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Just been to HV and a little shaken, Tiktok or others, any advice?

(42 Posts)
cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 14:43:39

I have not had my baby weighed for ages, and I was worried to see that she has fallen from the 50th ish percentile to the 9th. She is nearly 9 months, and is not really interested in solids. She is BF. I was told that she is having too much milk, and that I must increase her solids intake. I am really upset at the moment, and a little worried about why she is so light. She doesn't look that light to me, and she is happy and active. Before I went to weigh her I was not at all worried.
I felt that they thought I was negligent for not pushing solids, and was hoping for some advice. Should I cut back on the BF to encourage her to eat more solids?
Be gentle with me, I am a bit tearful after all this.

BabiesEverywhere Thu 20-Sep-07 14:47:05

I am no expert but why would increasing more solids which are relatively low in calories and reducing the higher in fat and calories breast your baby put on weight ?

Surely you need to offer more milk feeds and maybe eat oatmeal to boost your milk supply.

Is your baby looking well, alert with a good number of wet and dirty nappies ?

goingfor3 Thu 20-Sep-07 14:47:47

I breasfed my dd until she was 2 1/2 and she did eat solids but wasn't very interested in them until I stopped bf. DD also dropped from the 91st to 25th centile within a few weeks of her birth. I don't know whether this is related but she had constant cougha nad colds, once I stopped bf and she took more interst in food she was healthier though of course she could have built up a strong immunity by that point. If I could do it again I would still have bf for the same amount of time but encouraged DD to eat more solids.

lailasmum Thu 20-Sep-07 14:48:00

I have a really skinny 3 year old. She has always been light and is happy and healthy, so I would have thought that as long as she is bright and happy then its ok. I think they still need a pint of milk and although that is gonna be impossible to gauge it is still a fair bit of milk. how much non breastmilk food is she eating?

witchandchips Thu 20-Sep-07 14:53:03

are you giving solids at all?

mummypig Thu 20-Sep-07 15:00:17

oh some hvs really have a way of making you feel awful, don't they? sad

If she is fine apart from the weight I would ignore everything your hv said - and never go back again grin

and this page from gives good evidence based information about introducing solids to breastfed babies. Solids are still only meant to be complementary foods up to 12 months old, not the main source of food.

In any case (as someone else said already) many baby foods have fewer calories per gram than breastmilk does (see this chart also from kellymom) so it doesn't make sense for them to tell you to cut down on breastfeeding if they are worried about her weight.

Just remember this hv is probably not used to supporting breastfeeding mums who carry on past about 4-6 months, and probably hasn't had time to read any research on baby feeding, so is probably just carrying on doing what she has been doing for the past 5 to 10 years blithely unaware of the negative effect on both you and your little one.

next time you're worried about your breastfeeding or your daughter's weight, perhaps give La Leche League a call as they have loads of experience in the right area, and will be very supportive.

determination Thu 20-Sep-07 15:02:10

my dd1 was always on the 9th centile and now she is 3 and is just below the 9th centile. she used to eat loads.. well she actually still does.

What is she eating?
are you doing baby led weaning?
if she is happy, alert,active and having wet and dirty nappies.. is there any real reason to be concerned??

tortoiseSHELL Thu 20-Sep-07 15:02:37

Sorry you had a bad visit. How long is it since she was weighed? They do sometimes 'grow downwards' - i.e. they gradually settle onto another curve. My children have just about settled onto their curves now:-

Ds1 - born 98th centile, now 9th-25th
Dd - born 98th, now 75th
Ds2 - born 99.9th, now 9th

They're all healthy.

bookthief Thu 20-Sep-07 15:06:32

Maybe she's just being very alert and active and burning off a lot of calories at the moment.

Also, IIRC it's in the later months that bf babies' weight gain does tend to slow a little compared to ff so it might be worth having a squiz at the WHO excl bf chart to see what her centile is on there if it'll make you feel better.

If she looks well then I can't see the point of changing anything though. What are you going to do force feed her?? I'm sure she'll get the hang of solids in her own time.

tibsy Thu 20-Sep-07 15:12:05

cazee - am sad you're feeling tearful about this. i can totally relate to this as i have a happy & healthy 12 1/2 mth old who just happens to weigh between the 2nd and 9th centile. she has bags of energy and has plenty of wet and dirty nappies. yes, she has solids, not vast quantities at any one time (think shes more of a 'grazer' than a 3 meal a day girl), and she likes her milk too (i'm still bfing). i have had many a day when i worried she wasnt getting enough from my breastmilk or i wasnt giving her enough solids, but i finally saw it for what it is.....she's just a wee one, its her physiology and physicality and i cant forcefeed her. i just make sure i give her the opportunity to have snacks of fruit and stuff between 'mealtimes' too. some days it feels like she's permanently eating or drinking! just smaller amounts than others her age may be having.

please dont feel bad, this solids lark is a bit of a juggling minefield at the start and when one person says to offer milk before a 'meal' another will tell you to do so after hmm ????? Am sure you'll get there smile

2Happy Thu 20-Sep-07 15:13:40

cazee, when was dd last weighed? Has she lost weight, or just not put it on quickly enough to keep up with the centiles?

What solids is she getting just now and how often? How often is she bfeeding? You say you weren't worried before - so I take it she was happy and not showing signs of being hungry? Weeing, pooing plenty? What is your build like, and dh's? Are you both big, or are you quite light framed?

Much sympathy; I've been through similar with ds2. Had no concerns at all until I had him weighed, wondered why the hell I'd bothered, but since I had blooming found out I couldn't then undo it, and felt I had to change something.

Lizzylou Thu 20-Sep-07 15:17:13

I may be a little thick on this (have two huge boys and BF for only 6mths at a time) but at 9mths aren't they mainly only having veg and fruit as solids anyway? I would have thought that it was your milk that was the high-calorific element of her diet?

Pls don't worry, HV's have a habit of making Moms tearful about something. With me it was the opposite, they were convinced I was overfeeding them!

MaeWest Thu 20-Sep-07 15:18:09

I worried about 'too much milk' with DS, as it seemed to take ages for him to get interested in solids. I tried to stay away from weighing him, and when he was 10 months old he had 9-12mths check and HV was worried that he was a bit 'too heavy' hmm(goes to show you can't win!)

As I said, I worried about whether I should withold bf to make him take solids, but as it was just kept bf on demand and lo and behold just after 10 months he suddenly started guzzling food and cutting back on the milk.

As you said yourself, you weren't worried until you had her weighed. You're the mum, you know your baby

tiktok Thu 20-Sep-07 16:29:57

Oh dear, yet another misinformed HV. Mumnetters do seem to be very unlucky with them.....

This is a situation where it might be appropriate to look at the appropriate charts, if nothing else, just to shut this HV up. It's after about 6 mths that the growth difference between ff and bf really starts to show, and by nine mths it is starting to be very marked. It may well be your dd would look 'heavier' on the charts. Shame on your HV for not knowing this.

Having said that, the chart is only a small part of the assessment of a healthy 9 mth old - happy and active you say? Well, where is the problem? It would make no sense to cut back on breastfeeding - as has been said, you run the risk of reducing her intake, not increasing it.

At this age, it is within normal limits to be taking small amounts of solids only - 'pushing' them is not a good idea, and making them available is fine. You can get lots of good ideas on the weaning board. Your dd might enjoy finger foods, and feeding herself, baby-led weaning style.

But I don't suppose your HV talked about that to you, either

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 17:08:43

Thank you Tiktok. I have been very upset about this, because it has made me feel that I have been neglecting my baby by not giving her enough solids. I said to them I don't know why she is not gaining as I am giving her lots and lots of milk, she is never hungry, and they said I am giving her too much milk, and should cut back.
She weighs 7.66 kg and is 39 weeks, how would that look on the new charts?

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 17:09:36

...and thanks everyone else, I haven't read all posts yes (just got in) but I will do so in a moment.

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 17:18:43

Right, read all the posts now, thank you everyone for taking the time to reply.
She was last weighed at 21 weeks and was 6.52kg. Now at 39 weeks she is 7.66kg. She was already falling from her curve, so this is not a sudden drop.
Yes, lots of wet nappies.

I tries BLW but I just don't seem able to go with it, because she doesn't really eat anything, so end up giving her some jars, she eats about half the jar, and so about a jar over the day, as I offer it twice. At dinner time I give her some of what we are eating to play with.
She enjoys eating proper food, but not much goes in.
I think the trouble is that I suckle her to sleep for her naps, so she is not hungry when she wakes, she is eating milk little and often (ish).
Ohh, I just feel like I should have her in a proper routine by now. My MIL said hers were on 3 meaos a day by this age!

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 17:31:01

Right, I am really angry now. I have just printed out and filled in the WHO weight for age chart, and she is doing fine.
I am going to take this form back to the HV.

prettybird Thu 20-Sep-07 17:31:26

Couldn't find one just for a year, but found this Looking at it, your dd is definitely not as low as the 9th. In fact, she is still between the 25th and the 50th (if that is waht the 0 and -2 are) - and closer to the 50th.

I am sure someone will be along with more official reassurance.

From the sound of it, you are doing great. You wouldn't have been worried if you hadn't had her weighed - so remenber that! She'll eat in her own good time and in the meantime, she is getting plenty of good nutrition from you.

ladymac Thu 20-Sep-07 17:42:04

All my children were big babies, then dropped down below 9th centile.

Each HV gave me a hard time, but none of them were big eaters.

Try not to worry. My ds is now 6'4", eats like a horse but is still very slim.

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 17:42:26

Thanks prettybird.
She is falling a little on the WHO chart, but nothing like as dramatic as on the other one.

yomellamoHelly Thu 20-Sep-07 17:52:18

My 9 month old is exclusively bfed. I've tried weaning him 4 times. Each time he LOVES it, but he always ends up constipated, so I stop offering him food for a while. Currently he's just bfed from Monday.
He's a v content little baby and interested in anything he can get his hands on and does plenty of nappies each day. I think he's fine and didn't go to his 8 month check for fear they'd wind me up in the same way they did for ds1 who is still fine.
So you're not the only one in this situation. Just follow your instinct.

Theclosetpagan Thu 20-Sep-07 18:00:24

Sorry to hear you had a bad time cazee. Just to add my bit - DS was 99th centile at birth and fell to the 50th by the time he was a year. He was active - I did BLW and he was (and remains) fine on the 50th centile.

I used to be a HV and your DD sounds NORMAL to me.

Babies at your DDs age are much more active so she's using more calories. Her weight sounds fine and a drop from the 50th to the 9th centile is nothing to be concerned about. It certainly would not have concerned me.

Right am off to start an AIBU thread titled "AIBU to expect my HV colleagues to SUPPORT parents and not worry the crap out of them"angry

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 18:51:18

Thanks smile
She was 50th at birth, but started falling after a bit. At 5 months she was a bit above the 25th, and now at 8 3/4 months is about 9th.

cazee Thu 20-Sep-07 20:36:58

So, tomorrow should I start giving solids before/instead of milk feeds? That is what HV said to do. My worry is that she may lose weight if I do this, as there seems to be very few calories in fruit/veg compared to breast milk.
I think I may stop feeding her to get her to sleep for her naps, so that she is hungrier when she wakes.

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