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Thread: Slow weight gain..3wk old

  1. #1

    Default Slow weight gain..3wk old

    My 3wk old daughter was born at 38wks 6days via successful VBAC. She weighed 7lbs 2.5oz. We just got back from her 3wk check up (yes because DRs called the cops on us despite there being nothing wrong). She weighs 6lbs 9oz. She latches like a champ, eats every 2-3hrs and cluster feeds in the evening. She has appropriate wet diapers, her dirty diapers don't happen quite as often but they do happen and are the color/consistency (sp?) they should be. Before leaving the DR office I nursed her and weighed her myself, she went from 2.98kg at the beginning of the appt to 3.02kg. The Drs seem convinced that SOMETHING is wrong due to the slow weight gain but I'm not. In fact, I'm pretty sure she just has a very efficient, fast working metabolism.

    But the Drs want us to supplement at each feeding with expressed breastmilk or formula along with wanting me to pump as much as possible as well. They say if she hasn't gained in 2 days that they are going to look at her poop, maybe even admit her for further tests. I've tried standing my ground about my knowledge and pure mother's intuition that there is NOTHING wrong with my baby but it really really feels like they are WANTING something to be wrong. I'm starting to feel really discouraged and a tiny tiny part of me wants to just give up.

    I'm at a loss of what to do...baby is on boob or asleep on/next to me 24/7 and is doing EVERYTHING she should be doing and I am doing EVERYTHING I should be doing but still feel at a loss


  2. #2

    Default Re: Slow weight gain..3wk old

    I had the same issue, I went to the doctor a week after I left the hospital and he asked me to come back after a few days, she was born at 6 oz. and weighed 6 oz after a
    week. After 3 days I went back to weigh her and she only weighed 6.1 so he said you need to be concerned as smaller babies tend to get passive about hunger until they start
    growing, she was also making lots of wets and soiled every few days but if baby is not gaining, you need to be concerned you need to try anything and everything to make sure your baby gains weight, I was feeding her every hour or 2 plus offered her bottle of formula at night, but I also started taking supplemental vitamins to get more of a milk
    supply, you should try fenugreek (I was taking it in capsules)along with making sure that you take prenatal vitamins and drink, eat and sleep well, once your baby is gaining
    weight milk supply should come on its own, at this point I don't need to do that stuff anymore, but remember even if the baby is drinking often, she may not getting enough
    to thrive so do whatever you have to to make sure your baby thrives, I Know the feeling of not wanting to supplement and wanting to just have enough of your own milk,
    but remember your baby comes first, people have made terrible mistakes by thinking that they don't need to do more. I recommend that you supplement until the baby gains and then you can always go back to breastfeeding only.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Slow weight gain..3wk old

    Hi mama, congrats on your new little one and on your VBAC!

    From your description, it sounds like your DD's nursing is on track, but the fact that she's not back up to her birthweight yet IS concerning. I strongly recommend that you find an experienced lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, who can help you in-person with an evaluation to help you figure out what's going on. A baby who's nursing well from an established milk supply should be regaining weight faster. The current research is saying that under 6 weeks, the second-best way to gauge intake is whether baby poops every day. The first best way is the scale. So assuming the weight checks have been done correctly (naked, same scale, measuring from lowest weight, not birth weight), both of those indicators are saying your DD isn't gaining enough.

    I recommend you meet with the IBCLC ASAP, preferably tomorrow, to try to get a jump on this and have something to talk about with her docs. Supplementing with pumped milk in the meantime is not a bad idea, particularly if you can get it to her through a breastfeeding-supportive method (syringe, cup, SNS).

    Some other things to think about: is your milk in? how do you know? is DD happy/content?
    And keep us posted!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Slow weight gain..3wk old

    Do you have other children and, if so, were they small babies? Did you have an IV during labor? The other thing I can think of is the scales they weighed your baby on were off. It's important to always weigh on the same scale, same time of day, preferably, and with same amount of clothing. Your post reminds me a bit of my niece. She nursed reguarly and was content, but was not gaining enough weight. They eventually had to supplement.

    Babies are expected to regain their birth weights by 2 weeks. Presuming the scales were accurate, it sounds like your baby is not getting enough milk. I would suggest contacting an IBCLC right away. Once you get past the 4-6 week mark, it can be alot harder to increase your milk supply. It may be simply that you need to offer the breast more often to increase her intake. A minimum of 10-12 feedings/day is recommended for a baby this age. Many will take 18 feedings /day.

    Here are a couple links on weight gain. One is from kellymom, an IBCLC. The other is from Dr Newman.


    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Slow weight gain..3wk old

    Don't give up mama. There may be something worrisome ,going on but that doesn't mean you can't work through it. I definitely agree you need to get in touch with an IBCLC to figure out what's up. Mother's intuition is one thing, denial is another. Slow weight gain coupled with less than normal dirty diapers (how many exactly is she having?) are indications of issues. The before/after check you did seemed ok (1.4 oz I think) but could you do several more to get a better idea of what she's taking in? It can vary a lot. You said she's nursing every 2-3 hours. Has she been so passive or sleepy that its more often three hours in between? does this include nighttime as well? Perhaps you have a small storage capacity and she needs more frequent meals, more like 1-2 hours.
    W hy exactly were the cops called? Had you not brought her in yet?

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