Breastfed baby not gaining weight?

Kate - posted on 08/10/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




I need some advice. I just brought my exclusively breastfed, nine month old baby girl in for her checkup and she has dropped from 16lbs 5oz at 7 months to 16lbs 1oz at 9 months and has not grown in length at all. I am also currently 13 weeks pregnant, the doctor said that the new pregnancy could be causing my milk supply to drop off and that I should start supplementing her with formula. My daughter has started wanting a lot more solids lately, she doesn't like many purees and prefers to have whole, well-seasoned foods that are cut into bite-sized pieces. Has anyone else run into a similar situation while breastfeeding? I do not want to have to give my daughter formula now when we have made it this far. The doctor also said to cut down on her solids intake over the next few weeks while we give her formula. Any idea why? It seems like that would overall decrease he calorie intake. If we did choose to supplement shouldn't we do it in addition to the solids to provide her with as much as possible? Developmentally she is up to speed. She sits up, can but refuses to crawl and pulls herself up to standing. P.S. This doctor also scheduled my daughter for an ultrasound at 7 months because she felt pea-sized lymph nodes in her groin area. (Turned out to be completely normal) She also just x-rayed my baby's head today because she thought her soft spot might be closing too quickly. (Still waiting to hear back on that one.) I would like to be happy that I my baby has such a thorough doctor, but I also am worried that she is creating a lot of unnecessary worry about a healthy baby.


Elfrieda - posted on 08/10/2012




I would want a second opinion. That doctor would not be a good fit for me, I don't like worrying until there's actually something to worry about.


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Kate - posted on 08/10/2012




Thanks for all the prompt responses! Anybody have any tips for introducing a bottle? I have noticed that my breasts have shrunk over the past few weeks, but I just thought she was nursing more. So I guess my milk production has lagged a bit and now I feel horrible like I have been starving my baby. I am worried that she's not getting enough liquids and I asked the doctor about giving her water. She likes to takes sips from our glass when my husband and I drink water, but I know she is not getting much. She uses her sippy cups as hammers, but doesn't really drink from them. The doctor said formula would be better in that respect since she hasn't gained any weight, because water would just fill her up without providing any calories. BUT she has not drank anything from a bottle since she was four months old. I still am going to breastfeed, but I do want to provide her with something extra if not just to have a measurable amount of liquid that she is consuming.

[deleted account]

Both of mine had issues gaining weight. With my daughter all I needed to do was introduce solids on a regular schedule. My daughter was only 9lbs 8oz at 4 months. She hadn't gained weight for about 2 months (I started to notice at 3 months).

My son however, has been a bit more of a challenge. He eats solids already (7 months), and breastfeeds like crazy. He as breastmilk at least 6 times a day, and has solids for lunch and dinner, plus a few snacks. He was 16lbs 9 oz at his 4 month visit and 16 lbs 13 oz at his 6 month. I was told to increase the number of breastfeedings (at his 6 month check up he was only taking 4 feedings a day).

My daughter decided to wean really early by 11 months she only had 2 feedings regularly. She got most of her calories from food. I never introduced formula.

With my son, the plan is to increase his calories through more breastmilk and giving him healthy fats (like avocados).

The pregnancy could have something to do with the lack of weight gain. But by 9 months I wouldn't worry about formula unless you plan on doing a full switch. If you've gotten to 13 weeks you are doing fairly well. But it is worrisome that she has actually lost weight. I would give more table foods while keeping up with the same breastfeeding regiment.

Dove - posted on 08/10/2012




Are YOU consuming enough calories and liquids? If you are breastfeeding and pregnant then you need 800 (300 for the pregnancy, 500 for nursing) more calories/day than if you weren't either of those things... and PLENTY of water. Breast milk and formula have more calories than the solid foods, so cutting down on solids does make sense. If you are consuming enough calories yourself then I don't think I'd give up breastfeeding entirely, but perhaps offer your baby a bit of formula after a feed to see if she's still hungry.

When you do give her solids... make them count (like avocado... good high fat food).

Since she's lost weight I'm assuming that she's scheduled for a recheck? I'm glad you have a thorough doctor.

Kaitlin - posted on 08/10/2012




Yes, I understand this situation. Even if your baby is eating solids well, her primary source of nutrition should be breastmilk or formula at this point. If she's having some issues growing, it makes perfect sense that the doctor wants her to consume more calories via breastmilk or formula.
When I was pregnant with my second, my hormone change gave my older son morning sickness! He also didn't want it as it changed flavor with my hormones. Needless to say, breastfeeding tapered off, and I had to introduce formula as he was only 7 months at the time. I always planned on breastfeeding until around 1 year to 1 1/2 years, but I had to do what was best for my child, and that was formula. I know it stinks, but your baby really needs those nutrients and calories from the formula. If you aren't already hooked up with WIC, check them out, they can provide formula for you.
I don't know about those other things, but it sounds like you have a great pediatrician. Take heart and know that you and your child(ren) are well taken care of! Congrats on your pregnancy- my boys are best friends, and I love having my kids close together.

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