HELP! My 6 month old is losing weight!

Rhianna - posted on 05/19/2011 ( 57 moms have responded )

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My 6 month old lost half a pound in 2 weeks, he now weighs less than he did at 4 months. He takes solids well, but is not getting enough breastmilk. I'm pretty sure he is only getting about 2 ounces (1 ounce on each side) each time he nurses (about 5 times a day). I've pumped and only get about an ounce out. And, I've weighed him before and after feedings and he only gains about 2 ounces. How do I increase my supply, because I would really prefer not to have to start him on formula.

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Pamela - posted on 05/29/2011

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I'd ditch the solids for a while, eat/drink some galactagogues and concentrate on breastfeeding. Solids at this age are not more calorie-dense than breastmilk and aren't digested as well.

Do you feed on demand, even at night? Check out the research about night time feedings. They can really bring a baby's weight up and boost your milk supply.

[deleted account]

Rhianna, you could feed him more often, as the more milk he takes from you the more your body makes.Make sure he has his breastfeed before his solids - his primary nutritional source at this age should be breast milk. You might want to cut down on the amount of solids you give him.

Chelsea - posted on 05/20/2011

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I'm really big on mothers finding their own right path with their family. what's right for you may be wrong for me, and visa-versa. So I say this with that in mind. Please see a lactation consultant. If you can't afford one, then contact a local le leche league leader. They post their contact info on their websites. There are people and organizations available for assistance with breast feeding. If that doesn't work or those resources are unavailable you should see your child's pediatrician. Many have lactation nurses on staff and they can make sure that the weight loss isn't something to do with your child. Also try WIC, even if you don't qualify for their services, they may still let you see one of their lactation consultants if you explain your situation. Please don't wait to see someone and get individualized help. BF can succeed, and you can find a way that is healthy for you both. I hope this helps, good luck.

Wolfmama - posted on 05/21/2011

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Nurse on demand, especially at night when your prolactin levels for increasing milk supply are the highest. Also, keep in mind that pumping is not as efficient as drinking on tap and is not accurate in telling how much you are producing. My motto about nursing: when in doubt, NURSE! Also, I found that my son tended t get distracted around that age so making sure I was in a quiet place helped him nurse longer. Ensuring that you are allowing plenty of time for comfort nursing without using a soother will up your supple because it is comfort nursing that signals your body to produce more milk. Good luck!

[deleted account]

You're not drying up. When supply is well established (which usually happens around 2-3 months) it is very rare to just dry up. I would really cut back on solids. Breast milk has more calories in it. Nurse him frequently. Spend some time skin to skin with him. Take baths together, nap and sleep together if you can. Allow him unrestricted access to your breast. The more he nurses the more your body will start to make. You can also try pumping after he nurses for a few days. There are also supplements that you can try. Fenugreek is a popular supplement to help increase milk supply. Here are some more ideas for supplements to increase milk:

http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksuppl...



Hang in there. It could take a couple days of nursing very frequently for your supply to boost. Also make sure you're taking care of you. Plenty of water and healthy meals/snacks. Good luck!

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Keely - posted on 06/03/2011

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This happened to me second at four months he weighed the same as he did at two months. I saw a consultant and she said to take fenugreek and blessed thistle. Also she had me feeding and pimping A LOT. Every two hours breastfeed and then pump for fifteen minutes on each side. His stomach had to grow so I was having to give him all the milk I was pumping. It was a difficult process but my supply eventually increased and he started to grow. If you really don't want to start formula it's worth the process.

Mel - posted on 06/02/2011

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theres tablets u can take to increase supply and I think some other things, but also add calories to the food he's eating. My my baby was losing weight they added butter to all the foods she had, gave her cream cheese, avacado, peanut butter etc. See if that helps

Bridgette - posted on 05/31/2011

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I breastfed my son up to 10 months before he self weaned and my son did loose weight around about 6 months as well.If u want to continue breastfeeding I would do more breastfeeds there is no magic ingredient to increase your breast milk only to put him on the breast more often, I would also look at your solids as well I would give him more solids then u normally give him until he is full! I hope this helps :)

Merry - posted on 05/26/2011

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Every time you supplement with formula your supply will decrease! Be careful. I personally would NOT supplement, he gained weight now, keep nursing, it sounds like it's going to fix itself soon!

Rhianna - posted on 05/25/2011

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Grant gained 9 oz this week! I don't really weigh him often, but I do attend a breastfeeding support group every week with a lactation consultant and she weighs all the babies. I have been pumping and bottle feeding and now he prefers the bottle to me, but I am still encouraging him to nurse. He has about 6 kinda wet diapers a day. Since he was born I pretty much nursed him when he woke up and that seemed to work really well for him. So, that is why he only nurses 5 times a day, he sleeps through the night and takes good naps. He NEVER acts hungry. I offer him my breast throughout the day and most of the time he'll latch for a minute then he pulls off, smiles at me, plays with my hair, sucks his fingers etc and doesn't act interested in nursing at all. My pediatrician wants him to have at least 20 oz a day so he has me pumping so I can see how much I'm feeding Grant, and if I don't have enough breastmilk pumped he wants me to supplement with low-lactose formula (not soy cuz he said it tends to constipate babies).

[deleted account]

Just bear in mind that, although galactogogues such as fenugreek or oatmeal might have benefits (and many mums swear by them) they can only be effective when coupled with more frequent breastfeeding with a good latch.
And it IS possible to "measure" (sort of) your supply - if your baby is having 6-8 very wet nappies per day, he's getting plenty of milk.

Desiree' - posted on 05/25/2011

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you can try fenugreek pills for breastfeeding it really brings your milk in(and it's safe for the baby to drink your milk after you have taken them). I had to do it when my girl was 3 months and it really got them full of milk. if that doesn't work you can always try soy formula and substitute. that is what they do for babies who aren't gaining enough wt.

Rebecca - posted on 05/25/2011

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nurse him as often as he desires and don't limit the nursings.Stay hydrated eat oatmeal,or discuss with you dr about prescribing a galactogogue. there are also herbs that can help.Rebecca CBE

[deleted account]

It sounds like you need to calm down. Stress is going to reduce your milk supply tremendously. Visualize your milk flowing and your son feeling full. You need to relax to produce milk. Don't worry so much about your sons weight unless your doctor says he is underweight you have nothing to worry about.

Melissa - posted on 05/24/2011

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I would recommend seeing both his pediatrician and a lactation consultant. At this age your baby should not be losing weight. There are teas, supplements, and meds to boot your supply. My baby had reflux and was tiny so our pedi started her on solids at 4 months. I always made sure to feed her on demand and give solids either after nursing or giving solids mixed with breast milk. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Cut down a little on the solids and breastfeed him more. He's probably getting full off the solids.. and solids at that age are pretty much just for practice.

Merry - posted on 05/24/2011

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5 times does seem quite low. My two year old nurses far more often then that! 8-10 times sounds about right to me for a 6 month old......

Momof1 - posted on 05/24/2011

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First off, don't go by how much you pump, because your breasts do not respond the same way to pumps as they do to feeding your baby. Is he having enough diapers? Or is he crawling? I think the first thing you need to do is either see a lactation consultant or if you think your childs ped. knows enough about breastfeeding and can help, see them. At six months, my son was breastfeeding every 2 hours from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM (I can't remember what the nights were like.) LOL We also just started solids at 6 months, so he only had solids one time a day until he was 7 months, then he was eating a lot more. If he is sleeping all night or most of the night, don't wake him up to feed him, but I think (and this is solely my opinion) that 5 times a day is semi low for a 6 month old.

Allison - posted on 05/24/2011

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Babies become more active around 6 months when they start to creep and crawl and are not just lying around all day. As long as as he is active, has energy and is not listless you should not worry that he is losing weight. He is also probably getting more milk when he nurses than when you pump. I was always that way. I could not pump milk but the kid always got plenty to eat from the "tap". Nursing on demand as often as you can should help increase your supply. Continue nutritious solids so he is getting nutrients from those as well.

Stephanie - posted on 05/24/2011

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He acts like he doesn't want to? Turning heis head away? Crying? Is he teething?

Rhianna - posted on 05/24/2011

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Thank you everyone! I have been working with my pediatrician and a lactation consultant. I do nurse him before and after solids and whenever he wants (but he never really acts like he wants to). I have tried fenugreek but haven't seen any change. I'm just trying to pump as much as I can, I will definitely try the power pumping.

Jessica - posted on 05/23/2011

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Oh and to increase your supply you can try Goats Rue and Mothers Milk Plus. The trick is to take them together though. Put the max dose in a shot glass (it's the easiest way to meassure) and then fill the shot glass up with juice. You can't have had anything to drink for (15) mins before or after. It's amazing and you should notice a difference quite quickly :)

Jessica - posted on 05/23/2011

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This happened to my son and I've seen lots of momma's post this same thing at this exact same age. I hope that brings some peace to you.

What I did was I added (1) tblspn of rice cereal and (1) tspn of olive oil to every (4) ounces of babyfood. My son bounced and and ended up going on a crazy growth spurt too. Let me know if you try this method and if it works. A handful of other moms I know have done this and all have been successful and putting weight back on their kiddos.

Hang in there!!

Stephanie - posted on 05/23/2011

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Nice replies, ladies!
I agree with Sarah.
Offer the sane breast 2-3 times before switching. This ensures that the baby gets the rich, fatty "hindmilk" that is like the cream, very high in calories. If you can do this, pick a couple of days, or 1 whole day and stay in bed, feeding on demand and sleeping alot. Don't worry too much about the solids for a weekend or so. This also cures mastitis if you ever have it. Fenugreek and mother's tea is great for beefing up your milk supply. A beer now abdcthen helps too, makes your milk come down fast! Also, are you using a pacifier? In my own experience this leads to slower weight gain. I have 4 kids, the 2 that did not use a paci were chunky monkeys! Sleep all night with your baby. It will gain weight, and you will gain sleep!! (other moms will be jealous) best wishes!

Heather - posted on 05/23/2011

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Always nurse before any solids you give (and baby does not NEED solids at this age - breastmilk gives your little one absolutely everything needed). Nurse as often as baby is willing to nurse.

Erin - posted on 05/23/2011

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your replies are so helpful! reading this straight away i felt that the weight loss is nothing to be concerned about. if you are worried ask your gp, but as others have said, these babies are growing all the time and weight fluctuates. even if he's had a little cold he might have lost a few ounces due to that. don't do your head in putting him on the scale all the time. i never weigh my babies except at the gp for a checkup. otherwise i'd be worried all the time. and like others have said breastfeedig more ofte and before solids are given is great. also, be sure to be drinking loads of pure water for increased supply.

[deleted account]

Helpful although the information on finger feeding is. I don't think this situation calls for it. Finger feeding is particularly useful when the baby is refusing the breast or not latching, or if the mother's nipples are extremely sore. I think the main aim should be to get him on to the breast far more frequently. This will boost your supply.

Kimberly - posted on 05/22/2011

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have him nurse longer it takes about twenty four hours to bring it up, but make sure you drink lots of water, and pump and let him stay on even if he isnt eating, that nursing will make the supply and demand increase. at least it should. its worth a try

Rayanna - posted on 05/22/2011

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Oh by the way when I needed to up my supply I made and ate some lactation cookies and I eat oatmeal almost every morning. It did the trick. Also make sure you drink plenty of fluids.

Rayanna - posted on 05/22/2011

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My son wasn't gaining enough for his doctor's liking as of his 9 month appointment so he encouraged me to start weaning him. Instead I started breast feeding him more and pretty much stopped giving him baby food. He eats as much table food as he wants when we eat and he has gained almost a pound since April 19th.

Betty H - posted on 05/22/2011

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Hi,
There is a method as a Lactation Consultant that I use called finger feeding or at this age you can cup feed your own breast milk and supplement each day by giving extra breast milk to your baby. I live in the Houston area but if you live in the United States I can ship you some large syringes and guide you to finger feed you baby. I think this will work. I did this for a child younger that yours also loosing weight. Good luck. Have a blessed day. My e mail is breastfeedingwithlove@hotmail.com or website http:www/breastfeedingwithlove.com Call me or e mail me.

Katherine - posted on 05/22/2011

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cut down on the solids (they really don't have to have them yet) and nurse on demand Drink a ton of water. Get enough rest. Enjoy your feedings and worry less. Don't give him water or other fillers...

Casandra - posted on 05/22/2011

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Feed, feed, feed, I am up to feeding my 4 Th baby and the only way to build up supply is to feed more. As for measuring supply it can't be done you may not be able to express what baby can get . Just make sure you are relaxed and a let-down occurs . Breast feed before solids , and as milk supply is linked to brain always believe you have more than enough and know it never runs out and it won't . Good luck hope advice is helpful . Cass

Casandra - posted on 05/22/2011

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Feed, feed,feed I am up to feeding my 4th baby the only way to build up supply . I regards to measuring suppy

Carolyn - posted on 05/22/2011

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Firstly, take a nice deep breath, stay calm as he will pick up on your nerves, hard I know, my eldest grew very slowly, was tiny and I worried. Just remember, babies never starve themself, if he has colour in his face and is not lethargic, moving around the same or more, which could explain the loss in weight. you could try putting him back on the same breast again, if he has a short feed. the first part of the feed is like a drink the last the filling bit. Also try what the others said and express some, you can add it to his food and it will help keep the suply up, your milk will adapt to your baby. Try not to weigh him so frequently, give it a week until you do it again and then maybe two three weeks, you will see more of a difference. At the end of the day if you are really worried seek medical advice, I'm sure your baby is absolutely fine because you are doing a fantastic job. hope this helps and hang in there xx

Jeabri - posted on 05/22/2011

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So sorry, bf Canberra challenging do what you feel is best. The only thing I can add is drink lots of water that helps me!

Melissa - posted on 05/22/2011

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It sounds like he is getting enough milk from each session. Has he started crawling?
Just keep plenty of fluids in yourself and keep on doing what you are doing. Feel free to nurse him more often, this will increase your milk supply and help him get more nutrients and calories to keep up with his growth.
I agree with the other ladies, his primary diet should be breastmilk. At this point with the solids, it really is just to get his tastebuds exposed to the different flavors and add a little variety.
Remember your body makes just as much milk as he needs, so if you want him to have more you are going to have to nurse him more or pump to build up your supply. But make sure you keep yourself hydrated.

Kasie - posted on 05/21/2011

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Just to let you know, a lot of times later on around the time period you are at now, you won't get that much milk out when you pump but that doesn't mean you don't have a lot actually in you. You really have more milk than you think. A lot of times my son would nurse and get enough milk when if I pumped I would only get like half an oz.

Nettia - posted on 05/21/2011

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There are so many factors to consider. Your solution would depend on what ha changed. Has baby become more active? Is baby not nursing as long or as often? It is true, as someone else pointed out, the amount you pump isn't always equivalent to what you produce. The biggest natural milk production boosters are nursing more often and/or for longer. With that being said, make sure you are getting rest and proper nutrition. I do not know how much solid food your son is taking in so I will not say to cut back on it. However, at first, solid food is meant more for teaching the mechanics of eating, not actually sustaining the baby. So if your child has just started solids, he should be trying some once a day and then slowly moving to 2 times and 3 times a day. The majority of his nutrition will come from your breastmilk. Pumping after a feeding to continue stimulation can help for some women as well. Don't give up. If it's important to you, find help. Above all else, speak to his pediatrician about the weight loss and seek out a lactation consultant. I hope this helps. Oh yeah. Do NOT resort to formula. If you do, you will be sabotaging yourself. Good luck.

Kat - posted on 05/21/2011

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Really Heather? You hate to say something very unhelpful then maybe don't say it at all... It unfortunately has just shown how very unschooled you are in the art of BF. Rhianna, you have been given some awesome advice to start trying, how has the last couple of days gone?

Merry - posted on 05/21/2011

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Keep nursing, try the avocado as the only solid you offer, and above all nurse more! That's really the best thing you can do. 8 times a day has been my sons standerd for two years now....

Mindee - posted on 05/21/2011

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One thing to keep in mind is that if your child is becoming more active, which many are at that age, they could lose a little baby weight. You could try a 'mothers milk' tea, found in either the pharmacy section or organic section of most stores. It helped me a lot and contains fenugreek. Most of the above advice was great. Good luck!

Alejandra - posted on 05/21/2011

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My baby stopped gaining weight for a couple months when we started introducing solid foods. She nursed a little less, but I think the real issue was that I introduced solids too slowly. So... offer more food, multiple times per day. And continue nursing as frequently as feasible.

Wolfmama - posted on 05/21/2011

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There is no need to cut on solids. This might worsen it. Instead simply up your offer for breastfeeding. There is no harm in feeding them MORE, only LESS. Cutting solids makes no sense, although they do receive all the nutrients they need from breastmilk.

Lindsay - posted on 05/21/2011

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Try power pumping. You pump for an hour before bed, 10 mins on and 10 mins off 3 times. It worked wonders for my milk supply and mine had dropped for a few weeks. It's a pain in the neck but it does work!

Danielle - posted on 05/21/2011

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also....the solids you do give baby should be avacado ( 4 times the fat as breastmilk) or yobaby yogurt (equivalent in BM fats) all other foods has no fat value comparable to BM.

Danielle - posted on 05/21/2011

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both my babies lost weight at that age. I weaned my 1st & was devastated. Stuck with it, for my second...offer breast BEFORE solids & offer it alot....she gained perfectly after about 6 weeks of continuous loss. A baby at that age should be consuming about 24oz of breastmilk, so if you nurse every 2 hours & believe baby is getting 2oz...then it sounds right!!

Melissa - posted on 05/20/2011

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talk to your doctor, your baby shouldn't be weighing less than when your baby was 4 months, it should be a concern! Start pumping more, talk to your doctor about the perscription you can take, forget the drug it's called but there is a drug that increases your supply of breastmilk too. Fenugreek and blessed thistle are great for increasing supply my only concern with fenugreek is that it is ALSO a digestive aid, and that it can also cause diarhea and if your baby gets diarhea from it, then that can also make your baby lose weight too, so IF you start fenugreek watch if your baby gets diarhea and how much just because that can help decrease weight too. I do suggest asking your doctor for the perscription to help increase your breast milk but in the meantime since it's Friday work on all the suggestions about pumping and less solids, your baby is 6 months, you have pleanty of time to increase it as your baby gets closer to a year! Over the weekend, maybe get a small supply of formula if your really concerned and see how your baby does supplementing with a little bit of formula, not much just to see if that helps like Leah suggested!

Tanya - posted on 05/20/2011

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Talk to either a Midwife or a Natural Healing/Holistic doctor. They can prescribe you the right herbs that will enhance your milk supply! Hope this is helpful! If you browse back through posts, you will see a thread about increasing milk supply and this wonderful Mom posted the necessary herbs ;)

Leah - posted on 05/20/2011

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I would cut down on solids, increase your calories and pump for 10 minutes after each feeding. Very time consuming, but very worth it in the long run!!! Also, you can look into fenugreek.

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