Has anyone else's baby lost weight?

Liz - posted on 03/22/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My daughter just turned 9 months old. At her 6 month checkup, she weighed 17 pounds. I just weighed her tonight and she's down to 15.5 pounds. I am breastfeeding, but she's also eating solids 3 times a day. She nurses every 4 hours during the day and then 1.5 hours after her first three feeds she gets a jar of baby food. She never acts hungry in between and after everything I feed her, she spits up some. Every time. It doesn't seem to bother her though. She eats great, she sleeps great, and she's generally a happy baby. Unless of course I walk out of the room, but that's a separate issue.



I have 3 other children and have never had them lose weight. I also have never breastfed this long so that may have something to do with it. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and what you did about it, if anything. I expect I will get some grief from the doctor when I take her for her checkup and I'm wondering how I should handle this as well? I don't want to start her on formula now if I don't have to. Advice/suggestions/support welcome! Thank you!

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Solids shouldn't replace breast milk at this stage. I would decrease solids or even stop for a few weeks and offer the breast more frequently. Breast milk has the calories and fat she needs to keep growing. If not getting enough milk is her issue then you will know pretty soon by offering her more. She should go back to gaining.

Rebekah - posted on 03/28/2012

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Liz, I think formula is really a great idea for you. If I'd listen to my maternal instincts when my daughter was about 9-10 months old, and switched or supplemented with formula, I would have saved both of us from a lot of trama. In hindsight, I feel very guilty for that.



I'll also add, as Lori A mentioned, that you might want to just supplement with formula at first and let your milk supply naturally decrease. That will save you for being engorged and allow your daughter to have another month or so of breast-milk. I did that with my first child when he was 5 months old, and was able to continue to nurse him in the night and morning for an additional 3 months.

Rebekah - posted on 03/24/2012

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My daughter DID lose weight. She was 18lbs at 9 months and then only 16lbs at 1 year. Her pediatrician was VERY concerned. They did several blood test, took a stool sample, took a urine sample, and had me return every 4 weeks for more blood tests and a weight check (for 6 months). She was anemic initially, but they never really identified why she lost weight. Her pediatrician did NOT want me to continue to nurse. She told me that my supply was likely too low and that my daughter might be holding out for milk that was not there... or going to be there. So I weaned her entirely to whole milk with carnation instant breakfast or Pediasure within a couple months (at 15 months). Obviously though, because your daughter is younger, that would not be the right solution for you.



I imagine if your daughter has lost weight that you'll be in for a lot of tests too at your next appointment. They had to draw blood out of both of my daughter's arms because they couldn't get enough from one of them. It was horrible holding her down to do that. They also gave her a little catheter to get a urine sample. After the blood draw that wasn't too bad, but it's still hard to watch your baby go through something like that. So just a heads up, in case they feel the need to do the same.



How do you feel about your milk supply? You might want to start taking an herbal supplement (like blessed thistle, fenugreek, or drinking Mother's Milk tea) to increase your supply from now until your appointment. I also wonder if you might need to nurse her more frequently and give less solids. Or maybe nurse and then give solids immediately. That way she might fill up on breast-milk (with more calories) and not on the solids.... I don't know?!



So, I really don't have much advice to offer, but I certainly know how stressful it is and how it can make you feel like such a bad mother. Hugs to you! And maybe it's the scale and will not be an issue at all.

Lori - posted on 03/23/2012

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You could print out one of those charts that Heather gave you the link for (or if the links don't work, google WHO growth chart), and bring that with you to the Dr's office. If the Dr does say anything, you can ask if he's using the chart for breastfed babies. You can even plot the points from previous months height and weight measurements to have ready.



The only thing I'd say is if she really has lost weight from 6 months to 9 months and she hasn't been sick with a flu bug or something else that explains why she's lost weight then you do need to have a conversation with your Dr. about it. If she's just not gained, but not lost weight either, I'd be much less concerned.



Do you have an IBCLC near you that you could also consult with? If the Dr does end up recommending supplemental feedings I'd suggest you call your local IBCLC and see what advice she can give you. Generally formula isn't the right answer, but it seems like an easy go to answer for many doctors who are not as knowledgable about breastfeeding as they should be.

Heather - posted on 03/23/2012

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I agree with Lori...her entire post. I know our scale at home (even the one that the "big" people in our house use!) is off from what the dr scale says. I am lighter at home than I am at the dr!



I have 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy)...all have been bf. My youngest is almost 10 months old. He is still breastfeeding. And with each of mine, at about the 6 month mark began "leveling" off in weight. The girls: my oldest was 17 lbs at a year, my second was only 15 lbs at a year (plus a few ounces) and my little guy is 18 lbs 2 oz. already. But he also has stopped gaining and is instead maintaining. Like Lori said at this age, they are now exploring their world which means they are more active, crawling, standing, etc...and are more easily distracted. I offer my breast to my son more often because if I don't he won't always "remember" that he is hungry! And when offered, he gladly accepts and nurses.



I posted at another place about our middle one...at 6 months old the drs labeled her with "failure to thrive"...she had to have certain tests done to "rule out" health issues, blood work, a sweat test, etc...Of course, we were upset. I was more so because I feared it was my fault since I was breastfeeding her. Is it me?? All those questions...well, after all the tests, they determined that she is just tiny. Very healthy. I am small and my husband isn't huge either. She is now 6 1/2 and still only weighs 35 lbs!



Also, I learned that breastfed babies have their own growth chart...and most pedriatricians don't follow it...they just go by the standard growth charts (which are outdated---more recent ones are out). check it out...



http://kellymom.com/health/growth/growth... OR http://www.workandpump.com/growth.htm



OR if you google "growth charts for breastfed babies" you will find several hits on this topic.



Looking at my own 3, mine were right one with these charts whereas they "fell" off their curve based on the one the dr uses..."breastfed babies grow at a more rapid pace during the first 3 months of life compared to that of formula fed babies...but begin to level off by 6 months esp if exclusively breastfed whereas formula fed babies continue to grow at the same pace from birth to a year."

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Lori - posted on 03/28/2012

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You mention switching to formula... but you could also just supplement with formula while also continuing to breastfeed. Just trying to give you more options.

Liz - posted on 03/27/2012

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I appreciate everyone's comments and advice. After talking with my husband, we think it would be best if we just switch her to formula :( I am sad about it, but I really think it will just be better for my daughter. I am also hoping that I can talk the doctor into letting us come in for weight checks before doing any potentially traumatic (for me!) testing, but her checkup isn't until next week, so we will see! Thank you all for helping!

Kelly - posted on 03/27/2012

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My son is 8mos and from 6.5mos to 7.5mos his weight went back and fourth between 1lb.. He certianly got longer b/c his clothes became lil man-pre's..and forearms stuck out and got cold.. Although his weight was fluctuating back and fourth I didn't worry b/c his mental alertness and dexterity improved all the time. My daughter didn't crawl as quickly as my son did and lots of kids spend more time figuring things out, expanding the neurological connections before they're interested in crawling.

I did see an episode with Dr. Sears explaining the chart. That may be worth looking into as well.

And as usual.. Sara D and Lori A. pretty much said the rest.

All the best to you with breastfeeding success mama!



God Bless,



Kellz

Liz - posted on 03/23/2012

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Thank you ladies. I know our scale is not exactly the same as the one at the doctor's, but I also know it's only off by a few ounces. She doesn't crawl (isn't even interested in it, which frustrates me no end!) or pull up on furniture. She's content to just sit in the middle of the floor, surrounded by toys.

I had heard about breastfed babies having their own growth chart, and also that doctors don't follow them, which was my main concern. I fear the doctor will see that she's not matching up to the chart he uses, and request a bunch of testing, or supplemental formula feedings, which I don't want. I am sure she is longer than she was, but I just got her 3-6 month clothes back out of the tote - which I had previously put away because she was too big for! She was born very chunky and stayed that way until just a couple of months ago. I am really just hoping to not get a lot of grief from the doctor!

Heather - posted on 03/23/2012

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One more thing...since we went thru this with our second...at my son's 9 month check-up, our pedatrician was like "he has begun to level off just like his sisters but looking at the chart, he is right where he should be regarding his weight and height since he is still nursing". She has been using both charts (the old and the revised) since the updated one came out in 2006 (I think that is when WHO and CDC released them).

Lori - posted on 03/22/2012

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I'm wondering about the accuracy of your scale vs the scale at the doctors office. Have you weighed your baby at home and had it match up with the weight at the dr's office before?



Neither of my girls has ever lost weight from one month to the next, but my older daughter did have a few months of no (or very very limited) growth - around the 9 month mark. And I breastfed my older daughter 23 months, and am still breastfeeding my LO who is now 16 months.



Just a few thoughts here: She's 9 months old... I'm guessing since her 6 month check up she's started crawling and possibly pulling herself up to standing too. Being more active can cause a baby to thin out some. Also, around this age babies are more distractible and it takes more effort to get them to settle in and nurse. She may not be acting hungry between feeds (there's so many other cool things to check out in this great bid world), but maybe if offered more she'd eat more?????? You could try offering to nurse her after 3 hours rather than waiting 4 and see if she's ready to nurse again.

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