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Thread: Not gaining waight properly?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Murray, UT
    Posts
    63

    Default Not gaining waight properly?

    We had out 4 month check up for DS today, and he only gained 1 lb sense his 2 month, going from percentile 5 to percentile 1. So my doctor has recommended supplementing with formula a few times a day, and we go back in 2 weeks to see how he is growing. I really would like to keep EBing and not have bottles become a regular occurrence. Does anyone have any advice for me to help him gain weight FAST? (I'm already pumping to try and increase my supply)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,996

    Default Re: Not gaining waight properly?

    When a doc suggests using formula, he/she is generally supposing that the cause for the slow weight gain is inadequate milk intake. If the baby is taking in enough milk, formula won't fix things, since breastmilk generally has more calories than formula!

    Some things to consider as possible causes of low weight gain:
    - Reflux. Babies with acid reflux sometimes fail to gain weight because using their digestive system hurts. http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/reflux.html
    - Anemia. I have read that lack of iron can cause slowed growth. A simple blood test for iron levels would rule this in/out.
    - Non-demanding baby. There are some rare babies that just don't ask to eat. In those cases, mom must take the lead and offer to nurse more than the baby seems to want.
    - Genetics. Sometimes babies are just naturally small- if you and the baby's dad are small people, it could be that your baby is just programmed to be little. Being in the 1%ile isn't bad as long as it's a healthy 1%ile.

    Suggestions for increasing weight gain:
    - Nurse more frequently
    - Take away the pacifier, if you are using one (you want baby to do all his sucking at the breast)
    - Consider sleeping with your baby if you are not already doing so. Babies who nurse at night can take in a lot of calories.
    - Daily multivitamin? (Talk to your doc.)
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Not gaining waight properly?

    I would suggest that you nurse on demand, or every 2-3 hours if demand is not made. Then, after each feeding, give 2 oz formula. Or, if you're stressed about bottles, give 1 or 2 bottles a day with 4-6 oz.

    I would think that if you are keeping your breasts from getting full and are encouraging production through frequent nursing, and you are pushing additional formula for a few weeks, you should get an idea quickly of whether the problem is one of production or something else- ie., reflux, etc. Perhaps then you can start gradually taking the formula away.

    I would just be really hesitant to give advice right now about not adding the pediatrician recommended formula when growth and brain development is so crucial at this young stage. I would rather err on the side of over feeding than under feeding. I truly believe breast milk is the best, but not at the expense of a hungry baby.

    As for the bottle issue, every baby is different and yours may not have any problems shifting back and forth from bottle to breast. I stressed about this non-stop when I went to work and had to start pumping, but my LO doesn't care whether she gets pumped milk from the bottle- she still loves nursing and seems to prefer that over everything else. Now, I try to still give her one bottle even on weekends and on days I"m off work just to keep her accustomed to the bottle. Plus, it is a great way to let dad and grandparents feed her and get that closeness on occasion too.

    And you should not let yourself feel bad about this temporary need to supplement! You are doing wonderfully for your child and providing lots of nourishing breast milk. Just because he is getting a few extra ounces of formula does not mean he isn't getting the advantage of the good stuff you're giving him!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: Not gaining waight properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    When a doc suggests using formula, he/she is generally supposing that the cause for the slow weight gain is inadequate milk intake. If the baby is taking in enough milk, formula won't fix things, since breastmilk generally has more calories than formula!

    Some things to consider as possible causes of low weight gain:
    - Reflux. Babies with acid reflux sometimes fail to gain weight because using their digestive system hurts. http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/reflux.html
    - Anemia. I have read that lack of iron can cause slowed growth. A simple blood test for iron levels would rule this in/out.
    - Non-demanding baby. There are some rare babies that just don't ask to eat. In those cases, mom must take the lead and offer to nurse more than the baby seems to want.
    - Genetics. Sometimes babies are just naturally small- if you and the baby's dad are small people, it could be that your baby is just programmed to be little. Being in the 1%ile isn't bad as long as it's a healthy 1%ile.

    Suggestions for increasing weight gain:
    - Nurse more frequently
    - Take away the pacifier, if you are using one (you want baby to do all his sucking at the breast)
    - Consider sleeping with your baby if you are not already doing so. Babies who nurse at night can take in a lot of calories.
    - Daily multivitamin? (Talk to your doc.)
    nicely written

    compressions may help too

  5. #5

    Default Re: Not gaining waight properly?

    This happened to me with my son as well. I took him to bed for 24 hours and let him nurse all he wanted. I rested the entire time and only focused on feeding him. He gained a lot in that time. If you baby likes to take baths I highly recommend getting into a warm tub and letting baby nurse. The water always relaxed my babies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    549

    Default Re: Not gaining waight properly?

    with Mommal. My DS (now almost 4 years old) has always been in the 2nd-5th percentile. It does not mean anything is wrong with him or how he is fed, he is just a thin kid. Our ped has never been concerned about his weight. Also, my mom let me look though my old baby book. I found out I was almost the exact same weight as he was at 4 months, and I was FF.

    How often does your LO nurse? Could you try to add in an additional nursing session per day? Also what is his diaper output like?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Murray, UT
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Not gaining waight properly?

    Just an update... We went back to the ped today and DS gained 18 oz in 14 days! I started with a small amount of formula supplementing and pumped and pumped and pumped (increasing my supply a TON) and by the 2nd week had no more formula, was just supplementing with pumped breast milk Thank you all for your help and support.
    -Arin

    Sealed for time and eternity to Chris on 08/26/10
    Mom to Ezra 06/24/11
    and Rebekah 12/27/13
    Proudly

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