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Thread: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    (Cross post from Milk Supply)

    At yesterday's weekly weight check, my 3 month old LO had lost 5 ounces in 6 days. During that time I had stopped supplementing him because prior to that, he'd been gaining about a half an ounce a day with only 4 - 5 ounces of supplement per day, sometimes less or even none. So I thought I could get away with EBFing as long as a I watched his weight carefully. But since he lost weight, I guess I need to give in and permanently supplement...or do I?

    I have been struggling with my supply since the beginning. I've written a lot about it on here...so I am not going to relay the whole story, but to review:
    1. Breasts didn't grow during pregnancy. Never felt let-down. (Still not sure what LD feels like.) Milk was slow to come in. Baby was at risk for jaundice, lost nearly a pound in 1st three days of life, so I was told to supplement, which I did for nearly 3 months.
    2. I've done everything to increase my supply. To name a few: met with 2 LCs on 3 separate occasions, renting hosp. grade pump (pumping after feedings, middle of the night, etc.). I've taken Reglan (with no results), fenugreek, blessed thistle, more milk plus, goat's rue, shatavari, red clover leaf, and am on my third week of Domperidone @ 40 mg. 4X per day. I think I've noticed a slight increase, but it's hard to tell. (I feed with an SNS, though I'm giving that up now.) I'm on my 4th container of old fashioned oats.

    My LO's weight gain was fine when I supplemented more. It slowed down in relation to decreasing his supplement, but he still gained. This is the first time since those first three days that he's lost weight.

    I had been watching his diaper output. Most days during that 6 week period he had 6 wets. But he only had 1 dirty diaper. He is precocious and alert and looks perfectly fine on the outside.

    I just need to know...is it time to just give in? I don't mean "give up" because I'll keep up on the herbs and pumping occasionally, but is it just time for me to accept my supply for what it is?

    Have I damaged my sweet baby by letting him lose weight??
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    Have I damaged my sweet baby by letting him lose weight awe I don't think so... Hang in there...
    IF you need to give some suppliment a day then its ok!
    The 1st rule feed the baby... And one bottle a day, when your working to reduce that its way ok!

    Has he been sick? Sometimes when they are sick they don't nurse well.
    Have you thought about giving the suppliment in a cup ? that way baby will meet all his sucking needs at the breast.

    Does he refuse the breast sometimes?
    how often would you say hes asking to nurse in 24 hours?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    You have NOT damaged him. It's not optimal, but babies lose weight all the time, for various reasons, and suffer no ill effects as long as they rebound and start gaining again. Think about it, especially over the long arc of history: human babies are actually pretty robust little creatures - they've had to be. I don't want to diminish the seriousness of your baby's situation or how I know you must feel about it (I weigh my daughter weekly and my gut flips when I even suspect she's not gaining properly). However, I'd hate to see you hand yourself another stick to beat yourself up with.

    I really don't know whether you'll be able to increase your supply beyond what you have so far. It sounds like you're exploring all your options, and I really hope you start to see better results. That said, a little bit of supplemented formula isn't the worst thing in the world, especially when you know you've exhausted other possibilities. Would I be happy about it? Nope. But I want to tell you this, in case you're not telling yourself: You're doing a really good job. As long as you continue giving your baby as much breast milk as you can, then you're doing the best you can - and thereby the best thing for your baby
    Elizabeth, mama to Lillian - 10/03/10


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aidansmama View Post
    I just need to know...is it time to just give in? I don't mean "give up" because I'll keep up on the herbs and pumping occasionally, but is it just time for me to accept my supply for what it is?
    This is such a tough question!!! I think it's one that only you can answer. There's no telling if or when you'll be able to turn the corner. Is it worth it to you to keep trying?

    (I know you've gotten a lot of advice in other threads- in case the following facet got missed I just want to throw it out there: sometimes there's a physical barrier to milk production like thyroid problems, which are common in the postpartum period, or a fragment of retained placenta. You might want to talk to your doc or midwife about that possibility.)

    Have I damaged my sweet baby by letting him lose weight?
    No. Babies are resilient. He's going to be FINE!!!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    Thank you all for your replies and encouragement. I don't think I would still be BFing at all if it weren't for LLL and this forum.

    I have had my hormones tested, including thyroid, and it checked out normal. Is there a way to test for placental remnants? I have already started my period, so would it have just passed that way?

    Time is flying. My LO is already 3 months old today and I feel like I've missed so much enjoyment from being so stressed out about EBFing. I have decided to just give in and supplement in the evenings with the goal of maintaining my current supply, rather than stressing about increasing it. I'm going to have DH give DS a bottle in the evening so that DS doesn't learn to expect a bottle from me. And I'll BF on demand the rest of the time until I go back to work in August. Hopefully one evening bottle will be enough for him to start gaining again. And hopefully he can take a bottle without losing interest in BFing.

    I have grieved over this so much that I think what my LO needs now is just a happy mommy. Unlike his first three months of life, I don't want to spend the next three months pumping, researching, & scavenging the internet for answers like a mad woman rather than just holding him. I'll keep taking the herbs and the Dom, eating oatmeal, and pumping occasionally...but I think it's time to just say that I am a mom who BFs and FFs in the evenings. I just pray that I can maintain my current supply this way.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  6. #6
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    I was in your shoes a few months ago, too. I tried EVERYTHING.. the lactation consultants actually ran out of ideas for me! That was def. NOT encouraging to say in the least!!

    Then, I gave up trying to make it happen. I got to that point where you are at now where I figured I would just do the bottle of formula at night and continue to try everything to help increase but come to terms with the fact that I didn't make enough. And that is OK because most of what she got was BM (as is your LO) and the effort is what is most important!

    Once I let that go, a few weeks later I noticed that I didn't need that extra 3oz of formula - only the 6-7 oz of EBM that I pumped from the night before (she sleeps through the night). Then slowly she didn't need what I pumped but started waking up earlier so I was able to get 3-4oz and now I still get that and store in the freezer for back up. It took time to get to this point but I really think it helps to relax. And TRULY relax. Don't keep on telling yourself that other people eventually get there.. bc you might not. What helped me is telling myself that I will forever have to supplement formula and THAT is ok because she is getting mostly my milk.
    I'm a homeschooling, , mom!

    4/21/04 9lbs1oz FF due to hospital sabotage
    3/16/07 10lbs3oz FF bc of severe weight loss, lack of support
    11/02/10 7lbs14oz BF , supplemented 3oz formula/day for first 3 months due to supply issues. Now she's on all mommy's milk!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    NT5, thanks so much for sharing your story. It helps so much. I am happy that you were finally able to EBF! Yes, that's my dream, but I have also come to terms with the fact that we'll have to continue giving LO his evening bottle for a while. Tonight was the first night that I didn't feel guilty about this. And the technique of DH giving DS his bottle (so that DS doesn't expect a bottle from me) seems to be working...but it's only been 4 days... so, *knock on wood*.

    My other hope is that perhaps when DS is on solids, maybe we'll no longer need to supplement...and that's only three months away if he's interested in solids at 6 months. Time is flying!

    I think I'll truly be able to relax again once LO is gaining, which we'll know in a couple days at his next weight check.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aidansmama View Post
    NT5, thanks so much for sharing your story. It helps so much. I am happy that you were finally able to EBF! Yes, that's my dream, but I have also come to terms with the fact that we'll have to continue giving LO his evening bottle for a while. Tonight was the first night that I didn't feel guilty about this. And the technique of DH giving DS his bottle (so that DS doesn't expect a bottle from me) seems to be working...but it's only been 4 days... so, *knock on wood*.

    My other hope is that perhaps when DS is on solids, maybe we'll no longer need to supplement...and that's only three months away if he's interested in solids at 6 months. Time is flying!

    I think I'll truly be able to relax again once LO is gaining, which we'll know in a couple days at his next weight check.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.
    That's what happened to me, too. I hope the same works out for you! Keep up the good work!! I think those of us moms who try so hard to BF are so much more proud of our accomplishments since worked so hard at them. A LC in my town was telling me the same thing as your were saying - relax and enjoy your baby.. it's not worth stressing over and wishing you just enjoyed your baby. She told me that I was the only one that she knew that was trying that hard.. and that most would have given up. Same goes for you and a lot of moms on here. You are doing great!
    I'm a homeschooling, , mom!

    4/21/04 9lbs1oz FF due to hospital sabotage
    3/16/07 10lbs3oz FF bc of severe weight loss, lack of support
    11/02/10 7lbs14oz BF , supplemented 3oz formula/day for first 3 months due to supply issues. Now she's on all mommy's milk!

  9. #9
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    Feb 2011
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    California
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    Default Re: Trying not to panic about LO's weight loss

    It's true.... I swear every chance I get to BF my son feels like a gift now. My ped and the LCs said the same thing to me: most women don't do 1/10th of what I've done to try to EBF. Usually when I put my mind to something, I can make it happen, but apparently not this time! It's very humbling.

    We're on night 5 of DH feeding DS his evening bottle as part of his bedtime routine. So far, so good. Though my emotions about this are fluctuating and evolving, at the moment, I feel at peace. But I am currently pumping to make up the missed feed, and I'll probably pump at least once or twice more before I go to bed, so I haven't fully "given in" like I said I would. But it's important to have some EBM for DS's bottle the following night, which is why I'm still pumping.

    Anyway... thanks again for the support.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

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