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Help- can a change in my diet affect baby's weight?

(9 Posts)
ParanoidAtAllTimes Tue 20-Oct-09 11:43:51

Hi, feeling a bit desperate...

DS (3mo, EBF) has had continuous diahorrea for about 7 weeks now. Doctors think it's an intolerance to dairy in my diet, so for the last 2.5 weeks I've cut out all dairy (I'm also veggie btw). Much as I'm trying to eat a balanced diet, it's hard and I'm not always eating enough {guilty emoticon}

There has been no improvement with his gut so far- in fact he's been doubled up in agony, straining and screaming for the last couple of days. That's a story for the children's health forum though!

The worrying thing is, he's only gained 3oz since I cut out dairy. He was gaining really well before, despite diahorrea and refusing some feeds.

Saw hv today who says that the reduction of calories in my diet is preventing him gaining weight. I thought that the baby always got enough and it's the mum who goes without? I'm not exactly lacking in fat stores! Is she right? How can I help him gain if she's not? I'm feeding him as often as he will allow (every 2-3 hours).

Many thanks

tiktok Tue 20-Oct-09 11:53:27

Very poor response from your HV.

Your change of diet cannot affect your ds's weight - and she should know this. If you want to discuss it with her, ask her for more information and where she has her info from. There really is no way that the calories (energy value) from a mother's own diet 'translate' to the calories in the breastmilk.

His slower weight gain is likely to be connected to his gastric problems.

On the other hand, a 3 oz weight gain is not necessarily a problem - some healthy babies will gain this much in that amount of time.

Chronically under-nourished (to the point of being seriously underweight) mothers may have difficulty in maintaining an adequate milk supply but the actual content of their milk will be fine. This doesn't sound as if it applies to you.

Hope this helps!

ParanoidAtAllTimes Tue 20-Oct-09 12:06:12

Thanks for the quick response tiktok! Yeah, that's what I thought but the hv really threw me. At least I don't need to feel so guilty now!

tiktok Tue 20-Oct-09 12:13:35

Perhaps ask her what she meant, rather than just ignoring her..it's possible she may not have got her meaning over well and she has some concerns about your ds.

ParanoidAtAllTimes Tue 20-Oct-09 13:24:12

Well she didn't seem overly worried- she was pretty clear about how if I make sure I eat stodgy food (the words 'apple crumble' and 'cake' were used hmm), ds will continue to gain weight.

I'm worried because I don't know how to encourage him feed more than he is (plus he's vomited a fair bit recently ). Clearly the quality of my milk is not the problem then(although dp believes the hv on this matter hmm).

tiktok Tue 20-Oct-09 13:45:15

If she really, really thinks that apple crumble and cake eaten by the mother will increase weight in the baby, then she is in fairly urgent need of updating.

www.kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/change-milkfat.html is a good page to share with her, and your dh.

If your baby seems poorly and distressed with gut problems, then he really needs to be seen by a paed with an interest in gastric problems in babies.

You eating more cake will not help with this at all hmm

Hope you get some help and support soon.

worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 13:51:12

How do health visitors get away with being so inaccurate in their advise?! I can't see how any other HCP could get away with it to the extent that HVs do... hmm

ParanoidAtAllTimes Tue 20-Oct-09 14:03:54

tiktok - yes I'm going to push gp for a referral as I'm really concerned about his gut. Thanks for the link btw.

worriedamy - I know, it's worrying. She also asked me how much milk I can express as a way of gauging how much milk ds is having in each feed! Surely that's not right as babies are more efficient than pumps!

tiktok Tue 20-Oct-09 14:20:21

You're right - pumping is not an indication at all.

* babies may be more (or sometimes, less) efficient than a pump

* it doesn't matter how much you can get out - it only matters how much a baby takes in

* babies do not take the same at every feed

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