Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Weight gain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    55

    Default Weight gain

    Hi

    I'm just looking for some reassurance that DS is gaining well. Here is his growth so far:

    birth: 6.6lbs
    1 month: 8.8lbs
    2 months: 11lbs
    4 months: 13.2lbs
    5 months: 13.9lbs

    He is EBF. He dropped percentiles at his 4 month weight check, which incidentally coincided with his sleeping habits changing. Before he slept quite well but now he is waking very frequently to eat (typically ever 2 hours). His temperament also seems to have changed. He used to be a very quiet baby who rarely cried but now he looks for constant attention and screams whenever not eating or being held. When being held he is very pleasant and smiles and laughs.
    My MIL has suggested several times that my milk is not sufficient for him and I feel under a lot of pressure from DH to switch to formula. I don't even want to supplement. DS eats often during the day, every 1-2 hours, once he might go 3 hours when he takes an afternoon nap. I don't pump so I don't know how to measure my supply. He certainly pees and poops a lot. I have noticed that I never wake up engorged, even on the rare occasion when he sleeps for 5-6 hours. Another thing that concerns me a little is that I have lost some weight (now 5lbs lighter than before pregnancy), could this be the culprit? I haven't been dieting and in fact I feel like I snack on chocolate biscuits all day! One other factor that seems to affect DS's feeding is DS1 who is two years old and rarely lets DS eat in peace. I sometimes feel like he stops eating because he gets distracted but is not finished and then refuses to continue.
    So really I want to know if the weight gain seems reasonable. Should I be concerned about my supply?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: Weight gain

    Everything you describe sounds pretty normal to me.

    His weight is on the low end, but he's always been on the low end for weight- some babies are quite consistant about maintaining their growth curves. How is his growth aside from weight? Is he growing normally in head circumference and height?

    He's peeing and pooping a lot, which generally means his intake is sufficient. (In fact, diaper output is usually a better measure of milk production than pumping, because pumping does not empty the breast as well as the baby does.)

    Not getting engorged is completely normal after a mom has been nursing for several months and her milk production is well-matched to her baby's needs; remember that babies generally eat just 2-4 oz at the breast and it's pretty easy for that small amount of milk to "hide" in the breast.

    Waking frequently to eat at night is normal, particularly once teething starts- and most babies are teething by 4 months even if their first teeth don't break the surface for many months more. Nursing more at night is also common in babies who are distracted eaters during the day- for example, babies whose older siblings are up to all sorts of interesting antics during the daytime nursing sessions.

    Mom losing weight during breastfeeding is normal. Remember, you're putting several hundred calories per day into milk production. Many moms report being ravenously hungry at some time during their breastfeeding journey, particularly when their babies are still exclusively breastfed and are going through growth spurts.

    Why are your MIL and DH pressuring you about supply and formula? What are their specific concerns?
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Weight gain

    Hi,

    His height and head circumference are also in the lower percentiles, but show consistent growth. The nurse who measured him said everything is fine since the charts include formula fed babies which distorts the results for EBF babies. I hope this is the case.

    I think DH's concerns are coming from his mother more than anything else. Well, he is also not particularly happy at being woken up during the night. He compares everything to DS1, who slept through the night by 4 months. He thinks DS is too hungry and that is why he is not sleeping. He threatened to go out and buy bottles and formula a few days ago. I warned him that I wouldn't be washing and sterilising bottles so he left that argument go.
    My MIL is/was very supportive of breastfeeding. But 30+ years ago, when she had babies, the advice was very different. She was told to only feed them every 3 hours, by 11 days old DH was getting supplements with formula because she couldn't produce enough milk. I obviously believe it was restricting feeding that caused this. I feel judged for feeding DS more frequently than every 3 hours. Unless he is asleep he would never wait 3 hours to be fed! She keeps asking if I think my milk is sufficient. She thinks his frequent nursing is a sign that he needs something more substantial! She is pushing for us to introduce solids too! I've gotten to the point that I am embarrassed to nurse in front of her because she is checking the clock to see if 3 hours has passed.
    DS loves to be held or for me to lie on the floor/bed with him. He coos and laughs and loves to touch my face. He certainly doesn't have the look of a starving baby. He doesn't like being alone much. I think my husband is also a little concerned by the fact that DS doesn't roll over yet, a skill DS1 mastered at 4 months. I looked at pictures of DS1 at the same age and he just look a lot more grown up, DS2 still seems very baby-ish. I was considering buy a pump to try and increase my supply and see if DS would eat a little more. Although I can't imagine he could nurse more often than he already does.
    So basically it is the frequency of feeding that is concerning DH and MIL. It seems completely normal to me but all these concerns being thrown at me are making me doubt my supply and DS development.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,915

    Default Re: Weight gain

    The feeding frequency is normal. It is actually normal for feeding frequency to increase around this time. If your babies health care provider and you are both okay with your babies wait gain then I really think that's the end of the story. A baby nursing frequently has nothing to do with a mother's milk being inefficient or insufficient or not enough or not healthy enough or anything like that. If your baby is not getting enough milk overall, your baby will not gain appropriately. That's how you tell baby is not getting enough milk. Not by their behavior. Of course sometimes slow weight gain has nothing to do with baby not getting enough, but there is an underlying health condition. Or just a slower gaining baby.
    That said looking at your numbers I understand the concern. Speaking generally, Until about three months, typical gain rate is about 2 pounds per month. After three months that goes down considerably to about 1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds per month. If your doctor is breast-feeding supportive and knowledgeable, and is not likely to just tell you to give the baby formula, it might be helpful to ask more pointed questions about baby's gain. Just blaming it on the charts is not really enough. Really they should be using the World health organization 2006 charts which are based on breast-fed babies anyway. On the other hand if you and the healthcare provider are seeing a very healthy baby who just happens to be gaining a little more slowly that may be entirely fine.
    Comparing siblings is a really problematic road. We have two very healthy sons who seriously could not be more different in every single way both as babies and bigger kids. Luckily my skinny, clingy and much more high needs one was first! Now with our daughter she is walking and having all her physical milestones much earlier than the boys but she is talking much later. There is a very wide range of entirely normal even with full-blooded siblings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: Weight gain

    Comparing siblings is problematic. You can't help doing it, as a parent, but try not to fall into the trap of thinking you're doing something wrong because your kids are different from each other.

    I think it might be time to have a little chat with your MIL and DH. Tell them that you appreciate them and the love they have for your baby, but that you really don't want to hear any more commentary on breastfeeding. And you especially don't want to hear commentary on feeding frequency unless they are going to educate themselves on the most recent research regarding how often breastfed babies should and do eat.
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Weight gain

    You're LO's weight seems okay except between the 4th & 5th month. There are different factors that can cause the weight loss so you might want to think about those other factors aside from the frequency of feeding. lllmeg has a good point. Discuss with your doctor and you might learn more.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Weight gain

    So I went to the doctor yesterday to discuss DS's slow weight gain. The answer....start solids!

    He got a full check-up and the doctor said that he looks like a healthy happy baby. He doesn't look thin or under-nourished. So that is good. He said that his current weight gain is slow but still nothing to be concerned about yet. All this sounds good to me.

    But the solids, I'm reluctant to start solids at all before 6 months. The doctor thinks it will help him to sleep better too. I've researched online (here and other sources) and my understanding is that solids neither help weight gain nor sleeping.

    So my plan is to just continue feeding on demand. In fact, I'm trying to feed a little more. DS gets distracted a lot during the day when eating but I've noticed that if I just hold him and keep my breast available that he sometimes latches back on after a little while and starts eating again. So I'm hoping this will help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,107

    Default Re: Weight gain

    I think that's an excellent plan. Your milk has more nutrients in it than any solids you could give him right now and eating them could cause him to nurse LESS.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •