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Thread: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

  1. #1
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    Default Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    My baby is 6mo, nursing 6-7 times per day, sleeping 9 hrs at night, and not gaining weight at all. She weighed 12lb 2oz at her 4mo checkup and 12lb 2oz at her 6mo checkup (born 7lb 5oz, left hospital 6lb 8oz). Her doctor was concerned, but said she would not ask me to supplement unless she continues with stagnant growth at her 9mo appointment.

    I really don't think she is getting enough from me anymore. I had a breast reduction 7 years ago, so i'm not sure I ever had a supply of more than about 25oz per day.

    Add to my concern about supply that my left is not really producing anymore. I left baby for the 1st time for a work trip (I usually nurse her around clock as I work from home). And when I pumped during the day away from her (pumping about every 3 hrs), I was only getting about 3oz from right and only drops to a half oz on left. She also leaves the left after only a couple of minutes in favor of the right.

    Also, my period appears to be starting back, so I am concerned I am drying up.

    At her 4mo appointment, doc told me to start cereal made with EBM instead of water and to star fruits and veggies. She eats 3 meals of babyfood per day, and she is a big eater (2oz cereal, and usually 2-4oz of fruits/veggies per meal). I have tried cutting back, but she seems dissatisfied even when offered the breast before and after meals.

    She is also very constipated unless I give her 1-2oz of prune baby food per day. She only wets about 5 times per day. She refuses bottles of juice.

    Despite all of my concern, she is a very happy baby. She only cries when having a BM, If I reduce her babyfood, or if I am not available when she wants to nurse. She is an incredibly content baby otherwise and a delight to be around. Her development is right about where it should be.

    I need advice as to whether to supplement and if so, with what? I still have EBM from the first few months of pumping to increase supply, but only about 60oz.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    Mama you need to back WAY off the solids. Not only does breastmilk have WAY more calories and fat than cereal or fruit or veggies, but cereal is binding and a KNOWN constipator and Breastmilk is a natural laxative. 6-7 times in a 24hour period is NOT enough. You need to up it to 10 times in a 24hour period AT LEAST. And to increase production on the left side you should pump it longer. Get more than one let down from it. Pump it more times a day if you can.
    And you should reallY NEVER feed juice to a baby that young.
    25oz is on the lower side but it's totally in the realm of normal. The issue is she isn't getting 25oz a day if you are only feeding her 6-7 times a day. She isn't. And I am willing to be that is you feed her 10 times day than you WILL make more than 25oz a day. And she needs that. Both for her weight gain and for her constipation issue. The good news is that if you are still feeding her 6-7 times a day you are still making milk and you will probably be able to get your supply to catch up to her needs in about a weeks time if you are diligent about it. Good luck! And keep us posted!

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    with the PP. When you're concerned about weight gain, you want to nurse a lot more than 6-7 times a day.

    It's okay to max out your milk production at 25 oz per day. Peak breastmilk consumption is usually in the 25-30 oz/day range: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/ Breastfed babies consume the most milk in infancy, and the quantity of milk they require does not actually increase after that point. It's a big difference between breastfed and formula-fed babies: formula-fed babies tend to take bigger and bigger bottles as the year goes on, while breastfed babies keep their intake the same.

    Getting your period back does not mean that you're going to dry up. Milk supply doesn't dry up unless weaning is occurring (i.e. Baby is nursing less and mom is going longer between feedings- it's a process, not a single event), mom is pregnant, or mom is taking a medication (e.g. hormonal contraception) which has a negative impact on milk supply. In the absence of the former, you will continue to make milk as long as you continue to nurse.

    A baby should never get bottles of juice. The sugars in juice are super-bad for her teeth. If you're going to give baby a bottle, it should contain breastmilk (ideal), water, or formula (if you're out of breastmilk). You want to avoid formula if at all ssible because it tends to have a constipating effect, and your baby already has problems in that department.

    Back off the solids, nurse as much as possible, and don't worry too much!
    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
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    I also agree with PP! It sounds like you have good intentions and were listening to your pedi, but in this case the pedi is offering advice that is not going to really help. Nursing 6-7 times is not enough, even though you are giving her solids. I know it sounds really exciting when the pedi says you can start giving cereal and and fruits and veggies, but I would definitely back wayyy off. My DD is 9 months and she doesn't eat that much solids in a day!! I think you will find that increasing her milk intake will increase her weight, so get her on the boob as much as possible to up your supply. I am interested to know how you figured out your supply was "25 oz" - remember pumping is not the end all be all of your actual supply, so you could be actually making more.

    You said your DD is sleeping 9 hours at night - is that a solid stretch? You might be able to dream feed her so that she gets an extra feeding in at night. You could also wake to pump in order to up your supply - a pain, I know - but it might help!

    You're on the right track mama! You'll get her gaining in no time

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    Clarification: The only juice I am giving her is prune juice, and it is because of the constipation, but she won't take it anyway, so I am just giving her prune baby food for that issue.

    Also in response: She is sleeping 9 hours straight! Crazy, right? And the 25oz amount is totally a guess, but is based on my maximum output when exclusively pumping for DD1. I have also done before/after weights on a baby scale with DD2 (this baby), and the max weight I ever got was a morning feeding, after the 9hr stretch, and it was 5oz. The normal is 2-3oz feeding on both sides. However, I haven't done a weight since she was about 4mo.

    Thanks for the advice. I actually was extremely resistant to giving her solids at 4 months because I wasn't convinced she was ready for it, but I did so in response to the Ped's instructions. The problem is that the baby enjoys eating SO much, and since I am pretty sure she can't get all that she needs from me because of my surgery, I just fed her until she indicated she was done (turning head, or closing mouth). She is one of those baby's who has her mouth open for the next bite before you can get it to her mouth. Now she is used to it, and I am having a hard time reducing it

    I know reducing food is the right thing to do. Even the ped told me to try not to reduce the amount of breast milk, but to just add some baby food. The baby seems to be SO much happier with food than breastmilk at this point. I mean, don't get me wrong, she loves my right boob and gets excited when she sees me opening my shirt, but she has been struggling today with just reducing the food and nursing a bunch more. She is such an unhappy baby today, and normally, she is so calm and easy going.

    On top of all of that, my husband wants me to wean so we can get pregnant again. It took us 18 months to get pregnant with our second after stopping nursing (was exclusively pumping and supplementing with formula) when DD1 was 6mo and starting fertility meds. I just celebrated my 35th bday, and he is concerned about future pregnancies. (We have had 4 complicated pregnancies, resulting in 2 living children.) So I am now conflicted and unsure if we should even fight for my supply or just start supplementing.

    My apologies for the emotional dump! I am exceedingly proud to have made it to 6 months without supplementing, and I am just really emotional about the whole thing. I don't want to delay her growth by trying to BF when I should supplement or supplementing when I should be BFing.
    Last edited by @llli*hpuckett; November 21st, 2012 at 03:31 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    OH! And the biting! She keeps biting me on both sides when she is not seriously eating anymore. Thank God she has no teeth yet.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    Hi Mama,

    I hear your frustration & worry. I'm really sorry the doc put you on a bad path 2 months ago. Just a few suggestions based on what has worked for my 7 m/o. I hope it's useful.

    Ditch the spoon! Purees were essential when every doc told moms to start solids at 3 and 4 months. Now that she's 6 months she's likely ready to feed herself, which, if the messes at our house are any indication, will result in a lot less actual eating. Try replacing pureed carrots with soft cooked carrot sticks. Same goes for anything really that you'd give as a puree. If giving her something that needs a spoon, put a little food on it and set the spoon down for her to pick up.

    Add more of the other BM friendly fruits, especially pitted fruits like pears and plums. With a plum she'll get the prune juice she won't take, plus the fiber, plus the fun of eating. I peel (ok, eat) the skin for DD and she works on holding the plum herself. Even before her 2 little teeth she enjoyed sucking and gumming soft ripe fruits.

    DD loves her solids but it's not so much about how much she eats as it is how long she plays at eating. She has a lot of fun in her chair for 20-30 mins trying to feed herself. In fact, she really doesn't want me to spoon feed her as she'd much rather do it herself and get most of it on her cheek and chin and in her hair, ears, and eyes. I think she'd be getting way too much if I were to spoon feed her that entire time.
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lopsided, no weight gain, and constipation

    Thank you for the advice re solids, vivsmaman

    Q: What is a dream feed? DD nurses for two of her naps, and I am assuming that is what that is. She falls asleep on the breast at night as well, and again if she wakes before 5:30AM.

    Today has been surprising. I only gave her about 4oz pureed food altogether today, but increased feeds significantly. She has been very fussy, but I am not entirely sure if that is related to constipation or hunger. The surprise came in that she didn't finish the last oz of baby food offered. I thought she would gobble it up and cry for more, but she didn't.

    I am also giving her a bottle of EBM to make sure she is adequately hydrated. My plan is to reduce the EBM supplement oz by oz and get rid of it by next week.

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