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Thread: is she getting enough?

  1. #1

    Default is she getting enough?

    Sorry if this is long:

    My daughter is 3 weeks old. She has transient hyperthyroid, where one of the symptoms could be lack of weight gain even if she is eating a lot. So far she has not demontrated any symptoms and this should clear her system in the next few months. She initally gained well, but then lost, but only 1 oz. She then proceeded to gain well again.

    She used to nurse from both sides. Now, she nrses from one side. I overproduced with my 2nd child and I thought I was seeing signs of this again. I'm not sure though b/c it's not as bad. Anyway, she is also very gassy, so I thought she was not getting enough hindmilk. She will usually nurse 10-15 minutes, then fall asleep. I will change her and then put her on the same side. She then nurses again for maybe 5 minutes.

    I am just really nervous about her not gaining weight again. She seems content afterwards and will sleep for a few hours at a time. So my question is would I know if she was not getting enough? Would she show signs or protest? Should I try to feed her from both sides?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: is she getting enough?

    in general, the best way to judge milk intake is to watch the baby. If she is producing sufficient diaper output, gaining weight, and appears satisfied after nursing, then in most cases everything is just fine even if she takes only one breast per feeding. Needing only one side at a time is pretty normal at 3 weeks, since most moms overproduce in the early days. In general, moms are advised to allow baby to finish the first breast at her own pace, and to then offer the second breast but not to stress if baby doesn't take it or takes only a few quick sucks. However, when a mom has oversupply, she may sometimes need to avoid offering the second breast, since more stimulation = more milk.

    How this all plays into the transient hyperthyroid situation is beyond me, though. I assume that if a baby seems happy and healthy, she is... But it sounds like the hyperthyroidism could cause inadequate weight gain even if milk intake is sufficient. So maybe take her in for weight checks a bit more often than you otherwise would?
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,304

    Default Re: is she getting enough?

    Yes I would think in this particular situation, frequent weight checks-done correctly with baby in only a dry diaper and on the same scale every time, would be reassuring. At this age, a baby should be nursing a minimum of 10-12 times a 24 hour day and pooping an "OK" size poop at least 3-4 times per day- (make the OK sign with your hand and the circle made with your thumb and pointer finger shows the approximate volume you want to 'count" as an OK poop.) This can give you a reasonable daily idea of if baby is getting enough, and then maybe weekly weight checks? How often does your pediatrician think baby should be weighed?

  4. #4

    Default Re: is she getting enough?

    She is definetly having enough poops and urine diapers. She nurses roughly every 2.5-3 hours. She was weighed a week ago and will be going back next week to be weighed again. I am debating if I should go back this week for a weight check.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    1,885

    Default Re: is she getting enough?

    unless it's a huge hassle or expense, i would take her weekly, just to get a few more data points on her chart. make sure it's with proper protocol as meg said above.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,304

    Default Re: is she getting enough?

    Just as an aside, how frequently baby nurses (ie, the time between nursing sessions) is not as important as how many times a day baby is nursing total. Many babies nurse very frequently-more than once an hour even-for part of the day, and then take a longer break of up to 3 or even 4 hours here and there. This type of pattern is called cluster feeding. If the every 2-3 hours is your babies own self directed pattern, that should be fine, as that often around the clock would be about 8 to 10 times a day...I think-I am a bit tired this AM and math is always the first to go! That many times a day would be slightly low as an average but may be fine, output seems to indicate that all is fine. But it would also be entirely normal for your baby to nurse more frequently than that, just FYI.

    When your baby lost weight was her output the same or had it dropped? I do not know if or how output would be affected by her condition?

    Generally, with healthy term or near term newborns, here is what I tell moms about weight checks-1) Make certain the check is done on the same scale every time and is done correctly. If you have any question of if it was done correctly, ask for baby to be weighed again. 2) Baby must be in a dry diaper or nothing for every weight check. 3) A large poop or pee right before a weight check makes a difference. 4) know what is normal weight gain and measure weight gain from the last correctly done weight check (not from birth weight!) A very general rule of thumb at 3 weeks old would be, the average baby will gain about an ounce a day. Less than that can be fine, more is obviously fine. If you do very frequent checks, every day or every few days, that can be unduly alarming, as babies do not generally gain exactly the same every day.
    If I understand what you are saying, your baby may have less than normal weight gain even if she is getting enough breastmilk. So, if the gain is not great, would formula be suggested? Or would it be chalked up to your baby’s condition?

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