"slow weight gain"

Samantha - posted on 10/27/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

18

14

0

My son is one month old and his pediatrician has came to conclusion that he is concerned with my sons "slow weight gain." We were sent to the closest "childrens" hospital. They ran some tests to make sure he wasnt burning to many calories to fast. In the end that test came back fine but they want me to start to adding formula to his diet.
When my son weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces at birth, he was discharged at 6 pounds 1/2 ounce. we then went into the doctors office 2 days after our discharge date and he was 6 pounds, two weeks later he was down to 5 pounds 8 ounces. nothing was ever said about him being a whole pound lighter. We went in for a weight check at our WIC office on the 19th and he weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces. While we were up at our closest Childrens hospital last night he was weighed in at 6 pounds 6 ounces. So obviously he is still not up to birth weight.
With my research of the calories in formula compared to calories in breast milk are significantly different. The amount of calories in formula are 20 calories per ounce. Despite that you cant count how much breast milk is being taken in by the child, if they are nursing for long periods at a time you would think my son would get more calories from the breast than the formula.
As I was talking to my sister, who has done her fair share of research on breast feeding and weight gaining, she made some very good points, there are obviously more calories in breast milk than formula, breasts fill as they eat, we dont expect grown men to all weigh and grow the same so why should we expect that out of babies?
It hurts me giving my son a bottle, cause i feel like I am letting him and myself down. I am extremely determined to breast feed and I would really like some feed back from moms.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Celeste - posted on 10/28/2010

3,050

30

870

Yes, that's true, as well!
Did some searching around and here's what I found:
http://www.mother-2-mother.com/normal.ht...
(go down to What is Normal Weight Loss?)

It is a little concerning that he hasn't gained his birth weight in 2-3 weeks, but he's gaining, and having plenty of diapers.

Hopefully, you'll see a good gain today! Keep me updated.

Tessah - posted on 10/27/2010

19

7

5

I'm sorry you are going through this. I would hate to have to supplement too. You are right that your breast milk *should* contain more calories than formula at this stage, but it is a legitimate concern that your son is not back up to his birth weight.

I have a few questions for you:
1. How often are you feeding him? And for how long?
2. Can you hear him swallowing while he eats?
3. Have you ever pumped? If so how much milk did you produce? (Pumping is not an accurate way of measuring supply, but if you are able to pump a lot, you probably don't have a supply problem, and it can boost milk production.)
4. Have you heard of a supplemental nursing system? This is a way to feed your baby (whether you provide pumped milk, donated breast milk, or formula) at your breast, which stimulates your body to produce more milk. It is definitely worth looking into if supply is an issue.

You can also contact your local La Leche League for more support and/or find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Good luck to you in getting to the bottom of this issue.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

21 Comments

View replies by

Samantha - posted on 11/08/2010

18

14

0

I have reached out to a lactation consultant, meeting with her on wednesday, he only spits up after formula.
However I feel that we are going to get the okay to take formula away here soon.

Tessah - posted on 11/01/2010

19

7

5

I'm sorry it's not getting better yet.
Does he spit up after breastfeeding, or only after formula?
Someone else mentioned latch problems. Has this been checked?
Besides avoiding nipple confusion, the SNS can help you build your supply.

Good luck!

Amira - posted on 10/31/2010

3

0

0

hi samanthah i'm Amira from libya,i faced this problem as well but i didn't give up ,i continoued breast feed my son in the same time my mom told me about some herbs to eat them to make my milk thiker in addtion i gave him a bottle but only twice a day one at morning and one at night finally he is ok now.
so ,i think all the problem related with mom's food.
i hope to you the best for you and your son.

Binaz - posted on 10/30/2010

16

49

0

Dear Samantha
I hv gone thru the same just chk if u hv a proper breast milk supply as due 2 a low supply he might b exerting more calories than he gains from ur milk start him on a formula if it is so.My dad passed away sudenly when my son was 17days old & due 2 shock my mil supply had almost diminished I put my son on formula & he is fine now & is 14mnths old now. dnt stress ur self 2 much as it will diminish the milk flow even more
take sum supliment that contains GLA tht will help boost ur milk supply also chk out if ur kid is allergic 2 breast milk. Take care

Samantha - posted on 10/29/2010

18

14

0

Im sorry to hear that, and yet my confidence is slowly falling through. Today it took me 10 minutes to get my son to latch on...Im not a very happy camper.

Although we went to a WIC appointment today an given the variation of scales, compared to yesterday he has gained 3 ounces. So the goal is that I start pumping to up my milk supply and while in the process of that...maybe he will gain enough weight so that we can get the okay to get rid of formula.

Lise - posted on 10/29/2010

1,738

8

233

I was just throwing that out there, as I supplemented with breast milk for a few weeks and while my daughter went between the breast and the bottle great for a week or two, at the end I needed an SNS to get her back to breastfeeding.

Samantha - posted on 10/29/2010

18

14

0

However Im confident that my son can positively tell the difference, before he would go from the nipple to a paci.

Lise - posted on 10/29/2010

1,738

8

233

I would suggest you try something other than a bottle to deliver the formula (the SNS someone else mentioned is a great idea!). This way it would help stop the chance of nipple preference.

Samantha - posted on 10/29/2010

18

14

0

Well we went to an appointment with PCP today and he one of the best doctors in town. He wants me to suppliment 10 ounces a day with formula but allow him nurse all he pleases. Basically nurse him well then offer the formula. He is having us return to his office on Monday to see if there is significant weight gain or not. And if so then his best guess is that my son is not getting enough breast milk. But if we go to weigh him on Monday and he has not gained any significant amount, then our doctor said it would be a health issue with my son which would lead to further tests. So we are goin to try this over the weekend. And in no way shape or form am I thrilled about this. But I am considering my sons health and if this is what it takes then Im going to do it. But what Im not understanding is...how could the formula be doing my son any good when he spits it right back up after being burped and no more than 3 minutes after he finishes the bottle I have to change his diaper and then again 30 minutes later. So it is only moving right through him. I know they make formula for babies who spit up with it so it easier on them which is what we are going to buy. So by now you can obviously tell that I absolutely hate this formula feeding stuff. I just hope that with these extra calories that are supposedly in him that he puts on enough weight so we no longer have to add this formula that Im not dealing with very well.

Lise - posted on 10/28/2010

1,738

8

233

I would keep with the nursing and, like others said, don't limit him. Also, and IBCLC could help you check for him transferring milk well.

Danielle - posted on 10/28/2010

63

41

13

I had similar problems with my 2 sons. My 2 daughters had no problem with weight loss or gain. But with both of my sons, I had to supplement with formula & take them for weekly weight checks until they were 3-4 mos old. And honestly, neither one of them gained weight any faster on the formula then on just breast milk. With my older son, my PED had me offer a 4 oz bottle of formula after each feeding. Sometimes he would take it, others he wouldn't. And after I started back to work part-time at 8 wks, he got 1 bottle of formula while I was at work, the rest breast milk. He just gained weight slowly until he was almost 4 mos old and started cereal, followed by other solid foods.

My 22 mo old, also gained weight slowly until he started solid foods. Before I started back to work, I had to do the same thing, but only offered a bottle of formula 1x per day. I started back to work at 6 wks, and struggled to keep up with him pumping with limited availibility to pump at work. I ended up switching 1 bottle a day to formula. Again, the weight gain really didn't improve.

I say, do what you're comfortable with, as long as he's gaining something & has plenty of dirty diapers.

Angela - posted on 10/28/2010

153

22

17

I had a similar problem with my daughter. She was 8lbs 10oz when she was born and within 24hours of birth she was 7lbs 10oz. This gave a large concern to my midwife and we were sent in for blood tests to check her sugar levels. It ended up being a latch problem and I had to pump milk and finger tube feed her every hour and a half (from the start of one feed to the next) 1-2oz of Breast milk. She ate like a trooper and still didn't get back to her birth weight until after she was 6 weeks old. Its tough when you have all these doctors telling you to supplement. My midwife tried to get me to do the same because she was worried I couldn't pump enough to keep up with the feeding schedule. It brought me to tears. I gave in for one feeding only and I felt so guilty about it that I just took a lot of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle to bring up my milk supply and pumped like crazy. I only let her sleep for three to four hours at night and continued this crazy regiment for three weeks until I was able to get her to latch. Once she latched I fed on demand and she was fine.

I just want to say that yes, doctors know a lot. But if your instincts are telling you that this supplementing is unnecessary than you are probably right. One thing to remember is that the guidelines that doctors go by on weight gain is for formula fed babies. Breastfed babies are in a class of their own and gain weight at a different rate. Make sure you take a deep breath and know that you are doing everything right. Feed on demand and if you are worried about the weight gain start waking the baby up for extra feedings from the breast! Its a long road for the first couple of months but after that it gets better.

My daughter is now almost thirteen months old and she is still feeding on demand all the time...lol... she loves her "booby juice".... Good luck Momma and take everything a doctor says with a grain of salt. Trust yourself. You know your baby best!

Samantha - posted on 10/28/2010

18

14

0

He was a vaginal baby and I have heard that if the mom was on a IV then the baby could retain some of that water and up there birth weight but I was only in labor 5 hours and on the IV fir 4 hours so Im certain that wasnt the case.
And thank you, my sister is a big help.

Celeste - posted on 10/28/2010

3,050

30

870

It sounds like your supply is fine and he IS gaining. That is good! He should be gaining about 5-7/week.

Was he born via c/s? I know that babies born via c/s can have a little more fluid and lose a little more.

The hospital didn't give you very good advice at all. I would NOT limit nursing at all.

I would seek out an IBCLC. You're lucky to have your sister!

Samantha - posted on 10/28/2010

18

14

0

We feed on demand, which is every 2 to 3 hours if he naps, and constantly when he is awake for about 30 to 45 minutes on each breast. Yes, i can hear him swallowing as he is nursing. i have not tried to pump but I'm also in the process of talking to WIC about getting a pump. However I do believe that my milk supply is good. I change his diaper 7 to 9 times a day, which is average.
Another point that was made by my sister was that when her son was a baby (they breast fed also) he didnt gain all his weight back until he was almost 6 weeks and there was never a concern with his weigh and we have the same pediatrician.
While in Akron Children's hospital they told me that what I need to do is let him nurse on each for about 20 minutes and then offer him the bottle; they never suggested for me to let him nurse off the left then the right and alternate. I am a young mom and I didnt think of that until talking to my sister.
I am just very confused on why babies are expected to grow the same and older people are not.
We go to see the pediatrician this afternoon, if anyone can think of anymore questions that I should ask feel free to let me know. Thank for your help and support.

Celeste - posted on 10/27/2010

3,050

30

870

To add to Tessah's questions, how are diaper counts?

Are you nursing on demand and not timing?

Do you have access to an IBCLC? An IBCLC would be able to help you increase supply, if there is a supply issue.

[deleted account]

He still isn't up to birth weight, but it sounds like he IS growing now which I would find encouraging. I'm really surprised no comment was made about him still losing weight at 2 weeks! That's when 'they' typically say that babies should be back up to their birth weight.

I'm sorry I don't have more to add since I don't know any more than Tessah has already mentioned.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms