August 27th, 2016, 12:12 PM
Hello, all! I'm hoping someone might be able to provide some suggestions for our situation outlined below.
My son is four months (20 weeks) old and has been exclusively breastfed since birth (born 7lbs, 7oz). He had been gaining weight steadily (an ounce per day) for the first 10 weeks, the next 6 weeks his growth slowed (2-3 ounces per week), there was no gain for the three weeks, and now this week he's losing weight (he started daycare and is refusing bottles). He has weighed 14lbs, 9oz for the past 4 weeks.
When my son’s growth slowed, I began to wonder about milk transfer. What I’ve found through weight checks with an IBCLC and at home, is that he gets about a half of an ounce of milk each time my milk lets down. My milk tends to let down every five minutes after the initial let down when nursing. Swallowing during the initial let down lasts 30 seconds to a minute. In between let-downs, there is rarely swallowing going on. On the other hand, when I pump while away from baby, once I let down milk will spray for ten minutes and I can get one to three ounces per side in ten minutes, so I know I have enough supply.
Consequently to the above, to get him 2 ounces at the breast, he must stay at the breast for at least 30 minutes (15 on each side), that is about how long it takes for me to let down four times. And of course, if he's hungrier than that, or if there are interruptions or he's distracted (often the case), the nursing “session” takes an hour or...