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Should I ignore the HV? (early weaning)

(19 Posts)
MegBusset Wed 23-Sep-09 12:38:43

Took DS2 (21 weeks) for weighing today, first time in six weeks. He is a jolly, chubby fella who is fully bf, feeds about seven times a day and sleeps through the night since about three weeks ago. I think he's perfect

however... The HV today noted that he had dropped a centile (from 75th to 50th... At 7 weeks he was on 91st) and asked if I had started weaning yet. She said the dropping centiles was evidence of 'needing something more' and that 'if I want to carry on just breastfeeding then I need to go and get him weighed in two weeks'.

Am I ok to ignore this advice and carry on just bf til 26 weeks? Is the drop in centiles a concern? Should I try to feed him more often? He is fed on demand but has settled himself into feeding every 3-4hrs in the day and dropped the night feeds spontaneously by himself (am v v v lucky, I know!).

FlamingoDuBeke Wed 23-Sep-09 12:40:18

"'if I want to carry on just breastfeeding then I need to go and get him weighed in two weeks'. "????????????? shock

Is that some sort of ultimatum? Blimey!

If it were me, I have to say I'd ignore her and stop going to see her. Your baby, your choice. Is he fine in every other way? HVs are obsessed with weight charts - they are only one sign that things are going well.

FlamingoDuBeke Wed 23-Sep-09 12:40:52

And he is too young to put on solids yet - if there really is a problem, then more breastmilk is what's needed, not solids.

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 23-Sep-09 12:44:57

Ignore her. He is more active now, that's probably why he's dropped a bit. Do you have a FF chart or the new BF one?

The thing about taking him to be weighed is tosh. You do know that you don't have to go AT ALL don't you. I was always so stressed by the weighing until a kind friend pointed out that since ds was perfectly heathy and happy I was only causing myself grief.

And unless he is showing signs of readiness for solids, ignore her agaih. Is he grabbing your food, watching you eat?

You can BF as long as you like, whenever you like. If he is happy in the feed structure he has made for himself, then all is well.

Blimmin' panic merchant HVs.

tiktok Wed 23-Sep-09 12:48:37

If your baby needs more calories - if - then you have them - in your breasts.

On the basis of what you have said here, it sounds like it would be worth discussing with the HV again what your options are.

Early solids tend to replace breastmilk not add to it, and you can ask the HV if she thinks there might be a risk of this applying in your case, which would make solids a tad pointless hmm

A drop of 2 centiles is worth investigating - she may have a local protocol that insists she do this, but investigating just means checking the baby healthy, happy, and gaining and not being fed on any daft schedules or with restrictions. Good idea to go back and talk to her - why is she suggesting the option of solids and no other option, for instance?

purplepansy Wed 23-Sep-09 13:36:25

Sounds like he's thriving really! Does she expect that babies born on 91st centile will stay there for ever? If so, then my kids are in serious trouble as they were all enormous at birth and are now skinny having gradually 'caught down' to a centile line that more accurately reflects their normal sized parents. Perhaps I should feed them more pies? grin

MegBusset Wed 23-Sep-09 13:49:04

Thank you everyone. He was actually born on the 75th centile, piled on the weight in the first few weeks then has gradually tailed off. He is very fidgety, think he wants to be up and running after DS1!

Looking back at DS1's chart, he followed almost exactly the same pattern... Started on 50th, jumped to 75th at six weeks and tailed off... Now at 2.7 he is on the 9th centile and a skinnymalink but eats like a horse and never ill. (or indeed still!)

PortAndLemon Wed 23-Sep-09 14:29:45

It does sound rather twaddlybollocks to me. As a matter of interest, is she plotting his weight on the exclusively bf charts or on the older charts with undifferentiated feeding (where very few of the babies would have been bf at 21 weeks).

I would have been inclined to look at her, look at happy chubby baby and say "So... you are telling me that he's underweight...?". Well, actually I didn't take DC2 to be weighed at all between the 8 week and 8 month checks, but had I been more weighing-oriented that's what I'd have been inclined to do.

PortAndLemon Wed 23-Sep-09 14:30:58

And 'if I want to carry on just breastfeeding then I need to go and get him weighed in two weeks' would have got a loud raspberry blown at the clinic door once I'd got outside the clinic...

MegBusset Wed 23-Sep-09 14:49:53

They are using the older charts afaik (in any case it's the same ones as with DS1).

I would have challenged her more, but was trying to stop DS1 demolishing the play kitchen...

tiktok Wed 23-Sep-09 15:08:00

Meg - just phone her.

BettyBubble Wed 23-Sep-09 15:10:19

Why are you taking him to be weighed? Mine were weighed twice (I think) - once at birth, and once at the six-week check-up. I'd give the weigh-ins a miss and judge for yourself whether your DS is okay.

MegBusset Wed 23-Sep-09 19:48:35

I think I will call my regular HV tomorrow - it was another one I spoke to today. My normal HV is still BF her 2yo so hopefully might be reasonably well-informed about breastfeeding!

My gut feeling is there's nothing at all wrong with him and nor is he ready for solids. But if he needs more milk then I'm happy to give it if he'll take it!

tiktok Thu 24-Sep-09 08:50:50

Good idea, Meg.

It's also useful that your regular HV knows what her colleagues are saying.

charliebrownsmum Thu 24-Sep-09 21:29:30

My DD is 18 weeks and exclusively BF and she has dropped from the 50th to 25th centile in the past few weeks. My HV is fab and said that she always expects BF babies to drop a centile and that the charts in the red books are for bottle fed babies not BF. She said that there were new charts coming out for BF babies, so perhaps ask your HV to look at these.
I have to be honest I only had DS1 weighed and handful of times and DS2 twice as he was massive and I knew he was growing steadily, so sometimes you just need to go with your instinct.
I certainly won't be weaning my DD early despite this drop in weight gain as she is still a little chubster (i'm size 8 and 5Ft and DP not exactly huge either so she's never gonna be a giant )

TheShockoftheTwo Sun 27-Sep-09 22:07:55

I get so upset that mothers get told this kind of nonsense! Is totally normal for breastfed babies to drop a centile or two as they reach the point you're at (exactly the same as me, coincidentally!). My twins jumped a centile every weigh-in until about 14 weeks, when the weight gain slowed. I then didn't go back till week 21 as kept being told nonsense like 'my milk will dry up soon'. Whatever!!

Don't forget that those weight charts are based on 1970s bottlefed babies so are not really relevant to you, plus that HV usually pretty ignorant. She can't make you have a weigh-in - I don't know why they over-medicalise babies' feeding and stress us mums out so much!

I would suggest trusting your instincts and carry on as you are - and don't get your baby weighed for a few weeks. Your baby sounds totally happy with daytime feeds and sleeping at night well, so if you want to try for 26 weeks, that's your choice! I am going to be aiming for that, as weaning sounds so much easier once they're bigger.

PortAndLemon Sun 27-Sep-09 22:30:47

(Technically, the charts are not based on bottlefed babies, but on babies whose feeding was not differentiated -- although given breastfeeding rates the overwhelming majority will have been formula fed for most of the time)

LeonieSoSleepy Sun 27-Sep-09 22:34:06

Message withdrawn

MegBusset Sat 03-Oct-09 22:05:33

Just a quick update.

I failed to get hold of my HV despite numerous phone calls, so dropped in to the clinic yesterday as I was passing. A different HV to last time weighed him and said he was absolutely fine, nothing to worry about (he had put on 7oz since last week).

So I am going to carry on just BF til 26 weeks, and not bother taking him to be weighed any more!

Thanks for all your help

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