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Increasing percentile for breastfed baby

(22 Posts)
2015mom Thu 20-Apr-17 10:05:11

My LO was born on the 25th percentile but has dropped to the 9th percentile. Initially he dropped between the 2nd & 9th percentile so health visitor came to regularly weigh baby and he now seems to have settled on 9th percentile.

The health visitor said that the 9th percentile could be the percentile my LO is going to follow and as long as he continues to increase weight and stays on that line it is fine.

I wanted to get some tips on trying to increase his percentile by breastmilk only. Any tips please?

Custardmiteofglut Thu 20-Apr-17 10:29:45

Hi OP. Congratulation on your baby.
My first DC was exactly the same - started on 25th centile then dropped to 9th a couple of weeks after birth.
Due to a medical issues not related to his weight, we had to go for weigh-ins every 2 weeks, which were awful. I constantly felt the HV was judging his small weight gains on my lack of good feeding. However, he kept gaining consistently and tracking on the 9th centile. He's now 5 and pretty sturdy without being chubby.
Keep doing what you're doing with the breast feeding. As long as your DC is gaining weight consistently, is alert when awake, with lots of wet/dirty nappies, you're doing great.
Best of luck! smile

TheChineseChicken Thu 20-Apr-17 11:19:59

There's no need to increase percentiles in a healthy baby - a higher percentile isn't a target or an indictation of health. It's about consistency and following a trajectory. The percentiles on weight charts are all within the bounds of 'normal' so a higher value is not better than a lower value per se. So don't worry about trying to fatten up your baby smile

2015mom Thu 20-Apr-17 11:25:03

Thank you both. Very helpful.

Yeah LO is content and happy.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Apr-17 18:05:54

Agree with Chinese some children will follow the top of the chart, some the middle and some will follow the lower end of the chart. Some adults are heavy, some are average, some are slim. All is normal smile

NameChange30 Thu 20-Apr-17 18:09:28

How old is he?
How much did he weigh when he was born and how much does he weigh now?
Is breastfeeding going ok in general?
Has he been checked for tongue tie by someone trained to do so (lactation consultant or specialist midwife)?

2015mom Thu 20-Apr-17 20:32:11

He was born at 7lb 6oz and he is now 10 1/2 lbs.
He does have milk and has not problem latching on. He usually spits out milk after feeds because he has had so much milk.

Yes breastfeeding is going well, he is my second baby and I was making sure he was latched on properly because even though I breastfed for 13 months with first son, with second son had to start again because I realised every baby different and had to get used to small mouth rather than a toddler feeding lol

2015mom Thu 20-Apr-17 20:32:36

He is 9 weeks

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 22-Apr-17 10:12:28

How are things going now 2015?

2015mom Sat 22-Apr-17 11:12:06

Hi Jilted, I last got him weighed on Wednesday so will have to wait another month before I get him weighed.

The health Visitor said he was doing great when I got him weighed on Wednesday.

I think I am going to just express a bit more milk and top him up with expressed breast milk... or maybe give him 5 oz when he does have the bottle because that is how much he seems to drink when I give him the bottle.

Desperad0 Sat 22-Apr-17 11:39:08

I second the pp that mentioned tongue tie.

Dc2 never lost weight but didn't gain hugely
, was sick after most feeds not due to volume but by taking in air with feeds
- tongue tie diagnosed at 3 month

2015mom Sat 22-Apr-17 13:42:58

How do you establish whether baby is tongue tied... it's seens fine

NameChange30 Sat 22-Apr-17 15:49:32

You need someone trained to examine your baby's tongue function - "it seems fine" doesn't really cut it wink Especially if they're not putting on as much weight as expected, it makes sense to get it checked by a professional, just in case.

You have a few options; your best bet is to find a lactation consultant near you using this website (which lists NHS, voluntary and private lactation consultants):

The other option is to look up breastfeeding clinics near you and go to one of them, but a peer group won't do, it should be a drop-in with a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor who is trained to assess for tongue tie.

TheChineseChicken Sat 22-Apr-17 17:20:08

Why do you think there's a tongue tie? It doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with the baby's feeding or weight gain to me. Lots of babies start on one percentile and drop to a lower one and remain on this going forward. If the baby continues to drop percentiles then that would indicate a problem but it doesn't sound like that's what is happening here, unless I am mistaken OP.

NameChange30 Sat 22-Apr-17 17:27:52

I'm not saying he definitely has it, just that it's a possibility and worth checking.

NameChange30 Sat 22-Apr-17 17:30:54

"Problems which may be due to a tongue-tie:

Sore/damaged nipples
Nipples which look misshapen or blanched after feeds
Low milk supply
Exhaustion from frequent/constant feeding
Distress from failing to establish breastfeeding

Restricted tongue movement
Small gape resulting in biting/grinding behaviour
Unsettled behaviour during feeds
Difficulty staying attached to the breast or bottle
Frequent or very long feeds
Excessive early weight loss/ poor weight gain/faltering growth
Clicking noises and/ or dribbling during feeds
Colic, wind, hiccoughs
Reflux (vomiting after feeds)"


OP has already mentioned poor weight gain / faltering growth, and reflux, which made me think it could be tongue tie.

DS had tongue tie and we didn't have all the problems on the list but we did have a few of them.

reallyanotherone Sat 22-Apr-17 17:36:19

Honestly, if he's tracking the 9th percentile i wouldn't worry, and just keep doing what you're doing.

Mine started on the 25th and "caught down" to below the 0.4th. We got a check with paeds but she was tracking the percentile over time, and was otherwise perfectly healthy.

Percentiles are just averages. Mine just happened to be smaller than average. Unsuprisingly as dh and i were both small children.

Someone has to be smaller or larger, we can't all be average!!

flumpybear Sat 22-Apr-17 17:40:36

I wouldn't worry too much. If he looses more weight then I'd comboi feed personally. My DD was on the 59th centile at birth and dropped to between 2&9 centile because I breast fed - I started combi feeding after 7 weeks as she wasn't thriving and was clearly hungry, and she gradually went up after a massive spurt in weight, ended up on 75th centile, but very contended.
She's now 8 and when she had her 'fat' letter from school they said she was fine, I checked her percentile and it was 50th!!! Exactly what she was at birth!

DS I breast fed for two weeks but he dropped 12 per cent body weight so I combi fed by two weeks and he soon put on weight - he's 5 now and he used to be quite a little chunky toddler but now he's perfect all ways lolwink

riddles26 Sat 22-Apr-17 18:12:44

I second what a few others have said - mine was born on 25th then dropped down to 9th from weigh ins at 4 weeks onwards. By 16 weeks she was back upto 25th and is above it now at 6 months. Unless he is continuing to drop more centile lines, I wouldnt worry, a bit of variation is completely normal.

arbrighton Sat 22-Apr-17 18:28:44

Flumpy at no point does it say the babyy has LOST weight.

Just dropped some centiles but now tracking.

And, it depends which set of growth charts HV is using, as some still use the ones calibrated for formula which expects faster weight gain

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 22-Apr-17 19:31:41

Oh and OP my DD dropped from the 76th to the 25th pretty quickly, she was a right chubber when she was born. She's fracked the 25 ever since and is almost 10 now smile

2015mom Sat 22-Apr-17 19:46:39

Thank you everybody. It is all very helpful and reassuring .

Yes DS has not lost weight since he initial period straight after birth which is normal. He lost 7% which midwife was happy about. After that he has always gained but just dropped percentiles.

I don't have any issues with mastitis or sore nipples etc. Baby seems to be feeding well. It sounds pretty normal from this thread and also from health Visitor that normal to drop percentiles.

My first sone was born on 9th percentile and went up to the 25th and then the 50th and at 19 months he has remained on the 50th percentile.

I am pretty sure DS2 will increase at some point maybe when he is on solids lol but then weight gain then slows down because they are more mobile.

Guess I just need to continue as I am and maybe top up a few feeds with expressed milk. Or I could just regularly breast feed, no harm in extra feeds I suppose as I am currently feeding on demand.

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