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Breastfeeding Baby has not gained any weight

(71 Posts)
chelsea2704 Mon 19-Oct-20 17:34:32

DS is 8 weeks old and I have been EBF. He had tounge tie until 3 weeks and then we had a nipple shield so did not have the easiest start to BF. We have today had the 8 week check and doctor tells us his weight is 8lb 7oz which is less than his birth weight sad (8lb 9oz).
He feeds usually 6 times a day between 20-30mins, using both breasts. Very rarely sick, plenty of wet nappies, sleeps well, has grown since birth and outgrown newborn clothes.. the only issue we have is that towards the last 5 or 10 mins of feeds he latches on and off every 30 secs which I thought was because he was full! I now feel like a crap mum as he clearly isn't getting what he needs sad I really don't want to stop BF yet...How can I help him to gain weight???

OP’s posts: |
Hopefulbride18 Mon 19-Oct-20 17:42:10

I think it took my DS a long time to get back to his birth weight but I cant remember how long! Like yours he appeared to have grown though and had plenty of wet nappies etc. I wondered if his birth weight was wrong? Is this the first time your DS has been weighed since leaving hospital?
It sounds like he is satisfied! They tend to let you know if they're still hungry! I think I'd keep an eye on his weight for the next week or so before offering any formula personally.

Sorry I know it must be so hard for you without all of the weighing clinics they'd usually run! But it sounds like you're both doing great smile

chelsea2704 Mon 19-Oct-20 19:17:43

@hopefulbride18 thanks for the reply! I was so surprised at his birth weight he was a lot bigger than we expected but he was 2weeks late! He was weighed at 2 weeks and was the same as birth weight, weighed again at 3 weeks and thats when he when he was at 8.7! The drs are going to be weighing him weekly now so we'll see what happens. Thanks for the advice, hopefully i won't have to move to formula 👌

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dementedpixie Mon 19-Oct-20 19:22:59

Could you not breastfeed more often before resorting to giving formula? Breastfeeding more will also increase your supply.

ShirleyPhallus Mon 19-Oct-20 19:27:06

Was he a c-section baby OP?

GirlCalledJames Mon 19-Oct-20 19:34:06

He’s 8 weeks old so you can mix feed without affecting your supply. I gave mine a few formula feeds a day for a couple of weeks then stopped and he was only breastfed (still is aged 2).
You can take Fenugreek to improve your supply.

dementedpixie Mon 19-Oct-20 19:35:34

I'd look at increasing supply first if you are happy breastfeeding as giving formula could impact your supply further

dementedpixie Mon 19-Oct-20 19:38:07

kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

Phoenix21 Mon 19-Oct-20 19:50:18

I had this, my DC didn’t gain birth weight until 9 weeks.

We were advised to make sure DC was wrapped up warm so wasn’t using energy to do so.

Spend a day in bed just feeding.

Stop using the nipple shields. My god it was painful without and I took painkillers for a day or two, but apparently they reduce how much milk baby gets.

I’m not anti shield - if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have BF to 16m, I would have stopped by day 7.

With all the above he gained weight very quickly.

Good luck OP.

AnnaBegins Mon 19-Oct-20 19:53:03

It's important to remember you can't be forced into anything, you can feed your baby how you want.
Can you get him weighed again? No weight gain in 5 weeks when feeding well and wet nappies etc would be surprising, I wonder if the scales were out? How does baby look to you - if alert and a good colour then I'd be less inclined to worry, if listless and pale then that's a different matter!
Maybe try and add in one or 2 more feeds. 8 times in 24 hours would probably be realistic.
Look up breast compressions which can help milk flow and even fat deposit release - really helped with my lazy tongue tied boy.
Before even thinking about formula, you'll probably be suggested to express and give that after each feed. This doesn't have to be in a bottle though (to avoid developing a bottle preference), this could be in a cup or syringe. And not everyone can express, it's not an indicator of how much baby is getting.
Best of luck, you are amazing.

Caspianberg Mon 19-Oct-20 19:53:55

I would say maybe 6 times per 24 hrs is on the low side for an 8 week old.

I would be aiming for every 2 hrs during the day, and wake him to feed every 4hrs overnight until he starts gaining. So more like 10+ feeds per 24hrs

firstimemamma Mon 19-Oct-20 19:59:22

Is it 6 times per 24 hours? I'm sorry but this isn't enough. At your son's age my son was breastfeeding anywhere between 12-20 times per 24 hours (I'd say around 14 on a 'typical' day / night). If you wish to continue breastfeeding I'd recommend bringing your son to the breast more frequently which will also help your supply. Good luck whatever u do, it's hard work thanks

UnbeatenMum Mon 19-Oct-20 20:07:25

Did your doctor give any advice? None of us have seen your baby so if you've been told to do something specific like offer a bottle after every feed then you should do that. That's what I was told to do when my baby had lost too much weight at 4 days old. Otherwise, 6 breastfeeds doesn't sound like that much unless that's in addition to night feeds? I would feed more often send make sure you're feeding during the night (e.g. 10pm dream feed and another one if he doesn't usually wake)

chelsea2704 Mon 19-Oct-20 20:33:34

Thanks all for advice.

He was a natural birth.

He is very alert and happy!

Sorry, Its 7 feeds a day usually 3am, 7am, 11am, 2pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm. We have got into a routine so he has 1.5-2hr naps between day feeds and playtime. Maybe this isn't enough but he does not seem to want anymore? I will change his routine and put in another day feed.

The doctor said the feeding sounded fine and all she said was that we will weigh him again next Monday!

OP’s posts: |
chelsea2704 Mon 19-Oct-20 20:36:13

We have got everything we need to express and give a bottle but... after having a tough start to breastfeeding I was so happy that we seems to have to sussed and to be honest I am terrified that he will prefer the expressed bottle to the breast then the journey will be over 😭😭😭

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dementedpixie Mon 19-Oct-20 20:36:40

4 hours is a long time between feeds at that age. I would offer more often and see if you can increase the number of feeds. The more often he feeds the more milk your body will make

chelsea2704 Mon 19-Oct-20 20:48:17

For example when he feeds at 2pm, he will finish around 2.30, then wind for 10 mins, then we play/be awake until 3.45, he'll then go down for a nap for around 2 hours! What bit do I cut down on there??

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Phoenix21 Mon 19-Oct-20 22:04:55

Off topic but bloody hell I had a non sleeper. No way did I get 2 hour sleeps in the day, only at night. Maybe. Depending on... how they felt. It’s only recently gone to 4 hrs at night. hmm

Anyway, DC had EBM from 2 weeks (give nipples a break, I went to bed 8pm and left DH to give bottle). And DC never lost preference for boob. But every child is different.

Maybe wake for milk. The day in bed made a huge difference for us.

Or maybe a feed before sleep?

Do you offer both boobs?

MrsP2015 Mon 19-Oct-20 22:10:27

Hey @chelsea2704 well done for getting to this point just bf!

It's not easy ebf- is this your first?

I'm not sure if it's been said already or if you know (ignore if you do) but if the baby keeps drinking the first lot of milk that comes through, I'm pretty sure that's the bit that quenches thirst and is quite water based. The next lot is the fatty bit that fills them up/ makes them gain weight. Now I may have got that the wrong way round but my advice would be to keep baby on 1 boob the whole feed. Even when it looks like there's nothing coming just hang on a bit longer as it should come. Then do the same with the next boob next feed. That way your boobs are learning to produce an entire feed each rather than an entire feed between them.

I'd also say follow baby's lead. If baby doesn't want feeding wait til he does and feed then. Feeding a not very hungry baby won't make him want a full feed (and get to the hindmilk). If he wants to feed for 2 hours if you can cope let him (you would need to swap boob at that point lol).

My baby was on the boob literally all the time the first few weeks and I think she managed to build up a brilliant supply because of it honestly I could've fed 10 😂 but I did like sitting just feeding all day lol!

I think you've done amazing and need to remember that 😊
There's also bf groups I'm sure online or on fb etc you can join for advice.

emma8t4 Mon 19-Oct-20 22:13:53

My ds was slower than the mw liked to gain back his birth weight (he was 9lb5 at birth) she said socks over outfit/sleepsuit ,.. I didn’t question it just did it, everyone thought I was mad but he gained the weight back.

He was also feeding/sleeping well so I didn’t want to resort to forumla.

Superscientist Tue 20-Oct-20 09:49:21

Do you have an infant feeding team near you? I have found mine helpful for bf advice.

For comparison, I have a 10 week old and she feeds 12+ times a day and goes between 30 minutes and 3h between feeds. When she is going through a growth spurt she feeds all from 10 am til 6pm every 30 - 60 minutes with a short nap on me in the middle. 42 try vs

Superscientist Tue 20-Oct-20 10:02:40

When you say you feed from both breasts when do you swap sides? If it is after a certain time it might be worth stopping that, letting him feed from one side as much as he wants, wind him and then offer the second side. If you offer the second side too soon he will only get the thirst quenching milk from each side and none of the fat rich hind milk.

What advice did your midwives give about feeding frequency? I was told to keep waking my lo every 3h for a feed until she showed she was gaining steadily after reaching her birth weight again. Since birth she has rarely gone 3h with out a feed anyway, I think it was around 4 weeks that I stopped fretting about the clock.

Our routine is sleep play feed sleep and sometimes sleep feed play feed sleep. Would it be worth offering a feed before a nap? Even if they are short top up feeds they might give him the extra milk he needs.

When was he last weighed? If it has been a while he might have lost weight and now in the process of gaining it back or he might have gained and recently started to lose it for some other reason.

The pulling on and off, does he only do that at the end of a feed. My lo has reflux and pulling on and off during a feed was one of her symptoms.

Sorry for all the questions!

Twizbe Tue 20-Oct-20 10:23:48

My son was like this. He took 7 weeks to get back to birth weight (he was 9lb1 at birth)

We did supplement with formula, but that made him really sick. Tongue tie was suggested but his latch was really good so we didn't have it cut.

He was growing length wise and was a very happy baby but super skinny. By 16 weeks he was so skinny and we were in and out of hospital.

At that age a great dietician who was very pro breastfeeding actually listened to me about the vomiting formula but not breastmilk. My son was diagnosed with cows milk allergy. The formula top ups were making him even worse as he was vomiting up most of the feed.

I did move to combi feeding with specialist formula, and the dietician was very keen for me to keep as many breastfeeds as possible. I did a bottle of 5oz at 10 am and 3pm. The rest were all breast.

However the single best thing we did for him was to wean at 4.5 months. Lots of coconut yoghurt helped him finally put some decent weight on. That said, he's still super tall and skinny. He's weight is now (at almost 4) on the 91st (at one point he was on the 0.5) but his height is 98th. You can see his ribs still. He is just designed to be long and skinny like my dad.

Hopefully this will help you to see that you can breastfeed and sometimes babies are a bit skinny. Combi feeding could be a good option for you.

When I had my second baby I was petrified that it would happen again. She was also big (9lb3) but she never lost any weight and fed like a dream 🤷🏼‍♀️

selflove Tue 20-Oct-20 10:42:36

Breastfeeding was so easily and effortless with my first two DC, but DC3 still hadn't regained birth weight by 7 weeks (and was only a small baby at birth anyway, so had dropped off the centile charts by week 7). The GP referred her as "failure to thrive". I tried everything - paid £100 for a lactation consultant etc.

If your baby isn't gaining weight, he's not being fed enough. It's as simple as that. Of course he sleeps a lot - he doesn't have the energy to wake, because he's starving. You need to stop seeing formula as "bad" - it's the equivalent of medicine for your son. He needs it for his health, because not being at birth weight by week 8 means you're starving him. Feed more often, feed from both sides, when he gets sleepy at the breast strip him down, tickle him, and start again. Then do formula top ups - 20/30ml at the end of every feed.

It worked for my DD, and we carried on breastfeeding and she gained weight and is now a happy healthy 2 year old. But you need to stop seeing formula as "bad" - if he's not gaining weight, it means there is a problem with the breastfeeding somewhere, and your son needs to be fed.

chelsea2704 Tue 20-Oct-20 16:16:38

I am going to reply to the helpful lovely comments later but..
@selflove thank you for your input however I am not starving my child. He is extremely alert and happy, he is able to play for long periods and feeds when he wants, when he gives me signs that he is hungry I feed him.

Luckily I am feeling mentally well atm however please be aware of the impact that your words could have on a mother if they are suffering with post natal depression, particularly a FTM like myself. You accusing someone of starving their baby could cause serious upset.

I'm sure the doctor who saw my baby yesterday would have informed if I was starving him so kindly keep your shit opinions to yourself 👌😂

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