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Thread: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

  1. #1

    Default 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    I just had my 7th child on July 16. She weighed 8 lbs 5 oz at birth. Now she weights only 7 lbs 13 oz at 3 1/2 weeks away. She was a c-section baby. Her first 3 days were spent in the NICU due to swallowing fluid, during that time I had to pump for the first two days and not feed her. We have had some latch problems, but I am working with her to correct those. Having breast fed all of my other children for over a year, I think I know what I am doing. However, the ped is very concerned that she is not up to her birth weight this far out and wants to 'intervene'. I have been doing weekly weight checks with her. too. We have been supplementing with a bottle of breastmilk for a few feedings a day, too. She tends to be a very sleepy baby and is sleeping 6 hours at night, too. I try to wake her using all sorts of techniques and she falls back asleep. I have to work with her to get all of feedings by switch nursing and compressions. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,645

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    What was the lowest weight? What do the weekly checks indicate? as time goes on, Is baby gaining better, worse, staying the same, losing weight? has supplementing with your own milk made any difference?
    Does the problem appear to you to be one of low milk production or baby not nursing efficiently? Scale error? Something else?
    How is output? (poops)
    Baby is taking a long stretch at night for a 3 week old. How many times a 24 hour day does baby nurse?
    Is it possible to see an IBCLC? and/or, any local LLL?
    A baby does not gain well due to not getting enough milk, OR due to some underlying illness or condition. Do you sense something aside from feeding issues may be amiss?
    Bottles of your own milk and pumping certainly count as interventions.

    What intervention does your doctor suggest?

  3. #3

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Lowest weight: 7 lbs 5 oz
    Weekly weights have been 7.8 lbs, 7.5 lbs, 7.9 lbs (for two weight checks she maintained), 7.13, and today she was up to 8.3 lbs.
    My milk seems to be fine. I pump enough to supplement her bottles and I am taking Fenugreek.
    Her poops are good, probably 5-6 good ones a day. I do have access to a lacation consultant.
    Right now, I feel like her biggest problem is her sleepiness. She slept last night from 10 o'clock to 6 this morning without waking up. I even set the alarm so I could wake her. I never could arouse her enough to get her latched on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,178

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Is she jaundiced?
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,645

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Good question by mommal. If she was a week old the extreme sleepiness would make more sense. It seems more unusual that a 3 week old was impossible to arouse during such a long sleep stretch.
    Is the overt sleepiness getting worse or better?

    When I had to wake my oldest frequently as a newborn, we found it was much harder to wake him when he was not on his own schedule, if that makes sense. Once he found his own rhythm, he woke with high frequency on his own.

    What are the sleeping arrangements? You clearly are a busy mom, Is it possible baby is waking at another time without you knowing and then falling back asleep? As an extreme example, I once heard of a case where no one could figure out why baby was not gaining as well as baby should, and the mom finally figured out that grandma (who slept in the baby's room as she was there to help) was giving baby a pacifier and water (!!!) when baby awoke, and rocking baby back to sleep, instead of waking mom and bringing baby to mom.

    Is baby getting a pacifier or being swaddled at night?

    I am flummoxed a bit that a baby who is pooping 5-6 times a day has not made it back to birthweight! Any possibility of scale error?

    Here is what the IBCLC can do. (probably.) She can watch a nursing session and maybe do some weighted feeds and make sure milk transfer is normal. This, plus overall nursing frequency, plus poop output, plus the supplementation you are already doing with your own milk, is information you can provide the pediatrician.

    Not all babies have poor gain due to not having enough to eat. Sometimes there is a more serious medical issue going on. If breastfeeding is blamed in such a case, these possibilities may be overlooked.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; August 12th, 2014 at 08:49 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Have your doctor look very closely at any possible medical causes. My cousin's son had a congenital heart defect that went undiagnosed until 8 weeks. He didn't have the energy to stay awake long enough to nurse effectively and so gained very slowly. Even after surgery corrected his heart issue, he continued gaining slowly until it was found out he was allergic to several different foods.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Is she jaundiced?
    Yes, she was jaundiced.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    What was the lowest weight? What do the weekly checks indicate? as time goes on, Is baby gaining better, worse, staying the same, losing weight? has supplementing with your own milk made any difference?
    Does the problem appear to you to be one of low milk production or baby not nursing efficiently? Scale error? Something else?
    How is output? (poops)
    Baby is taking a long stretch at night for a 3 week old. How many times a 24 hour day does baby nurse?
    Is it possible to see an IBCLC? and/or, any local LLL?
    A baby does not gain well due to not getting enough milk, OR due to some underlying illness or condition. Do you sense something aside from feeding issues may be amiss?
    Bottles of your own milk and pumping certainly count as interventions.

    What intervention does your doctor suggest?
    Weekly checks show she is very very slowly gaining weight. She will gain 5-6 oz, lose 1 oz, and then maintain for a few days.
    I don't think its a scaling error, we have used the same scale and weighing her in just a dry diaper each time.
    My milk supply seems to be good.
    Over the course of a 24 period, she is nursing at least 8-10 times a day.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    She does not take a pacifier nor is she swaddled at night. She sleeps in our room, but on her own.

    As far as the types poops do they matter? Her poops are not very seedy, but are yellow/brown in color.

    I do have to work with her on her latch most of the time. She tends to get very sleepy when nursing. And does not do the typical 20-30 minutes of straight nursing. After 3-5 minutes she is asleep. So sometimes she seems to snack instead. In order to get a 'good' feed I really have to work with her.

    There is not really the possibility of scaling error, because we have been using the same scale the entire time.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old not up to birth weight yet

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zaynethepain View Post
    Have your doctor look very closely at any possible medical causes. My cousin's son had a congenital heart defect that went undiagnosed until 8 weeks. He didn't have the energy to stay awake long enough to nurse effectively and so gained very slowly. Even after surgery corrected his heart issue, he continued gaining slowly until it was found out he was allergic to several different foods.
    No, the doctor has not looked at any further cause, he seems more interested in just having her get to her birth weight.

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