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6 weeks old and still not regained birth weight.

(23 Posts)
Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 16:20:31

Howdy all! Not sure what I'm looking for from posting this! I've been browsing the archive for slow-weight gain threads, and there have been many similar posts and lots of useful advice there. I think that writing this out here on lovely MN will just provide me with a bit of reassurance!


DS is 6 weeks old today. At 5 days old he had dropped 16% of his birth weight, and when weighed today he is still 6lb under it.

Following sounds/ objects with his eyes
Doing loads of wees
Doing at least 2 hefty yellow poos each day
Sleeps well
Seems to have a good latch - very little discomfort for me
Appears to be transferring milk well - swallowing noises and a mouthful of milk when he finishes/ if I break the latch.

Am exclusively breast feeding
Am just beginning to try expressing so that DH can do some feeds
Am feeding on demand
Am allowing him to feed on one side for as long as he likes.
Am probably guilty of not offering the other side as much as I should if he has fallen asleep after coming off one side blush
Resting loads (nothing but!)
Eating plenty
Drinking plenty
Co-sleeping as he won't sleep anywhere else at the moment.

So, I think he is just a slow grower. I haven't been worried about him, as he seems so well in himself. I've avoided getting him weighed every week as I can't really see how this will help. I do worry that I should be more worried, and that in my determination not to worry, I will neglect a genuine problem!

That's it really. Just some random thoughts!

The only other thing I've wondered about is whether I should reduce my caffeine intake. I drink lots of tea - could this be a problem?

Reallytired Wed 27-May-09 16:36:29

Congratulations on your lo. It sounds like you are doing really well.

The only thing is that you say he sleeps well. If you are worried about weight gain then maybe you should wake him after 3 hours for a feed or prehaps offer him the breast more before he asks.

However it sounds like he is fine. If the hv is seriously concerned she will visit you.

Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 16:42:41

Thanks Reallytired! smile

I wondered about waking him up, but it's only a problem overnight - he feeds v frequently during the day. He has rarely gone more than 4 hours without eating overnight, though this week his sleeps have been getting longer!

HV came and did today's weight (routine 6-week visit though rather than a special one for his weight). She didn't seem too worried, but was starting to make concerned faces and noises!

hanaflower Wed 27-May-09 16:44:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hanaflower Wed 27-May-09 16:45:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ilovemydogandmrobama Wed 27-May-09 16:45:17

6 oz? Not 6 lbs?

hanaflower Wed 27-May-09 16:54:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 17:15:09

shock 6lb!!!

Yes indeed, ounces blush

Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 17:15:47

Rest assured, were he 6lb under birth weight, I might worry grin

Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 17:19:57

Hana - I did seriously wonder about the birth weight. DH was there when they weighed him, and thinks it was right. It was 4.104kg, which is a very specific figure to be wrong, IYSWIM!

wastingmyeducation Wed 27-May-09 17:48:31

What's that in lbs?

DS didn't regain birthweight til week 7.
I did a variety of things, so can't tell you exactly what worked, but I had continued with my approximately 3 cups of coffee or equivalent in tea/pepsi after the birth and definitely felt that cutting it out at week 6 made a difference.
Try Rooibos/Redbush tea, very nice. I also drank Fennel tea as it apparently helps with breastfeeding.

Agree with switch-feeding, swapping sides a few times as this will wake him up if feeding is making him sleepy and it will boost supply.

Other things - any painkillers? Aneamia?

Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 20:02:07

Hi Wasting - 9.2lb. I quite like Rooibos, maybe I'll get some in. I thought about some fennel tea, but I don't really like aniseed enough to stomach it!

Nope, no painkillers, and no anaemia as far as I'm aware.

How were the HVs about your DS? What did they recommend to you?

wastingmyeducation Wed 27-May-09 20:23:23

He was quite big then, 9,2. DS was 9,7 and I think it's the case that many large babies take their time to regain birth weight, it's called catch down growth.

HVs were bloody useless. Just 'kept an eye on it' and then just as his weight gain picked up referred us to the paeds for tests.
What they recommended was to express and top him up, but as his weight gain was getting better and the pain had stopped, so I knew we'd got the latch better, I was reluctant. I also went hysterical at the registrar who said I just needed to be pampered and DS had put 7oz on by the following week, breastfeeding only.

I think he has a mild tongue tie which would have been the problem, but noone picked up on it

Tongue tie is definitely worth looking at.

Some babies just do have slow weight gain though, and are destined to be on the 2nd centile, but I think it's worth trying a few things out.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 27-May-09 21:01:46

DS was 5 weeks old before he regained birthweight. I had hideous pressure from the midwives to top up. They were so awful to me, calling DS scrawny . He was also quite large at birth, 8lbs 12oz.

We had problems to start with and I think looking back that my supply didn't get properly up to where he needed it to be until he was about 4 weeks old. I would just keep switch feeding and your supply will boost a bit. It's easy to think 'thank god he's gone to sleep' when actually you should wake them for the other side

Out of interest, did you have a c-section? My GP (who was never concerned about DS at any point and infact told me to ignore the midwives) says that c-section babies are always just a few ozs heavier than they should be at birth because they don't get squeezed through the birth canal which can make it look as though they lose more weight post birth than they actually do.

missmama Wed 27-May-09 21:12:17

Hi not sure if I can help but it all sounds really familiar.

DS was 8lb 4 at birth at 6wks he was only 8lb but by 8wks was 8lb 8oz
He is 5 months tomorrow and was last weighed at 19 wks when he was 11lb 14oz

We have been issued with hospital charts as they are larger and he has gone from the 75th centile to below 0.4 but has now stayed at that.

His specialist was not too concerned as I was not, he is a happy baby, exclusively breastfed up to 17wks when we started gentle weaning under the hospital dietitian. (Not causing a fight here but he is my third DS and the first was weaned at 14wks as was the wont then.)

Agree with the catch down growth.
The doctor explained a little about over nurturing in the womb. I am not skinny(not by a long shot) but DH is and both the other boys take after him. We assume DS3 will too.

We also went through almost the identical thing with DS2

wastingmyeducation Wed 27-May-09 21:12:40

Does the squeezing affect the weight then? I know it affects lung function.
I heard that being on a drip leads to the baby taking on extra fluid. DS certainly looked swollen at birth.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 27-May-09 21:17:54

WME - it's the mucus that affects the lung function that adds the few ozs apparently. DS pooed meconium in huuuuge quantities for about 48 hours after he was born - one of the midwives who changed him for me said she'd never seen anything like it. I'm guessing that was because of extra fluid etc that he'd swallowed?
DS did look quite swollen at birth actually now that you mention it.

Juwesm Wed 27-May-09 21:21:52

Ali, Missmama, thanks for sharing your experiences. It is good to know that this scenario is not that uncommon.

I didn't have a C-section, so my LO got a thorough squeezing!

Juwesm Wed 03-Jun-09 15:37:10

Well, one week later and gloom, gloom, gloom, his weight is exactly the same as last week sad So now 7 weeks old and still 6oz below birth weight. Ended up having a big cry in the middle of the clinic, which was not great considering a was aiming for presenting a rational and reasoned argument against the inevitable recommendation of formula top-ups.

Now I know that a baby's weight is fluctuating constantly. Last week he was weighed immediately after a feed. This week he was weighed immediately after a poo! But the few ounces difference that these things could make are the difference between feeling like we're making progress, albeit slow, and feeling like I'm somehow neglecting my baby.

I think all today has done is made me not want to go back to have him weighed at all. I know there is nothing wrong with giving formula, and I'd do it like a shot if I could guarantee it won't affect my milk supply. But I've read so much on here about how starting off with just a small amount of formula is the first step on the road to a diminishing supply of breast milk resulting in exclusive formula feeding.

My head still tells me all is well and just to keep going as we are, but my heart (or rather my guilt muscle) tells me I am starving my baby out of sheer bloody-mindedness.


MoshiMoshi Wed 03-Jun-09 20:16:23

juwesm could you agree the compromise of EBM top ups? Would that help with your worries of top ups affecting your supply or do you also worry about bottle feeding?

Juwesm Wed 03-Jun-09 20:36:43

Hi MoshiMoshi - we've just started giving him some EBM in a bottle now and again, mainly so that DH can do some of the feeds. But when do I give them? At the moment he seems to eat until he is satisfied whenever he wants, so still don't really see the point of giving a top-up. It seems as though if I give EBM via a bottle it will replace a breast feed rather than supplement it, if that makes sense. What do you think would work - offer both sides and then offer some EBM? At the moment I seem to be able to express 2-3 ounces, but I do find expressing hard work. It works best when feeding, but I could do with a 3rd arm to make this work!

I suppose that if nothing else, if I offer top-ups and he takes them it will be an indication that despite best efforts, he has not been getting enough from the breast sad

(As an aside - I did get some fennel tea, and it is surprisingly palatable and smells far more aniseedy than it tastes!)

MoshiMoshi Thu 04-Jun-09 23:53:43

juwesm sorry for radio silence! How is he doing? In answer to your question, if you are still trying to get more in him I would try a top up of EBM after each feed, if you feel it would not compromise or jeopardise the breastfeeding (having expressed just before perhaps or having built in a further feed to your day to ensure supply is good and plentiful). My DD was admitted for monitoring of feeds at 4 days old and I was made to bottle feed EBM 3 hourly. I have now kept her on just one bottle of EBM a day so she remains familiar with it but have also maintained the extra expressing at every other feed. My supply now far exceeds her daily requirement and my freezer stash is growing on a daily basis to the point where I probably ought to slow down a bit... Keep us posted.

mags98 Sun 07-Jun-09 14:13:21

I'm giving top ups to my 4 week old boy who also was not gaining weight. he was 6lb 6 at birth and refused anything for 48 hrs. He continued to lose weight until at 3 weeks when he droppped below the 0.4th centile we all got a bit concerned. He was also persistantly jaundiced. I'm not especially bothered about giving formula, after all it is not poison! But I do if possible want to continue feeding him myself as much as possible so didn't want to drop my supply.

I began with one formula a day and then moved to two. The Health visitor suggested doing this temporarily until he got a bit bigger and more keen to feed. I have been giving the two feeds at lunchtime and late evening.

I have made the rule that whenever I give a bottle I also express, to keep the supply up. I usually get about 80-100mls each time I express (using an electric pump it is very easy) so I think it is going OK.

It certainly has made a big difference to the little lad - he gained 14 ounces in the first week of doing this, lost all his jaundice and seemed to suddenly 'wake up' - I think he was just being undernourished for the first few weeks! He is also going to the breast much better now too, no fighting headbutting and screaming like we had before. I feel a lot less worried about him now.

If I do end up formula feeding him more it won't be the end of the world, but as things are at the moment he seems quite happy with the mixture.

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