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Thread: Baby struggling to gain weight with nursing

  1. #1

    Default Baby struggling to gain weight with nursing

    My son is 10 weeks old. He started out gaining weight, averaging 1oz/day but then stopped. In 3.5 weeks, he gained just 8 ounces. I saw a LC, and I was told to pump and supplement with .5oz after each feed (5-6oz/day). I kept putting him to the breast though, ending up only giving him 2-3oz extra a day. This didn't do much in the weight-gain department. I took him to the pediatrician because I needed a prescription for a breast pump and he was diagnosed failure to thrive, and I was told to supplement even more. Since then, I've been pumping, letting him nurse so he drains me more fully and to stimulate for greater milk production and then give him what I pumped. (I try to give him 2.5-3oz in a bottle. If i didn't pump this much, I add whatever I've been able to store up to make the difference)

    My supply is rather finicky, and will quickly drop. If I drop my night pump, my whole supply goes down. In addition to him not gaining, he would have green poop. It seems the more I supplement, the less green it is.

    I'm not sure what to do. He is my 3rd, and I want this time to be different. I just want to nourish my baby at the breast, and he gain well. I forgot to mention he also had a tongue tie revised (though not his lip). He is always falling asleep at the breast, and just lazily suckles most of the time. It was driving me nuts to be tied to the couch all day, when my house is falling apart around me, as I have 2 other young children to care for. I do get satisfaction in seeing how much milk I know for sure he is getting, and seeing the output increase, but pumping is still such a hassle.

    I'm afraid to not pump and supplement though, because doing what I'm doing, he appears to be gaining, and I don't want my experiementing to cause him harm, by causing him to be deprived, if it turns out he won't get enough from me.

    Is there hope for exclusively breastfeeding, or should I just stick with what I'm doing, no matter how inconvenient?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,746

    Default Re: Baby struggling to gain weight with nursing

    There is pretty much always hope of exclusively nursing. How much hope depends on several factors.
    Is baby gaining normally now? When you say baby appears to be gaining, how often is baby being weighed and is it always the same scale, baby naked, or in a dry diaper? Can you give us a more detailed weight check history, including when supplements were started and increased, and when the tongue tie was treated?
    At this point, how much extra (more than you can pump in a day) does baby need each day in bottles in order to gain normally? What I am wondering is if this is primarily a low milk production issue or a poor milk transfer issue. What do you think?
    A baby who is too sleepy to eat normally at the breast at 10 weeks sounds very unusual. Does breast compression and switch nursing help baby be more wakeful or eager to nurse ever?
    Do you think it is possible baby is being slightly over supplemented, and would nurse with more vigor if the supplements were reduced somewhat? 2.5 to 3 ounces is a bellyful for many babies and they are not going to bother to try very hard to get more.
    Also you mention the green poops, I am wondering what you think green poops might mean. Poops being green is usually an entirely normal variation in baby poop. Are the poops dark or light green? What else can you tell us about the poop? Does baby poop every day, or less often? If it is every day, how many times? Are they fairly liquid or more dry? Copious or very small? Etc.
    Are you getting care from a board certified lactation consultant? Have you ever had before and after nursing weight checks done? Recently?

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