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underweight

Joanna - posted on 05/01/2012 ( 36 moms have responded )

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my baby is kinda underweight. hmmm what milk should i give her, i only give her breastmilk

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Lori - posted on 05/02/2012

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We need more info to truly answer your question.

How old is baby. How much does she weigh right now. How much did she weigh at birth.. or how much did she weigh last month.

Generally breast milk is enough for most babies. If baby is under 1 year old, and you feed on demand, and baby has 5 to 6 wet diapers per day then she's getting enough.

If she is underweight based on a a percentile on a chart... don't worry about that. Breastfed babies tend to grow faster the first 3 months, then slow down on growth compared to formula fed babies. it's completely normal.

If she's underweight because she started loosing weight for some reason, or hasn't grown for a few months then we can look closer at what you can do to make sure she's eating all she needs to keep growing healthy.

Alison - posted on 05/01/2012

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How old is your baby? and is she really underweight?

Doctors sometimes measure babies according to a chart and forget to take into consideration the genetics of the parents. If she is healthy, happy and hydrated, you should stick with the breastfeeding and drop your doctor's advice. (IMO)

Anna - posted on 06/07/2012

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I m not able to breastfeed because I am on 2 anti-convulsants that have been known to cause certain birth defects such as a cleft palete.

Janice - posted on 05/05/2012

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Pumping is not a good way to know how much you are producing. Babies are better at getting the milk out than a pump. I can barely pump a thing but my babies have been completely satisfied after each feed and are healthy weights. But I do agree that if you can pump enough (at once or over multiple sessions) to make a full bottle you can get an idea of how much your baby is eating each time.

Brianna - posted on 05/04/2012

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Unless your dr says otherwise, your baby can do fine on breastmilk alone up to a year. 6-9 months is the recommended time to begin solids. I agree with health not being a number - being active, responsive, and meeting milestones are more important.

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Anna - posted on 06/06/2012

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Thak you! I do stll give her her formula since it is the best source of nutition for right now.

Kelee - posted on 06/06/2012

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All three of my babies were small and had trouble gaining weight. They eventually catch up, but the doctors always worry. My newest little one was a month early and dropped from 5 pounds 8 oz to 4 pounds 12 oz. I had to feed him every hour and supplement with preemie formula. He is still small, but gaining weight fine. If you are really worried, give her formula too, but your breast milk is usually enough.

Anna - posted on 06/06/2012

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I know how you all are feeling. my daughter will be 9 months next week and she is conciderd underweight. She is a very happy little girl and is perfectly healthy. The only differnce is that I have formula fed her ever since she was born because of some meds that I am taking. It took me the longest time whe she was first born to get her to gain weight or even finish her bottle. I ave been able to get her to finish her bottle very well(she does about 4-6oz. every 4 hrs.) She was 6lbs 9oz. at birth and last week when she was at the pediatric pulmonary she was 14lbs. 1oz. which did make me feel better because she was staying between 12-13lbs since Feb. she started solids when she was 6 moths and has done very well. I even started her on finger foods with in the last month. I got her to do a whole jar and even around a half of a 2nd one. Since she had still not gained any weight the doctor at the pulmonary siggested that I thinken her formula by mixing 3 scoops of formula and 5 oz. of water (I was doing 4 scoops for 8oz.) Then. adding rice to her bottle after it has been made since she does not finish everything, in hopes to get her to gain weight. I have been working on it within the last week and she will eat a little less of one thing and more of the other. I was mixing rice in her formula about a month after she was born to get her to gain weight becaue she was not finishing her bottle as well during that time. What has seemed to work ? She has a regulsr check up with her pediatrian so and I am goig to ask her if she can tell me what her record says and what her opinins are.

Christina - posted on 06/01/2012

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Underweight according to what? As long as she is gaining SOME weight each month, she's fine. If she is responsive, alert and otherwise thriving, trust your own instincts. Breast milk is the best for her. Before 12 months, solids are (nutritionally speaking) just an 'educational' diet. If you are fully breastfeeding, she will be receiving all the nutrition she needs (assuming BF'ing is well established).

Hella - posted on 05/13/2012

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I just read the rest of the comments. If she started solid, try mashed avocado with garlic,and little bit of salt, and lemon, Or she likes more the sweets? But she seems to me she is on the right weight, don't worry. :)

Hella - posted on 05/13/2012

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Trust your babies. Is she happy? Just feed her on demand. Does your baby look underweight, or she just small, and the dr. just see the numbers? How does your baby look like to you? Let her on your breast as long as she wants, and feed her as often as she wants, and she will be not underweight. :) Formula is not very good for babies, so just stick with the breast milk if you can. Stay away from cereals, and stuff. Good luck. :)

Heather - posted on 05/13/2012

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No milk. She is breastfed. Most breastfed babies are going to seem underweight. Don't supplement with formula either. She IS fine. Most pediatricians don't know what they are talking about when it comes to weight and breastfed babies.

Celeste - posted on 05/08/2012

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Is that her *LOWEST* weight? Typically, newborns can lose up to 10%.

But, considering that your baby was a 5 lber, she's actually NOT underweight. Typically, breastfed babies average 1 lb per month. So, let's say she was 5 lbs even. At 7 months, that would be around 12 lbs. She's right on! T

Joanna - posted on 05/08/2012

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thanks for all your comments... hi celeste clark, she was born a little bit small, shes a 5 pounder.... shes now taking solid foods but she doesnt like the taste of every food that i give .. i dont know what food to offer.....

Celeste - posted on 05/08/2012

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Joanna, can we get a weight history, starting with the *lowest* weight? How's your nursing management? Nursing on cue or a schedule? Is she on solids?

Joanna - posted on 05/08/2012

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thanks alison... shes already 7 months pold but she weighs 13 lbs. she really a happy baby and very active

Celeste - posted on 05/08/2012

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Need a ton more information. How old is baby? Weight history? How is diaper count? Active? Overall healthy? There is much more to a baby's health than weight.

http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/newbo...

Bernadette "no, pumping won't tell you exactly how much you're producing to the ml, but it will give you a pretty good idea of whether you are producing enough in order to determine if that is why your baby is underweight. "

No, pumping doesn't tell you anything about supply. I nursed twins and didn't pump much more than 1/2 oz both sides. Some women respond to pumps, some don't. It means nothing. I can't tell you how many times I've seen moms say that they didn't "produce enough" because they could "only pump x oz"..

Bernadette - posted on 05/08/2012

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no, pumping won't tell you exactly how much you're producing to the ml, but it will give you a pretty good idea of whether you are producing enough in order to determine if that is why your baby is underweight. But as long as your baby doesn't seem hungry soon after feeds, and is happy and healthy and doing all the things she's supposed to be doing, then i wouldn't think the problem is that she's not getting enough. You can usually tell if the baby isn't getting enough, as she'll be whingy and hungry all the time. But pumping will give you an idea. Some days when I would feel that my babies weren't getting enough I wouldn't be able to pump much either. Other days I could fill a whole bottle in minutes, off just one side.

Megan - posted on 05/07/2012

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I have a been breastfeedin my son for 11 months now and he, too is on the lean side. He started taking some solids at 6 months. He tries many different foods and is about 50th percentile for his head circumference and height. He is more of a grazer when it comes to eating, he'll have a little and get distracted, the have a little more later. He is perfectly healthy and almost walking. My insecurity arises when he is compared against growth charts of American babies. If you compare him to the World Health Organization charts for only breastfed babies, he is tall and average weight. There are some breastfed babies who are really large, but the formula fed babies are larger because people feel inclined to have them finish a bottle, whereas it doesn't work that way with our bodies. When the boob is empty, they may cry for more or try to feed more often. This signals us to make more the next time. But we don't over feed from the breast, typically. Many American babies really are obese, so don't worry. Look up the WHO charts and ease your mind. The distinction in weight between the two different methods becomes pronounced at 4 months. Breasfeeding is by far the better option. Keep it up, Mama. You are doing great!

[deleted account]

Don't worry about it. Babies that are breastfed don't tend to gain as much weight as bottlefed babies, but as long as they take milk and have wet nappies and seem happy and healthy there is nothing wrong. My two were both on the small side, but as long as they didn't loose weight, the health visitors said they were fine. They are now three and six and both healthy. Good luck.

Bernadette - posted on 05/05/2012

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One good thing about pumping and feeding the expressed milk from a bottle is that you can see exectly how much the baby is getting. That's one thing I used to sometimes worry about with breast feeding. Sometimes it would feel to me like the baby wasn' getting much and on those occasions would be complaining again not long after. Pumping is a good way to know exactly how much you are producing and also how much of it bub is actually drinking.

Also, something I forgot to mention in my previous post is that, when my son didn't put on any weight between four and six months, he also had a bad case of tonsillitis, right when I was trying to start him on solids. Of course he didn't. Want them. The other thing was that he was on antibiotics for over two weeks. That gave him the runs big time, so of course he wasn't putting on weight - he wouldn't eat and his milk went straight through him. Something the doctor didn't take into consideration when she insisted I should be making him have three solid meals per day. At just six months. Yeah right. We changed doctors.

Kellie - posted on 05/04/2012

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It wouldn't hurt her milk supply if she's pumping and storing her milk - feeding her baby from the bottle. There's just a lot of factors we don't know. First and probably most important, what makes her think her baby is underweight. Did the doctor say something? If so, then the doctor should be have recommended some things to try. I only recommended giving the formula once day as a way to "beef up", since she is obviously concerned. Even if the baby is healthy, if it puts the mother's mind at ease, it's worth the suggestion.

I also want to say that feeding the baby breast milk from the bottle is a great way to get other people involved. So I don't want ppl freaking out that I even mentioned feeding the baby from anything other than directly at the breast.

Lori - posted on 05/04/2012

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Giving formula even once a day shouldn't be necessary. And it can hurt your milk supply. Unless she's showing signs of malnutrition like Brittnay Garvey was talking about, Supplementing isn't the answer.

Kellie - posted on 05/04/2012

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I'm not sure how old your baby is, so please really don't follow this next bit of advice too closely and definitely ask your doctor for suggestions... But my daughter is 8 and takes medication for ADD, which is known to suppress hunger/appetite - and she's already thin to begin with, due to genetics. Her school nurse recommended PediaSure Kicks for lunch. Just the drink and a pack of carrots or fruit or something else. My daughter really doesn't feel like she's eating anything, so she actually eats the one or two things she's packed and drinks the PediaSure, which has the necessary nutrients that she needs. Then she's not starving at 3 pm, either. I'm not sure if there is something similar for children your baby's age - or if formula is the equivalent.

Maybe try giving her formula once a day??

Bernadette - posted on 05/04/2012

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Ok, I was not yet ready to post and this stupid tablet I'm using posted anyway and now won't let me edit. Been trying for about half an hour or more and about to rage. So please read my previous post first...



As I was saying, does your daughter seem happy and healthy with good colouring, shiny eyes, meeting milestones, etc? If so, I wouldn't worry too much. Especially if she is active. She may just burn it off very quickly. The other thing is, does she seem hungry all the time? If so, maybe she isn't getting enough from you and needs supplementing. If she seems satisfied after feeds then no real need to give her anything else. Despite my son's very low weight, he never indicated that he wasnw gettingenough and had just breast milk until 8 months (not including the attempts to feed him solids). He is a skinny baby, will be a skinny kid, and I'm. Pretty sure will be a skinny adult too. It just runs in my family.

Bernadette - posted on 05/04/2012

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I recently had this same issue with my son. He was very underweight but just wasn't interested in solids at all and didn't start eating them properly until he was 8 months. It was obvious he was healthy though - he was happy, active, meeting all of his other milestones (he was around 6months when we the doc pointed out it was an issue, so things like sitting up on his own, attempting to crawl, etc) so I stopped worrying about it. Now, at 13 months, he eats like there is no tomorrow and is still so underweight that he's not even on the percentile chart but way down bellow the bottom line. I discussed it with the doctor (we changed doctors after the first one made it seem likehis weight was a critical issue and got me really stressed to the point of briefly trying to force feed him) at his 12 month check up. He said that he passes they 'eye test', in that he looks happy and healthy, has good colouring, bright eyes, etc, and is continuing to meet his milestones. He is extremely active, always on the go, and obviously just has a good metabolism and Burns it off quickly. Seriously, he eats more than my three year old daughter and she's right on average for her age. Some kids are just skinny. Look at other factors rather than just what the scales say. Is she happy and meeting milestones appropriate for her age? Does she have goojd skin colour (not pale or pasty looking)? Are her eyes bright and shiny (not dull or bloodshot. Or unfocussed)?

Janice - posted on 05/04/2012

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Every baby is different as long as she is gaining weight (even a small amount) then your baby is fine. Babies do not need anything more than breast milk before 6 months.
Genetics play a big roll. I was a chunky baby and on breast milk alone my daughter became a chunker -25%ile height and 75%ile weight at 4 months. My hubby was not a chunky baby plus my son sleeps better and my son is only 25%ile for height and only 35%ile for weight.

Heather - posted on 05/03/2012

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Nothing. She is fine. Depending on her age, around 6 to 8 months old, you can start to give her baby food and some real foods!

Michelle - posted on 05/02/2012

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Remember that the charts are calculated on formula fed babies, which are generally a little heavier. If gaining, peeing, general health is fine, the baby is a normal level of happy etc then I wouldn't worry about it.

[deleted account]

How underweight? My daughter at 3 months weighed only 9 lbs and was in the 2nd percentile. Even after checking my supply she hadn't gained weight by 4 months. Once she was given table food she started to gain weight. She looked sickly. Her eyes were sunken in and she was weak. She had to have more than just breastmilk. But for most children breastmilk is just fine by itself.

Anita - posted on 05/02/2012

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Who says the baby is underweight? My youngest didn't gain much from one check-up to the next, so the dr. told me that he needed to gain weight and suggested some high-fat, high calorie foods to help him gain some. That sounded dumb to me--would I tell a thin person to eat more butter, cheese, etc, just to gain weight? I took into consideration that both my husband and I are small, and he (my son) had recently started walking. I did also provide a bit more than I had been at mealtime, but it was only healthy food. (He was both breastfeeding and eating solids at that point.) At his next checkup, he had "caught up" to his curve on the chart.

My husband reminded me of this too--we live in a society where a majority of people (kids included) are overweight. So if the charts tell you your baby is below the norm, is that really a bad thing? Since the norm is too big?

Just my thoughts. I agree with Lori--if your baby is happy, healthy, growing AT ALL, and is hydrated--having enough wet diapers, then I would not worry about it. Breastmilk is the best, so if you're feeding your baby enough times each day as is appropriate for his/her age, then don't worry. If you do think baby's not eating enough, then YOU lead the way and work in one more feeding each day.

Good luck

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