My baby is too small!

Jennifer - posted on 06/02/2010 ( 61 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 5 months old now. I took her to the doctor and she was weighed and got shots. She only weighed 8 lbs 14 oz. AT 5 MONTHS!!! The doctor told me to stop Breastfeeding and force her to take the formula bottle she really doesnt want. I hurt even though I pump just enough to stop hurting every few hours. The first time I pumped though, there was only 4 oz. Thats not enough is it? My roomate, who breast fed all her kids and aided in her grandaughters breastfeeding told me that my milk is too watery it should be thicker but it looks like water with a tiny bit of milk in it. I dont want to stop breastfeeding but i also do not want them to put her in the hospital. They have already poked at her veins too much and now we have to go get a chest xray and more blood and a weight check tomarrow. I am afraid for my baby.

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[deleted account]

Cindy, this is way off track, but it might help Jennifer’s confidence to know that breast milk cannot be too rich or too weak, as these references show:

http://sg.answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...
NO such thing as not nutricious breastmilk or breastmilk being bad for a baby, pumping does not show how much milk have just how much you can pump. Foremilk is watery and thats generally what is pumped in the beginning. Sounds like you need to do some reading about breastmilk, read everything on the site www.kellymom.com especially about supply and how milk is made.

“Even the moms suffering from malnutrition make excellent milk - much better for their babies than the treated milk sold in stores as a "perfect infant food".
http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/help...

“During pregnancy, your body begins to produce colostrum – a thick, rich,
yellowish fluid. As you breastfeed more, the colostrum decreases and
your breastmilk increases. Breastmilk is NEVER TOO RICH OR TOO WEAK.
It may look pale whitish blue as it changes to suit your baby’s needs, but
it has all the nourishment necessary.”
http://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/document...

“Mature breast milk looks ‘thin’, pale and bluish - rather like skim milk. This is its normal
appearance, and it always contains the right amount of nutrients for the baby. It is never too weak.”
http://www.sdgp.com.au/client_images/181...


My final reference, from Dr Newman’s “Breastfeeding myths” answers your other comments and scenarios:
“The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk. Indeed, an overabundance of milk is common.”
http://tinyurl.com/26lwdsu

We’re here to help other mums, so I think we have a duty to do our research when they ask for assistance and information. My aim was to show Jennifer that there is nothing wrong with her milk, so that’s one possibility she can cross off the list.

Jennifer, how are things going with you and Trinity?

Christina Marie - posted on 06/06/2010

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You should go see a lactation consultant, if you haven't already.
4oz is a lot to pump. I nurse an 18lb baby and can only pump 2oz at a time.
Have you tried feeding her more often? Even if she does not seem hungry? At this point with her being so small, I would even wake her every few hours to nurse.
Make sure she is nursing long enough on each breast too. You want to make sure she is getting all that fatty milk.

Good luck to you! X

[deleted account]

Kathy, not everyone's breast milk is PERFECT. I feel the need to reply to your statement that milk can not be too rich or lean. Woman have all sorts of different issues with their milk. The most common is supply, but they can also have an issue will quality as well. For example, if the mother is not getting the proper nutrition then she won't have the proper nutrition to pass onto baby. It is true that the body will give to the baby everything it has available, but the body can't create nutritious milk out of nothing. Also, illness on the mother's part can cause milk issues. Plus countless other scenarios. It is bad advice to just tell her that milk is always what the baby needs. It does not hurt to check it out an confirm that the milk is "normal." I would hate to see her give up breast feeding when the milk is NOT the issue. That is what the doctor is trying to make happen.

Ramona - posted on 06/05/2010

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Also, was she a preemie? Because a 5 month old who was born early is quite different from one who was born at term!

[deleted account]

Cindy, breast milk can't be too weak or too rich.

"There is no such thing as “weak breast milk.” Your body will combine the exact ingredients necessary to meet your baby’s needs"
This is from a very good website which provides a comprehensive run-down on the mechanics of breastfeeding:
http://babies.sutterhealth.org/breastfee...

So that is one worry you can cross off the list, Jennifer.I really feel that seeing a lactation consultant would help. Your current doctor seems to have outmoded ideas about breastfeeding, and is not helping your confidence.

I love your determination, Jennifer! You are a great mum!

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Lisa - posted on 06/06/2010

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I read what you said about your baby gaining weight now with the formula--so here's my suggestion--you make sure YOU are eating plenty of calories, taking your vits, being healthy, keep nursing along with the formula so that your daughter can get the things from you that she can't get from formula. and don't feel guilty--I have found that the good mom's are the ones who feel guilty, the ones who don't are the one's who don't care. you care, you are doing your best.
and while your baby is tiny, she sounds healthy enough.

as for the babies that are supposed to double their weight by 6 months--really? I didn't know that. well I guess i don't know a lot of what babies are "supposed" to do, because I don't go to the doctors. all my babies (I've had four) have doubled their birth weight by their second month of life, my current 5.5 month old is 20lbs. exclusively BF too.
I notice that sometimes he'll nurse more often and acts hungry if I eat low fat foods, or only cereal, etc. as soon as I eat a good well balanced healthy meal with carbs and fats, he nurses and is full. just remember what goes into your body goes into your milk, and what doesn't go into your body also doesn't go into your milk--you need to eat right for your baby to eat right too.

Tori - posted on 06/06/2010

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Ok it sounds like you baby was born earlier than most and was tiny at birth anyways. My daughter was born at 39 w 1 d and was 6 pounds 10 ounces and at her 4 month check up was only at 10 pounds 3 ounces. My doctor was not worried because she is gaining weight and she is a small baby. She has always been small. At her 9 month check up she was just over 17 pounds. Once she started solid foods and cereal she gained more weight but is still tiny! I breastfed exclusively for the first 7 months till my milk dried up from my work schedule. My doc was not worried since she was gaining weight and was a tiny baby in general. I personally would get a second opinion before you let the doctor hospitalize her. They will look at her growth charts and see that she is growing. Not all babies are going to be large. My cousin whos baby boy is only 3 and a half weeks younger than my daughter has always been a bigger boy and weighs 20 pounds. Get a second opinion and hope everything works out

Becca - posted on 06/06/2010

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I would speak to a lactation consultant and make sure she is latching properly. I know a lady at my breastfeeding support group who was refered to us because her four month old was not gaining well and it turned out it was that the child had never learned to latch properly. I would also speak to a dietician for yourself. My son stopped gaining weight at 5months and the doctor put me on a full fat diet (whole milk, and no fat free or fat reduced foods) to see if that help him out. I would also like to add that the nurses that run my breastfeeding support group told me that the bench marks for weight gain for a breastfed baby are for them to have doubled their weight by 6 months (11lbs. 4oz in your daughter's case) and tripled it by a year (15lbs. 14oz.). Also, you may find that the formula is a temporary solution until you can start solids at 6months.

Carrie - posted on 06/06/2010

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Some babies are just small. My niece was born 4lbs 15oz. and she was full term. At 12 months she only weighed 13lbs. She's 3 now and she still only weighs 23 lbs. I would definitely continue to breastfeed and maybe supplement with formula. I would also follow the advice of these other women and get a second opinion.

[deleted account]

Maybe if you have had that weight loss stomach stapling kind of surgery, you aren't getting enough nutrients to pass on through your breast milk. I do know a mother who's baby was small because she was breastfeeding and had had that kind of surgery.

Sarah - posted on 06/05/2010

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Have you tried to ensure you are getting the proper nutrition? I read that while your milk will always be top quality, poor nutrition, or lack of vitamins can affect quantity... If nothing else, I would just supplement with formula, as some of the others said, she is getting so much good stuff from you that I would not just quit...
Best of luck to you!!

LaLasha - posted on 06/05/2010

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See a lactation consultant. Block feeding is also a very good idea and if worse comes to worse you can supplement with formula but there is no reason your you to tsp breastfeeding all together unless she has and allergy and that also can contribute to low weight .

Rachael - posted on 06/05/2010

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I'm surprised that they're already doing tests. My son had the same problem, but the pedi wanted to wait until he started formula to do anything. Sure enough, within a short amount of time, he was steadily gaining weight. Also, I'm surprised that she doesn't like the bottle if your breastmilk is insufficient. The first time I gave my son a bottle, he was so happy because he was finally drinking something that satisfied him.
Don't stop breastfeeding. Just supplement. It's a lot easier on you both, that way. That's what I did, and my son decided for himself when he was ready to stop breastfeeding, so I didn't have to force him to stop.

Bobbie - posted on 06/05/2010

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My daughter is small for her age: 13 1/2 months and 18 lbs. She's never had formula, although we are down to only one nursing per day since she's now eating table foods as well. Anyway, the doctor was concerned about her weight and recommended supplemental feedings or at one year, cow's milk. I ignored the advice. Any type of supplemental feeding will just decrease your milk supply. And 4 oz of pumped milk is fine. I used to worry when I would pump that much, but I believe my daughter is very healthy. She's only had two colds, one ear infection. She doesn't look underweight. She has meat on her. Sometimes, I think pediatricians are too used to seeing fat or overweight babies who are on formula.

Lori - posted on 06/05/2010

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Have you tried mixing your breast milk with formula? That way you can continue to nurse & pump while also giving her some extra nutrients from the formula. For me 8lbs 14 oz is a bit scary for a 5 month old, but that's because my son was 8 lbs 13oz at birth! You need to do what's best for your baby and if that means supplementing w/ formula than do it.

Jean - posted on 06/05/2010

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Try pumping for a little longer. Or pump for 10 minutes once every hour. At 5mths, she should be taking at least 4oz, I was pumping 5-6 at that point. Start her on solids now to add some calories to her diet. Maybe make up her baby rice with formula and continue breastfeeding. There are medications that can help increase your milk supply if it's inadequate, so talk to your doctor about it. There are also herbal supplements you can take, though there are mixed results, they tend to work differently for everyone.

My baby girl is almost 1, ad only weighs about 17.5oz. My son is 3 and weighs in at 29lbs! Sometimes, babies are just small, and if your little girl seems happy and is reaching her other milestones OK, then don't worry too much about her weight. Sometimes doctors put too much pressure on parents based only on a guideline chart.

Madilyn - posted on 06/05/2010

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My son was 8lb 1oz at birth and 16lbs at 6mo and they told me he was too big so I think she's just fine. I have a friend who's baby was 6lb 12oz at birth and at 6mo she was 8lb even. She is now 14lb at 11mo and perfectly healthy. She was exclusively breastfed and now has one meal of purees a day but is mostly breastfed. Some babies are just small. My son is in the 50th percentile for weight and 5th percentile for height. One doctor told me he was too heavy and another told me he's perfect (I agree) Try another doctor and def. go to a lactation consultant.
Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 06/04/2010

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i agree that it doesnt sound like your doctor is going by her adjusted age..being that she is pre-term. And likewise he should be looking at her growth curve. It is hard not to compare with other babies as a mom. My little guy is 5 months and is skinny compared to other babies his age. He weighs close to 14 lbs but is 26.4 inches long! He just isnt a big eater and never has been! But he is very active and happy! It sounds like she is very active as well and happy! Shes rolling!! I'm lucky that where i live the public health nurses or pro-breastfeeding and are updated on breastfeeding information..he didnt gain weight in 2 weeks but was growing longer. The nurse told me not to worry that his growth curve is good and that his calories r going to length and not weight. At this age (4-5 mos) they said that they dont have any expectations of what a baby should be gaining in ounces each week and that if the baby is happy and hitting milestones and peeing and pooping..that is what they look for. As far as throwing up..my son is not a big spitter upper but sometimes if i worry that he didnt eat much and i pump some more and bottlefeed him..he will spitup..it goes to show me that he actually had had enough..so that might be it! She is small so shes not going to eat as much as another baby her same age! Her stomach is smaller! So conclusion...see another doctor or a lactation consultant! :) Hope this helps!

Lyndall - posted on 06/04/2010

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My daughter is 19.5 months old and only weighs 20 pounds. She is 80cm tall and her head has only grown by 10cm. My Early Childhood Nurse is not concerned at this time but wants to keep and eye on her. She was 7p 6o born, so she wasn't a small baby. I stopped breastfeeding her at around 6 months. She is on the same diet as us now and still has cows milk and toddler formula.
Some babies are just little. Don't worry about not breast feeding her. I have done it both ways and all my kids are happy and healthy. Good luck.

Karen - posted on 06/04/2010

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A baby is supposed to double their weight by 6 mos old. Considering your daughter was born a month early and her adjusted age of 4 mos is what the doctor should be looking at..she has 2 more months to get to her doubled birth weight, which would be 11 lbs and 2 ozs. I really don't think that 9lbs 3 ozs is more than a slight bit under weight and your doctor is just not taking all things into consideration. You really need to remind the doctor that her adjusted age is 4 mos and that she was only 5 lbs 10 ozs at birth...it really makes a huge difference. If he is used to dealing with 8 lb full term babies everyday then yes your baby would seem to small. He really needs to look at the facts.

Michele - posted on 06/04/2010

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oh & my baby is not on the large size, she's in the 10% range for height, weight & body measurements. @ 13 months she only weighs about 19-20 pounds. i agree w/ the 'chunky baby' comment - small babies are just fine to have too.

Michele - posted on 06/04/2010

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i was introducing solids to my baby @ 4 months, of course the puree'd stuff (in addition to breast feeding), have you tried to add any solids to your babies diet? mine hated the bottle (unless it was breast milk) & completely stopped using a bottle (went to sippy cups) by 8-9 months. i think breastfeeding is definitely the way to go, just try supplementing w/ something other than formula (it's mostly crap anyways). my baby took to regular milk, & surprisingly soy milk, occasionally by 6-7 months. add more foods that are high in fat & protein.

Amanda - posted on 06/04/2010

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Jennifer spitting up after eating is normal my baby spits up after every feeding the amount varies from a tiny bit to what seems like everything he has eaten. Don't lose faith in yourself you can do this. I do think you need to talk with a different doctor too. Your baby seems to be just where she needs to be and not all babies gain weight at the same rate. God bless and I hope everything works out for you.

Sara - posted on 06/04/2010

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I agree with those who recommend a lactation consultant and a 2nd opinion. I'm also wondering if your doctor is measuring her based on her ADJUSTED age, not her birth date. Basically she is a 4 month old based on being born at 36 weeks. What your pediatrician should be looking at is her growth curve... is she consistently gaining? Does she have a stable curve? And (like mentioned above) is she being compared to breastfed babies, or formula fed babies? You have a right to ask these questions of your pediatrian and you have the right to refuse his recommendations and seek treatment elsewhere if it just doesn't feel right to you.

Dana - posted on 06/04/2010

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My daughter is 8 months old and weighs 14 pounds. She has been breastfeed since birth and has been on solids since 5 months. At her weight she is way below average but is happy, healthy and active. She is also long (27 inches). I tell her she will be a super model some day!
Don't let anyone sway you away from breastfeeding just because she is below average. If your baby is not growing at all or is acting ill should you be concerned. Always get a second opinion when you feel something is not correct.
My daughter is perfect to me! Just because she doesn't look like your standard chunky infant does not mean she isn't healthy!

Sylvia - posted on 06/04/2010

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I would get a second opinion, talk to your local LLL leader, and see an IBCLC. Also, go find the WHO growth charts for breastfed babies and see how her grown tracks their growth *curves* (if she's following the curve, even if her actual weights are below the lowest curve, then at least you know she's growing at something like the normal rate). 9lb3oz at 5 months is small, but 5lb10 oz at birth is small, too, and not every baby is going to be a bruiser -- that's what percentiles *mean*. Especially if one or both parents is on the small side. Babies, like bigger people, come in all sizes and shapes.

It sounds like she's growing (23" seems respectable) and hitting milestones, and it sounds like she's an active little person. In fact, apart from being preterm, she sounds a lot like my DD :) So, in case this is reassuring to you, I got out the notebook I used to write stuff down in when DD was a baby, and here's what I found:

at birth: 6lb 0oz, 19.5"
at 2 days: 5 lb 11 oz
at 4 days: 6 lb 1 oz
at 18 days: 6 lb 14 oz
at 6 weeks: 8 lb 6 oz, 22"
at 2 months: 9 lb 5 oz
at 11 weeks: 10 lb 2 oz
at 4 months: 11 lb 11 oz, 23.5"
at 5 months: 12 lb 3 oz
at 6 months: 13 lb 5 oz, 25.5"
at 8 months: 14 lb 8 oz, 26.5"
at 12 months: 16 lb 12 oz, 28"
at 18 months: 19 lb 0 oz, 29.5"
at 24 months: 20 lb, 4 oz (dr: "Congratulations! She's now reached the weight of the average 1-year-old!")
at 36 months: 24 lb, 35"

She's now almost 8, and is just over 4 feet tall and just over 40 lb. She's not a large child, but she's perfectly healthy. My theory is that she doesn't put on more weight because she NEVER SITS STILL. She was like that as a baby -- in fact, come to think of it, she was like that in the womb :P

Now, I'm not saying there couldn't be something going on, but, frankly, weight isn't everything, and the problem seems unlikely to be with your milk. (Although I agree with the other people who said that foremilk/hindmilk imbalance could potentially be an issue.) Everybody's breastmilk looks "watery". And 4 oz at one pumping session sounds like a LOT to me, especially considering that babies are generally MUCH more efficient than pumps at extracting milk.

did I mention looking up the WHO growth charts? I remember when I plotted DD's weights and heights on their girl-baby chart it was like this big revelation: yes, okay, she was still below the 5th percentile, but her growth curve *exactly tracked* the curves, whereas on the standard mostly-formula-fed-baby-based chart most doctors still use (because it goes up to 36 months, I guess), it totally didn't. BF and FF babies really do grow differently.

[deleted account]

I would definitely seek out a second opinion.



Just to try and help give you a little reassurance... I was breastfed til 2-3 years old and was only 13 pounds at 13 months old. I had some growth issues and was supplemented w/ formula.... didn't help. I was just tiny. Still am, but I'm healthy and fine and have 3 healthy kids. :)

[deleted account]

It sounds like her output is fine and she's just a small baby. My boys were small and usually near the bottom of the chart (not the ones most doctors use, because they are for formula fed babies and terribly inaccurate). Thankfully our doctor and ped are very educated about breastfed babies so were never worried that they were 'too small'.

Consult a lactation consultant or seek out your local La Leche League. They can help you figure out if there is anything wrong with your milk (which doesn't sound like the issue) and if there is anything wrong with your daughter (which doesn't sound like a problem either). I had been advised by our ped that as long as the output is good and the baby is hitting milestones, there isn't a problem. Maybe see about finding a pro-breastfeeding doctor as well! I think your doctor is jumping the gun on needles, tubes and xrays and is certainly wrong to tell you to stop breastfeeding all together. Supplementing with formula is one thing, but to just stop feeding? That's far too extreme, and sounds rather uneducated to me.

Have a look at the WHO chart and plot your baby's weight gain thus far. It's not that bad at all. A baby is supposed to double their weight in the first 6 months and she is well on track to do that. She's just small... so what?! Some people are small/petite.

Merry - posted on 06/04/2010

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http://www.who.int/nutrition/media_page/...
jennifer this is a growth chart based on breastfed babies. it is a new chart made by WHO and most drs use a chart from formula fed babies. it is in kg so you have to do the conversion but it is a more accurate description on growth. from what i saw you say, she is not below the last line. maybe print it out and chart her weight take it to the dr and show him. keep us updated! ill pray for you.

Shana - posted on 06/04/2010

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You are not alone! All three of my kids were poor weight gainers. Right now I am dealing with my third child. He just went for his year check up a little late because he is actually 14 months old and he only weighs 15 lbs. 4. oz. He has to get a weight check in two weeks. The doctor said in the olden days he would have been put in the hospital but insurance companies don't like that now!! Thanks goodness for that!

Anyway, he is old enough to take whole milk now but for my second child I had to give him formula because he wasn't gaining any weight and actually lost weight at 4 months. What I did for him was pump before each time I fed him and just added whatever I got to the formula. So you could try that too so she is still getting the benefits of breastmilk and the added calories of the formula too. At five months they should be drinking around 4-6 oz every two to four hours or so, so if you only get a couple of ounces when you pump, then just mix that with 4 oz of formula.

Good Luck!!

Melissa - posted on 06/04/2010

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how much did she weigh at birth?? i know it is desirable to have baby double their birth weight by 6 months. my girl was born 8lbs, and is now almost 17lbs at 10 1/2months. I was definitly concerned, but she is happy and healthy and thriving, hitting her milestones etc. I don not know why a doctor of all people would tell you to stop breastfeeding! that is disgraceful, especially considering that they know better than anyone of all the obvious benefits! there are equal amts or even more calories in breastmilk than formula. so if the goal is to have your baby gaining weight, switching to formula is not really the answer. it sounds like you must have an abundant supply, do not let the pump be your guide as to what you baby is getting while nursing, there is a big difference between a plastic robotic sucking deivice and your sweet little baby. there may be ways you can increase the calorie contenet of your milk. the more you use that formula the less milk you will make for your baby!!!please read the link i have attached, kellymom is an awesome site! and consult a lactaion consultanat asap!

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/c...

http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gro...

good luck, stay strong, all my best to u and your wee one!

Samara - posted on 06/04/2010

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Jennifer,

It doesn't sound like you have a milk problem. She just might have a virus or a stomach bug which is upsetting her stomach. I would go for a second opinion from a different doctor. I know my sons doctor thought he was low in wieght for his age and i got a second opinion and the second doctor said that he was find. Ask your current doctor how much he/she actually knows about breastfeeding most doctors dont know as much as we think they know. If you still think it is a problem with you milk get in contact with you Lactation Consultation. I hope this helps.

Jennifer - posted on 06/04/2010

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For her weight check it was only two agonizing days of bottle feeding exclusively. When i nurse her though, I give her 1 side for the 15 min before she is done and wants nothing to do with the first side so i offer the second side and she nurses about another 10-15 min. Something is happening now though. I pumped my milk the whole time I gave her the formula so I would not dry up. I tried to feed her this morning and its like she doesnt want it anymore. I think she might be getting sick from something though because she spit up after a little breast milk this morn and thats not normal for her.

Jacquelyn - posted on 06/04/2010

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If she is nursing that often and having wet diapers then I would find a different dr if I were you - she was small at birth and she may just continue to be small, how long was it between the two weights? because she has gained over six ounces so that is good because it sounds like it was in a short period of time, is she nursing on one side for 15 min or is she only taking one side? she should nurse as long as possible on one breast to get as much hindmilk (the fatty milk) as possible :)

Chloe - posted on 06/04/2010

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hi there my son is 9 months and weighs the same as an averrage 5 months old around 17lbs hes got chubby cheeks and big chunky legs and is healthy because iv exclusivly breastfed and didnt give up even tho he was underweight for his age... i just guess hes gonne be a tiny and petite boy... im 18 and have been told to stop breastfeeding otherwise him grandparents on my partners side wont babysit so i know where ur coming from with the guilt and the loss of that bond but dont give up just feed feed feed... even if ur baby isnt asking for the breast if she is full she physically wont feed but inbetween breast try rusk or baby rice to give the fullness and if she isnt already on solids and jars try them... the rice and rusk can be mixed with ur milk so if u are hurting because she skipped the breast for a jar then express and store for the rice and rusks... if ur milk is really watery try adding a bit of rusk to make it thicker xxx hope iv helped

[deleted account]

Onder 9 lbs at 5 months is REALLY REALLY tiny. It is not a matter of being off the chart, something is going on here. I am glad to hear that she is being tested. I do think testing your milk is a good option. It is possible that something is wrong (I am not sure how Kathy says it NEVER happens). If your milk is fine then you can guilt-free continue feeding your little one. If there is an issue with your milk then you know. In that case, you will have no choice to stop breastfeeding. However, I would not jump to that solution unless that is the issue.

I stopped breastfeeding my first daughter at 3 months because she was having feeding issues. Long story short, she developed a food aversion and did not want to nurse well. The doctors would not listen or trust my instincts. They kept telling me "she will eat if she was hungry." She got very sick before they took me seriously. At the time I figured they would better listen to me saying she is only drinking 12-15 ounces a day instead of she is not nursing long enough. The truth is they did listen better and she got the help she needed. However, I have always regretted losing that special time with her.

Angie - posted on 06/04/2010

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You need another dr. It really sounds like everything is happening normally. While she is small if you look at it in terms of growth she has almost doubled her birth weight in 5 months. That's pretty good.

She is hitting her milestones, having a great number of wet diapers and one thing your dr is right about is that the poopy diapers are normal at this point. She is gaining weight just not according to what your dr's chart says she should be. I don't know how long ago the 8 lb 14 oz weight was in relation to the 9 lbs 3 oz but babies at her age tend to gain 4-7 ounces a week.
It sounds like your dr is very ill informed about breastfeeding. Your baby is growing just not according to the little chart that he is looking at. It is so rare that a woman not be able to provide the full nourishment her baby needs through breastmilk, even the most malnourished starving mother in 3rd world countries can still provide her baby with adequate breastmilk. The idea that breastmilk is not enough is pretty innaccurate. Even these breastmilk "test" that you hear about are horribly innaccurate, I did some research on them after reading your post the other day. Generally they are the product of 1 breastmilk sample being tested. Your milk changes constantly as the day goes on according to your babies needs. So while 1 sample may show a low fat content a sample that they may take an hour later could show a through the roof fat content. Don't put any weight in that.

The ONLY things that I would do differently from what you are doing is breast compression (massage) to help push some of the fatty hindmilk out more quickly and block feeding (start out feeding her on the same side for 2 or 3 feedings in a row) again to get more hindmilk. If she refuses the bottle it's because she is truly full and doesn't need anymore.

Good luck!

Nora - posted on 06/03/2010

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Go talk to a lactation consultant and get another opinion from a different Dr.

Francine - posted on 06/03/2010

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Jennifer, I would serioulsy consider getting a second opinion and changing your doctor...

Jennifer - posted on 06/03/2010

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She is 23 in. The doctor does not explain much at all. She wanted to hospitalize my baby to put a tube in her to feed her to gain weight. I am a big build but my "sprem donner" is very skinny build. I dont want tubes in my baby....

[deleted account]

Jennifer, breastmilk is never too weak or too rich. I would definitely talk to a lactation consultant. Not all doctors are completely up to date with breastfeeding information.

Why did the doctor suggest you take Expecta? I understand (from a small amount of research, so I could easily be wrong!) that this drug is to help your baby's brain and eye development. It has no vitamins and minerals in it. I would ask the doctor.

It sounds like Trinity is doing well with all her milestones. How are her other measurements, like length? What is your build? Your partner's build?

Yes, she is little, but seems to be developing normally and not losing weight. I'm a bit worried about all the testing and x-rays etc. Your doctor doesn't seem to be explaining much to you - did he say why your little girl might have to go to hospital? think getting a second opinion would be a good idea. And a lactation consultant, as I mentioned earlier.

All the best!

Natasha - posted on 06/03/2010

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It sounds like she is gaining weight. Does the doctor think she isn't gaining quickly enough? There's some excellent advice on here. I would definitely say to stick with breastfeeding. Have you tried to contact your local La Leche League? They offer a lot of help and excellent advice as well. Maybe if you have to supplement and the baby doesn't want to take a bottle, spoon feed her. That way she's still able to nurse for comfort and you can be sure she gets that extra from the formula by spoon feeding.

Francine - posted on 06/03/2010

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Jennifer, you try giving the bottle 1-2 hours after the breast feed?? So she has built up a little bit of an appetite..

Jennifer - posted on 06/03/2010

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Trinity was born at 36 weeks and 4 days. She was 5 lbs 10 oz. She feeds on demand for about 15-20 min per feeding on each side.I do not take her off, she does. She nurses about every 3 hours except at night she only wakes up twice.She does take the boob without me asking her to. diapars.... about 6 or seven wet diapars a day but only 1 poopy a week and the doctor said some babies are like that. development.....she tries to sit up out of her carseat, she rolls over...andover....and over:) We went to the doctor today. She weighs 9.3 now. So the doc said it must be my milk and told me to take 2 expecta a day, 1 morning 1 night. and try to nurse and bottle. once she nurses she does not want anything to do with the bottle. Thank you all for your advice...More is definately welcome. I am afraid that if i nurse her she wont gain and will be hospitalized in 1 week when we go back.

Dora - posted on 06/03/2010

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Keep breast feeding and supplement with the formula. If your baby doesn't want the formula then pump and mix the breast milk and formula together. I did this for my son for 2wks. It worked like a charm and then I was able to strictly breast feed. Also make sure you are taking your vitamins, taking in plenty of healthy calories and drinking plenty of fluids.

Francine - posted on 06/03/2010

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Jennifer, if you need to give your baby more, try switching between breast and formula. Give her the regular breast feeds and give a formula between? I find that when I pump I can't really get at the hind milk. I tend to just get the foremilk, which is thinner but still very, very good for her. Try pumping and then feeding her, so she just gets the hind milk? Pay attention to your doctor, but also speak to your local lactation consultant, as they understand breastmilk better.

Good luck, stay strong.

Karen - posted on 06/03/2010

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I know people are telling you to listen to your doctor and do exactly what he/she says ... but soooo many doctors are ill-informed about breastfeeding. If I were you I'd find a Lactation Consultant asap and get some help from someone who is an expert about breastfeeding.
Also, how are you feeling about her health/weight? Your instincts mean a lot as well. Also, is she meeting her other milestones?
Sending weight gaining vibes your direction!

Karen - posted on 06/03/2010

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was she premature? what was her weight at birth? less than 9 lbs and 5 mos old is really small. listen to your doctor and start supplementing with formula and don't feel bad about it. You can still continue breastfeeding as well as feeding formula. Maybe her issue has nothing to do with your breastmilk but i would do whatever tests they ask you to and get to the bottom of this ASAP.

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How often does she feed? Frequent feeding is the best way to increase your supply. I would suggest breastfeeding her before offering a bottle and letting her feed for as long as she wants. I suggest this because if she's just having short, times feeds she'll just be getting the thinner foremilk, not the rich, fattier hindmilk. Then offer a bottle and see if she wants it.

Don't feed on schedule, as this can lead to slow weight gain, particularly if you are supplementing with formula.

As others have asked, how is her wet/pooey nappy count?

Jennifer, you're doing fine. No way can you be a failure - bottom line with all mums is caring for their babies! That's what you're doing!!

Angie - posted on 06/03/2010

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4 oz in one pumping session is a huge output. It could be an issue of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and if that is the case then doing the block feeding that someone else mentioned can help to get the hindmilk. Also doing some breast compression while she is actually nursing can help to push out the fatty milk a bit more quickly.

I also echo the other questions. What was her birth weight? How many times a day does she feed? And what is her wet/poopy diaper count?

You often hear people say there was something wrong with their breastmilk but that is EXTREMELY rare and talking to some LC friends many have never even heard of this supposed test to check the content of your milk and the few that say they have heard of it say it is very rare and very expensive.

Even if you chose to supplement I would continue to breastfeed. Perhaps nurse first and then supplement after the breast feeding. I would tend to think that there is another issue and the lack of weight gain has nothing to do with your breastmilk or breastfeeding for that matter. Is she on a schedule? Often putting a baby on a rigid schedule can result in slow weight gain so it could be a matter of needing her to nurse more frequently and for longer periods. Or it could be an issue of something else entirely (reflux, difficulty absorbing nutrients etc).

April - posted on 06/03/2010

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i agree with celeste. also...sometimes really watery milk (even though milk meets 85% of your baby's need for water) can be an indication of hindmilk/foremilk imbalance. maybe all you need to do is block feed (feed on the same breast for several feedings until the breast is empty and then do the same with the other breast)

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