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Thread: Weight gain rate low?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Weight gain rate low?

    Hi everyone,

    My LO is now 4 months old and I'm a little worried about her weight gain rate and if she's getting enough to eat. At her 2 month appt, she weighed 11.5lb and now at 4 months, she's 12.9. We bought a scale last month and it seemed to bounce between 12.5-13lbs. At her appt this week, her pediatrician didn't seem concerned since she seems content after eating, has plenty of wet diapers and appears to be nice and healthy. Her weight puts her in the 20-30th percentile and her doctor said she might just be a leaner baby. She asked me some questions about nursing, but I still felt a little uneasy afterwards. She suggested a few things if I was concerned like pumping after a session to see if I express a lot to get an idea if she's eating enough, but I wasn't sure if that was an accurate way to tell. She's also not taking a bottle.

    For the past month, she has been nursing for a short amount of time. It went from 6-10 minutes on each side to about 2-4 minutes now (sometimes only 1 minute on the right breast). It seems like she drains it in that short amount of time because the sucking noises and motions change and she pulls off. Is that possible for her to drain my breast so quickly? With the slower weight gain rate, I worry she's not getting enough milk. I feed her on demand (usually 2-3 hours) and she does seem content afterwards, sleeps 6-8 hours at night and has a lot of wet diapers.

    Please let me know your thoughts and if this all seems fine or if you all think I might be having some issues.

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Weight gain rate low?

    In general I think if you have seen a competent pediatrician and they are not concerned, you are probably in the clear. But you do want to listen to your instincts too…Say no such things as scales existed. How would you feel about your baby's health?

    IF your baby is not getting enough to eat for good gain, I would suspect it is due to the frequency of feedings decreasing, rather than how long each feeding lasts. It is common for a baby to become very efficient by this age. What is less common is regular sleep stretches of 8 hours. 6, that's more common. And either may be fine, it really depends on how often overall baby nurses the rest of the time.

    Maybe count how many times baby nurses over the next 48 hours. If it's less than 16-20 times (average 8 times a day) I would suggest maybe encouraging baby to nurse more often. Even if baby IS nursing that much, encouraging baby to nurse more often certainly will not hurt and may help.

    If baby is taking a pacifier for long stretches, I would also suggest considering cutting back on that.

    Anyone else experience slow gain have ideas for avachristine?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weight gain rate low?

    I think LLLMeg had some excellent suggestions about assessing the baby's overall health, development, and nursing frequency without looking at the charts. But if you were to assess your baby by the charts alone- which I would not recommend!- it seems like there's no reason to worry. Not based on this chart, anyway: http://kellymom.com/images/growth/growthcharts.gif your baby has dropped some percentiles since 2 months, but as long as she's nursing on demand and with a good frequency, that's pretty normal. Both my kids dropped percentiles between the 2 and 4 month appointments.

    Your doc's suggestion to pump after a feeding in order to tell whether or not you are making enough milk is a pretty poor one. It's not an accurate measure of how much you produce, since pump output varies based on time of day, how long it has been since you last pumped, the make/model of pump you are using, and your response to pumping. There are plenty of mamas who can't pump much despite having totally normal milk supplies. I know it's tempting to seek some way to measure your ability to nurse... But in general, there's no need.

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