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Thread: Slow and now NO weight gain.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    USA
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    Default Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Hi all! I'm new to this particular forum and have a question about my sweet baby boy.

    DS is just over 6 months old and only weighs 11lb 12oz. He did not gain any weight between his 4 and 6 month well check. He grew 1.25" in length and his head circumference did not change. The doctor is concerned that he may not be absorbing nutrients correctly, and even though my mommy senses tell me not to worry, I am just flat out scared for my little guy! Then to top off a crappy day, I thought we could start sneaking some calories in with yogurt yesterday afternoon and it did NOT agree with DS at all. The poor little guy was wretching

    The only other thing I can think of is to try to get more feedings in by not letting him sleep so long at night. Hopefully that will work, but any advice or related experiences would be received with GREAT appreciation. I think I've included all the information needed to understand his situation!

    He was born at 7lb 10oz then dropped a bit to 7lb 8oz before discharge. He ws 20" long at birth.

    At 2 months he was 10lb 12oz, 22.5" length, 15.51" head.
    At 4 months he was 11lb 12oz, 23.5" length, and 16.5" head.
    At 6 months he was 11lb 12oz, 24.75" length, and 16.5" head.

    His sister was small as well, but I don't ever recall her not gaining between two appointments. I also FF-ed her, so I am new to BF-ing even though I'm not a new mom.

    Aside from the lack of weight gain, DS seems to be in good health. Here is a bullet list of things that might be helpful:
    -rolls over both ways, smiles and babbles, laughs ocassionally, interacts with people and toys, rarely fusses, and has a generally good disposition
    -pees frequently throughout the day (although I'm not exactly sure how many times because I usually just change him when I feed him and sometimes I can tell he's peed more than once)
    -poops have slowed down, but come every 3-7 days and are always soft and within the normal range for color.
    -we've tried homemade purees thinned with breastmilk (sweet potatoes and green beans and oatmeal) since he was about 5.5 months old, but not on a consistent basis because he goes longer between poops (closer to the 7 day range)
    -has STTN pretty much since we brought him home
    -nursed on demand every 3-4 hours (except at night) in the beginning but has nursed every 2-3 hours (sometimes even more frequent) since about 3 months.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    I'm curious why your doctor thinks formula would help if the issue is nutrient absorption. Woudn't there be the same issue with formula?

    If the issue is baby getting enough calories, I understand the formula supplementation idea, but why wouldn't he also suggest more frequent nursing to get your supply up...

    I wonder if you might need to clarify with your doctor what he thinks the problem is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,001

    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Welcome to the forum!

    Basically it sounds like your LO is happy and healthy in all ways, but that he's been slow in the weight gain department. The fact that he has continued to grow in length is good- as long as growth proceeds in some dimension things can't be too bad. It's not uncommon for a baby to have a pause in weight and spurt up in height, or vice versa. I'd be a little concerned about the lack of growth in head circumference, but not overly so since I have seen my kids' heads grow and shrink in the course of a minute based on how the nurse positions the tape.

    I think that in your shoes I would want to do the following:
    - Co-sleep with baby and wake him throughout the night to feed if he does not spontaneously wake himself
    - Offer to nurse every hour or so
    - Focus on high-calorie solids (meat, beans, avocado) and add a little olive oil to the low-cal solids (veggies, fruits, cereals)
    - Get baby tested for anemia
    - See another doctor for a second opinion. A new doc may pick up on something your current doc missed.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    USA
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    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*thefcmom View Post
    I'm curious why your doctor thinks formula would help if the issue is nutrient absorption. Woudn't there be the same issue with formula?

    If the issue is baby getting enough calories, I understand the formula supplementation idea, but why wouldn't he also suggest more frequent nursing to get your supply up...

    I wonder if you might need to clarify with your doctor what he thinks the problem is.
    thanks for the responses ladies. Just to clarify, the doctor has made no suggestions as to a solution yet. She did schedule a weight check in a month and take a urine sample, but we won't know the results for a few days. She said the next step (if growth hasn't picked up a bit) would be to do some bloodwork.

  5. #5
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    USA
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    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Just went back through my records...turns out DD wasn't as small as I thought she was. She weighed 17lb 11 oz at 6 mo and was 26 in. Now I'm really worried because everyone was concerned about her but DS is 5 lbs smaller!! Maybe it's time to give up nursing... now I'm afraid I'm starving my baby!! This makes me very sad

  6. #6

    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Oh I'm sorry! Where did I get the formula thing?!?
    If the numbers look wrong to you, call the doctor back! You should listen to your instincts.
    You said your baby seems happy, which is a great sign and you are probably not starving him!
    It can't hurt to do the tricks that mommal said above, that way you can be sure that you are trying to bring your supply up if that is indeed the issue.
    Hang in there and don't blame yourself- keep researching and asking questions!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,473

    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    I think it is very premature to believe the issue is the fact you are breastfeeding rather than formula feeding. Even if you decide you do need to supplement with formula, you can do so without giving up nursing.

    Looking at your feeding history I wonder if the issue is your baby does not nurse frequently enough and never really has. Every four hours is VERY infrequent for nursing a newborn. At the current age, every 2-3 hours would normally be pretty normal, but no reason to not up that frequency if you can. Even overnight. Breastfed babies need to eat frequently throughout the 24 hour day, and sleeping through the night-if it happens-prior to about a year of age is usually no more than a 5 hour stretch. This is not because breastmilk is inferior to formula, just the opposite, in fact. I think part of the issue may be that your child has slept "through the night" which I assume means 8 hours, ever since birth. That is not typical at all for a breastfed baby.

    The facts are clear that in every aspect of health promotion, formula is inferior to breastmilk. That is just scientific fact, I am not criticizing those who formula feed. Weight gain is ONE aspect of measuring the health of a baby and there are many others.

    But no matter how a baby is fed, the baby needs to get enough. It sounds like you are cue feeding, but I just want to point out that we know that early implementation of feeding and sleep schedules can mess breastfeeding up. That is why lactation professionals are so critical about sleep training and feeding schedules for breastfed babies, because they are so likely to cause weight gain and milk supply issues. I am just pointing out this issue as it’s a common issue when we see babies not gaining well.

    Even if you have been cue feeding, some babies simply do not cue enough and the mom can try offering the breast more frequently in such situations.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 24th, 2012 at 04:13 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    321

    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    One time when I went to an appointment they weighed my son on a scale we hadn't used before. He had supposedly lost 5 oz in a week. I was NOT believing it even though the silly nurse panicked and said "You'll have to start supplementing!" I insisted on being taken to another scale. She was not happy and tried to explain how the scales were calibrated. I persisted and we went to another, on which he weighed a full 9oz more than the other reading, indicating a 4oz GAIN. I am just telling you this to say that there are many factors that could have affected the reading, not least of which is human error.

    That is not to say your little guy is "just fine" but, I would be willing to bet, at least, that his head circ has changed in 2 months. In any case, I think nursing more at night might be a good idea. I also second the recommendation on avocado. I feed my son full fat yogurt mixed with quinoa, maybe it could help with digestion? Also, try to look into goats milk yogurt, it is more easily digested by humans than cows milk is. My soon didn't really start filling out and looking like a "normal" baby until he started eating solids. Good luck!!
    the little monster 4/22/11
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    278

    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Yes, every 3-4 hours is not frequent enough at all for a breastfed baby particularly if there has been any indication of weight troubles. When my son was a newborn I did not let him go more than 3 hours without eating even if he wasn't demanding to be fed. But usually he was cueing to eat pretty much constantly. Breastmilk digests in 90 minutes.
    I think my biggest concern would be the head circumference, but did they measure it twice? Because two or three times I've had them give me a completely wrong number when measuring my child's head.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    USA
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    Default Re: Slow and now NO weight gain.

    Thanks again ladies. I was definitely in a moment of weakness when I wrote that last post. I was expecting to find some reassurance when I went back through my DD's records, and instead found more pointing toward there being something wrong.

    I am concerned that I haven't managed DS's feeding well. I suppose I was under the impression that as long as I was following his cues, he would get enough. Obviously this is not the case...he just isn't a demanding baby...AT ALL. I just hope I haven't done irrepairable damage. I'm afraid that I have hurt his development somehow

    He has been a BIG sleeper since he was born. When he came home he was sleeping 6-8 hours at night. Over time that gradually increased to 12-13 hours. He didn't really nap much until about a month or so ago, when he began taking 1 short nap in the morning and a 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon. I thought I was just supposed to let him sleep!! That is what I did with my daughter

    So, for now, I'm adding wholesome solids back in (avacado, sweet potato, banana, and green beans...we'll add more over time) and then nursing him at 7, 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, and 7. Today we even got a "bonus" feeding because DS woke up early at 5.

    He doesn't seem so interested to eat at the 11 and 3 feeding, but we'll keep trying. I also ordered a scale, so we can get an idea of how much he's getting and have a better idea of what he's gaining too.

    Thanks again for the encouragement. I'm sure I"ll have more questions!

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