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Thread: advice wanted - slow weight gain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default advice wanted - slow weight gain

    Hi Mamas,

    I'm looking for some words of wisdom or advice about what to do next in my search for answers. I am nursing #2, an adorable baby girl with big cheeks and chunky thighs, and she is not gaining weight well. The pediatrician (actually, ARNP) has been very supportive of my refusing to supplement with formula since Baby's been right on the cusp of normal, but she has now fallen below that and I'm finding myself reluctant to get the pediatrician involved because I don't want to give her formula!

    The info:
    her birth weight was 9lbs, 7.4oz (but she was REALLY bloated due to the HUGE amount of fluids I received)
    24 hour weight was 8lbs 15oz (my LC and ARNP are both comfortable throwing away the birth weight and using this instead because of the bloating at birth)
    4 weeks: 9lbs 8oz
    6 weeks (yesterday): 9lbs 12oz

    If you do the math, that's only 4 ounces of weight gain in the last 2 weeks, well below the .5oz/day the ARNP is minimally comfortable with.

    Our breastfeeding relationship seems perfect: she's latches on great, she's fed on demand, I let her decide when she's done, she (usually) seems happy/content when she finishes. She's also a chunky, happy baby, gives smiles, is alert for long stretches, etc. She is NOT lethargic or pale or anything else that would throw up a red flag. The LC did a pre and post feeding weight check to see how much she had taken in at two different visits; once she took in 3.6 oz and another time (yesterday) it was only 1.6oz. Both felt like "good" feeds to me (active suck/swallow, good duration, etc).

    What do you make of all this and what would you do next? So far all I've got is I'm going to try to increase my supply via herbal supplements and eating more protein.

    thanks everyone!
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    What does your pediatrician think?

    My guy didn't gain weight at that ideal sort of rate either but given his output, energy, general health, etc, I was told not to worry about it (he also tends to grow up rather than out, so his weight may stay the same for a few weeks but he'll have grown visibly taller - growth patterns are different with everybody).

    How far "below normal" is she?

    FWIW I don't think every baby gains weight at a steady, exact rate - I would think if she's a little below normal, it might warrant looking at other measures to make sure things are OK - but it sounds like by other measures she's fine (though I'm no doctor!)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Manhattan, KS...for now.
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    Average is just that, an average. Look at growth of: head, length PLUS weight...Look at: milestones, contentedness, and alertness.

    What are you using as your gauge of "normal"? Normal for your baby, or other's babies? Because---Shock Alert---NO two babies are the same. Weight charts are AVERAGES, by definition meaning that some kiddos are below and some are above. As long as your baby isn't dropping off their own curve, who cares about the numbers???
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    The weigh feed weigh turned out well. As the pp have asked, is her head circumference growing, height, other milestones, what is the body type of you and her father? I personally would worry...I'd watch closely but not really worry at this point.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    The whole issue is that she HAS fallen off her own curve. Her curve is nearly a straight line on the charts. Believe me, I'm not comparing her to anyone else but herself!

    My question is where do I go from here? I guess I'm really afraid to go back to the pediatrician since I'm fairly certain she tell me to supplement. Does anyone have any experience with this?
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    I *think* her head circumference is on target (they haven't told me otherwise and I haven't measured myself) and her height is fine, going on a nice curve.
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,955

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    Has she always been measured in the nude, on the same scale? Differences in calibration between scales can make the difference between weight gain appearing normal, and not. And about how many times per day does she nurse? Some very laid-back babies forget to nurse enough.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    Always in the nude; and on two different scales, one at the pediatrician and one at the LC. I figured the scales could be part of the issue, but by how much could they really be different? It's tough for me to get to the pediatrician's office - I live on an island and the commute (including ferry) is long and costly. And right about now I'm regretting moving here!!

    She nurses an average of every 2-3 hours. She does go longer stretches at night, and sometimes wants snacks between feeds during the day. Today I'm just hanging out with her in bed. She's latched on (NAK!) and drifting in and out of sleep. I figured a nurse-in day can't hurt anything.
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Middle of nowhere in Ohio
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    If her diaper out put is good and she is nursed on demand, seems content between feeds, I wouldn't really be concerned. I know it is hard when your LO is so little, but maybe try to relax and feed a lot, maybe try and get her weighed weekly just to see how she is doing. (But it sounds like if she is gaining b/t 1-3 oz on a feed than she is doing great!)
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: advice wanted - slow weight gain

    Yes my DS2 went from the 95th percentile to the 5th, I didnt supplement. I watched his other growth indicators and realized that he was just a skinny kid. He was 9 lbs 14 oz at birth (9 lbs 3 oz at his lowest), and at 1 year was only 19 lbs...he's just fine.
    Last edited by @llli*Jenna562; August 7th, 2012 at 04:02 PM.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

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