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Mum losing too much weight whilst breastfeeding

(18 Posts)
friendneedsadvice Mon 01-Jun-09 15:58:28

I have a friend who has a 7mo. She is breastfeeding her, and also trying to wean. It is going slowly, but from my infrequent observations, not unusually slowly. However, my friend has lost a lot of weight because she finds it difficult to eat enough calories for both of them. She was borderline underweight before losing the weight, and has had an ED in the past.

My friend would like to encourage her LO to eat more so that she can cut down on the breastfeeds. She seems to be getting anxious about it, and I'm wondering whether to suggest that she switch to formula. I'm normally a natural-term breastfeeding advocate, so suggesting formula would feel weird, but I'm quite concerned about my friend.

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

Blackduck Mon 01-Jun-09 16:14:24

Yes, me, I simply couldn't eat enough to feed both me and ds. I dropped to about 6 stone and was very thin. My mum convinced me to give it up as she was scared I would make myself ill and if you are ill you can't look after your child. At 7 months she has done really well and given her lo a really solid start ....

friendneedsadvice Mon 01-Jun-09 16:45:23

Thanks Blackduck. Did you manage to regain the weight okay when you stopped feeding?

Blackduck Mon 01-Jun-09 16:48:28

Yes, once ds wasn't taking everything I could give him, I pretty quickly put it back on and was fine. Really not nice being able to feel the bones in your bum when you sit in the bath grin.

friendneedsadvice Mon 01-Jun-09 21:48:05

Blackduck - so I've heard!

Anyone else got experience of this?

Caz10 Mon 01-Jun-09 21:50:10

I've found it evens out - and tbh not sure how much is bfing and how much is just sheer exhaustion etc - but I am still bfing dd who is 18mths and I stopped losing weight after about 9mth - definitely bonier and saggier than pre-pregnancy but it has stopped coming off now.

QueenFee Mon 01-Jun-09 22:00:39

I had this with both of mine. Incidentally the weight went back on whn I stopped feeding, but I just ate constantly when I was feeding to remain a sort of normal weight. A friend of mine who had the same problem swore by drinking body builders milkshakes - loads of calories and fairly easy to get down you quickly. It did stable off a little with me at around 10 months. I then just lost it slowley instead of it dropping away IYSWIM. I weaned them at 14 and 16 months respectively and I was back up to my pre pregnancy weight within a couple of months. I did put a certain degree of it down to chasing them around though.

giantkatestacks Mon 01-Jun-09 22:07:32

Yes - I went to the doctor who prescribed some free high calorie nutrition drinks - these were in addition to my normal diet and free as baby is under a year.

Why does she have to switch though? at 7 months shes probably got breakfast and lunch sorted, she can do a formula feed (if she wants to mid afternoon) and then do dinner and a bedtime bf - so only 3 feeds a day with 6-8ozs of formula at 2-3pm.

To be frank - have you seen she is actually eating 2000 calories a day at the right times and not just running around after baby and not eating?

friendneedsadvice Mon 01-Jun-09 23:13:20

kate - I have no idea what she's eating. I did suggest in passing that she use the high calorie shakes, as she was on them before when being treated for the ED, but she didn't seem enamoured of the idea. I know she hated them before.

I guess I feel like it's easier / less damaging to switch her LO to formula than to deal with any eating issues that are being exacerbated by breastfeeding.

I probably need to stop trying to come up with solutions and just have a proper chat with her to make sure she's okay.

friendneedsadvice Mon 01-Jun-09 23:14:59

Just realised that post sounded like I was ignoring Caz and QueenFee - apologies. It is reassuring to know that you both stabilised at the 9 / 10 month point - thanks.

CherryChoc Tue 02-Jun-09 00:15:12

Hello - am I your friend? I have a 7mo (nearly 8mo) baby who is eating me alive grin

Probably not actually - I intend to carry on bf anyway. My main problem is I forget to eat/can't be bothered to make proper food/don't feel like eating as I am stressed etc. So I really don't think stopping bf would help, and there are so many reasons to continue. I've started eating a lot better now and am going to take some multivitamins, I felt really very ill last week as DS was poorly and up so much during the night I was barely getting any sleep and lack of sleep + food was just a lethal combination, so I've decided I can't possibly carry on like this.

Blackduck I know the feeling! I hate being able to feel my coccyx when I sit down on hard chairs as well And my clothes are all baggy but it seems pointless buying anything which would fit as I want to put the weight back on!

Shitemum Tue 02-Jun-09 00:18:52

I think I was eating about 9 'meals' a day at that stage. Basically every time the baby fed I had a snack, as well as main meals...
Even just bread and cheese or bananas will help.

Tryharder Tue 02-Jun-09 12:46:50

Hmm.. Forgive me for being a bit cynical but it sounds like the OP's friend is blaming bf when in reality, she's probably not eating and the weight would have fallen off whether or not she bfs.

I have spent much of the last year with a baby attached to my breasts and the weight has failed to drop off.

So I'm just jealous really envy

RoseOfTheOrient Tue 02-Jun-09 13:00:58

She needs to snack more - as Shitemum says, cheese/crackers, avocados, bananas....little and often.

I was like this with DS - I went down to 46kgs (sorry, not sure what that is in pounds/stones) and I am 5ft6. I was chasing around after DD, who was 17 months old, and on top of that, it was summer here in Japan, which means it is too hot to eat much - I lived on watermelon and crackers...

Also, my MIL was in the final stages of cancer and died when DS was 4 months old, so it was all pretty stressful.

I was actually quite healthy, all told, except for looking a bit haggard! grin

stroppyknickers Tue 02-Jun-09 13:07:57

If she's not worried, why are you? I lost loads of weight (to 6 1/2 stone) this time round, and it's coming back up - now at 8 1/2 stone. I did speak to my GP with number three as I had lost loads, but he wasn't that bothered. I think it's sort of normal, and btw I had an eating disorder when I was younger but I really don't think the two are linked. Still feeding an 18 mo, and only just got periods back.

friendneedsadvice Tue 02-Jun-09 13:35:53

She is worried, or at least bothered - she wants her LO to eat more. I'm not sure this is going to happen that quickly - her LO seems to be eating pretty well for a 7mo to me.

I'm worried because being so thin is bad for her health - she already has bone density concerns from the ED. I'm also concerned that the ED could kick in again. I don't know whether that is a reasonable concern.

stroppyknickers Tue 02-Jun-09 13:41:05

oh okay. Well when we tried giving water in a cup during the day, ds4 ate more, and also ate more when finger foods appeared - he hated the whole spoon thing!

giantkatestacks Tue 02-Jun-09 15:47:20

I dont think the key is eating more solids anyway because if that happens and the bf drops off then at 7 months you will still need to supplement with formula and the same amount as if baby wasnt eating lots so you may as well just switch iyswim.

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