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BF 12 week old, not gaining weight. Any ideas?

(20 Posts)
Sophrosyne1 Tue 21-Oct-08 16:11:37

Took my 12 week old daughter to baby clinic to be weighed today. She has only put on 3 oz in the last fortnight sad (I think she is supposed to be gaining about 7 oz per week ?). Am feeling a bit worried as I have been told that I have to take her back next week and I feel scared that I'm doing something wrong.

She is totally breast fed and we had been doing well (she only lost 100g of her birth weight and I hadn't had any problems getting her to feed). I feed her every 2.5 - 3 hours, she doesn't often fuss for a feed so I make sure that I feed her regularly whether she cries or not. She has recently started sleeping for longer at night but I 'cluster' feed in the early evening and dream feed at about 11pm. I have been feeding her from one side per feed (although sometimes I will swap her on to the other side if she has been feeding for longer than 20 minutes and it feels as though the breast has been drained.

I occasionally express milk (before I go to the gym or shopping for a few hours) and she feeds well from the bottle, however, the last few times my supply seems to have been lower.

What can I do to up my milk supply and make her gain weight? Is it possible that she's absolutely fine just not adhering to the growth charts? Help, please!

Aitch Tue 21-Oct-08 16:15:10

why not always offer her the second breast, for a start? will help dd and supply. and look into fenugreek as well.

ditheringdora Tue 21-Oct-08 16:16:53

can only offer my advice with regard to ff dd. she put on weight fine and then plateaud (sp) for a week or two. I'm sure she'll put on weight this week.
I have v little exp b feeding but is she getting the hind milk (the one with all the fat? is your boob really quite empty after feeding? imo it sounds like she is drinking only fore milk, but I bow to mners greater knowledge. (I read about this -hoping to bf my new lo when he/she comes)good luck smile

Tommy Tue 21-Oct-08 16:18:16

I would:
1) just keep feeding her and offer both breasts at each feed
2) stop taking her to baby clinic

smile

PortAndDemon Tue 21-Oct-08 16:21:34

To up your milk supply -- always feed from both sides. In fact, consider switching back to the first side again once she's done on the second side.

It is possible that she's fine and just not following the charts, but if you have a concern about supply (which you clearly do) then multi-sided feeding is a good first step.

BTW, 7oz is about the top range of average weight gain per week -- somewhere between 5oz and 7oz per week is the average range but a baby can be above or below that without its necessarily meaning that there's a problem.

Sophrosyne1 Tue 21-Oct-08 16:30:12

Can I still ensure she gets the hind milk if I feed from both sides? Would expressing after a feed (as is suggested in some books) help? Could it be something to do with me doing too much? Or not eating properly? I do love biscuits but probably haven't been getting my 5 a day every day blush

madmouse Tue 21-Oct-08 16:40:14

don't go by whether you feel your breast has been drained - you can't tell!

let her come off by herself, then have a nappy change and a cuddle then offer the other side

and don't worry too much. my bouncy 8.5 month od has gon from 25th to 2 centile over time and is thriving

'they' are not boss and i would wait 2 weeks before weighing again unless she is very sleepy and you are concerned

PortAndDemon Tue 21-Oct-08 16:44:45

Hindmilk isn't an all-or-nothing thing. The composition of your milk changes over the course of a feed and depending on how long it's been since the last feed, and overall a baby having very frequent short feeds will get about the same of everything as a baby having less frequent longer feeds.

It'll have nothing at all to do with your not eating properly.

tiktok Tue 21-Oct-08 16:45:01

Soph, no one can make an assessment of your baby's well-being with one weight measurement - it would be crazy. Very few babies gain 7 oz a week beyond the newborn stage - it is normal for weight gain to slow at about 3 mths or even before.

If you are concerned - and it sounds as if you are, though nothing in your post suggests anything other than a perfectly healthy, normally growing, thriving baby - then offer both breasts at each feed. No need to worry at all about hindmilk and foremilk - when babies get the volume of milk they need this sorts itself out perfectly well.

You might think of doing this for a week or so, just so you feel as if you are doing something

Expressing after a feed is a hassle and not needed, and your diet is irrelevant.

Hope you feel more confident soon

chandellina Tue 21-Oct-08 16:50:28

i'm no expert, just another mum with a 12-week old - but from what i've read i don't think your activity or diet will have a huge impact on weight gain (unless we are talking war-like conditions).
your feeding schedule sounds about the same as ours, though my little one still gets up for two night feeds (or more).
i do offer both breasts, though we had a good week where he only had one per feed, and his weight gain was the same as usual.
the hind milk thing is confusing, but if she is on your breast for 20 mins at a time, she should reach it.
a good rule of thumb could be 20-25mins on one side and then offer her the second.
i am always a bit worried about my supply, and can never express more than 3 oz, even in the morning, but DS is gaining. i have tried expressing after every feed but frankly noticed no difference in my supply and it just stressed me out that he wouldn't get enough if he wanted to feed again in an hour. (and that did seem to be the case - he would end up frustrated all night.)
Fenugreek does seem to help. so do give that a go.
it's also possible that the weigh-in was just a one-off mystery.
as long as she looks healthy - alert, etc. - she probably is. DS dropped on the centiles to start and he is still on the lower end, but is clearly healthy and happy so i don't worry too much about it.

tiktok Tue 21-Oct-08 16:52:41

There is no such thing as 'reaching' the hindmilk The baby does not have to 'drill down' for it, and the fat content of the milk is not affected by the time the baby has been on the breast...I agree, chandellina, this baby sounds absolutely fine.

Sophrosyne1 Tue 21-Oct-08 17:02:15

Thanks all, think I will just keep on as before. Its just difficult when someone shakes their head at you and says 'ooh, that's not good'. Just wish DD had saved the enormous poo she had last night 'til after she was weighed, it probably weighed about a pound!!!

ditheringdora Fri 24-Oct-08 09:14:39

tiktok you made me laugh!. I hold my hands up in complete ignorance of the topic but am chuckling about little ones drilling down grin
<chucks bfing books away>

Sophrosyne1 Fri 24-Oct-08 17:26:56

tiktok, I have to admit that the way it has been explained to me, its almost as if they do expect the baby to 'drill down' to reach hind milk. Everyone seems obsessed with how long the baby has been at the breast and whether the hind milk has been 'reached'. What's the truth of the matter?

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 24-Oct-08 17:34:02

i don't get this hindmilk thing - why would nature make it so difficult for babies to get the milk they need? i keep hearing 'too much foremilk' to explain lack of weight gain and green poos in my bub and i just don't get it!

tiktok Fri 24-Oct-08 17:38:05

Soph, it's because people have been badly trained in this! The best explanation I can offer is at www.kellymom.com which describes how a relatively empty breast will have milk that is relatively higher in fat, and a relatively full breast will have milk that is relatively lower...this may relate, on some occasions, to the baby remaining longer on the breast, but not necessarily and it is a very poor paradigm ('baby needs to stay on for x minutes in order to reach the hindmilk' sort of thing).

If you go to Kelly Mom and click on 'how breastfeeding works' it reveals all!

tiktok Fri 24-Oct-08 17:40:16

www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html is the direct link.

tiktok Fri 24-Oct-08 17:41:14

www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/foremilk-hindmilk.html and this one, too.

tiktok Fri 24-Oct-08 17:42:33

And a quote:

"Since fat content is is directly related to the degree of emptiness of the breast, it is possible, depending upon nursing pattern, for fat content to be higher at the beginning of a particular feeding than it is at the end of some other feeding. "

Sophrosyne1 Fri 31-Oct-08 11:05:56

Thanks tiktok. It all makes a bit more sense now

Took DD to be weighed this week after a week of feeding on demand and expressing after feeds and she had put on 8 ounces. Feeling much happier now.

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