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Negative comments about weight/size

(19 Posts)
ipswichwitch Sun 15-Jul-12 20:33:08

DS was born at 34wks weighing 4 lb 5. He's now 9 months old and has been following/just under the bottom centile for ages. We know he's small for his age, but twice this weekend we've had complete strangers complimenting him at first then they ask how old he is. When I told them they both reacted with shock bordering on horror at "how tiny he is, doesn't he eat?" and " my baby is 6 month, was 5lb born and is bigger than yours". Then all but accused me of starving him and my milk not being good enough.

Basically I'm sick of people and their negativity regarding his size. What doesn't help matters is the fact he's not a great eater of solids - we have good days and days where he eats nothing- and the fact he's just had gastroenteritis so has lost some weight too. He didn't have a good start in life -we lost his twin brother at 34 weeks and had to have a c section. He was on Scbu for 3 weeks trying to get feeding established and temp control sorted.

I'm getting upset by this now as this does keep hapening, and am wondering if any of you with premies had to put up with this, and did your DC start to catch up in terms of size?

TheTeardropExplodes Sun 15-Jul-12 21:04:46

I am amazed by the rudeness of some people - how dare they make comments like that!

My dd was born at 30 weeks and followed the 25th centile for her corrected age, so she was really tiny for her actual birth age. If strangers asked me how old she was, I just used to subtract 3 months from her birth age! It was much easier.

Now she is 7, she is one of the youngest in her class and about average in terms of height and weight.

Please don't let the hurtful comments of ignorant strangers upset you. They know nothing about the terrible struggles you have gone through to make your child well and healthy. Ignore them and enjoy your baby!

darkfever Sun 15-Jul-12 23:14:00

It's very rude of complete strangers to make comments like that - surely if your DS has been following the same centile curve (even if it's the bottom one), he's doing okay for himself?

Agree you should ignore them. They know nothing about your baby and his circumstances.

My DS was also born at 34 weeks, but he put on weight faster than average at first, and then followed the 75th centile for his corrected age.
So we tended to get comments like 'He doesn't look premature' instead. As if we're making it up because he's caught up size-wise....

ImissMiniPop Mon 16-Jul-12 02:06:10

sorry you've had a tough time from rude people sad if anyone asks how old minipop is I saw minus 3 weeks, and then explain. People think he's tiny, but he's so big now, he was much smaller.. grin

ipswichwitch Mon 16-Jul-12 11:42:41

Thanks everyone smile
I should just have told them to do one really as they were quite rude. Am worrying a bit about the HV visit next week as she said last time that if his weight gain didn't improve then she'd have to "ring alarm bells" whatever that means. The consultant was quite happy with him in April, and he sees him again in sept, so I shall say as long as he's happy then do are we.
Fwiw, he's a bright, happy and active little boy, he's getting nicely to grips with sitting (no crawling but then he hates being on his front) and is doing nicely in terms of other developments. I just wish people weren't so bloody rude

Rachstrawberry Mon 16-Jul-12 22:13:38

Please don't listen to your HV they are not specialists your consultant is... I just say this because my DS always followed just below the 0.4th line and the HVs made me so worried i started force feeding him, the poor boy would vomit and ended up with a food aversion crying as soon as he saw food! His consultant was not happy with the advise we had been given by HV team including stopping breast feeding which i did and now regret sad

Rachstrawberry Mon 16-Jul-12 22:15:59

Sorry, meant to add that you are an expert on your bubba too so trust your own instincts!

crazymum53 Tue 17-Jul-12 14:44:26

I used to get this ALL the time but my dd was very premature (27 weeks) weighing approx 800g at birth so that usually silenced the critics.
If you are breastfeeding your baby then the charts used by the HV are usually for bottle-fed babies and bottle-fed babies do tend to be bigger anyway!
Was the gastroenteritis diagnosed by the GP and did you take him to the surgery. I would use this as an excuse to delay having him weighed at the clinic (just in case it's still infectious) until closer to the hospital appointment and then ask the consultant about his weight.
I sometimes used to by-pass the HV and visit GP instead - she had worked with premature babies when training and so had more experience anyway!
The HV may be concerned but all she can do is refer your ds to GP or hospital anyway and if you have a hospital appointment coming up that's already covered really.

bishboschone Wed 18-Jul-12 10:07:33

How rude!!! My ds was born at 33 weeks weighing 3lb 13 ... He was also very poorly and had a month in scbu . He is ok now but has been a bit behind on milestones . I always say he is his age he should be . It's just easier then you don't have to deal with all the shit comments .

Mandy21 Wed 18-Jul-12 12:15:48

Hi - I agree with the other posters. Ignore the negative comments - like you say, he's a happy active little boy and as long as your consultant is happy I wouldn't worry. My DTs were born at 27 weeks and we had lots of negative comments re size - the worst was a complete stranger coming up to me in the park when they were about 7 months old and asking me how prem they'd been. When I asked her how she knew they were prem she said she could just tell, "they have that look that premature babies have". Still to this day don't know why I didn't tell her to mind her own business. If it does get you down, just knock off a couple of months to the busybodies to keep them quiet!

I would also be wary of the HV - I made a formal complaint about mine because she told mee I'd damaged their digestive systems by weaning them early (on the advice of our consultant). Most HVs have little or no training regarding premature babies and can't advise properly. My DTs were on the lowest centile until they properly got to grips with solid food - maybe at 8 or 9 months, but as others have said, those charts are for bottle fed babies which makes a difference if you're breastfeeding (the expected weights are lower for breastfed babies).

Sounds like he's doing very well, try not to worry.

ipswichwitch Wed 18-Jul-12 16:09:33

That's it rach, I don't want to give him issues with food by forcing him which is why we've gone more down the blw route as he responds much better when he can feed himself. Also, unknown to me my MIL took him to the HV clinic to get weighed then asked her for advice to reduce his milk feeds and she told her to stop giving milk through the day!!! Wtf!!?? I didn't know til I got home from work that he'd had hardly any milk through the day and as a result I had a horrendous night as he wanted to feed constantly. The aim of this is was to supposedly make him eat more solids, and I don't know who to be more outraged at.

The gastroenteritis was diagnosed by Gp crazymama, and I didn't know that about the weight charts. Very useful info, thanks. I think I'll just start using his corrected age in future

Evasmum12 Wed 18-Jul-12 19:50:20

Hey - I know how you feel, some people are so rude and nosy! My DD was born 1lb 11oz and stayed tiny for months, people always mistook her for a newborn and looked at me in horror when I told them her age - cue me quickly trying to explain - it got extremely frustrating.

Also had a woman comment on a train loudly "she shouldn't be holding a newborn like that" - DD was 6 months old and holding her own head up.

As others have said, telling people DC's corrected age if you don't want to go into it all helps


Evasmum12 Wed 18-Jul-12 19:59:11

Also, it used to wind me up when people asked me how much DD weighed, then say "omg X weighed that much when he was born hahaha"

Rachstrawberry Thu 19-Jul-12 03:49:54

I know what you mean, when i put DS in an upright pushchair rather than a pram a woman stopped us in the street to give me a lecture on newborn positioning- im sure she meant well but he was 5 months old and wanted to see the world!

ipswich i cannot believe your MIL did that! You must have been fuming angry

sleeplessinsuburbia Thu 19-Jul-12 06:52:41

My full term ds was on the second centile for over a year. I discovered how competitive people can be about baby size. As he walked early it looked ridiculous and people always commented then compared.

Duvunder Thu 19-Jul-12 17:56:54

My ex-prem was under 750g and is now 5. As everyone has said, try to ignore what people say, not easy I know. Sometimes I tried to just feel smug I didn't have a porker like they had (not very grown up I know!). DD was off the chart completely for months but did get onto it and now is still small but not absolutely minute. It took until she was about 4 before she had a bit of growth spurt.
Also PLEASE don't take advice from your HV. Unless you are very lucky they appear to have absolutely no training in prems. You are much more expert than her (no offence to her personally) and be confident in your own opinion and look to your hospital for advice if you are worried.

ShellJayne Thu 19-Jul-12 20:29:39

Hi. My ds was 10 weeks prem and yes I got and still get comments about how small he is. It's hard but as others have said just ignore them as they have no idea what you and dc has been through. My best friend constantly goes on about his size (she has no kids) as you can imagine I don't see her much anymore. I stressed myself out so much panicking that he wasn't eating enough that it consumed my whole life. Eventually - at about 16months adjusted - he started eating well. And you know what - he is still tiny.

Melindaaa Thu 19-Jul-12 20:35:33

I really don't think people mean to be rude. My twins were born at 23 weeks weighing just over 1lb (500g) so trust me, I have had plenty of comments in the past two years.

I just say they were born very prematurely so are a little bit behind. I have skin thicker than rhino hide though, and am virtually impossible to offend. I always like to think that people speak before they engage their brains, but don't really mean to cause any upset.

TheTeardropExplodes Fri 20-Jul-12 10:46:04

You may be right Melindaaa, people don't always realise that they are being insensitive with their comments about a baby's size. They are just making casual conversation.

I felt so unbearably (and irrationally) guilty about my dd being born early that I took any slightly negative comment to heart. In my rational brain, I knew that it wasn't my fault, but in the fug of hormones and tiredness, I felt that I had already failed in my first job as a mother. So a throwaway comment like, 'Isn't she sitting yet?' would make me feel even more guilty.

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