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Thread: Emotional - not sure if 3 wk old is getting/gaining enough

  1. #1

    Default Emotional - not sure if 3 wk old is getting/gaining enough


    I hope someone can help advise.

    DS was born 3,46 kg , went down to 3.36 and at 2 weeks was 3.43 ...at 3 weeks was only 3.56 and the LC was concerned that he wasn't putting on enough weight. DS had tongue tie and bad latch which was corrected at 1 week old - latch is now good, nipple pain has gone.

    So, LC advised as he only put on 130 g to pump after first morning feed (at which I usually get about 100 ml - does that mean he's not actually drinking enough at his feed) - and feed that to him at night - after a feed to top up. However, he always seems hungry - during the day especially - the only time he seems to settle after a feed is when he's had the top up from the bottle - otherwise he really doesn't want to sleep in the day. At night he seems to settle down and sleep ok, say between 10 and 6am.

    Is 130 g really not enough? Also, today at 3pm I fed him both breasts and he fell asleep tim and time again, so then I gave him 40ml in a bottle of pumped and he drank it all - and then I pumped and found I had around 60-70ml in my breasts - so why was he not drinking that ? Is he getting enough from me? Is his latch good but still not getting enough?

    My DD who is now 2 breast fed easily and put on so much weight and was chubby very quickly - she only ate for 10-15 mins at at time but i feel DS feeds so often and so long, but isn't gaining. I'm confused, emotional, feel like I'm letting him down etc etc. I go back to get him weighed on Weds - I am sad that I can't just breastfeed him though - I don't want to pump and give if I can hep it - but it looks like I might have to.

    Am I doing any damage to him long term if he only gains 100-130 g a weeK? If so I obviously will do something about it. Also my DH is large / tall - 100kg and 190cm and I am also 176cm and 65 kg normal weight.......so he's surely not destined to be small?

    Have talked to DH and he is just supportive and says I'm doing a great job - doesn't seem to understand, and Mum seems to think I"M worrying over nothing Please help! Thank you !

    Ps I"m taking 3 x 3 fenugreek per day - I don't think I have too little supply if I am able to pump that much?

    Thank you again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Emotional - not sure if 3 wk old is getting/gaining enou

    If you can easily pump 100 ml (around 3.4 oz, non-metric LLLadies), then there's clearly nothing wrong with supply.

    But your baby's weight gain does sound a bit low. A baby should regain birthweight by 2 weeks, and after that Kellymom.com (http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/) says that in the 0-4 month range babies typically gain between 5-7 oz (141.7-198.5 g) per week.

    I think the pumping sounds like it is a good idea at this time. Hopefully it is a very temporary measure, something you do while you're waiting for your child to grow a bit and become a better, stronger nurser who can drain the breast more thoroughly. There's nothing wrong with him "not emptying" the breast, though- because milk is always being made, most moms find that they can express some milk even after a good feeding.

    You might want to try a technique called "finish at the breast". Instead of allowing the feeding to conclude with the bottle, which hypothetically teaches a baby to associate the feeling of fullness and relaxation with the bottle rather than the breast, you nurse for a while, offer a supplement, and then put the baby back on the breast for unlimited time. That way the baby gets the idea in his head that bottles aren't how feedings end- they're a pause in between sessions at the breast. Hopefully this reduces the chances of the baby developing a bottle preference.

    Definitely go in for frequent weight checks, and make sure that whoever is weighing your baby is following proper technique by weighing the baby on the same scale every time, and in the nude or in a clean, dry diaper. Since it's only a few grams of difference between normal weight gain and insufficient weight gain, and a full diaper or even a little baby outfit can easily throw off the calculation from one weigh-in to the next.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Emotional - not sure if 3 wk old is getting/gaining enou

    I know it is so scary to think baby is not getting enough. But try to remember this is very early days! You may not even be seeing full milk production yet at 3 weeks. So a slow weight gain being caught now, in the very early days, is actually good.

    I agree with mommal, if you are supplementing, you need to pump, and if you are able to pump enough for your milk to be baby's entire needed supplement, awesome.

    How is output (poops?) And how was it PRIOR to supplementing?

    How many times a day does baby nurse?

    You seem to think that if you are able to express more milk when you pump after your baby nurses, that means baby is not nursing efficiently. But it may not mean that at all. You may be having another letdown when you pump. or you may have a large milk capacity and baby is taking only what baby needs. Did the LC do a before and after nursing weight check to try to get an idea of intake when baby nurses?

    also a baby, especially a very young baby, taking a bottle after nursing does not mean baby needed or wanted more milk.

    Are you saying your 3 week old baby is sleeping from 10 pm to 6 am? 8 hours without nursing? Or that baby nurses during that time but does not seem to need a top off?

    Have you been trying breast compressions and/or switching sides frequently during the nursing sessions? these are good ways to both increase the fat content of milk into baby and to keep baby more wakeful when nursing.

    Newborns very often take much longer to nurse than your older child did, and typically must nurse at least 10-12 times per 24 hours in the newborn period.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; August 31st, 2013 at 10:47 AM.

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