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How serious an issue is VERY slow weight gain in an exclusively bf newborn?

(48 Posts)
Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 21:04:26

DS2 is now 7 weeks old and although bfing seems to be going okay, he's hardly gaining any weight. |He was 10lbs 2.5oz born, went down to 9lbs 9oz at 11 days and didn'tget back t his birthweight until almost 6 weeks and is now 10lbs 8oz at 7 weeks. The most he's put on in a week is 4oz but usually it's 2oz.

He's been poorly with bronciolitis and still has a stuffy nose and cough so I'm wondering if that's affecting him. MIL also said dh was very slow at gainng weight as a young baby (& toddler) so I'm wondering if it's a genetic thing (ds1 and dd were both ff by 4 weeks so can't compare them).

What I really need to know is whether I should be worrying about this or just avoiding the scales for a bit. He's very content between feeds, has lots of wet nappies, does a couple of bright yellow poos the consistency of ready mix kids paint every day, is alert, smily and only really cries when he's hungry so in every other respect the bf appears to be going well. I saw a bfc when I was having problems a couple of weeks ago and she adjusted his latch a bit so I think that's okay too.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Elasticwoman Fri 16-Feb-07 21:21:33

I think you and ds2 are doing really well and have nothing to worry about. As I said on other thread, my ds was 10 lb 6 oz at birth and didn't regain it for a month. Big newborns do take longer sometimes. But if you're still worried, have another chat with the bfc just to put your mind at rest. She will be quite happy to talk to you again.

Sounds like you have lovely supportive MIL.

moondog Fri 16-Feb-07 21:23:47

It sounds just fine to me.That was how my dd gained weight (not that I ever tracked it or had HVs concerned by it) and she is a big strapping 6 year old now.

Sounds like yuo are doing brilliantly.

Califrau Fri 16-Feb-07 21:24:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Loopymumsy Fri 16-Feb-07 21:24:41

Message withdrawn

tortoiseSHELL Fri 16-Feb-07 21:30:32

I'm no expert, but that sounds like it's ok - all of mine have been slow gainers - ds2 being the slowest - he was 10lb2 at birth, and at 4 months weighed 13lbs, so that's 3lbs in 4 months, which is about 3oz a week. If he's alert, lots of wees and poos, and your HV is happy it's probably ok. If you're worried you could talk to your GP or HV, but they may just say 'he needs supplementing with formula' which he doesn't - if he needs more calories, just let him b/feed more!

tortoiseSHELL Fri 16-Feb-07 21:32:05

PS There does seem to be a phenomenon where some big babies (mine!) plateau down to reach the growth curve they should be on - by this I mean they don't lose weight, rather gain slowly till they reach their curve!

Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 21:44:35

Thanks all, this bf business is so stressful, I'm starting to doubt my abilities and mother's instinct! Just need constant reassurance [needy emoticon!] that it's all going okay. HV is coming next Weds to do my mood questionnaire and mosr likely weigh ds so once that's over with I'll avoid the scales like the plague! It's so ridiculous, I'm happy that bf is going well until the bloomin' scales come out then all the doubts resurface for a couple of days. Couldn't survive without MN .

moondog Fri 16-Feb-07 21:54:07

Don't doubt yourself Oli.
Your body was clever enough to make a baby and its clever enough to feed it.

PeachyClair Fri 16-Feb-07 21:58:49

ime weight gain is good

I speak as Mum of three, one of whom dropped to 4.5lbs (he was 5.5 lbs born) and the other two who had to be checked by paeds for their weight and yet none were considered worrying (its the genes apaprently)

He sounds absolutely fine- as long as he ahs lots of wet nappies, seems content and does a poo sometimes he is OK

Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 22:04:58

Moondog, that's what I keep telling myself......until ds2 is plonked on the scales. Shall definitely ignore them from now on!! Thank you.

Peachy, I'm a mum of 3 too but didn't find MN until after I'd given up bf ds1 and dd because of their slow weight gain and lack of support from hv, hence the '1st time mum' paranoia!

moondog Fri 16-Feb-07 22:14:33

Oli,they're not meant to pile on weight like sumo wrestlers.
Rapid weight gain in bottle fed babies is associated with weight problems in later life.

Please don't waver,you are doing so well.

Was slow weight gain the only reason yuo gave up before?

PeachyClair Fri 16-Feb-07 22:24:59


I gave up ds1 at about 4 weeks (but he has sn we didnt know about and it was the millenium and no HV and allergies oh- all sorts); ds2 bf until 4 months-

then I went on a training course in BF (unicef course) through work, got PG (my MW on the course talked me into it lol)- and fed ds3 until he was 15 /16 months!!!!

It CAN be done! It takes a lot of bottle and faith but really, it can

Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 22:41:41

Moondog, yep, it was. Neither of them had regained their birthweight by 4 weeks and I was put under pressure by hv to do something about it, with NO guidance on what to do, who to talk to, etc. Because I'd failed with ds1 I felt as though it was something I just couldn't do when the pattern repeated itself with dd so I just gave in. Feel very and that I gave up so easily and had so little support. It seems ludicrous that I've only got this far with ds2 because of the support I've had from a group of strangers, not the professionals who's job it is.

Peachy, slightly daft question - do you feel guilty that you bf ds3 for so long when you didn't get so far with ds1 & 2? I already feel bad that ds2 is getting all the benefits that ds1 and dd missed out on. Irrational and stupid, eh!!

PeachyClair Fri 16-Feb-07 22:47:31

No it never occurred to me to feel guilty! I am GLAD I did as it just so happens that ds3 has what seems to be mroe serious sn and so needs the extra helping hand he got more than the thers. But more that that- I was in such a different palce with ds3; with ds1 I had almost died (eclampsia); with ds2- ds1 was only 13 months himself, and I felt 4 months was a big achievement at the time. I shocked myself when ds3 fed so well, but in a very good way. I wasny working though and ds2 was 3 so that helped- everything just came together.

I'd feed a baby no4 if it happens myself, but I wouldnt go in with assumptions- id just take it a day at a time and take it from there.

PeachyClair Fri 16-Feb-07 22:48:21

but yure not irrational and stupid! Mums guilt trip themselves- if all else was equal you'd feel bad that one had a nicer duvet. Guilt = parenthood mores the pity.

AitchTwoOh Fri 16-Feb-07 22:51:55

dd was mix-fed from about a week old and still didn't put on her birth weight until she was about 5 weeks. so i think it sounds like you are doing brilliantly, olihan, good for you.

moondog Fri 16-Feb-07 23:05:40

Aitch,if you don't mind me asking,I have never really understood why b/feeding didn't work out as you obviously wanted it to.

Did you give formual under pressure or what?

Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 23:11:26

Yep, guilt trips all the way!! Was wondering in the middle of last night whether mixing ebm with strawberry nesquik would cancel out the bm benefits so I could get some down ds1 and dd . Completely daft!

I know what you mean about things falling into place, this is the first time I haven't had any complications post birth (with ds1 I had a 33 hour labour then had a suspected blood clot on my lung when he was 10 days old & couldn't go near him for 24 hours after a radioactive scan, after dd was born my thyroid stopped functioning so had symptoms like PND) so it's been unbelievably easy this time, despite the fact the age gap is really close (ds2 was born 3 days before ds1's 3rd birthday and dd was 16 months).

Am I right in thinking your boys have an ASD? We give weekend respite to a 10yo boy who is severely autistic so I lurk a bit on the SN threads. The head at your ds3's school sounds horrendous, hope you manage to get the paed to over ride her.

moondog Fri 16-Feb-07 23:13:10

I think Jimjams gave her two boys colostrum when she had her third.
You could express when feeling a bit more confident and give it to them.Would do them a world of good!

Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 23:21:29

MD, I knew it wasn't that bad an idea! All the benefits would still apply for them, wouldn't they? Unfortunately it really would have to be mixed with something else as neither of them are keen on milk. Pureed banana?! Now there's a thought.....

Aitch, the other 2 absolutely piled on the weight once they were ff, esp ds1, hence the lack of faith in my myself!

tiktok Fri 16-Feb-07 23:36:53

Oli, your baby's weight gain is normal *for him* - everything else is fine, his weight is going upwards, the actual point on the chart is not significant, and it is normal, especially for larger babies, as yours was, to have a period of perfectly physiological 'catch down' growth - 'catch down' is a technical term, used in the literature, and should be well-known to any informed healthcare professional you come across. If they don't know it or can't explain it, then they are not well-informed

Olihan Fri 16-Feb-07 23:39:44

Thank you tiktok, will go to bed 100% reassured now! Not that I don't trust the others but it's nice to have it confirmed by you!

AitchTwoOh Fri 16-Feb-07 23:49:05

i think it was a mix of things, moondog.
when i got to the specialist help they said that they find a lot of women on beta-blockers have difficulties with supply. actually, they can't separate it from the high bp, so it could be either. there's no research, that's completely anecdotal from who they get through the door.

also i have PCOS so that might have affected things, who knows? it's not uncommon for PCOS people to have over or under-supply problem. as also the baby came at 38 weeks so, while term, she was on the wee side so she wanted to sleep more than eat.

i asked for help really quickly but the BF counsellors at the hospital said i was doing brilliantly etc (when i just instinctively knew i wasn't). i looked great at it apparently, 'lovely position, v relaxed, a natural', it's just that the baby wasn't getting milk so she kept losing weight. they also told me to pump every few hours, which i did, but the formula was filling her up so our actual bfing time was being interrupted.

so the docs started getting involved and i had to get her weighed every two days.
this was in december, so it was cold and miserable and the baby got a cold so that made her even more sleepy and stuffed up. i do think that expecting to get good care at christmas is a forlorn hope, mind you.

all the while, i should add, she was very alert and bright, so not at all sickly. but i now realise i should have refused to move from my bed, while i was instead driving to the hospital every couple of days because they did rather make me feel like i had a sick baby...

anyway, i was persuaded to give her formula by a doctor who promised that his wife had given formula and it hadn't made a difference... all very well for him to say, and my supply never really recovered. i did mix feed for nearly five months, though, and i really liked it. that was frustrating, i must say, because i just never suffered in the way that so many bfing mums do. no sore nipples (or not that bad anyway) no mastitis, nothing. although i was covered in scratches from the baby clawing at me at night when my supply was zero...

anyway, when i got the specialist help at about five weeks i was put on domperidone (having eaten porridge, drank guinness, fenugreek, other supplements that i cna't even think of now) but we just couldn't turn it around in time. we did a thing where i pumped every two hours for 72 hours, that was supposed to kickstart me but it only brought my yield up to the point where i could give her half-ish of her intake.

in order to keep up the supply i had to keep up the pumping as well, which was a PITA, but i did it. we also latterly went to a cranio-sacral thingybob and the woman said that the baby had something funky about the roof of her mouth, which she fixed, and dd's latch did seem to me to be firmer thereafter. again, not in time though.

so if there's a next time i'll feel a lot more armoured against the paranoia that doctors feed, and i'll be insisting on domperidone from day one (as i'll likely be on beta-blockers again as i am essentially hypertensive) and i'm not moving anywhere.

sorry about the essay, but you did ask. i'm actually shivering just thinking about it. i hope you can see why when people say 'your baby, your choice' etc it gets right up my nose, because i bust a gut and never got to make a choice.

PeachyClair Sat 17-Feb-07 00:46:25

My ds1 has as, my ds2 is Nt as they come, my ds3 has severe speech delay and asd

Hectic in our household

I ahve been known to threaten ds1 (7 lol) with a bit of breastymilk on his brekky for some reason he always refuses lol......

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