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Weight gain paranoia.....again

(25 Posts)
evansmummy Fri 15-Apr-05 21:49:47

My bf ds is 17 weeks and weighs 15lb 13oz, which is perfectly normal for his age, I know. Thing is he's slowed down considerably on his weight gain, which has coincided with a load of difficulties we've bee having with feeding, and I was worried that the slowing down may be a sign that he's not putting on enough weight. Over a period of 3 weeks, between 14 and 17 weeks, he only put on 13 oz, which I have been led to believe is not very much. Just how much is a 'normal' weekly weight gain for a bf baby of this age?

emkana Fri 15-Apr-05 22:06:32

The charts that the weight is recorded on are based on bottlefed babies.
It's absolutely completely normal for a b/fed baby to slow down in his/her weight gain as they get a bit older. As long as they are happy and filling their nappies there's nothing to worry about.
What difficulties have you had?

evansmummy Fri 15-Apr-05 22:15:47

Where to start! Mostly my son fusses at the breast. He'll feed well for about 3 minutes, then just keeps popping off. He'll latch back on and suck for a few seconds, but that's it. He feeds slightly better on the left side, and slightly better when he's a bit tired, but most of the feeds during the day are stressful. I always do both sides during a feed cos he'll always feed better at the beginning of a breast, as if once he has to suck harder, he gives up, or as if he doesn't like what comes out at the end!! He feeds for a maximum of 15 mins, both sides included, not each side! He screams before a feed, during, and whinges after. I've tried loads of stuff: different positions, in a quiet room, singing a song, gentle music, in a darkened room, winding... Nothing, except his own tiredness seems to work. In general he's quite a happy chappy, but I wouldn't say he was contented, and certainly never after a feed. He's been like that for about a month now, and we're just muddling along as best we can. I'd really like it to get better though cos I love the feeling of breast feeding, just hate the fact that it's so stressful for us both!

cheekychops03 Fri 15-Apr-05 22:16:26

I would echo the last post. The charts are really not anything to take much notice of as a single entity. The WHO is actually bringing out new charts this year for breastfed babies, I believe, which says a lot really.
As long as your baby is happy, developing at their own pace (remember all babies develop differently and all go through feeding problems at some time)and not losing weight you shouldn't worry yourself too much (a lot easier said than done, I know). If it helps at all, my son went right off the bottom of the growth charts from about 6 months until very recently (he is now 2 years old). He was putting on weight but just not enough to keep the charts happy. My Health Visitor really wasn't worried and told me that as he was developing 'normally' in all other ways, not to worry. I did though, until about Christmas then realised she was right! He's as healthy and happy as the next baby/toddler. I don't know if this is your first but it always seems harder with your first because you have nothing to compare it with (other than the Mums you bump in to who probably all have textbook babies putting on tons of weight and having no problems at all - they always crop up when you least need them!!!!).
If you don't mind me asking, what problems did you have and have you had support through it?
Good luck.
CC

emkana Fri 15-Apr-05 22:16:57

Does he have a bottle or a dummy at all?

cheekychops03 Fri 15-Apr-05 22:18:01

evansmummy - have you spoken to a Breastfeeding Counsellor - it sounds like something they could help you with.

Sorry to sideline the track a bit....

evansmummy Fri 15-Apr-05 22:20:36

Yeah, he has a dummy, and I top up with a bottle after the 7 o'clock feed because he was screaming and screaming after this feed, and waking up hungry after two hours. The top up has really helped to calm him down and to fill him up properly so he can sleep contented. Why, do you think it's a problem?

emkana Fri 15-Apr-05 22:22:25

Some babies have so-called "nipple confusion" ie. they struggle with the difference in sucking technique, I believe.

I would echo what cheekychops said and would contact a b/feeding counsellor. Not because there is a problem with weight gain, there isn't, but to make the b/feeding experience happier for you both.

cheekychops03 Fri 15-Apr-05 22:27:25

it usually is something a BF counsellor can sort out quite easily, and as evansmummy says, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong. It could just make things less stressful for you.

evansmummy Fri 15-Apr-05 22:28:25

Ok, thanks for your advice, even though it's not what I set out for!! Would the NCT helpline or La Leche Meague be the best places to start, or do you know of any better?

cheekychops03 Fri 15-Apr-05 22:28:28

sorry - I meant emkana. I've been up since 5am!!!!!

emkana Fri 15-Apr-05 22:29:34

I would ring La Leche League first, I think.
Or NCT should be fine, actually.
Your choice

Good luck! Let us know if things improve!

Flossam Fri 15-Apr-05 22:32:29

Haven't read all the answers but between 14-18 weeks DS put on only 7oz. He put on 1lb 3oz in the next four weeks though. Don't worry.

evansmummy Fri 15-Apr-05 22:32:38

Thanks, will do.

cheekychops03 Fri 15-Apr-05 22:33:32

I am training with the NCT and would say that they are usually good (but can be very busy). Here are some numbers for you:

NCT Breastfeeding line 0870 444 8708
Breastfeeding Network 0870 900 8787
La Leche 0845 120 2918
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0870 401 7711

CC

zebraX Fri 15-Apr-05 22:52:56

I can beat that, Evansmum. DS1 only put on 3.5 oz age 12-16 weeks. He's fine, just fell down thru the centiles to a more natural size (for him, DH comes from a family of super-skinnies).

evansmummy Sat 16-Apr-05 10:28:54

Thanks you so much, everyone for your advice etc. Can I phone these things during the weekend?

tiktok Sat 16-Apr-05 10:39:36

All the lines are open at weekends, yes

Your baby's weight gain sounds within normal limits, but the fussing and stress can be helped, I am sure.
The slowing down of weight is physiological for an older baby - it's babies finding their own natural weight, so a fast-gaining baby tends to slow right down as he gets older. It could be fine for your individual baby.
On the other hand, the fussing etc does need discussing.
Hope you get help.

daddyox Sun 08-May-05 21:50:28

Hi I know im not a mum but can some one please put my mind at rest. We have a wonderful baby girl who came into the world weighing 10.lb 11 but she know weighs 9.lb 3. At 6 day's she was 9lb 7 at 9 day's she was 9lb 3 and at 15 day's she is 9lb 3 im quite worried but as I see it she is still a heathy weight is the normal or should I be concerned.

jim

NotQuiteCockney Sun 08-May-05 22:43:37

Have all the weighings been done on electronic scales, in the nude? Those sling scales are for amusement purposes only.

It's normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight, I think. Ideally, she should be putting on weight by now. Is she breastfed, or bottlefed? Is she weeing a lot? Pooing a lot? Is she happy and alert?

tiktok Sun 08-May-05 23:17:16

daddyox, you might be better to start a new thread.

I agree with NQC...how were the weights done? And what's happening the other end?

On the face of it, this is not normal. Babies should not be losing weight in this way. You're right to be concerned (though other signs would fill out the picture better).

What help have you had, and what do the healthcare professionals say? Is your daughter breast or bottle fed?

daddyox Mon 09-May-05 10:55:46

Thanks for the responses...here's a few more details!
KG is breast fed on demand. So far she has only been weighed on electronic scales naked - much to her disgust!
She is a healthy pink colour, is wetting enough nappies and has yellow poo. She is alert, and has a healthy set of lungs on her.
The midwifes are concerned, but not to the extreme. They have consultanted the peadiatrician (?) but that doesn't ease my mind any. They are trying to avoid the mixed feed route, although the gp we've just seen automatically suggested it. Being a first time dad I know that I'm going to worry, but I am worrying that she has lost so much weight in 2 weeks, and only put on an ounce or so. Any suggestions??

tiktok Mon 09-May-05 11:00:59

daddyox - how often is she feeding? What happens at night? How often does she poo?

Weight loss is not normal, and I think it's good there is some action on this.

Mixed feeding is suggested because they think it's just a question of getting more calories in. If that is the case, she can have more calories in the form of breastmilk - more breastfeeding plus if necessary supplementing with expressed breastmilk, if there is some doubt about how effective the milk transfer at the breast is going. Someone who knows what to look for should observe a whole feed *as soon as possible* - is there a bf support group/clinic near you where you can get expert help?

daddyox Mon 09-May-05 11:15:50

Hi
KG is feeding rughly ever 3 hrs during the day. At night from about 8.00 she has lots of little feeds until 11.00 then sleeps all night until 5/6 in the morning.
She fills about 4/5 nappies per day.

tiktok Mon 09-May-05 11:21:43

Nappies sound normal

Sounds as if she could certainly feed more often, though....that is a long sleep for a baby of just two weeks, and most babies of this age feed a lot more often than the 6 plus several small feeds in 24 hours you're describing. Not worrisome if she was gaining weight normally, but she isn't....my concern would be she is conserving energy by not 'asking' for more feeds. First response in dealing with this should be to simply feed more often day and night, and to have a feed observed closely. I don't think it helps to panic, but I do think you are right in wanting to respond to this situation asap....like now.

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