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Thread: slow weight gain? fussy eater? help!

  1. #1

    Default slow weight gain? fussy eater? help!

    Hi! First post here and hoping I might be able to get some opinions or insight.

    Little girl is almost 6 weeks old (born July 14) and had a bit of a rough start- she was born with a pretty severe tongue tie, which was fixed at 3 weeks. Prior to her tongue tie snip, she lost about 11% of her birth weight. She was born @ 7lb 2oz- her weight pattern is as follows:
    birth (7/14): 7lb2oz (hospital scale, no IV fluids)
    7/19:6lb 5oz
    7/27: 6lb 14oz
    8/2: 6lb 15oz (tongue tie fixed 8/3)
    8/6: 7lb 2oz
    8/13:7lb 7oz
    8/20: 7lb 11oz (taken on a different scale)

    I'm a little bit worried for a few reasons....
    1) I had a breast reduction in 2005 so am worried that there could be some damage done from that
    2) she seems to have some fussy eating habits. When her tongue tie was still intact, she would try to latch, then since she was unable to maintain the latch she would slip down basically onto the nipple only and try to suck there. She would frequently pull off and trash/bob her head and generally wrestle around and seem frustrated.

    after the tongue tie was fixed, this seemed to get better. however she still frequently pulls off and fusses at the breast. She will also sometimes latch and just sit there, or only superficially suck- at times it appears as if she has a good suck pattern;I can see her jaw working, ears wiggling etc, but I can't hear her swallow. Each feeding generally starts with a period of good latch and sucking/swallowing, only to be followed by fussing, pulling off, superficial sucking and falling asleep. I thought this might have been because of a supply issue on my part, but when she pulls off I can easily squeeze out a fair amount. However, when I pump I can never seem to get more than about an ounce, or maybe a tad bit more (though I know pumping isn't always a great indicator of supply). Maybe it's a flow issue? I'm not sure.

    I'm wondering if I ought to be worried by her slow weight gain post-tongue tie (our dr's don't seem to be too worried, but we're monitoring it closely) and if her nursing habits may be indicative of a larger problem or are just her being a fussy baby.

    Thoughts? Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,735

    Default Re: slow weight gain? fussy eater? help!

    The amount you are getting when pumping is normal. Remember anything you pump represents 'extra' milk as baby is (I assume) exclusively breastfeeding, also, a pump is not as effective at milk removal as a well nursing baby.

    What is concerning is the weight gain, as it appears (check my math) that the weight gain RATE has not improved since the tt release, however, baby IS gaining which is good. Interesting your doctors are not concerened-usually the opposite happens and doctors are overly focused on weight gain. Is baby growing well in other ways? What do they say?

    Anyway, slow weight gain that is a problem could be due to low milk supply, but it could also be due to baby not nursing frequently enough, or not nursing effectively enough-(poor milk transfer) or some combination of factors.

    Have you seen an IBCLC since the tt release for assistance? were you given any excercises to do, suck training info, etc, by anyone?

    Is nursing comfortable for you?
    Are you cue feeding? how often does baby nurse-how many times in a 24 hour day?
    How often does baby poop, and how big are they and what is the color, consistency?

  3. #3

    Default Re: slow weight gain? fussy eater? help!

    thanks for getting back with me!

    Baby is indeed exclusively breastfeeding. I agree about the rate of weight gain...the rate hasn't really changed since the tt release. Her only significant weight gain prior to release was the week after my milk came in, after that there was a week where she only gained 1oz.Since it's been about 4oz a week.
    The main differences post tt are my level of comfort- before it was absolutely excruciating and now it's pain free. Baby also seems to have a much easier time nursing- previously she wouldn't be able to latch properly or establish any suck-swallow pattern at all, whereas now she can latch and swallow, though she won't do it consistently.

    We live in the UK, so after the birth of the baby you don't see a dr, you see the midwife for a brief period and then you are discharged to someone kind of like a community nurse called a "health visitor". The midwives discharged us before her tt was released (believe it or not they said the tongue tie shouldn't be an issue! go figure! we had to get the tongue tie fixed independently). The health visitor doesn't seem concerned and is content to wait and see, which I don't trust. They are not keeping track of any of her other growth measurements!!! I am tracking her head circumference myself (she's added about 2.5-3" since birth)- I can't really gauge how she's doing in length since they didn't record her length at birth (!!).

    I haven't seen an IBCLC (though I would love to)- I can't find one close to us. No one has provided any info about exercises or suck training- I'm guessing these would probably help. Any idea where I might get some info on these?

    Nursing is comfortable now post tt release. I'm feeding her on cue (or anytime she gets cranky really, I figure any extra calories won't hurt), which ends up being about 10 -13 times per day- which makes me think it's probably not frequency of nursing causing the problem. I think her effectiveness is definitely an issue, and perhaps supply as well. How do I determine if I have low supply? Is poor weight gain the only indicator?

    Baby poops two or three times per day- they're usually quite big (enough to cause leaks). Quite runny and yellowish.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,249

    Default Re: slow weight gain? fussy eater? help!

    The best indicators of poor supply are poor weight gain and low diaper output. All other things- like pumping to see how much you're making or gauging supply based on feelings of fullness or on how often the baby nurses- are just too individual to each mama/baby pair to be decent indicators.

    In your shoes, I'd really want to see an IBCLC, even if that means a long journey. And I'd also want to get my hands on a professional quality scale. By weighing baby before and after nursing, you can determine exactly how much milk she is taking in while feeding. When diaper output is good but weight gain is slow- i.e. the two best indicators of supply are telling different stories, as in your baby's case- it can really help to use the scale. You want several days' worth of data. One snapshot measurement won't tell you much, since the amount a baby takes in while nursing can vary a lot. A single feeding may be much better or much worse than average.
    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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