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Thread: 4 month old not gaining much weight

  1. #1

    Default 4 month old not gaining much weight

    I have looked at this site a lot in the past and found it very helpful, but this is my first time posting. I would appreciate any advice or support. At my daughters 4 month check up she had only gained three ounces in one month. The Dr. wasn't too worried, he just recommened feeding her more frequently (every 2 hours) and waking her at night. Prior to this Dr. visit she had been eating every three hours during the day and going 4 to 6 hours at night in between feedings. We will take her back to the Dr. in two weeks to be weighed again.

    I was feeling OK about the new plan, but while pumping yesterday and today it seems my milk supply has diminished. Now I'm a little more worried.

    I work four days a week, but go home at lunch to nurse. My daughter doesn't love the bottle, she ususally takes 1 to 3.5 ounces. I pump twice at work and usually get around 4 ounces per session. We're now trying to get her to take 2 ounces every two hours from the bottle while I'm at work.

    She was 6.11 at birth, was up to 7.4 at two weeks, 9.0 at two months, 10.15 at three months and 11.2 at four months.

    She has at least 8 wet diapers and about three poops a day.

    I also had a bad cold over the weekend, but still nursed as much as I normally would. She didn't get sick as far as I could tell.

    Is this a "normal" pattern or should I take extra measures? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    Hmm, interesting weight gain pattern. If you look at this chart: http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/chart3.html you see that she is more or less following the same curve all the way except for that 3 month measurement. Makes me wonder if that measurement was off- like maybe the baby was weighed in a diaper and clothes instead of naked, or was weighed on a different scale. Based on yur baby's diaper output and overall weight gain, I don't think that I would be concerned- even if the weights are accurate. Babies can wiggle around quite a bit on the weight-for-age charts, since growth is not always a smooth curve in all dimensions. Some months a baby will gain a lot of height and pause in weight, or vice versa, and as a baby gets mobile, she will often drop down several percentiles as she starts putting her calories into motion instead of packing them on as fat.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    The lower pumping output may not be indicative that your supply in diminishing. It's possible it's a fluke because you had a cold and your body is recovering. Or it could just be that you now have something new to worry about. It's amazing the effect our mind can have on our bodies. Worrying about your daughter's weight gain while you pump seems like the kind of thing that could put a damper on your output. Try to relax and drink plenty of extra fluids since you are recovering.

    Thank your lucky stars the doc didn't immediately jump to "time to supplement."
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    Good advice from previous posters.

    I just wanted to ask if you remember the state of your daughter's diaper and tummy at her last weight check. If she had a full diaper and empty tummy, that right there explains the [B][I]seemingly[B][I] low weight gain. (Or a very full tummy or bowel at the previous check could have inflated the three month weight.) The overall pattern doesn't look alarming, and I'm glad that your doctor didn't seem to be too concerned and gave good advice about feeding frequency. I found that waking my son (who went to sleep early in the evening) before I went to bed at night was a good way to get him the extra bit of nourishment he needed at that age. (He handled waking up throughout the night quite well on his own.)

    It's great that you're able to go home to nurse at lunch time, but you don't mention how many hours you're away. If it's more than three hours before or after lunch, you might want to consider adding in at least one more pumping session. The PP is right that just stress can lower pumping output, but pumping an extra session will help if you are having any issues. (Even if your daughter won't take the milk in a bottle, you can always save it for later when she's on a sippy or mix it with solids for a nutrition boost.)

    All in all, it sounds like you're doing fine, but I hope this helps just reassure you a bit.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  5. #5

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    Thanks for the responses and reassurance. We're trying our best to nurse more! I think the weight checks were accurate; we've used the same scale and dry diaper at each check. I work 9 hour days, but sometimes my husband brings her by to nurse, like today when she is not taking a bottle. So we've nursed every two hours today while at work. I'm considering cutting back on my hours, but will wait to see how the Dr. appt and weight check goes. Thanks again and I will post an update next week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    Wow! Nursing every two hours while at work is great; I'm glad your husband was able to bring her. That will help her weight gain and your supply if there are any issues.

    It sounds like you're staying very well on top of things, and I hope you'll get good news at your next dr.'s appointment. While you are going nine hours at work, I'd definitely consider doing at least three pumpings, even if one of those is after you've recently nursed your daughter at lunch. A pumping after nursing is a great way to help supply. (I've not pumped while working outside the home, but I did have to pump for my daughter who couldn't nurse, so I've got lots of experience in that particular area.)

    I wish you both very well.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  7. #7

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    Update!
    My daughter gained 8.5 oz at the last weigh in. The Dr. said that's what he had hoped to see, so it seems like things are going good. We are continuing with more frequent nursing and I feel much better about things. Thanks again for your help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining much weight

    Great news. Thanks for the update.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

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