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Thread: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
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    2

    Default Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    Hi!

    Just wanted to know others thoughts on growth charts and breastfeeding. My daughter (who is 4 Months Old) now weighs 11 lbs. 2.5 oz. and is 24 inches long. She is in the 3rd Percentile for her weight. Her doctor didn't seem to concerned but he did say that he'd like for her to be heavier and that he recommends me starting solids (rice cereal to start). My husband and I aren't sure if we want to start solids yet. We also think she is doing just fine with breastfeeding only now. Yes, she is on the petite side, but both me and her father are not big people. Starting to get frustrated by these growth charts. Aren't they based on formula fed babies anyway?!? Any encouragement, advise, or knowledge on this would be helpful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,467

    Default Re: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    I would'nt start solids before the 6 month point.
    And in order to know whether or not there is a reason to be concerned, the issue isn't how much she weighs, it's about how much she's grown and whether or not she has followed/is following a consistent pattern. So, can we get her her stats? Birth weight, left hospital, 1 week check up and all her subsequent weight checks? It's better to have a clear pattern to look at then to just dismiss charts because they are frustrating.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,266

    Default Re: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    Thumbs down to your doc's advice. He needs to reread the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk (http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...115/2/496.full), which says, in part:

    "Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life‡ and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection.30,34,128,178–184 Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.185

    Complementary foods rich in iron should be introduced gradually beginning around 6 months of age.186–187 Preterm and low birth weight infants and infants with hematologic disorders or infants who had inadequate iron stores at birth generally require iron supplementation before 6 months of age.148,188–192 Iron may be administered while continuing exclusive breastfeeding.

    Unique needs or feeding behaviors of individual infants may indicate a need for introduction of complementary foods as early as 4 months of age, whereas other infants may not be ready to accept other foods until approximately 8 months of age.193

    Introduction of complementary feedings before 6 months of age generally does not increase total caloric intake or rate of growth and only substitutes foods that lack the protective components of human milk.194"

    There are different growth charts in use. One is the old CDC charts, based on a sample of white, midwestern, predominantly formula-fed babies. The second is the WHO charts for breastfed babies, which is based on a much more ethnically diverse set of breastfed babies. Even the CDC now recommends that pediatricians use the WHO charts when evaluating breastfed babies! So I suggest asking your doc what charts he/she is using. Hint: if the chart has "Enfamil" or "Nestle" or some other formula company name printed on it, it's not the WHO chart!

    If you want to try to increase your baby's weight while exclusively nursing, this link has some suggestions: http://kellymom.com/health/growth/weight-gain_increase/
    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
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
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    2

    Default Re: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    My daughter weighed 6lbs 13.7 oz. and was 18.5 at birth. Has been healthy and have had no problems. She gained about 1pound within the first 2 weeks. At 2 months was 9lbs. 4oz. and 22 inches. And now is 11 lbs. 4oz. and 24 inches. I've also read that they should be about double their birth weight by 6 months. Is that correct? I agree with you both on waiting on solids. She is a very content and happy baby...just petite.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    11,107

    Default Re: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    I wouldn't worry if I were you. I think your doc is being overly-cautious. They forget, sometimes, that everything within the normal range on the growth chart is...well...normal. Someone has to be in the lowest percentiles, it's just statistics. FWIW, my daughter has been below 5th %ile since she was about 2 months old (born @ 25th%ile) and she's perfectly healthy. She's just small. Our doc has never been concerned.

    Here's the WHO growth chart for girls, in case you want to reference it (it's a pdf). It looks like your daughter falls just under 5%ile, which (again) is within the normal range and would not be unexpected for a child with smaller parents.

    Even if you did have a problem, adding solids wouldn't be the way to solve it. Nursing more would. Your breastmilk is more nutrient dense than any solid food your baby could eat, cereal especially. Filling her up with cereal would only make her nurse less, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Paris, France
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    183

    Default Re: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    Most charts the pedis use are based on formula fed babies - check your doc has the right one!! And, personally, I feel that 4 months is a bit young to start solids. A baby's digestive tract just isn't ready for solids before 6 months. Once again I feel the companies that make foods 'suitable from 4 months' are just trying to make more money! And just to reassure you my DS has always been long/tall but is a light-weight (35lbs at 4yrs!) and DD, who is coming up for 4 months is only about 1.5lbs heavier than your LO... meaning your LO is NORMAL. Growth charts are just a guidline, not law as every baby is different.

    As a last note here's a good link if you want more info on growth in bf babies from kellymom (you can find loads of other pages on this site too) http://kellymom.com/health/growth/growthcharts/
    -Ishy-

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Beach, Maryland
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Growth Charts and Breastfeeding

    Don't stress, throw those charts out the window!! My 3 month old weighs 15 lbs, she's strictly breastfed, and my peed told me she's too fat. I posted this in the 0-3 forum awhile ago, because at 2 months she weighed 13 lbs and the Dr was telling me to only feed her every 3 hours! That's just ludacris! Find a new ped. I've give through 3 already

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