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Thread: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

  1. #1

    Default Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    Hi ya'll! My post is kind of multi questions so I will try to keep it short. My daughter just turned 1, made it a year, hooray! She was a big baby, 9 lb 10 oz 21 1/4 in and grew well for the first 6 months. I know it's normal to taper off, but the past several months she has gained no weight at all, maybe a few oz. She's lengthened but still pretty low on the charts. She looks so tiny compared to when she was a newborn because she was so huge-only 18.6 lb and 28 in at 1 year. She is VERY active, constantly in motion since day 1, has a somewhat difficult temperament, has always been a big eater. She loves solids, anything we feed her. We've had her on a pretty consistent schedule the past 3 or 4 months. She nurses or gets a bottle 5x a day, used to nurse just once at night but around 10 months she just randomly started sleeping through the night on her own...and considering all the sleep issues we've had, I let her be. So now I get up in the middle of the night to pump because my supply just barely keeps up. I pump at work and middle of the night. We give her 5 oz bottles, at least every 4 hours, more like 3.5, and solids 3x a day,and I nurse 5x a day when I'm home. I don't feel like she gets as much from me as from bottle because when I pump all day at work I know I'm not putting out 5 oz by the end of the day, which I know is normal. I just don't feel like she's eating enough but don't know how we can manage to feed her more. I also am barely keeping up with her pumping. So thinking about substituting with toddler formula or milk once a day. am concerned that she hasn't gained any weight at all the past few months. She had really bad reflux when she was younger and it is alot better but still an issue. I try to feed her more but it just comes back up. We're taking her for a well baby check up next week so will see what pedi says. I am petite and my husband is tall and slender so maybe just genetics or high metabolism, I don't know if I'm over worrying! So hard to figure out bottle vs. breast and how much is enough, kid acts like she's starving so it's hard to tell sometimes if she's still hungry because she'd eat all day if I let her but bad for her poor tum. Any insight appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    I suggest the book My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez. I understand your child does eat, it sounds like she eats quite a bit actually, but the book is really about what is and what is not a concern when it comes to eating and weight gain. I suspect your child is just fine and does not need toddler formula or anything else, and certainly would not need anything SUBSTITUTING for breastmilk...but in any case I think that book will help you figure out what might be going on in this situation or if all is actually fine.

    if she's still hungry because she'd eat all day if I let her but bad for her poor tum.
    Can you explain more about this? I am not sure what you mean.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    I guess I should have said supplementing, not substituting. Just 1 feed a day with something else so I know she's getting enough. I think alot of the issue is she still has pretty bad reflux so if I overfeed her it flares that up and causes lots of trouble but she loves to eat so she hasn't learned her "off" button yet so we have to regulate her. Even when she nurses she will eat too much if I let her and it just makes her reflux worse. When I'm at work all day and she gets a bottle all day, my husband says she doesn't really have any issues with that so I've considered quitting breastfeeding except at night and just pumping...don't know what's up with that, it's just an ongoing battle lol. Mostly it's just lack of weight gain that concerns me, like is she's not absorbing properly due to reflux, or if we're overfeeding her but I couldn't imagine feeding her less with her being so little.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    Ok, so, on the one hand, you are 'regulating' her intake even at the breast it sounds like-which I interpret as limiting intake... and on the other hand, your baby is (possibly) not gaining well.

    Sorry to state the obvious, but could it be that baby's intake is being over-limited? Children are basically born knowing how to regulate their intake, this is one reason breastfeeding is so much healthier than typical bottle feeding, because a baby CAN regulate intake at the breast, but cannot do so with a bottle, unless they are fed the bottle very carefully and helped to regulate intake and slow down feedings by the caregiver.

    What, exactly, is the difference between what baby does when or after nursing and what baby does after a bottle that suggests she has no issues with bottles but does have issues with the breast?

    Is the reflux being treated in any way, and what are the symptoms or tests that led to a reflux diagnoses?

    Overfed children gain more quickly than normal, not less- unless they are dangerously ill. I don't understand how over feeding could possibly be at play here? What part of what you guys are doing feels like overfeeding?

    Have you ever identified any foods that seem to increase the problems when ingested by you or your child?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    Told you it was a long story thanks for bearing with me. So she was a big baby, and gained weight quickly etc, she had classic reflux symptoms, massive amounts of spit up after most feedings even after holding her upright for 30+minutes, lots of hiccups that she would cry with throughout the day, screaming fits for hours in the middle of the night, lots of wet burps, arching back lots of gas, restless sleeper etc etc. Pedi wanted to try Zantac but we went alternate route and have her on a regimen that has greatly improved her symptoms but if we run out for a few days her symptoms would flare up. So we avoid running out haha. She still has alot of wet burps, wakes herself up at night sometimes coughing, and I would say the only time I "regulate" her at the breast is for her first morning feed when I'm more full and she will nurse until it literally starts coming back up and she'll get hiccups. Basic rule of thumb with reflux-don't overfeed. She's gotten better about this and it's only occasionally that I'll tell her ok you've had enough and she'll pop off and go onto something more interesting and it's just the first morning feed. The rest of the time she will take herself off when she's done. In spite of that she's always been a good eater, healthy appetite, healthy otherwise, never really been sick, VERY active, alert, smart, and so on. When I went back to work we gradually increased the amount in her bottles and would give her a little more until she seemed satisfied. I read 1-1.5oz/ per hour is aroundabout what they need but over 5 or 6 is probably too much at one time. So we feed her about every 3-4 hours, my husband watches her cues, but it's been the same amount the past few months, 5 oz per bottle, with solids in between. I guess I feel like there's a variation between what she gets when I nurse her vs. the bottle when I'm at work. Really my main concern is that she hasn't gained weight which may be her normal but also if she's getting enough, and that what I pump barely is enough for the next day I go to work. I had major oversupply in the beginning so maybe I just have to get over not having extra milk. I know it's normal to decrease. Just adding in solids and worrying about enough or too much milk (with bottle) on top of the reflux issue gives me a little anxiety considering how difficult the first 6 months was and when we do try to feed her more her reflux symptoms flare up but then she acts like she's starving sometimes but maybe just because she likes to eat. And I'm pretty sure if we gave her a 10 oz bottle she'd inhale it and throw half of it back up. Who knows. Lol! It's just nice to have someone to kind of bounce your thoughts off of.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    Oh and when I'm home all day and feed her she does tend to spit up a bit more and have more of the wet burps and such, vs. my husband says she rarely has those issues when he feeds her bottle all day. Like I said she has always been a big eater and would just gulp gulp gulp when she was younger so I think she's slowly learning to slow down a little. She's just a little piggy. Couldn't ever find any correlation between my diet and her symptoms, there were a few things and I avoid them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Working pumping mom...baby not gaining weight

    Ok. So reflux is still very much in the picture despite baby being a year old? No reducing of symptoms, as would be typical once baby is sitting up and more mobile? Spit up is pretty normal, but pain etc. is not, so I am wondering if what is happening now is pain or just the spit up.

    I think the smaller more frequent bottles/meals make sense of course. But I wonder about a baby who loves to eat but is suffering painful reflux...the two just do not go together, typically. Nursing lots, yes, because breastmilk is so soothing. But eating lots??? idk. Maybe she just needs to eat more often?

    Some kids just spit up way more than others. My middle child was like this, and especially in toddlerhood, my husband would get upset and think there was a problem with nursing because he spit up lots of breast milk every morning after nursing. But our pediatrician thought it was not my milk (smart pediatrician, lol) but rather, that he was waking really hungry and tummy was already a bit irritated due to being empty. He is now 9 and many years weaned, and he will still get queasy in the am if he does not eat right away, and will vomit after eating if he goes too long. I am not saying this is normal, we are not sure what this is, and since he is very healthy in all other respects we have not worried much about it. But it certainly has nothing to do with reflux in the classic sense, as he never experiences anything remotely like heartburn.

    went alternate route and have her on a regimen that has greatly improved her symptoms but if we run out for a few days her symptoms would flare up. So we avoid running out haha.
    Running out of what?

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