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daughter 'too heavy' - cutting out breastfeeds..?

(27 Posts)
julen Fri 01-Nov-02 15:05:59

Advice needed....!

My health visitor tells me that my daughter has been putting on weight a bit too quickly (she is now 19 pounds/9 kilos at 6 months), and says that it would be best to gradually cut out the breastfeeds after her main meals (b'fast/lunch/tea) (but continue the early morning/late evening feeds).
I'm confused though: isn't she supposed to drink approx. a pint's worth of milk a day..?

Has any of you had any experience with his?

Girly Fri 01-Nov-02 15:15:13

Hi Julen, I would not worry too much, my ds is also 6 months, i weighed him at home (have digital scales and he is 21 pounds! A big boy, but when he starts moving around he will lose this excess weight, i speak from experience my dd was exactly the same, she is now a lanky 3 year old wearing aged 4 clothes because age 3 is too short! She is not fat! My dd still has 2 milk drinks a day, about 3/4 pint. It is good for them.
HTH
I would just encourage your dd to move around, even if its just rolling and before you know it she will change from plump baby into skinny toddler and you will wonder what you were worrying about!

SoupDragon Fri 01-Nov-02 16:06:56

At 6 months, DS2 (8lb 4oz at birth) was 21lb 11oz and no one ever suggested to me that he was too heavy or putting on weight too quickly.

Maybe switch her lunch time breastfeed for a beaker of water or diluted juice? I think I used to give both DSs a drink with the meal and then offer them a breastfeed aftewards. Sometimes they wanted it, others they didn't.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.

SofiaAmes Fri 01-Nov-02 16:39:47

Sounds like another bonkers hv...I think you will probably want to start cutting out the bfeeds after main meals just for your own convenience as your child eats more solids. However, I wouldn't worry about the weight thing. My son is almost 2 and he has gone back an forth several times from looking skinny to looking chubby from one month to the next. Once they start walking/running the "baby fat" mostly comes off anyway. I didn't think you were supposed to worry about a baby being "too fat" until after the age of 2 anyway.

tiktok Fri 01-Nov-02 17:02:30

At your daughter's age, milk - and best of all breastmilk - is the main source of nutrition. If the HV really thinks there is an issue with her weight, then why doesn't she suggest cutting back on solids? I'd be interested to know what her response would be if you asked.

julen Fri 01-Nov-02 17:35:29

Hi again,

Thanks for the feedback - good to hear confirmation that she isn't actually that big.. !(As you say, girly, she's only 6 months and hasn't started crawling yet (although she's very active rolling over), so she'll probably get skinnier when she stats moving around more)
And yes, tiktok, I thought of that as well - good idea!; I'll ask her on Monday about cutting back the solids a bit.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Eulalia Fri 01-Nov-02 20:46:03

What was her birth weight? My dd doubled her b/w exactly at 6 months (with no food other than b/milk) and was 17lbs. She is quite chubby but HV didn't say she was fat. Sounds as if she is doing fine and better to cut out solids rather than b/milk as babies still need so much b/milk at this age.

Clarinet60 Fri 01-Nov-02 22:32:11

I had a bonkers hv suggest that ds2 isn't gaining weight fast enough, so cut down breast feeds and increase solids. I haven't been to have him weighed since.

susanmt Fri 01-Nov-02 23:37:53

My bonkers HV told me that ddwas too big to breastfeed when she was born and then every time she was weighed said 'you MUST be giving her formola, there is no way this is ALL on breastmilk'. I soon stopped takig her too. Is it any wonder so amny people give up when they are told this sort of thing? Dd was 9lb12, which is big, but not unusually so!

SoupDragon Sat 02-Nov-02 08:15:17

susanmt - my midwife said the same thing about DS1 on her post natal visits. My wonderful health visitor, however, was simply delighted that he'd put on so much weight on only breastmilk. I've clearly been lucky with my HV - consequently, I used to go regularly until I moved.

Do HVs actually know what they're talking about?

mears Sat 02-Nov-02 23:08:42

Not often

maryz Sat 02-Nov-02 23:57:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cadi Sun 03-Nov-02 01:34:00

Babies wont take too much breast milk so I'd be inclined (if anything) to cut down on the solids if you are at all concerned but as long as you feel your DD is doing fine then she is and your HV is paying too much attention to her 'average' charts and not your individual DD

Don't cut down on any of the breast feeds *unless* it feels right to you and your DD ...

Let us know what your HV says on Monday.

BTW I don't have my babies weighed because of exactly this sort of cr*p.

Chinchilla Sun 03-Nov-02 19:07:11

I always understood that you can't overfeed a breast fed baby. Plus, at 6 months, she can't be eating massive amounts of solids. I wouldn't worry about it at all, as you will probably see a change when she starts to crawl. My ds, at 15 months, has just had a weight growth spurt, but has stopped growing in length, so he has suddenly filled out and become more stocky. However, he is just on the verge of walking, so I think that he is going to need all that weight to keep him going!

Plus, as other have said, it is all relative to their length as well. My ds is in the 75th %ile for weight, but 94th for length, so he is 'underweight' for his height! It is all relative.

jasper Sun 03-Nov-02 19:37:45

What is it with measuring/weighing babies? Who bloody cares how they compare to others on their group?
You can tell by looking, not weighing, if a baby is healthy IMHO

mears Sun 03-Nov-02 22:04:07

My sentiments exactly Jasper.

zebra Sun 03-Nov-02 22:05:08

I know a lot of babies who were around 16 lbs at 4 months, 23 lbs at 7 months old. Mostly 9-10lbers at birth, mostly breastfed -- but we know one FF 4 month old who is already 18 lbs (my DD is 13 months old and barely 18 lbs!).

One friend has twice had 7-7.5 lb newborns who hit 10kg by 8 months old (around 24 lbs) on breastmilk alone (refusing solids -- why should they bother, when they grow so well on milk alone??). "In a space of her own" on the growth charts, quipped the mother.

Anyway, all these babies seem/seemed to skinny down after 1yo. Moreover, I thought breastfed babies put on "brown fat" -- which is not associated with obesity in later life at all.

I think you guys should be proud of your lovely plump babies -- I only seem to produce scrawny little ones.

Sari Mon 04-Nov-02 11:20:10

My ds is just coming up to three months and already weighs 16lbs. He's fully breastfed but there's never been any suggestion from the health visitors that he's too large. Nor have they even expressed surprise that he's got to be so big purely on breastmilk. He was a fairly normal 8.5lbs when born.

I don't think he looks particularly fat as he's pretty long so seems to be in proportion. However, it will probably be the case that I look back at his photos in a year's time and think he looks enormous.

The thing that most surprises me is that he doesn't even feed unduly often or for very long at a time. I think he can just extract a huge amount very quickly.

alison222 Mon 04-Nov-02 15:09:28

My DS weighed 22lb 10 at 27 weeks which is just over 6 months. - mind you he was 10lb at birth. But no one ever suggested he was too heavy. He was also tall too. If your daughter looks in proportion I wouldn't worry. DS was on the plump side until he started to crawl and then he lost it all and is now a much thinner almost 2 year old who runs everywhere.

music Mon 04-Nov-02 16:21:35

Don't worry julen, you would know if there was anything wrong with your dd's weight. I bf my dd every 2 hrs or so, until very recently. (7 months now) Breast milk is so good for babys and they only take as much as they need you know. There was a time when everyone would have been overjoyed to have a plump baby, as they would've been more likely to survive. People are far too obsessed with babys being fat(especially girls). My dd has a nice covering of fat on her and if anyone says anything about her weight to me I'll be less than polite to them.

Surely it's irrelevant what they weigh unless they're dangerously underweight or eating too many 'naughty' foods. My mum told me that her doctor said I was too fat(at 1yr old) and to put me on a diet. She did no such thing and thought what a stupid man he was. Apparently my grandma's doctor said the exact same thing to her about my mum! Incidentally we are both quite skinny people now. Also, I do wish people wouldn't have said I was fat as a child(chubby till about 9)because this has always made me believe I'm far bigger than I really am, and so I never feel satisfied with the way I look.

We should all just tell our dd's how beautiful they are and trust our own opinions before others. Bf is a very personal and instinctive thing and mostly you know when it's right to change any feeding habits.

aloha Mon 04-Nov-02 19:20:13

I understand there is no correlation whatsoever between fat babies and fat adults. Fat older children tend to have problems in adulthood, but fat babies are healthy and don't turn into fat adults and may even have less heart disease. My ds is wonderfully chubby and I like him that way.

Eulalia Mon 04-Nov-02 19:42:51

BBC News Online

Thursday, 6 June, 2002,
Breastfed babies are slimmer adults


Breastfed babies are thinner in later life

Breastfeeding your baby can reduce its risk of childhood obesity by nearly a third and the benefits could last a lifetime.
Scientists say that if more mothers breastfed their babies obesity rates in adults could be slashed by 10-15% in future generations.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends women to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months.

But recent studies show that a fifth of UK mothers who start breastfeeding stop within the first two weeks.



Breastfeeding is therefore potentially useful for population-based strategies aimed at obesity prevention

Dr John Reilly

Breast benefits

Although 69% of mothers initially breastfeed, 21% of these stopped within the first fortnight and another 36% within the next six weeks.

But in a research letter published in The Lancet, Scottish researchers studied 32,000 children and found that obesity was 30% less common among the breastfed babies.

Dr John Reilly and his team at the University of Glasgow's Department of Human Nutrition at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, said breastfeeding could be a useful tool in protecting future health.


The babies were studied up to the age of three


"Our findings suggest that breastfeeding is associated with a modest reduction in childhood obesity risk.

"They also suggest that the reduction in risk is present in early childhood, which is unexpected on the basis of evidence from animals.

"Breastfeeding is therefore potentially useful for population-based strategies aimed at obesity prevention, particularly with the other benefits that breastfeeding provides."

Follow-up studies

He said the link between formula milk and obesity was not clear, but that breast milk was thought to contain growth factors that inhibit body fat.

Breastfed babies are also thought to regulate their intake by controlling how much milk they take setting up behavioural feeding patterns for later life.

Dr Reilly's team studied the babies for three years, but he said they planned to continue watching their development. The children are now seven years old.

A previous study published in the British Medical Journal that 4.5% of bottle-fed babies were obese by the age of five or six, compared to just 2.8% of breast fed babies.

And a study last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association said breastfed babies were more likely to be thinner teenagers.

Brenda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said the new data said science was now proving what they had always suspected - that breast is best.

"Breastfeeding has obviously evolved because it is good for mothers and babies and it is good that science is proving this."

florenceuk Mon 04-Nov-02 20:05:12

Aloha, do you have a reference to the research which suggested heavier babies did well later in life? My worries are the opposite (DS on the 9th percentile) and I read this in a Sainsburys mag, but no reference.

zebra Tue 05-Nov-02 10:19:09

There are a lot of studies which show the larger a newborn, the cleverer, the happier, the healthier they are later in life. Maybe that's what Aloha meant?

My newborns were little ones. Presumably I should sit on the sofa thru my whole next pregnancy... ha!

florenceuk Tue 05-Nov-02 11:17:29

OK did a quick flick through BMJ. Looks like one of the findings is that thin babies who subsequently put on lots of weight post 1 year are more at risk of heart disease. Don't think BF came into the research though, so maybe I can afford to be a bit less worried about DS's future health!

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