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Thread: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

  1. #1

    Default Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    Hi,

    I'm a first time mom. I have been exclusively breastfeeding since my son's my in June. At his 5-month check up (nov 5) the doctor pointed out that he did not gain ANY weight since his last check-up (oct 11) He has released from the hospital at:

    - Weight: 6.8 pounds released at 6.5 pounds
    - Height: 53.5 centimeters
    - Head circum: 35 centimeters

    At 5 months old:
    - Weight: 14.38 pounds
    - Height: 65 centimeters
    - Head circum: 43.3 centimeters

    So the difference is
    - Weight: 7,58 pounds
    - Height: 11.5 cm
    - Head circum: 8.3 cm

    He went from the 45th percentile to the 15th; which is quite a drop. He is very active, achieving all his milestones and a happy baby.

    The doctor recommended that I supplement with diet with cereals. I don't know if I should. Any views/opinions?

    Thanks, Stella

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    Cereals are much lower calorie, on an ounce-for-ounce basis, than breastmilk (or formula, for that matter). Usually the best solution if a baby isn't putting on weight is simply to nurse more often, whether baby is 'asking' or not. How many times per day are you nursing? Any reason to think there are problems with baby's latch or ability to transfer milk? Has his weight gain been good up until the last month or so? Any reason to think there could be a problem with your supply? Could you be pregnant or did you recently start a hormonal form of birth control? (Those two things can reduce supply). How many wet and poopy diapers is baby having per 24 hours? Does baby seem happy and satisfied after most feedings? Best general advice is to simply nurse more often, but if you can give us details, we can probably help further.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    with the PP. The AAP policy statement on breastfeeding says something like "the early (prior to 6 months) introduction of solids does not typically increase the rate of growth and only substitutes a food which lacks the protective qualities of human milk" (that's not quite the phrasing but it is the gist).

    One thing you might want to do, in addition to nursing more, is to give a daily multivitamin. I think docs occasionally recommend cereal because it's fortified with iron, and if a baby is anemic a little cereal can help fix that. But far, far better to give a dropper full of baby vitamins than a bowl of cereal!

    Is your baby highly active? Babies who are early achievers in the physical realm often drop percentiles as they start devoting more calories to motion and fewer to fat.
    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

    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    I nurse on average 8-9 times a day - two are night feeding around 1h30 and 4h30. I have tried nursing him more often but he fusses or "bites" me. He has a good latch and gained weight well until this last month. He is very active...I mean very! I don't take any medications other than PregVit. I also started Funegreek this week since I thought that maybe my milk supply is low. I have notice that his diapers are not as yet as before but we still goes through approx 6/day. I have also noticed that when I pump, I don't express as much milk.
    Last edited by @llli*stella229m; November 8th, 2012 at 09:02 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    Couple more questions:
    - Do you know what charts your doc is using? The CDC charts, or the new WHO charts for breastfed babies?
    - Can you tell us why you think your supply might be low, other than the slightly lighter diapers and lower pump output?
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    If he is very active I wouldn't worry. He's more than doubled his birthweight and he isn't even 6months old yet!
    MOST breastfeed babies slow way down once they get moving. My son gained 14oz a week until he was 4.5 months old. And then he found the johhny jumper! And then he learned to roll over. And then he learned to crawl. He weighed 8lb 2oz at birth. And 17.5 lbs at 4.5 months. (so he hadn't doubled his birth weight by then.)
    By nine months old he had only gained another 2lbs. And he slid from the 95th percentile to the 75th percentile in weight.
    So I think your doctor gave you TERRIBLE advice and you should IGNORE IT.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    If you are worried about supply nurse more often. Like slip in 2 dream feeds a day. While the baby is sleeping.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    @ djs.mom I already breast feed twice a in the morning hours and once at 11-12pm.
    @ mommal: My doctor uses the WHO charts as well other the the slightly lighter diapers and lower pump output I have no reason to assume that my milk supply has decreased.

    I'm getting pressure from family to give the cereal and find it it hard to push back.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    Right but your total sessions in a day are only totaling 8-9 a day. It would easy to simply up your nursing sessions to 10-12 by adding in the dream feeds. Which is an easier route than supplementing. Meaning if you want him to eat more feed him more. NOT formula and certainly NOT cereal!
    Why are you finding it hard to push back?
    Here let me help you.
    You should exclusively breastfeed for the 1st 6 months AT LEAST. Meaning you should not consider feeding anything else until then. Because their digestive tract isn't ready for anything else before then. And when you are going to begin solids, cereal is the largest waste of time there is. It's totally processed, and has no real nutritional value other than the iron they fortify it with and since it's fortified that iron is not nearly as absorbable as the iron you would be getting if you have your baby whole real foods. Which is what you should feed your baby when you start solids. Cereal is a LLL recommended 1st food.
    Don't feed your baby anything else BUT your milk for at least another month and even then begin with real whole foods. There is SOO MUCH to push back on!

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice needed - 5 months old not gaining weight

    Okay, since your doc uses the WHO charts I'm more confident that your baby isn't being mis-measured. And I'm going to occur with DJs.mom that the decline in the rate of weight gain is probably related to activity. Highly active babies often plummet down the charts when they start mastering those new physical skills- all that rolling/reaching/kicking/pre-crawling burns a ton of calories that used to get packed on as fat when your baby was a pre-mobile infant!

    As long as your baby continues to make enough diapers, I wouldn't worry about your supply. Pump output tells you nothing: most moms who are nursing on demand and not pumping regularly are not going to pump a lot of milk. A mom's response to pumping and to her particular pump, and the time of day when she pumped are all factors which can cause a wide variation in the amount a mom with normal supply can produce when pumping.

    When it comes to family pressure, just say "My baby, my decision" and leave it at that. This isn't the last time you'll get family pressure on how you raise your kid(s), so it's a good idea to draw a firm line in the sand now. The moment people discover that pushing you gets them nowhere is the moment they will stop pushing you. Probably.
    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!"

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