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Thread: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

    I have found adding lactation cookies helps my pump output. And helps me get enough calories. You are doing great by the way.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

    I had a similar experience with my son when he was 9-12 months: height 95%ile+, head circumference 75%+, weight 15%ile. Other than slow weight gain, what tipped me off to supply issues in my case were long (30mins+) nursing sessions with minimal active swallowing. I began taking domperidone around 13 months when a confluence of extreme emotional stressors caused a drop in my supply. I had a large uptick in output after 2 days, but ultimately needed to scale up my dose. This all occurred around when my son started warming to solids, and I've never looked back.

    I say this not to suggest that medication is necessary in your case but, rather, that it is another available tool in your arsenal, should you need it. Women are no less successful as breastfeeding mothers if, after exhausting non-pharma options, a little chemical nudge is required to sustain a high supply level. I appreciate the intense and constant stress of supply issues having BTDT.

    Hugs to you!
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; April 12th, 2013 at 08:31 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

    Meg, you are right, now that I've thought about it I don't think my pedi is anti-breastfeeding at all. I am following his advice for now, and introducing solids, but slowly. I go back in a month for a weight check. In the meantime, I'm going to up the amount he gets in his bottles each day by a little bit. I won't be able to keep up pumping wise with the larger bottles and will just burn through my freezer stash. I should have enough to get to the next weight check, and I'll see if it made a difference.

    I am also trying to nurse more, good advice again, but it seems hard because he is already nursing very frequently. Pretty much if I'm not working I'm nursing him! I work from home on Fridays too so I have 3 days in a row of these mini nursing vacations every week. On the weekends he nurses every hour a lot of the time. Part of me wonders if it is my low milk supply. I think if I could just be home every day with my baby that my milk supply would be just fine. But, unfortunately having to work and being a crummy pumper, I have issues.

    I think I was so afraid of formula because it's always signified to me that I'm not "good enough" or providing for my baby. I felt like if I supplemented that I wouldn't be able to continue breastfeeding. I know that's not true and it's just a hang up that I need to get past. Coming here to these forums and learning that many women have to supplement and are still able to maintain their breastfeeding relationship for a long time has reassured me a bit.

    alilwest and alphawoman, it is reassuring to hear your similar experiences and that I'm not the only one. Thank you for posting! I am considering domperidone as well as a last resort. If nothing else it could help the stress level if I could provide more milk for him! Alphawoman, that describes our nursing sessions pretty well. They are very long and not much swallowing. At first he gets a good let down from each side, but they are short and then he doesn't seem satisifed. Lots more sucking and then he can eventually get a second let down 10-20 minutes later or so. But in the interim he gets very frustrated and angry, it breaks my heart.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

    Everyone else has given awesome advice! Are you doing breast compressions at all while you pump? I ask only because your pumping/nursing situation is almost identical to mine, aside from the weight gain issues. The ONLY way I can keep up is with very, very hands-on pumping every two hours at work. I am away from my baby 9.5 hours a day and I pump 12 oz. with compressions. Without compressions, I only pumped about 9 oz. during my work days. I have also switched to a PIS from the Freestyle, use a hands free pumping bra, and massage and compress through my entire 20+ minute session.

    My daughter is also often frustrated by the amount of time it takes to get to a second letdown--we used to switch nurse constantly to get through that, but now she sometimes likes to walk around or do something else for 20 minutes and come back. Which, yes, means I am nursing her every half hour when she is awake on the weekends much of the time... I am so with you!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

    I'm in a very similar situation with my 6 month old. He actually weighs less than your son. He was 12# 5 oz at his last doctor's appointment. We've struggled with weight gain since he was a baby. I finally did find a pediatrician who knows a lot about low weight gain. She was at a continuing education day with our state LLL. A few suggestions she had were using breast compression before nursing to mix the fatty parts of the milk that cling to the ducts into the rest of the milk so he gets more fatty milk early on. Also to do breast compressions while he's nursing. Also she highly recommended switch nursing. If your son isn't very efficient at getting milk out then they quickly become flow dependent and if you switch nurse it keeps the flow up and keeps them interested longer in actively nursing not just dream nursing. My son nurses pretty constantly too. It's rare that an hour goes by when he hasn't nursed. He did also have posterior tongue tie and lip tie. The feelings of stress and not being "enough" can be overwhelming. I still struggle with it every day, but his doctor has stayed with the idea that as long as he's gaining and hitting milestones then he's probably ok. We have weighed him every month to make sure he's continuing to gain though. Good luck!
    Married to wonderful husband Chris - 2004.

    Finally, after 8 years of trying, we were blessed with a beautiful Tristan - Oct 2012

    Proud of my bonus son Drake - Oct, 2000

    We're having so much fun

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 6 month old with low weight gain- did I get bad advice?

    sonogirl- I do breast compressions, but usually after the first let down stops. I use a hands free bra only if I am at home or on the road for work, but that is something I haven't tried- using the hands free bra during my regular pumping session and trying breast compressions the whole time. Thanks for the suggestion, I will try that tomorrow! Yes, like you I have to pump every 2 hours for 20-30 minutes. Obviously this isn't always possible during my work day, but I do make it happen when I can. Right now I pump about 5-6 oz/day spread over 3-4 pumps. I do nurse my baby at lunch though. And yes, I totally do that sometimes- let him take a break and he comes back in 20 minutes for another road of nursing. So yes I am nursing him every hour too.

    k9companion, thanks for the suggestion about the breast compressions BEFORE I nurse him. I have never heard about that, to mix up the milk. Interesting! I'll try that too. I know how you feel with the constant worry about whether they are getting enough. In a way, starting solids this week has been kind of a relief. I know he's not really getting much from the few bites he takes every day at this point, but the significance of him eating something else has seemed to take some of the mental pressure off me. Your pediatrician sounds really great, thanks for sharing the info. I hope your baby starts to gain, too!

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