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Thread: No weight gain in 5 week old

  1. #1

    Default No weight gain in 5 week old

    Five weeks ago I had DS and he weighed 8/11. Upon leaving the hospital he was 8/4, at his newborn checkup he was 7/15 and three days later at his circumcision he was 7/13. Over the course of the next few weeks he just looked so skinny to me but was nursing well for the most part (or so I thought because there was no pain), was happy and sleeping as good as can be expected and has adequate wet and dirty diapers.

    Out of curiosity I pulled out an old analog baby scale I have and he was only about 7/7 or so. I called my Dr. and to make a long story short I took him in to be weighed on a scale he had been weighed on before. He weighed 7/7 . My Dr. suggested pumping and adding a little formula to it to ensure he is getting enough calories (only a few times a day so I could still nurse) then return next week for another weigh in. If DS lost then we have a problem, if he gains then great and if he stays the same maybe he is just a skinny guy. I am just surprised that he has never returned to his birth weight.

    I didn't mind that advice but thought I would see a pediatrician to see how someone else would approach the same situation. I'll spare you the details of the visit but I was in tears as she ranted about hypothyroidism and the chance that he could be going mentally retarded because I waited so long to see someone about the matter. (Honestly, i didn't know I was doing something wrong or I would have had him seen immediately) She could have been a little more gentle in her delivery of her thoughts.

    One good thing came from the visit as she had me nurse in front of her and suggested he may not be nursing well. He latches and unlatches a number of times throughout a feeding so maybe he is getting enough milk to just get by until the next feeding but not enough to be nutritious. This is not always the case but does happen a few times a day.

    Ultimately I decided to follow my primary care dr's orders until I could see a lactation consultant, who came to my house yesterday. Wouldn't you know it, he nursed better than ever in front of her and never had a problem latching.

    I know this post is all over the place but I am worried and having a hard time deciding where to go with it so I have a few questions.

    *Any advice for the latch and relatch? If he feeds for 15 minutes on one side I would guess he only eats for about half of that because he is on and off multiple times. I have tried switching sides, which only solves the problem sometimes, I have taken him completely off and stopped feeding for a little while before trying again but nothing seems to solve it.

    *Tell me your thoughts on his weight. It seems to be holding steading over the last 7 days at 7/7, so no loss but no gain. If you have experience, please share.

    *Any information on hypothyroidism? I am not drawing any conclusions but I do want to be educated on the matter. I've done research online but would be interested in hearing personal stories if anyone has one to share.

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by @llli*rodsgal; October 25th, 2013 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: No weight gain in 5 week old

    Before I get to your questions I have a couple, if that is ok-

    How many times a 24 hour day is baby nursing? A baby this age typically needs to nurse a minimum of 10-12 times per 24 hour day.

    How many times a day does baby poop and what is their general size and look? (Color, consistency)

  3. #3

    Default Re: No weight gain in 5 week old

    He nurses about 9-10 times a day. Every two hours pretty faithfully throughout the day and is able to go 3-4 hours at night.

    Also, he was pooping with every feeding until just a few days ago. Now he poops 5-6 times a day. They were greenish yellow and are now turning to a brighter yellow. The consistency is soft and not overly runny like diarrhea. He's my fourth and it seems to be like I remember with my others.

    Thank you so much.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: No weight gain in 5 week old

    Good questions from LLLMeg.

    I just want to add a couple more: what sort of hypothyroidism is suspected? Are you the potentially hypothyroid one, or is the baby suspected to have congenital hypothyroidism? And has either one of you been tested, and if not, what is the doc basing this hypothyroid theory on?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: No weight gain in 5 week old

    ok, so that was going to be my next question. If an underlying condition is suspected, why hypothyroidism, specifically? can't it be tested for? Shouldn’t baby also be tested for nutritional deficiencies that can cause lack of appetite/poor gain as well? Heart conditions can cause poor weight gain too, and I do not know what all. Your baby is nursing reasonably frequently (more on that below) and output appears normal. These two things taken together suggest baby is getting at least enough milk to gain SOMETHING. If this is not happening, something else may well be wrong.

    You asked for opinions about weight gain. If you think that what you have posted is your baby’s true gain, in other words, that this is an accurate picture of gain, or rather, loss and lack of gain, then those numbers seem quite concerning. Not the last 7 days holding pattern, that can happen sometimes and be ok if baby was gaining normally before. But the overall picture of initial loss and then no gain since birth is not normal.

    But that amount of poops IS a normal amount for a baby who is gaining normally. So that is telling a different story. So I would suggest again that you think about the weight checks, is there any way these are off somehow?

    There is no benefit or sign that all is well to a baby nursing every such and such hours. This is a mistaken assumption many people make, that the less often a baby nurses, the more likely baby is getting what they need. No. A normally gaining newborn baby might nurse every hour or even every 10 minutes for at least part of the day. "Getting" a longer length of time between feedings is not a goal that should be pursued at this point, especially if baby is not gaining well!

    Supplementing is only needed if baby is not getting enough breastmilk, so if that is part of the problem, then working on increasing how much breast milk baby gets makes sense. Nursing more frequently would be a first step, assuming baby is willing. It never hurts to nurse more often. A baby this young may well need to nurse a minimum of 10-12 times per 24 hour day to gain normally. That means, some babies may need to nurse MORE often than that.

    What did the LC say about latch, and your baby’s ability to suckle? Did she do a before and after nursing weight check and what was the result? Did she discuss low production with you, take a history?

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