My baby is underweight

Jamie - posted on 05/05/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My little girl was 7lbs 2oz and 19 inches when she was born. She is now 4 months old and is only 10lbs 4oz and 25 inches long. The doctor said she was underweight and that I needed to let her feed longer and start supplementing formula which I hate, but I give her some formula every now and then. I've tried feeding longer, but I can't force her to eat when she doesn't want to eat. I've tried to feed her burp her let her wait 20 minutes or so after she is done and then feed again and she will eat, but she will just throw all that up. I've given her baby ceral, baby foods, and yougurt, but I can't seem to get her to gain weight. Should I be worried about this? She looks healthy and I've been told she might just be a tiny little thing.

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Breastmilk changes consistency through the feeding, and from your post it sounds like your daughter will only feed for short stretches, like a few minutes at a time - is that right? The foremilk is low in fat, while the hindmilk is high is fat. You need to be a few minutes into the feed before the baby starts to get the high-fat milk. Some other indicators of a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance would be gassiness and greenish stools.

If you want to get more hindmilk into her, you can try pumping for a few minutes before you put her to the breast. Alternatively, I know some moms who took pumped milk and skimmed the fattier portion of the milk to feed the baby. If you have to pump anyway to keep your supply up and you are not interested in supplementing, maybe this approach will work for you.

Emily - posted on 05/05/2009

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I think that meeting milestones is a much better indicator of how healthy the baby is than size is. She is eating that is obvious. Formula and breastmilk have more fat and calories than solids so don't rush into those or substitute feedings with them. If you give a formula feeding I would suggest pumping then so your body is still stimulated to keep up the milk production.

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Susan - posted on 05/05/2009

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I always say that the doctors don't know everything....Your her mother you know whats best for your baby!!!!With that said if she is feeding and happy and doing everything else fine then your good...My daughter is 6 and is considered underweight and short for her age but what it boils down to is some babies are just small thats all....don't get to worried about it.....just love your baby:)

Jamie - posted on 05/05/2009

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Thank you all that is how I feel about her. I think she is just going to be a small little girl. She eats all the time and I really dont want to give her formula, but I felt I had too because the doctor said too

Kristie - posted on 05/05/2009

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I had the same problem when my daughter was little. She didn't gain much weight the first couple months, her dr wanted to supplement with formula and that was the end of breastfeeding. She is now 2yrs old with a different dr and only weights 24 lbs. He isn't really concerned about it. I would say that if you are feeding her when she is hungry and she eats as much as she wants she may just be a little girl.

Kristen - posted on 05/05/2009

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She is growing, that is the most important thing. As PP have mentioned, some babies are just smaller. As long as she is making consistent wet and messy diapers, meeting milestones and showing some growth, that is all that is needed. Don't let a doctor who probably has very little experience with breastfed babies bully you into something if you don't feel comfortable doing it.



For what it's worth, my little 6 month old still hasn't hit 14 lbs and was 6lb 3 oz when he was born. He is in the 10th percentile for weight. My ped doesn't really care as long as there is an upward curve on the growth chart and not any spikes up or down.



Good luck!

Jamie - posted on 05/05/2009

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She feeds about 5 minutes on eat breast thats all. I pump when I am giving her formula so my milk don't go away because I want to keep breast feeding as long as possible. Other than that I'm no supplmenting solids. I just give them to her on of what she already getting.

Maleasha - posted on 05/05/2009

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Some babies are just smaller. As long as she is eating and is happy, I wouldn't worry. My youngest was 7lbs. 12 oz. when he was born and he only weighs 18 lbs and he just turned 1.

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