My nephew is very underweight, what are the possible complications?

Sarj - posted on 08/09/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a newborn nephew, he's now two months old. When he was born he was on the 90th percentile for his height and on the 10th percentile. He is now 2 months old and he is no longer on the weight chart, he's fallen off. I am worried about his health. His parents do not seem to be concerned. We are a very close family but we have been told to butt out, its their baby. Yes he is their baby but if he gets sick or God forbid something bad happens because he is so underweight, he will become our baby because he is our baby. I have three children, a bunch of nieces and nephews and we always fed them until they said no more. My sister-in-law restricts how much she feeds him because his tummy hurts. However, when we beg for him to fed more after a feeding when he is obviously hungary, and once in awhile my brother relents, his tummy doesn't hurt, he's in fact happier.

We love him like we love our own children, that is the type of family we are but we are worried

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Brittany - posted on 08/09/2012

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Yes, I'm really starting to feel as though your aiming at the mother. Is there some problem your not sharing?

I also agree, it takes more than just the parents to raise a responsible child - everyone involved should take part. But this is ultimately the parents decision as to who will be included in this 'village'.

Also, like Dove stated it is not unheard of to have a midwife do the follow-ups with the baby after it is born, and if the midwife is not expressing concern, I would be in no rush to ensure baby was seen by a doctor.

I do agree no one should wait 4 days after there water breaking to go to L&D - however if she was followed by a midwife and trusting her opinion, while babies heartbeat ect. were being followed up on this is also no reason to judge. My son also had probes 'drilled' into his head during a long delivery.

Drinking while nursing can be a concern, however, many breastfeeding mothers drink - in the baby isle of a local shoppers you can find dip strips to test the alcohol level of your breastmilk. As long as she is being safe, there are no concerns having a couple glasses of wine, as I'm sure you know if you were to research.

I am also curious how you know your brother is lying to you? Is is simply because you do not think the baby is as big as it should be? If the baby is thriving and continuing to eat, and gaining weight.. (2 pounds is reasonable) I really think that you may be overstepping boundaries, and if you keep persuing you could really offend your family members causing unnessacary drama or even a rift in the relationship, or 'village'.

Just because they are doing things differently than how you would - does not mean they are wrong, please try to appreciate people raise their children differently and doing so does not make them 'bad' parents.

Take care.

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Dove - posted on 08/09/2012

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Your op says he's underweight.... your follow up response says he isn't tiny. Now I'm confused..... which is it?

How do you know he lied to you? Granted, if the mom is drinking while nursing then you very well may have a great legitimate cause for concern.

I'm just trying to get an accurate picture here. I also know that they aren't the only parents in the world to rely on a midwife more than a doctor. If the worst case scenario ends up them cutting all of you out of their lives for 'meddling'... then your nephew will lose that village.

I'm not at all saying you are wrong to be concerned or want to be involved.... I just know that if I felt people were meddling in my business with my kids... those people would no longer be a part of my life.

I hope it all works out for your nephew.

Sarj - posted on 08/09/2012

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I misunderstood what you said. Yes I would be doing more if he were mine. I used to be one of those moms that I actaully called my doctor to see what was wrong with my daughter because she slept through the night when she wasn't yet a month old - his question "and the problem is?"

Since they are purely relying on a midwife and haven't seen their doctor for over a month, my cocern is justified. We, all of the siblings along with two doctors in tow, are having a sitdown with him next week and if something doesn't come from it then we'll take another approach. I don't for one minute my brother would intentionally hurt the baby - the only reason he got married was so he could become a father. The situation is a little different when it comes to his wife - she's nursing but also drinking - I didn't know that until last weekend when she asked my other sister-in-law if she would share a bottle of wine with her.

My nephew isn't tiny and neither are his parents. My brother is 6'3" and sister-in-law is 5'11" and of average normal weight for their size. My brother doesn't like arguments so he lied to me and told me that they were now feeding the baby as much as he wanted. There is no medical reason not to feed him as much as he wants because if there was we would know about it.

My concern is well placed and if the worst case scenrio is that I am wrong, I will happily live with the consequences because that would mean that my nephew is fine. But thank you for your feedback but as the saying goes, its a village to raise a child and I believe in that concept because I had a lot of help with my three kids from friends, family and nannies and not once did I ignore their advise - why because they had the best interest of my kids at heart and my kids are well adjusted, independent, leaders in their schools and graduating with grade point averges greater than 4.0 and going to Ivy League Universities.

Brittany - posted on 08/09/2012

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^^ Thanks Dove, that exactley what I meant ;)

I agree - if you sincerley want answers - talk to your brother about your concern.

But if they have asked you to keep out of it - and you do not think they are bad parents, and don't think they are neglecting the child... maybe it's just a small baby, after all it's theirs not your ;) Lord knows, children from different families grow differently.

Dove - posted on 08/09/2012

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And I think that Brittany's question was meaning that YOU would be doing more IF you were his mother... not insinuating that you want to take over this child.

Dove - posted on 08/09/2012

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All babies lose weight at birth. Gaining two pounds in 2 months isn't THAT bad. Do you know why they are restricting his feeds? Could he have issues that you aren't aware of and they are following medical advice that you are not aware of at this time?

If you and your brother are close have you had a sit down one on one conversation with him about your concerns about the lack of medical monitoring?

Sarj - posted on 08/09/2012

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Good God I don't want to do more. I am looking forward to retirement and the last thing I want to do is "raise" a child. So no I don't feel like nor want to do more and I also happen to live more than two hours away. So to me he is a toy to play with and spoil because I am his aunt not his mother. I haven't even changed his diaper and have no desire to - I hope that explains exactly where I stand on wanting to do more.
I wouldn't have any issues if they were seeing a doctor. The baby has gained less than 2 lbs in the last two months - theoretically he has lost weight. They are relying completely on their midwife. They almost lost the baby at birth because they stayed home for almost four days after my sister-in-law's water broke and then ended up having an emergency c-section because the baby was under so much stress. Let me put it this way, they had to drill probes into his head to monitor him. He had his cord wrapped around his neck four times and that is why her labour didn't progress for 4 days while they sat at home and waited. So I don't think my concern is from someone who wants to do more but more so to make sure that i have a healthy nephew who doesn't have an uphill battle in life. And God forbid, if that happens then yes I will do more because I am his aunt and I want him to have a wonderful full life

Brittany - posted on 08/09/2012

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I think if the parents have asked you to keep out - thats exactley what you should do.

They are the ones who go to the DR apts, and if DR isn't concerned the parents arn't concerned. Theres no need for you to be worried. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it is their baby. Not yours. I'm sure if the DR was concerned about health issues - they would be as well. Your not saying you think they are bad parents are you? Or your just concerned because you feel you would be doing more..

Michelle - posted on 08/09/2012

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If you are worried than you need to get someone other than a family member involved to talk to the parents about their childs health and the implications of malnutrition.

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