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breastfed baby not putting on much weight (but happy!)

(12 Posts)
FreddoBaggyMac Fri 14-Aug-09 10:09:39

Have copied this over from the health and development section as i was advised I might get some extra responses here:

My breastfed DS is 14 weeks and only weighs 11 lbs 1oz, meaning he's only on the 2nd percentile on the charts the health visitors use. He was 7lbs12 at birth, lost about 8lbs and has since put it on only very slowly.
He's very alert and generally happy, and has a poo every day! But he does look nreally tiny and scrawny. I took him for his second injections yesterday and he looked miniscule compared to another baby who was going for her 2nd injections.
He's my 4th baby so I don't think I'm being overly anxious, I never worried about DC 2 and 3s weight (although everyone worries about their DC1!).
The health visitor says we just need to keep an eye on it... but I'm wondering what is exactly the point in that??? And what can I do about it? I don't want to give him formula. I think I'm producing enough milk for him as he seems satisfied at the end of a feed and is sleeping eight hours at night (after a mammoth 1.5 hour feed!)
Is it possible that his slow weight gain could mean there is something wrong? He's also very hot all the time (the doctor has said that is just because he's lean and doesn't have much insulation so we feel the heat radiating out of him!). His poos are quite thick (Sorry if that's TMI!!) and full of air bubbles so tend to come out quite dramatically...
I'm just feeling worried as I've heard that slow weight gain can be a symptom of diseases such as cystic fibrosis...
Any advice on what people think I should do? Should I be worried??

bedlambeast Fri 14-Aug-09 21:45:01

Message withdrawn

FreddoBaggyMac Sat 15-Aug-09 16:30:03

Thanks! Thanks for the number too, will pluck up courage to give them a ring grin

Ineedsomesleep Sat 15-Aug-09 17:02:47

Just wondering if you have rung yet? Also, do you go to any breastfeeding groups like a Baby Cafe? I've rung the helpline before and support I got enabled me to continue bfing my DS.

Going along to groups though and mixing with other bfing Mums was really good for both me and the children.

FreddoBaggyMac Sat 15-Aug-09 19:52:34

Thanks for your interest Ineedsomesleep. I don't really have the opportunity to go to breastfeeding groups as I have three other children (aged 5, 3 and 2) and the mum and baby clinics nearby don't have facilities for older siblings. I go to a few toddler groups though and there are a few other bfing mums there (although they're not on during the school hols sad). Am still deciding whether to ring as (hopefully not to sound to arrogant!) I don't know what advice they'd be able to give me about technique etc as this is my 4th child and I've bfed all the others. I'm doing exactly the same this time around but he's just not putting on the weight, which is realy why i was worried about it being the sign of some underlying problem.
My DH thinks that he is starting to get a bit chubbier, and for the last week or so he hasn't felt like a hot water bottle... DH thinks his body is learning to use hid food to make him fatter rather than just heat him up which is what seemed to happen previously!
Anyway, I'm going to get him weighed again in just under two weeks and if there's no improvement then I'll talk to the HV again and perhaps ask for a referral... he's really happy andalert - probably the most placid and content of my four children as babies, so I think he's getting as much milk as he wants to get... I've tried giving him some extra feeds but he just has a few sucks and then pulls his head back and smiles and gurgles at me !! smile

Andanotherthing Sun 16-Aug-09 15:19:41


Just wanted to say that I think most babies are screened for CF at 5 day heel prick test? Not sure if that helps at all?

FreddoBaggyMac Sun 16-Aug-09 19:05:43

Thanks Andanother. Yes it does give me some reassurrance, but I'm just wondering if a negative result means they definitely don't have it, or is it still possible that they do? I'd be grateful for any comments if anyone knows about this!

weasle Mon 17-Aug-09 07:04:59

hi, my ds1 dropped off centlies and i was anxious about cf (this was before it was included in the heal prick). we had a paed referral and he just recommened giving formula much to my dismay, just so he looked better on the charts i think. sadly, due to no support from family and DH for bf, i did give formula, and then he quickly refused bf. having had another dc since i realise i just wasn't feeing him enough as i have quite a low supply and we had lots of difficulties at the start.

i wish i had continued to bf but am sad that i didn't have any support to do that.

If your ds is otherwise healthy it is unlikely he has cf, but it is possible as i think the test only screens for the commonest gene defects so a small number may not be picked up. i guess 5-10%????

if he hadn't been weighed would you be worried? are your other dc small?

if you think it may help you, you could ask for a referral, but IMHO GPs and paeds will usually suggest ff as they do not know much about bf (probably less than you as you have bf 3dc before!). the charts can be misread as they are averages of 1000s of babies, so it doesn't mean you have to follow a line.

i'd see what bfc says, on phone or is there one near you?
good luck and it is lovely to hear how you are bf with 3 other dc, well done.

FreddoBaggyMac Mon 17-Aug-09 09:31:23

Thanks for your lovely message weasle! No my other DCs aren't small - I have two DDS who were probably about average, but my older DS was born over 0lbs and stayed on the 98th percentile line! So DS2 is the complete opposite.
I am actually much less worried after seeing some relatives this weekend who said he looks totally healthy (and I know they'd be honest) - they think he's just going to be tall and thin.
I probably wouldn't be as worried if he hadn't been weighed, although he does look very scrawny! he's the happiest baby I've had and the one thing that interferes with breastfeeding him is that he keeps leaning back to smile at me smile
I will see how things go... and based on your advice I think I'll speak to a bfc rather than getting him referred as my next step. Thanks again for your most helpful post.

FreddoBaggyMac Mon 17-Aug-09 09:32:04

Meant to say my oldest DS was born over 9lbs!!

Ineedsomesleep Mon 17-Aug-09 20:17:08

Sorry Freddo, thought you were a 1st timer. DD (2nd child) was born on about the 98th centile and before 6 months was less than 50th.

I was concerned about her weight and spoke to a bfc who basically just said what I already knew, she was having enough poos/wet nappies, had clear eyes and was bright and alert when awake. My HV knew I'd spoken to the BFC and was fully supportive of continuing bfing and not getting referred. The charts I was given were the old ones, not the new WHO recommended ones.

She is 2 now and is fairly skinny and we have real difficulty in getting her to eat some days. Having said that I'm fairly skinny too so I just think she will end up like me.

Have a go at ringing the BFC, even with your great experience you may get a tip or two!

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 18-Aug-09 19:07:25

Thanks Ineedsome - no need to apologise, I'm really grateful for everyone's advice. It's reassuring to hear about all these skinny kids who are perfectly healthy! Perhaps a BFC is the way forward for me... smile

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