What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbookFind out more
Too much weight gain in a breastfed baby?(52 Posts)
Saw the health visitor today who told me to increase the time between feeds for my 6 week old soon as he is gaining too much weight. He’s not on a schedule and I feed on demand with feeding cues as recommended by the hospital and initial health visitor.
He is exclusively breastfed and had gone from 8lbs at birth to 12.6lbs at 6 weeks. He does look a bit chubby but he just loves eating and gets really stressed out if he cues to be fed and I don’t feed him.
It’s really knocked my confidence and I don’t know what to do - is this weight gain too much, should I stop feeding on demand and try and push him to a schedule?
Any similar experiences?
There's no such thing as a over fed breast fed baby. Feed as much as possible , it's a lot better to have a over weight than under weight baby
What utter rubbish! Sounds like you're doing an amazing job.
You’re doing exactly what your baby needs. Ignore!
Sorry, I realise you asked for similar experiences! I assume your DS has moved up a centile and the HV is paying more attention to the charts than the baby in front of her. My DD was bf on demand, was born on 50th centile and moved up to 75th, then between 75th & 91st. It's not a problem in a breastfed baby, you can't overfeed them. HVs advice is at best ignorant and at worst dangerous. Keep doing what you're doing
At 6 weeks it’s likely they’re going through a leap/growth spurt. Keep going as you are
Oh for goodness sake, your HV is an idiot, please ignore them!!
My breastfed DS was off the top of the weight chart, and climbing further upwards, and was seen by numerous doctors and consultants (for an unrelated issue) and ALL of them said that his weight was fantastic and to carry on feeding on demand.
I was told babies have no notion of greed. They ask to be fed because they need to eat. I'd carry on as you are.
A doctor once told me that birth weight was indicative of the functioning of the placenta and therefore was not necessary the ‘normal’ weight for a baby. Instead, the weight at 6 weeks was more accurate for the baby’s norm. My dd jumped from 50th to 90th centile in 6 weeks (bf) and has stayed there ever since.
Keep going as you are. I expect that weight gain will now be in line with the current centile.
Echoing pps, ignore. I used to worry about this but the HVs essentially told me to stop being daft and you can't overfeed an ebf baby. I just looked at my eldest's red book and he went from 8lbs 12 to 14lbs 3 by week 7. He was such a chunk. But his weight gain slowed by 7 months or so once weaning and now as a very active toddler, he is almost skinny! DC2 looks to be competing with him in the chub stakes
No such thing as too much weight gain.
You are clearly producing gold top
Whoops I missed the bit about similar experiences too. DD's weight gain was almost identical to your DS's. GP and HV were delighted with her. Keep up the good work!
I had exactly the same. DD went from 50th centile at birth to 91st at 6 weeks. Got exactly the same speech from HV, including her telling me that DD was at risk of childhood obesity because I was overfeeding her. I'm naturally anxious, and also really struggled with breastfeeding (and just the usual omfg of having your first baby), and this made me a bit of a wreck.
I mentioned it to my GP, and he was furious. Told me not to pay any attention, the HV was talking utter rubbish. I actually stopped taking her to be weighed after that, it was fairly evident from her rolls of chub that she was thriving, and saved me endless hours of queuing at our drop in centre. Fwiw, she is now 5, and although relatively tall, she is also very lean.
Enjoy your chubby baby, and please don't let the hv's comments prey on your mind like I did
I am not a parent, so this question is asked in pure curiosity:
Why is a breastfed baby never considered to be too fat but a breastfed baby can be? Assuming it is the actual amount of weight on the baby that is the concern, presumably fat is fat?
This is not really related to the OP’s question but I was simply wondering, as I can’t quite understand the rationale....?
OMG this is bringing back memories of the same thing with my DD. I'm sure it was round about the same time too. However I remember at her 5 day check up with HV they weighed her and she had gained several ounces and they said she must have been weighed wrongly in hospital as babies always lose weight in first week. Thank goodness my mum was in the room as she said "nonsense her mum (me) had gained the very same at same age" so no more was said. I weighed her weekly at the surgery's baby group meet up and around 6 wks was told she had gained 1lb in a week so was clearly over fed and to stop breast feeding and feed her bottles every 4-6 hours rather than demand feeding that I was doing - she slept through from 5 weeks so clearly she was happy!! I was devastated and cried to my mil who told me nonsense and not to listen. The following week I was told that the scales had been wrong the previous week ( no apology for my anguish and mis-advice) and that now she had lost weight so again got remonstrated so stopped going as it was so stressful. She was the happiest baby ever and looking back at photos I can't believe I believed I was over or under feeding her.
I was a new mum too and she was my rainbow baby so I was on edge anyway. I later went on to have awful anxiety issues which I conquered fortunately but those HV sessions were more stressful than helpful.
OP you know your baby and if you want you can balance a cardboard box on some scales to weigh your baby to see if you want. That's what my mum did and saved her unwelcome stress too.
Ox breast milk is a live substance that adapts to babies needs. The first part is formilk that is hydrating but while baby is taking that their saliva touching mums nipple actually tells mum body what to make to go into the hind milk. Sounds crazy i know but check out kellymom.com and you can see the research backs this up. So of baby really doesn't need much more calories but wants to comfort such mums body will reduce the calories and trickel the milk. If baby has picked up a virus mums milk will apapt to have more anti bodies than anything else. If baby is dehydrated then it will adapt to be more hydrating less calorific. If baby hasn't had their vit d requirements met by the sun mums body will take extra vit d from her fat stores.
Where as formula (as wellas not having thingslike anti bodies in it) is obviously not a live substance and is a generic guess at what a baby needs at a given time so if you've got a baby needing to comfort suck or extra vitimins or similar they have to take the extra calories as well. There is also an article (linked on kellymom i think) about how a bottle shape is different to a nipple and because just placing it in the babies mouth it hits a certain part of the palet it kicks off the suck reflex and a mouth of milk kicks off the swallow reflex and so babies end up take more from a bottle than they would from the breast (although there is evidence behind this -everything on kellymom is supported by evidence based research, mostly who/unicef etc) it's clearly not 100% as no ff baby finishes off every bottle!! And it can be a useful reflex for babies who don't have the energy to nurse effectively (learning to bf is hard work for babies) like my v prem twins.
If this isn't explained well enough for you to understand you can check the info directly.
Nonsence and hoping you can ignore.
I had the same but in reverse. DS was massive at birth, undiagnosed gestational diabetes was suspected.
So, once home he did lose weight, as I was told would happen, until he reached the weight that he was supposed to be without all the blood sugar he got from me.
Hv freaked out and told me he was ‘failing to thrive’ because he was going down the centiles. As he started off the chart and went down to I think 90% ish at that point, and had so many rolls of fat it was unbelievable, he was absolutely fine.
But the hv told me that the gestational diabetes was ‘irrelevant’, and every baby needed to track exactly along the birth weight percentile, and therefore I was starving him!
Cue lots of really crap breast feeding & top up formula, which of followed would have ensured breast feeding would have stopped and I’d have had that to feel a failure about along with everything else I was feeling at that stage.
I’m sure there are some amazing health visitors out there. Sadly, I’ve only ever met one (who wasn’t in my borough). Oh and some great hv post on here so they definitely do exist!
Unfortunately, in my experience, the others have given. advice that melds old wives tales and outdated medical advice with scare tactics and black & white rules that didn’t reflect real life.
I always thought that you couldn’t overfed a breast fed baby and I’m a bit at a loss of what you’re supposed to do when he’s hungry based on what she said. Maybe it’s worth making sure that your baby definitely is hungry as in the early days I used to feed my baby at every cry because it always worked but I don’t know looking back if she was always hungry.
But if he definitely is hungry then carry on feeding him on demand
He is thriving! My son weighed 7lb 9oz, a week and a half later he was 8lb 11oz and at 4 weeks he weighed just over 11lb. He is also exclusively bf. He doesn't poo very often...only if we take his nappy off and he has some nudie time randomly.
Trust your instincts @londonfeather
Ignore. Your health visitor is a dick OP!
You and bubba know what’s best and it’s boobies on demand xx
Join the discussion
Please login first.