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How long did your newborn take to regain birth weight?

(33 Posts)
MsP0b Fri 09-Mar-18 10:35:31

My daughter is 24 days old and still 9% below birthweight. So far she's exclusively breastfed w good latch, plenty of poo and wet nappies and a good sleeper. I've been expessing to boost supply and getting about 60ml a day off.

I'm under pressure from health professionals now to add formula feeds. Should I, or is this length of time to regain pretty common?

How long did you newborn take to regain?

Thank you

KimmySchmidt1 Fri 09-Mar-18 10:59:41

10 days, EBF (birth weight was 8.5lbs). If I was in your position I would mix feed, I think if your baby is getting breast milk then they’re getting all the benefits. I don’t see the downside of adding formula to get their weight up.

Thundercatshoooo Fri 09-Mar-18 11:03:58

With our first child it took over 5 weeks, she was only 6.13 at birth too. She had a tongue tie that was only picked up at around 5 weeks. I didn't want to get it snipped so I struggled on. The hp I saw were all overly pro breastfeeding, they were very happy me plodding on just breastfeeding and never suggested adding formula.

Our daughter was very unsettled for months and was falling off the weight chart. I was so set on breastfeeding too I think I failed to see she was starving! We did eventually top her up for a couple of months at around 4 months old, but only 1 feed a day. I carried on feeding until she was 13 months and she's fine, she went from falling off the chart to 50th centile once she was about 12 months old.

It's only since we've had our second child who was over 8 pounds when he was born and had regained birth weight in 5 days we realised our 1st was probably starving. Our second child is exclusively breast fed too and is at the very top of the weight chart. He cries, eats and then he's happy. I can't believe how easy it has been this time, I think I assumed it was normal for them to be so unsettle, it wasn't.

I wish with our daughter we had got the tongue tie sorted and I also wish I'd have topped up with formula when she needed it. I was convinced if I gave her formula I would have to stop feeding, I didn't.

As long as you continue to pump so you aren't dropping lots of feeds completely it's fine. I know how it feels when you really don't want to give them formula, but sometimes it's far better to top them up.

childmindingmumof3 Fri 09-Mar-18 11:08:30

Still 9% off at 24 days would be a big worry to me, I think most regain by a week/10 days. Have you seen the GP?
Breastfeeding is great, but fed is best.

Bellamuerte Fri 09-Mar-18 11:14:50

Mine lost a worrying amount (over 1lb in three days) and took about a fortnight to regain it. I'd be worried if he was 24 days and still so far below birth weight. In your position I would supplement with formula. Perhaps also do a day where you pump and bottle feed, so you can measure how much milk you're producing?

elliejjtiny Fri 09-Mar-18 11:19:54

Dc1 was a week old, dc2 was 4 weeks, dc3 was a month, dc4 I'm not sure and dc5 was 19 days according to his red book.

Lazypuppy Fri 09-Mar-18 11:20:52

She was born 7lb 13oz
Day 3 she was 7lb 4oz
Day 10 she was 8lb 6oz.
Day 42 she is 10lb 2oz

I would be worried after that amount of time. As others have said fed is best.

EekThreek Fri 09-Mar-18 11:31:24

All three of mine have regained within 10 days - DD1 was 7 days, DS was actually 3 days, both EBF.

DD2 (now 5wo) took 10 days, she was mix fed from 2 days old as had tongue tie and was latching poorly. The first couple of days she had 2 x 2oz, then she was on 1 x 2oz.

She had gained an extra 9oz by 3wo, bringing her to 9lb. She's been EBF since 4wo but I haven't had her reweighed since then to see how her weight gain is going.

MsP0b Fri 09-Mar-18 15:02:17

Thank you everyone for your experiences and advice.

It's a no brainier now isn't it... my baby needs more food than I'm currently giving and it's available in Sainsbury's at the end of the road! If I resist ff now it's for selfish reasons (I don't want to feel I've failed at bf) rather than what's best for my girl which is to get the food she needs to grow. This has just clicked for me in that I now don't feel terrible about giving formula.

I will continue to bf, pump and I'm starting fenugreek today so who knows maybe we'll phase out formula top ups later.

Big thanks all x

Thundercatshoooo Fri 09-Mar-18 16:29:42

Don't feel like you've failed, you haven't! Chances are like you say you might be able to phase the formula out. Hope your little one gets back to birth weight soon xx

Rach000 Fri 09-Mar-18 21:37:49

You should top up with formula. It's not a problem giving a bit of formula as well as breastfeeding. And yes you might be able to phase it out when sorted. But it's also nice to have it as.a backup if you want a break or your partner can feed as well.
We topped up with my first as I was so tired at times and she would feed for hours and hours and I couldn't do it. She did have a slight tongue tie which we didn't get snipped as thought she was doing ok but should have had it done like someone else has said. As think she would have fed better and quicker if I did. My second feeds better and has done from the start.
I think my babies had put their weight back on by the 10 days.

wokingjames Fri 09-Mar-18 22:18:34

Ours took about 24 days to regain, formula fed but much chopping and changing of feeds. She settled on Aptimal anti reflux, 8 x 50mls and that got her piling on the grams. 6 weeks later she's 3.5kg vs 3kg birthweight.

Bobbiepin Fri 09-Mar-18 22:25:31

You definitely haven't failed and please don't let the sleep deprivation of early motherhood convince you otherwise. I was in a similar position, DD took 3.5 weeks to regain her birth weight, dripping from the 50th to 9th centile, which she's stayed at.

I was a complete wreck and felt like a massive failure. It was almost enough to push me to PND. I had midwives and lactation consultants telling me I was doing everything right (as it sounds lile you are too) but she wasn't gaining. We now combination feed (two bottles of formula a day) and although she's little, she is following her curve exactly.

Pumping to up your supply is a good idea, but one or two bottles a day shouldn't have a hugely damaging effect on your supply. As PP said, your DD will still be getting all the benefits from your milk, but the formula will help her up her weight a bit quicker.

Be kind to yourself OP.

PandaPieForTea Fri 09-Mar-18 22:33:16

My second took over the 2 weeks they like to give as a deadline. She was demand fed formula and just wouldn’t take that much milk. Realistically it was because she was massive at birth (nearly 10lbs at 38 weeks) and is naturally a 25-50th centimetres child. She looked really fat and the slimmed down to a normal size and has tracked her line since.

My HV started to suggest that we’d have to see our GP about DD being below her birth weight, but I knew that a GP would take one look at DD and say she was fine.

So I think you have to look at the full picture and see if what’s happening makes sense.

WhereIsBlueRabbit Fri 09-Mar-18 22:35:41

A month, after losing 17% in the first five days. We were in hospital for a few days and then mix fed after that.

Phoenix76 Fri 09-Mar-18 23:12:13

I remember these struggles only too well! You’re honestly doing amazing. The only things I would add to the others that helped me is the website Kellymoms was a great resource and get yourself a decent pump. Obviously I don’t know your financial situation but I rented a hospital grade pump, saved my sanity. Good luck, fwiw I combination fed and it was fine but like others have said it could be a temporary thing and you could go back to ebf once it levels out.

Pythonesque Fri 09-Mar-18 23:30:19

You're taking the right message from this discussion, and I hope things are heading in the right direction. The two things I learned (previous life worked in paeds for a bit) as a rough guide were lose no more than 10% birth weight and regain by 2 weeks. Neither of my (fairly large at birth) children got back to birth weight till about 3 weeks and both probably lost about 10% or a little more, but I think partly because of their overall size this wasn't really commented on.

To still be 9% under at your stage suggests either a concerning degree of weight loss earlier on, or ongoing very slow weight gain, or probably a combination of both. Have you been seen by anyone else as well as midwives / health visitor?

You mention "good sleeper" - sometimes a newborn can be "too good" - is your little one perhaps having fewer feeds in the day than would be ideal? Is there any lingering jaundice? (if so then they need assessment at this point on that basis)

Best wishes

ZZZZ1111 Sat 10-Mar-18 09:31:39

This is a useful article :

MinnieMousse Sat 10-Mar-18 09:39:57

DD1 - terrible reflux, BF but I was seriously lacking in understanding about how often she needed to feed - took I think 4 weeks to regain. She was started on formula top-ups at 2 weeks. I never managed to get back to EBF and FF from 3 months. With hindsight, I regret the top-ups.

DD2, I wanted to EBF. She had reflux too and a tongue tie which was snipped at 3 weeks. Didn't regain birth weight until she was 6 weeks old!

Both DDs were otherwise alert and healthy apart from slow weight gain.

What was her birth weight? Both mine were pretty big (9lb8 and 9lb2). With several years hindsight, I can now see that they experienced catch-down growth. Both born over the 90th centile for weight and now both around the 25th centile!

MsP0b Sat 10-Mar-18 11:46:58

She was 7lb 4oz at birth, a bit artificially puffed up on fluid probably because I was on IV.

Feeding update:
She gobbled down 45ml top up ff at teatime, a 50ml ebm top up mid eve then only wanted a 25ml ff top up at 11.30. Obviously in addition to normal bf. After that she woke 2 hourly in the night to bf instead of usual 3 hourly.

Hope to see results on the scales! X

MsP0b Sat 10-Mar-18 11:54:42

She's been weighed and visited by lots of midwives, HV and bf support worker. Her loss/ gain pattern has been 10, 6, 8, 10, 9, 9% roughly so basically she lost 10% quickly then plateaued at that for 3 weeks.
I've got a Calypso pump hired now, and since yesterday I've been double pumping so that's much more effective. If it hadn't been for the snow, we'd have had the pump a week earlier which might have made all the difference.

I've woken up stinking of curry today from the fenugreek supplements!

Thanks all for lovely advice and support x

Pythonesque Sat 10-Mar-18 12:17:45

Sounds promising, hope you see significant weight gain soon. If you don't see a substantial difference over the next week though, please see your GP (unless someone refers you in for paediatric assessment). Just in case there is anything else going on.

MsP0b Sat 10-Mar-18 13:42:09

Saw a GP yesterday for an issue unrelated to feeding (I felt some nobbles at the back of DD's neck, turned out to be lymph nodes and told not to worry). I brought up the weight loss and my plan to mix feed and the GP agreed and just said make sure you bf first before giving formula to keep supply up.

Next weigh in is Monday so will continue to closely monitor.

Caterina99 Sat 10-Mar-18 15:42:39

Both my children took a while to get back up to birth weight. With DS I lost a lot of blood and was v unwell and my milk supply was just not up to it. we mix fed and tried hard to get back to bf but it never properly worked and we moved fully to formula at about 4 months. He thrived though on the mix feeding.

DD (now nearly 5 months) took a while to get back to birth weight - about a month. Mostly due to jaundice and prob my supply taking a while to catch up. We had to give her formula top ups. However once she got going she is fully breast fed apart from one bottle of formula a day. I chose to give her that to give me a break. She could be ebf. My advice is feed every 2 hours. Express after each feed and also top them up after each (or most) feeds. It’s totally soul destroying as you basically can’t leave the house, but it worked in a week for my DD and we were able to ditch the expressing and the top ups

ODog Sat 10-Mar-18 20:08:26

Firstly, you have done amazingly and given your baby the best possible start and the most important thing is to ensure that your baby is getting enough milk. If they are having lots of heavy wet and dirty nappies (see NHS page for the guideline amounts by age) then this is a good sign that plenty is going in. How frequently and for how long is baby feeding?

Personally I would try to see an IBCLC privately in the next day or so before you start formula. They may be able to diagnose a TT that’s previously been missed and really observe a feed to ensure positioning and attachment is good and baby is transferring milk well.

It’s obviously a worry when they lose and don’t regain weight but there are sometimes lots of reasons for this. Having fluids during labour/section can inflate birth weight for example. It is very rare that an otherwise healthy mother is unable to produce enough milk if she is given the right support.

Giving formula top ups can lead to you producing less and less milk and needing more and more top
ups so in lots of cases it’s a slippery slope away from bf.

Having said that. Lots of people successfully mix feed for a long time and any breast milk is beneficial, even a teaspoon a day is better than none. It’s also possible to get back to ebf once baby has started gaining weight if you want to.

Breastfeeding is a 2 way street and if one or other party don’t want to do it anymore then that is fine and formula will sustain and grow your baby.

It’s obviously up to you but I want you to know that this isn’t the end of the line and there are other options. You can do this (if you want!).

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