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Seven-week-old not gaining weight

(14 Posts)
speedyboots Tue 09-Aug-16 17:47:44

DS2 is seven weeks old. He was 8 pounds 2 at birth and fed eagerly from the beginning. I have continued to exclusively breast feed. I fed DS1 for over a year so expected it to be easy. Like ds1, he eats for a long time on each side at every feed and only comes off the breast when I take him off, after about 20 minutes on each side. He eats every two to three hours in the day and then wakes up for one night feed. He sucks well and has a good latch. I seem to have plenty of milk as I can hear him swallowing a lot. He sleeps well at night. When he's awake he is alert, smiling and laughing and lifting his head. He has plenty of dirty and wet nappies.

It took him a while to regain birthweight and his weight gain has been very slow. I'm not in the uk and here a midwife visits weekly to check progress. She was unhappy with his weight gain last week and came again today and he had actually lost weight since Friday πŸ˜”

I'm eating normally and drinking plenty. However, I have been stressed by various things, including difficult family visits and settling ds1 into nursery. I've had DS1 at home all the time, a lot of time by myself, meaning I have no time to rest (he is very demanding, especially since the baby was born, and doesn't nap). Given we live abroad, we don't get any regular help and dh works long hours. To top it all off, ds1 broke his collarbone on Friday. He us doing ok but of course the last few days have been extra stressful and it has meant his settling in to nursery will be a slower process, so again I'm having no time to myself this week.

Thank you if you got through that essay! I would really appreciate any advice as to how to get him gaining. Dh has taken the next two days off work to help so hopefully I can rest more. But is there anything else I can do?
Thank you!

cherrypiemay16 Tue 09-Aug-16 18:00:00

I had a friend recently who had a very similar experience. She got lots of not helpful and conflicting advice from various professionals which involves her expressing, bottle feeding, breast and formula feeding, cutting out dairy etc etc. In the end she was admitted when at 9 weeks he was almost back to birth weight and actually the consultant wasn't particularly worried, he told her to breast feed, top up with formula and ignore dietary advice. He also said to weigh fortnight my not weekly as its more accurate. Her baby steadily gained weight from that point (with a much less stressed mum too) and has gone from 9th to 50th centile. He was also jaundiced until really late, not sure if that affected things. I would say don't worry too much, everything else you've described sounds like he's thriving. Get some rest and try and de-stress a bit and I'm sure his weight will pick up. Good luck!

cherrypiemay16 Tue 09-Aug-16 18:00:57

The other thing you could do is maybe squeeze in one more night feed confused

speedyboots Tue 09-Aug-16 18:20:42

Thank you so much for replying! It's good to hear a positive outcome.
That must have been so hard for your friend at the time though. The midwife has given me a list of things to eat (fennel tea, a smoothie made with banana, oats and milk) which don't massively seem to be helping. She seems to think my milk isn't rich enough but what I've read in kelly mom etc is that diet doesn't make a difference to that.
Hopefully being less stressed will be the key. I want to avoid top ups of possible but will if I have to.
Thank you again!

speedyboots Tue 09-Aug-16 18:21:14

Don't know if I can make myself do another night feed 😁

Orsono Tue 09-Aug-16 19:49:58

The smoothie sounds quite nice, but it isn't going to help make your milk 'richer', you're right. The best way to improve weight gain is to feed more. It's good you've got your DH at home for a couple of days, you can hopefully concentrate on feeding him at every squeak. Perhaps try breast compressions too to transport more milk?

When is he being weighed again? Four days is v

Orsono Tue 09-Aug-16 19:51:01

Sorry, typing while breastfeeding! Four days is very close together for weights - it could just be a small fluctuation.

Orsono Tue 09-Aug-16 19:52:20

And that should say transfer, not transport. Making you sound like a milk truck, sorry. smile

LapinR0se Tue 09-Aug-16 19:54:00

Please don't wake yourself up for another night feed. You will just get run down and exhausted.
I would feed every 3 hours in the day, give a full bottle of expressed milk or formula at 10pm and then a breastfeed during the night on demand, whether that be once or twice or whatever. I certainly wouldn't be waking the baby. You need to rest.

seven201 Wed 10-Aug-16 08:50:56

You say you swap breasts after 20mins. Maybe you could try leaving him on for longer so he definitely gets to the fatty hind milk? I was in a similar boat and was advised to give formula twice a day. Been doing that for 4 weeks now (she's 8 weeks now) and she is gaining well now. I kind of wish I'd stuck it out a bit longer as I'd prefer not to be giving formula. I've tried stopping but I think I don't produce enough milk to satisfy her.

speedyboots Wed 10-Aug-16 08:58:54

Thank you for the responses ☺️
It is a bit close for the weighing I think, and even the midwife said it could have been a matter of him doing a poo beforehand this time.
He will be weighed again on Friday which is too close again I think, but the midwife wants to get me signed off I think.
I definitely can't manage any more night feeds but I'm currently in bed feeding and letting him eat for as long as he wants rather than taking him off after 20 minutes or so. I already feel more relaxed after not having to do all the morning stuff alone and getting to stay in bed. Fingers crossed.
Thank you again!

Orsono Wed 10-Aug-16 13:43:26

It's definitely a good idea to let him feed as long as he wants rather than taking him off after a certain time - this will get more milk into him, and increase your supply, even if he isn't actively feeding for the whole time. Were you advised to take him off after 20 minutes? It can be a bit relentless in these early weeks, especially with an older DC, but if he's wanting to feed for long bouts it could be a growth spurt, which is obviously a good thing!

Enjoy your day of relaxing. smile

speedyboots Wed 10-Aug-16 18:49:22

Well we spent most of the day in bed with him either eating or sleeping on me. I let him eat as long as he wanted and there were some mammoth sessions - almost 2 hours on one breast! The midwife had advised to try 20 minutes on one side and 10 on the other as that should give him chance to drain the breast. He normally contented after that and if he still wanted to eat of course I would let him. She advised that as I mentioned how long he likes to feed and that he never seemed to come off by himself. I'm seeing a lactation consultant on Saturday and until then I just want to be led by him as much as possible to see what he needs.
Let's hope he doesn't want to feed all night too!
I feel a lot more rested after a day mostly spent in bed.
Thank you for the advice!

seven201 Thu 11-Aug-16 14:02:03

That sounds like very bad advice from your midwife! All babies are different. I'm glad you had a good snuggle bed day

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