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small baby -feeling really down and guilty

(32 Posts)
mrsjuan Tue 09-Jun-09 10:03:32

My baby is 3 and half weeks now -I was induced with her a few days early because growth scans had indicated that she was a bit small. Whe she was born she was even smaller than we expected at 5lb 7 and it seems she didn't grow much at all for the last few weeks she was in there. So i'm feeling what I'm sure is irrationally guilty that I didn't provide properly for her while she was inside.
I'm now breastfeeding her and although all the signs are right - plenty of nappies, she was up to 5lb 12 last thurs, I'm still worrying every day that she's too small and I'm not doing it right.
Everyone we meet keeps saying how tiny she is and it's starting to make me feel worse!
I'm sure things will get better but it's such a worry and it seems a massive responsibilty to be the sole provider of what she needs. She's being weighed again tomorrow and I know i'll be gutted if she hasn't put any weight on - she doesn't look to me as if she has

Jennylee Tue 09-Jun-09 10:08:48

You might be pleasantly surprised tomorrow, if she looks right and is making plenty of nappies wet, and if you are feeding her on demand whenever she needs, you are doing really well after a worrying beginning.

She is small because she was born small not because you are breastfeeding her

Breastmilk is the best thing for her and I think it is more calorific than formula.

pooter Tue 09-Jun-09 10:11:43

oh mrsjuan - im so sorry you are feeling so sad. your little one is on the small side of average - but that is STILL NORMAL. She is not 2lb, 3lb or even 4lb. She is putting on weight - from the best food anyone could give her! Just let her feed when she wants. give yourself a break - you have successfully conceived, developed and given birth to a lovely little girl, and you have provided the food to make her grow even bigger. You are doing a great job, but you need looking after

I know how horrible it is to dread going to the scales, and plotting the dot on the graph paper - but honestly - if she is even ON the graph paper you have little to worry about. We come in different sizes, thats all. My great auntie was a humongous baby - the biggest in the NE for 10 years or something, she was 14lb if my mum is to believed. She was the tiniest little woman ive ever met!! It really doesnt relate to how big she will be once she is older, and certainly doesnt correlate with health. Babies just take what they need from the mum - both in the womb and out of it - even malnourished mums give birth to healthy babies, so you will have provided everything she needed. so just be kind to yourself. congratulations on your little girl.

Pookamoo Tue 09-Jun-09 10:21:14

I just wanted to give you a big hug and say you are doing so well to get even to this stage breastfeeding! Keep at it if you can!

My DD stayed the same weight from 6 weeks to 12 weeks despite being born quite large (8lb3oz) all my friends' babies overtook her and she looked so tiny in comparison. But now, she is still the smallest in the group but she's happy and healthy, and I managed ti keep BFing despite lots of problems and being worried as you are, that she wasn't getting enough.

Your lovely little DD will be fine. I myself was so tiny I never made it onto the graphs, and my health visitor pointed out that in order to get the averages on the chart, some babies need to be little, just as some are big!

Sorry for a waffly post but I just wanted to show you that it will be ok.

((hug)) smile

elkiedee Tue 09-Jun-09 10:30:39

She was born small but you say the signs are good and her weight is increasing. Whatever her weight is tomorrow (and I hope she's gained well because that will reassure you and the HCPs and you obviously need that) don't feel guilty.

One of the things about babies is when they do grow they really do grow lots. Even at 4 months it seems impossible that little person was ever as tiny as they were at birth or under a month. DS2 was nearly 10lb at birth and had only just got back to birth weight at 3 weeks, when I started taking him to baby groups - most people don't get there quite so soon, and everyone exclaimed how tiny he was at over 10 lb - I think a lot of it is about how we react to such a young and small human being wherever they are on the birthweight scale.

elkiedee Tue 09-Jun-09 10:32:07

Pookamoo, it's nice to hear of sensible health visitor advice.

Northernlurker Tue 09-Jun-09 10:35:18

Just out of interest - how tall are you and what is your physical type?

missorinoco Tue 09-Jun-09 10:42:47

Typing one handed so will make this short.
As said, the average is there because half are below are half are above. She is small because she is, and not due to anything you have done.

It's partly those hormones - I am 3 weeks post partum and blaming myself for whatever I did to make dc1 so tearful given that new dc2 is so placid. sigh.

People are saying she is tiny bease she is next to any being who is not a newborn. DC2 gets this at 9lb 9oz.


missorinoco Tue 09-Jun-09 10:43:21

because, sorry, not beause.

ljhooray Tue 09-Jun-09 10:47:56

My SIL first ds was early and only just 5lb. Despite having other medical issues (which even involved mouth issues that made bf more challenging for him), he totally thrived on breastfeeding. I ff by dd and I was still obsessed with her weight and she was 6lb 8oz! I think it's a totally natural feeling but as everyone has said, all the signs are there that you are doing a fabulous job. You deserve a great big pat on the back!
People pointing out she is so small is often due what appears to be birth weights increasing but I was 2 weeks late and people still considered dd small! Rest assured, it sounds like you are doing great and I'm sure lots of mums here will agree with me that once the first 6-12 weeks have gone by, you'll feel tons better and lots more confident in what is obviously your great skills as a mum! All teh best.

SweetEm Tue 09-Jun-09 11:24:38

MrsJuan - people probably keep saying how tiny she is just for something to say! It is also because you forget how small newborn babies are; even when they are 8lbs they look tiny to those of us with older babies!

Like everyone else says, I'm sure you are doing a great job and it sounds like your baby is putting on weight, so well done!

funnypeculiar Tue 09-Jun-09 11:28:37

Ds was 5lb4 at birth (4 weeks early) and I can remember taking the 'isn't he tiny' comments personally ... but it is just people finding something to say. And babies are tiny!! The upside is that now he's a tall 5yo, I still have the tiniest babiest vests to show him!

Really, really well done for bfing so far - you're doing great.

Very unmn-y <<hugs>>

Asklaw Tue 09-Jun-09 14:36:39

Some people mean "so cute" when they say "so small". Keep going with the feeding. I am sure your daughter is getting what she needs from you. Please post how much she weighed in at. Big hug and positive vibes.

mrsjuan Tue 09-Jun-09 14:54:23

Thank you for your kind comments. I keep telling myself that it's fine but seem to nee to hear it from other people! To be fair the health visitor isn't at all worried - it's only me! I am not very big myself - 5"3 and size 10 but I have always been quite 'sturdy' and now here I am with this scrawny dainty little baby!
I am a born worrier anyway -if it wasn't this it would be something else!

completelyabsolutely Tue 09-Jun-09 15:32:12

Everyone is right, the 'tiny' comments are just something to say (don't tell anyone but new babies don't do that much so you need something to comment on grin )

When I first saw my friends dd at 5 week (and around 9 pounds I think) my first words were - I'd forgotten how small they come. My dd is now 16 months and she has grown by stealth!

Good luck with the bfing and with the weigh in - remember though that with very young babies as much as a wee or a poo can affect the scales a lot so try not to panic too much, you might not see much of a gain one time and then a big jump the next.

Then you can find something else to worry about - and you will - tis normal.

Northernlurker Tue 09-Jun-09 16:32:06

mrsjuan - I thought you would be on the petite side! Never mind about being 'sturdy' grin - you are obviously naturally one of life's smaller people - you'd really be pushing it to be producing an enormo-babe! grin

You are giving your daughter the best possible start you can and have nothing to feel bad about.

With the induction and you saying that she was smaller than you expected I think it sounds like a traumatic time for you and your partner. Have you made your peace with that do you think? If it still feels like a source of stress can I urge you to tell the hv that as well?

Wizzska Tue 09-Jun-09 16:38:25

Don't worry, you are going through a difficult, hormonal and emotional time and all your focus and worry is on your new baby. I remember that feeling very well. My son lost weight with jaundice in the hospital after he was born. I found it very difficult to breast feed him properly, it was very painful and he didn't put on weight for over 6 weeks which felt like an eternity. He was very skinny and tiny looking and I felt absolutely awful. Now he is a strong, happy toddler and I did manage to bf him until he was 14 months in the end. Your little girl is gaining weight, and although she is small, she is growing. I'm sure you are doing it right and she will grow up in her own time.

The feelings of guilt can be very strong, especially in the early days. I think it is quite normal to feel that way.

mrsjuan Tue 09-Jun-09 16:46:35

I feel completely fine about the actual birth-it wasn;t what I'd expected or planned but although it did end a bit traumatically with her heart rate dropping and having to have a quick ventouse delivery I feel really grateful for the way it was handled and that she came out safely.
I do think I'm still shocked at how small she was though - before the induction quite a few people told us that they'd been told their babies were small when they weren't and that the doctors etc. were just scaring us so I think I assumed she'd be at least 6lb - I was 6lb 7 myself.
I think I've got it into my head that low birthweight babies are less healthy & that combined with hormones, sleep deprivation & no experience of babies is what's causeing the paranoia!

Northernlurker Tue 09-Jun-09 16:56:03

There is a lot of linking between weight and health with babies and I think that comes particularly hard on the breastfeeding mum because as you say, you do feel in sole charge of the milk bank with sole responsibility for any consequences! However whilst weight gain is important of course so are wet nappies etc and a settled and alert baby. Which is what you've got I'm sure.

Thinking back I remember worrying about dd1's weight - she was quite dainty - born at 8lb 8 then followed the 25th centile - so there always seemed to be loads of babies of her age who could neck massive bottles and lose rusks in their chin creases etc etc. Dh told me not to be daft grin

Northernlurker Tue 09-Jun-09 16:56:49

sorry that should be 'born at 8lb 8 but then followed'

cory Tue 09-Jun-09 21:06:50

her birth weight wasn't actually all that low

ds was a little smaller than that (induced at 36 weeks for IUGR) and he grew very well- by the time he was 3 months he was positively chubby (now a tall and handsome 9yo)

the main thing is that she is now putting on weight; as long as she is eating and growing, you'll have nothing to worry about

CrouchingTigger Tue 09-Jun-09 21:27:08

Just to add some solidarity, I have had two babies who weighed 5 1/2 lbs at birth - and both were over a week late! Both grew slowly too - one went below the 0.4th centile - and tended to be around the 2nd centile. One is now slim but 'normal', and the other is the fittest, stongest, most active child I know, who weighs 35lbs at 6 years old (no idea what centile this is, but it is about the weight of a 3 yr old I think).
I bf both of them for a year, and the whole time people were commenting on how tiny they were. However, they were both healthy, just small.
If your dd is growing, then you are doing a fine job. Relx and enjoy her, and praise the fact it will be easier on your back than those who have 2 stone babies to carry around smile

mrsjuan Wed 10-Jun-09 12:47:35

Well she was weighed this morning and is now 5ib 15 (and a half!)She is still right at the bottom of the chart but at least she is putting on weight. My health visitor has been lovely and reassured me that she's completely normal and didn't even mention the dreaded formula top ups!

I still wish she'd have a bit of a growth spurt but suppose i'll just have to be patientwink

CrouchingTigger Wed 10-Jun-09 13:38:57

Glad you feel better about it now mrsjuan. I take it you have the new breastfed growth charts in your red book?
Enjoy her!

missorinoco Wed 10-Jun-09 13:39:26

Pleased to hear this. Well done you. Keep up the good work!

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