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My skinny baby!

(31 Posts)
wastingmyeducation Sun 13-Jul-08 10:47:46

Hello all! I have gotten so much good info from this forum, but think I may need some tailored advice now please!

DS is 9 weeks (tomorrow!), and was 9lb 7oz at birth, 12 days overdue, born by C section. After he was weighed, DH heard them comment on this weight, and that they would reweigh him, but as my blood pressure dropped through the floor, DH and DS were taken into the recovery room, and he wasn't reweighed until day 6, when he was 8lb 5.5oz.
It took til week 7 to regain birth weight, and he is now 9lb 14oz.
He has dropped four lines on the chart from birth weight and two from his lowest weight and is now on the 9th centile, however he is on the 75th for both head and length.
He has been exclusively breastfed, and we have struggled with some latch and position issues, these are generally resolved, but there's still occasional discomfort.
He feeds almost constantly sometimes, one day this week we had no more than half an hour as the longest off-boob time, and I would say an hour and a half to two hour average between start of feeds.
Wednesday DS had his jabs at baby clinic and the Dr. had me have reweighed after feeding him, and advised me to express and feed the milk. The HV, who has been supportive then came round on Thursday with a breast pump to loan me and a referral to the Child Assessment Unit. shock
Anyway, at the hospital, the SHO eventually concluded that DS is fine, but that I should express to check my milk supply and that we might then think about supplements. hmm
I did the smile and nod thing, but then when I was trying to feed him on the uncomfortable chair, a nurse came along and apparently they wanted me to do this expression then and there! I was supposed to be spending the day with relatives who were travelling back the following day, and we had been sent to an acute assessment ward so the HV and GP could cover their arses, to be told some bullshit that I know is wrong. The nurse rather took the brunt of my hysteria. blush
The Registrar then came and checked DS over, said there wasn't even any need to take any bloods and after asking me some questions decided that I needed looking after and we are to take him back to be weighed next week.
So my plan is to try everything apart from the pump this week. He gained 6oz in nine days last week, and we need to gain 6oz by Friday to track the 9th.
All advice and anger at HCPs welcome!


sarah293 Sun 13-Jul-08 10:50:18

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sarah293 Sun 13-Jul-08 10:51:06

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ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 13-Jul-08 10:55:30

Is your ds happy? wet nappies? poo nappies? He sounds like he is doing fine to me. How do you really feel about it? Regardless of weights and charts, do you think he is thriving?

Seeing how much milk you can express is no indication of your supply. You are feeding often so I doubt there is a problem with your supply. I really can't see what a difference pumping and feeding manually will make if you are offering the breast as regularly as you are.

If you would like some assurance about feeding I would contact a breastfeeding councillor. IMO the majority of HCP's do not know enough about breastfeeding to be giving out advice.

It sounds like you are both doing great, keep up the good work smile

SparklyGothKat Sun 13-Jul-08 11:14:09

If you do a search for my name in BF and bottlefeeding, you will find lots of threads between oct 2007-jan-2008. My ds2 was born at 33 weeks and weighed 4lb 8oz, he dropped to 4lb 5lb and then very slowly gained weight. He was having EBM down a feeding tube after BF. He dropped from the 50th to just below the 0.4th

I was told that the HCP should disreguard (sp?) the birth weight, that the line they are on at 6 weeks is the line they will follow. Is was true for DS2, until we introduced High engery formula and then he went to the 2nd line. We stopped using the formula after a month and went back to Excl. BF, until he was weaned onto solids, he is now on the 9th percentile and doing well. He is still BF.

MamaChris Sun 13-Jul-08 11:19:31

You're right to avoid expressing to check how much milk you're making. My ds also fed constantly, but grew enormously, jumping up the centiles, so I must make plenty of milk, as I'm sure you do too. However, I could with a pump never express even a whole ounce. What I could express bears no relation to how much milk ds can get from me.

Try not to count how often or how long he goes between feeds. My ds is a snacker. I tried at GPs insistence to space out his feeds for a few days, but he just got miserable. He likes to feed often - that's just how he is. At 9 weeks he was certainly feeding at least every 2 hours, and probably more frequently

As others have said, focus on your ds. Is he happy and thriving? That's what matters most, and it sounds like both the SHO and registrar think your ds is fine in that sense.

wastingmyeducation Sun 13-Jul-08 13:24:13

He's absolutely fine, very alert, smiles and the registrar was surprised at how well he's developing, he's very strong. We get lots of wees, good yellow poos and not much colicky behaviour.
Obviously I'd like a bit more sleep, or the chance to get some housework done, but he is doing great.
It's just that he looks like someone has stretched him cos his head is big and he's really long! My Mum is tall and skinny, DH is tall and skinny and although I'm v. large, I've got the big head, so I guess it might be genetics that mean my boy looks like a stick man. grin

It's a shame about this, as my HV is actually really nice and supportive, and they organise lots of activities that I want to join in with, but I think the stress I'm feeling over his weight is actually having an effect on our feeding.

I cut out caffeine last week sad , which we think has had an effect on calming him down, and I have read on here that it might be an idea to make sure he's nice and warm in the day, rather than burning calories keeping his temperature up, so I'm making sure he's wearing enough.
I think I'd actually damaged supply a little by following advice to empty one side, as we've started switching sides as soon as he looks bored and he's drinking plenty and being happy and alert between feeds.
I'm concentrating on position and latch all the time and have read today about oats being helpful, and luckily had some oat and raisin cookies in!

I suppose what I would like opinions on is at what point should one do the expressing, or the supplementing?


serant Sun 13-Jul-08 13:56:34

Well i think your boy is doing fine, i.m a 1st time mum fully bfing & i think if your baby is alert & happy carry on.

Good to cut out caffine & eat well yourself for your supply. I still take my left over pregnancy vitamins too!

tortoiseSHELL Sun 13-Jul-08 14:08:12

Hi, I've had 3 babies, dd in the middle was ok, but ds1 and ds2 were both like your ds.

Ds1 - born 12 days late, weighed 9lb12oz, over the next week went down to 8lb10. Didn't regain birth weight for 7-8 weeks, and then crawled along between the 9th and 25th centile. I dabbled with expressing but found it a real pain, and ended up supplementing ds1 with 3 bottles of formula a day (3x4oz). Which I was very sad about.

Dd born 14 days late, weight 10lb0, went down to about 9lb7, but then picked up, followed the 25th-50th line. Didn't give any supplements at all (EBM or Formula).

Ds2 - born 9 days late, weight 10lb2oz. Went down to about 9lb3 or so by day 4 or 5. Didn't regain birth weight for AGES. Was determined to repeat ds1's pattern, although he did have a couple of top ups of formula when I was feeling VERY low about his weight. However, the difference between ds2 and ds1 was that I KNEW I could feed a baby successfully, having fed dd - with ds1 I wasn't convinced that I was capable of doing so.

So with ds2 I set up a routine that started half an hour before a feed - sterilised all expressing stuff, then expressed off one side - usually getting 2oz or so. I then expressed a little off the other side, then fed ds2 from that side (the theory being that the milk would be more calorific, as it was further into the feed iyswim, so he would be getting the more calorific milk while he was hungry enough to work for it). Then I would feed him off the other side, until he really wouldn't take any more from me. Then I would give him the bottle of EBM that I had just expressed prior to the feed (so that he was getting 'free' calories that were easier to get, rather than having to work for them). Then he would sleep and I would wash all the expressing stuff, resterilise it. And then start again, as I was feeding him 2 hourly.

It was a real hassle, but I was really determined, and after a few weeks I ditched the expressing. I will see if I can find my thread from then as there is some good advice from tiktok and hunkermunker on there.

First thread
Second thread where I had smashed the pump

gagarin Sun 13-Jul-08 14:09:39

Your doctor is the foolish one.

Testweighing (ie before and after a feed) is so old fashioned people who suggest it should be shot! It gives NO useful infomation.

I can see the logic of expressing to increase milk supply if the baby sleeps for hours and hours and doesn't stay awake at the breast long enough. But this doesn't sound like your dc.

When you feed put on some nice relaxing music; think milk (sounds weird but it can help!); try and relax using whatever technique you find helpful.

It doesn't matter which line on the charts your dc settles on - as long as in the end (and this can be several weeks after birth - and more than 9!) they settle and start going up however slowly. IMO 9 weeks is just too soon to worry.

If you do decide to express or supplement just amke sure you do it at the roughly the same time every day so your body knows what's expected when!

And when you see your HV tell her that in your opinion test weighing is old hat; that being asked by the hospital staff to express in an uncomfortable hospital room is insensitive and that anyone who knows anything about breast feeding would know NO milk would be produced under these circumstances.

Rather than express I think the more old fashioned route is a better bet - retire to bed with the baby and don't get up for the next couple of days. Do nothing but sleep, eat, feed and cuddle. Loads of skin to skin contact, loads of feeds.

Should do the trick?!

And take someone with you when you go to be re-weighed (if you go at all) so you won't feel bullied.

sallyforth Sun 13-Jul-08 17:54:35

Sounds quite similar to my DS (see tiny acorns - mighty oaks thread). I think you have been treated shockingly!

Expressing seemed to work for us - although DS was spending ages on the boob, he wasn't transferring milk so well - I didn't see much "open jaw - pause - close jaw" or hear much swallowing. Also he wasn't pooing that much, although he was weeing fine.

I ended up buying my own baby scales and boycotting the horrible weighing clinic where I would just get so stressed and recieve crap advice which I would half-believe, I was so stressed and vulnerable. IMO a single weighing every week does more harm than good, because weight fluctuates by a good few oz over the day due to pooing, weeing and feeding. Either weigh them every few weeks, or weigh them every couple of days and draw a line of best fit to smooth out the error.

After a while I stopped expressing and he still seems ok. I have a GP friend who has looked him over and says that he is "just fine". grin

violeta Sun 13-Jul-08 19:05:38

God, why won't they look at the baby and stop this horrible obsession with weight... Seems to me that you're doing absolutely fine. And who knows whether the weighing at the hospital was right?

My dd took 5 weeks to get back to birthweight and crawled along the 2nd centile till she was 10/11 weeks or so. Then she started piling on the weight (half a pound a week) and is now approaching the 25th centile, which is great. I didn't do anything different from one week to the next - I just think babies find their own way and that's very often nothing at all to do with those damn charts.

And I know what you mean about the stress of the whole thing affecting feeding - health professionals should support what is best for your baby rather than undermine you at every turn.

ilovemydog Sun 13-Jul-08 19:13:25

Am in the same boat as you! Weigh in is on Wednesday. I am feeding him continously and have used an entire tube of Laninsoh just this afternoon smile

SparklyGoth - that's really interesting point about following line at 6 weeks.

wastingmyeducation Sun 13-Jul-08 23:29:16

Thanks for the support!
We've been feeding really well today and I'm not going to go to baby clinic this week, no more weigh-ins til Friday at the hospital.
I am going to see about getting some more rl support, as well. What options do I have? The baby cafes are run by the hvs.


SparklyGothKat Mon 14-Jul-08 00:09:37

I was told that, about the line at 6 weeks, by a BF specialist, who I was referred to after 5 months of struggling!!! She said some babies catch up, some catch down.

gagarin Mon 14-Jul-08 07:49:30

Why are you avoiding the baby cafe?

The HV sounds as though she's been happy to let things go and it was the GP who said go to the hosp and started all this mess?

She would have brought the breast pump round to try and help you increase your supply before you got the the hosp and protect you from the foolishness of doctors.

The hosp appointment wasn't her doing it was the GPs.

I would avoid everyone until the hosp appointment. Take someone with you to that. And speak to the NCT breastfeeding counsellor in the meantime.

And stay in bed and feed until Friday!

Good luck.

wastingmyeducation Mon 14-Jul-08 08:42:43

It was the HV who referred us, and I'm just wanting to get some more perspective rather than seeing people who think we've already done everything possible.


wastingmyeducation Mon 14-Jul-08 13:58:49

Blatant bump!
I do really need some opinions!
I don't have a supply problem, so do I need to express?
At what point does slow weight gain become a problem?
How do you get a bfc to come out to you?


soremummy Mon 14-Jul-08 14:05:18

If I remember correctly Victoriansquallor has numbers for bfc on her profile.

soremummy Mon 14-Jul-08 14:07:24

have a look at this thread it might help you here

fymandbean Mon 14-Jul-08 14:11:41

just a thought I put my DS onto a routine as I was fed up with the constant feeding (I used the Gina ford timings but don't let that put you off! most routines follow the same pattern). Suddenly DS started climbing the percentiles (went up from 75% to 98%) - the conclusion I got from the HV was that breast milk starts off like skimmed milk and the more they drink it slowly turns into the equivalent of double cream. When DS was constantly drinking he was only getting the 'skimmed' whereas by 'making him wait' between feeds meant he more hungry and drinking harder and therefore was getting to the fattier 'double cream' stuff....this may help...

Brangelina Mon 14-Jul-08 14:14:53

FWIW, I did top up for a while and it made sod all difference to DD's weight gain, so I went back to excl. bf, this time with more peace of mind. She averaged 80g. a week (not even 3oz I think) but it was OK as long as she was growing - as told to me by a bfc I'd finally found at the baby clinic.

We too had been in H, seen every specialist imaginable, heard loads of conflicting opinions (no 2 HCPs said the same thing) so in the end I decided to follow my instincts and do what I wanted.
We did the double weighing too. It is utter bollocks, on many occasions DD weighed 30g. less after a feed, plus I sometimes weighed her after a ff and the difference on the scales in no way tallied with what she'd just ingested.

DD is now nearly 3, eats like a horse (when I weaned her she ate twice the amount of the podgy babies) and is still tiny.

With hindsight and better info (didn't ahve mnet then) I would have stood my ground. The HCPs are just there to advise, they can't force you to do anything.

soremummy Mon 14-Jul-08 14:14:54

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Tel. 08444 122 949 The Breastfeeding Network Tel. 0844 412 4664 La Leche League Tel. 0845 120 2918 National Childbirth Trust Tel. 0870 444 8708 The Breastfeeding Network - breastfeeding support in Bengali and Sylhetti Tel. 07944 879 759

Nicked this from VS's profile hope the number help

wastingmyeducation Mon 14-Jul-08 14:17:58

When you ring the numbers, do you just speak to someone, or can you arrange a visit?


soremummy Mon 14-Jul-08 14:23:35

I have no idea, just ring them and see

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