but otherwise was very very active - rolled over early, crawled at 6mo and walked at 9mo. Very alert and happy.

DS2 had an issue with watery, mucousy poos for a while but seems to have resolved. He is intolerant to eggs in my diet. He is alert, happy and active. Can roll over and is starting to show signs of wanting to crawl.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 19:31:39

Sorry crosspost again. No both gained initially really well and midwives were very happy both times. DS1 fell slightly to top of 50th centile at around 10 weeks and then gradually fell hitting 25th at 20 weeks. DS2 fell to 50th very gradually at 9 weeks, maintained well for a while but hit 25th around 19 weeks - so a similar pattern I suppose...

willbillycome Mon 15-Jun-15 19:32:16

Sounds quite often to be getting them weighed, is that because doc/hv is concerned about their weight? I last had dc2 weighed at 4 months (now 11 months) and he had dropped from just above 75th to just below 50th, but no one seemed concerned about that. I just go by looking at them, dc1 was v v 'chubby' and dc2 has what seems a normal amount of baby chub so never seen the need to get them weighed.

If noone else is concerned about their weight I imagine the feeding every 2 hrs during the night may be more a behavioural problem than a feeding one.

Stubbed Mon 15-Jun-15 19:36:01

How do you know they are not thriving? Are they healthy?

What kind of build do you and their dad have? This is the best indication of how they are supposed to be.

Btw I sort of had the same. Both children born 50th centile, now both 9th to 25th. Can't do much about it, force feeding babies has been linked to obesity in later life.

BetterWithCheese Mon 15-Jun-15 19:40:05

My two have been very similar to yours - born big, ok gain for a few months then dropped centiles until starting solids when they started climbing. I'm not sure exactly why it happened but older one has a tongue-tie and younger had CMPI. But I think the real issue was that I had such a strong letdown and oversupply at the start that they never had to work hard for milk then when they were older and needed more I couldn't get them to persevere on one side after the initial let down slowed.

But both were and continue to be healthy. I felt very upset and stressed by it but they were both alert and happy enough. Have the obvious causes checked but try and remember that they are actually ok flowers

BetterWithCheese Mon 15-Jun-15 19:44:08

Sorry I should have said that they sound like they are ok.

Crazyqueenofthecatladies Mon 15-Jun-15 19:45:56

Sounds like both had a dairy intolerance, fairly mild in the scheme of things but enough discomfort from heartburn for them to associate food with pain. Both mine did too. Birth weight is no indication of right centile though, their high birth weights could just as well indicate sub clinical gestational diabetes than strapping good health. Childhood obesity is far more of an issue than malnourishment in this country so don't beat yourself up too badly but if problems are u going Id look at limiting dairy in their diets and yours if your still nursing. I ended up having to go Df and sf for two years to feed dd.

GraceGrape Mon 15-Jun-15 19:53:32

My dds were the same, both over 9lbs at birth then steadily slid down the centiles. DD1 didn't put on any weight between 6 and 9 months at all. There were issues with cmpi and reflux but mainly I think they were experiencing "catch-down" growth. What height and build are you and your DP? My eldest is now 5 and around the 25th centile for height and weight.

ijustwannadance Mon 15-Jun-15 20:45:49

Hi, might sound daft but how is your diet? Have you lost weight quickly since the birth? My dd was 9lb11 and didnt lose any weight for 2 weeks but I did! After couple of weeks she started getting groucy and seemed to want to feed more often and longer and sleeping less. I was so exhausted i hadnt been eating properly and had lost weight as she was taking all the good stuff then for her it was like switching from full fat milk to skimmed milk so although i was producing milk it never satisfied her hunger as not fatty enough.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 20:47:47

Wow lots of responses, thank you. willbilly I wish I was confident enough to get them weighed less often but when ebf I just feel I need to know they are doing well. I usually go every 2-3 weeks or longer if they have been maintaining well. The HV does say every 2-4 weeks though and when they have dropped a bit I have been asked to return in 2 weeks which im happy to do.

Better and crazy thanks for sharing your experiences - I have started to wonder about cmpi. Health professionals never seem to consider these things though...they always go straight for the top up or early weaning suggestions but I find it a bit frustrating that noone seems to question why this is happening.

Thanks grace it is good to hear other people's experiences. I am average height and average weight for my height - slim but never naturally skinny. DP is tall and lanky and was a very skinny child Im told.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 20:55:54

Sorry crosspost again...I lost most weight initally fairly quickly with both DC although slower this time I think. With DS1 I was a stone lighter than my pre-preg weight by the time he was 9 months without trying so it did seem to be taking it out of me a bit. I stayed that weight until I got pg with DS2 and am now 10lb away from it..so im definately not wasting away. I dont find much time to eat proper meals in the day so do eat a bit of rubbish but make up for it with a proper - not always healthy - meal with DP in the evening. I am working on this though!

mariposa10 Mon 15-Jun-15 21:01:53

Sounds like your obsessing about their weight unnecessarily. Just because babies are big at birth doesn't mean they are any healthier or will grow at the same rate as they get older. I think you need to let it go. So many people mistakenly believe the bigger a baby is the healthier it is. Not true. Don't have them weighed so often if it bothers you, it's not compulsory.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 21:43:39

I don't think im obsessing necessarily...im not worried about them being big but I am worried about them not maintaining their growth. Even breastfeeding research says that the average expected weight gain is more than what my DS is gaining at the moment.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 21:45:39

I also know that it is not compulsory but it's not compulsory to leave it a long time either and as ive said, I want to get him weighed to see how he is doing. The facts would be the same anyway as it would still show a drop in centiles...it is just that I know that it has been a gradual drop because of regular weigh ins

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 15-Jun-15 21:56:48

'the average expected weight gain is more than what my DS is gaining at the moment'
If it's an average, then by definition there must be many babies gaining less, as well as more.
I think you're reading too much into the percentiles.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 22:02:41

Maybe biscuit , I hope so. It is quite a lot below though. My hv was concerned enough to advise me to come back and to start weaning early though so I dont think it is all in my head...

tumbletumble Mon 15-Jun-15 22:03:39

My EBF DS1 was born on the 75th percentile and dropped to the 25th by three months. He was fine in every other way - feeding well, meeting milestones etc. I think some babies are born bigger than they are 'supposed' to be and then find their line. He's now an active healthy 9 year old.

sanfairyanne Mon 15-Jun-15 22:06:02

they sound very big at birth tbh. i would think that was more likely the issue and their weight has since been stabilising slowly downwards.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 15-Jun-15 22:07:30

Thanks tumble that could be an explanation, maybe my body just grows big babies

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