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Thread: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

  1. #1

    Default No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    Hi everyone.
    I am new here, desperately need your advice
    My son is 18weeks old, EBF. Starting around 11-12weeks he doesnt have much interest in feeding. He can be on a breast just3-5min and thats it. I dont have any problem with milk supply, i always check after his refusal by pressing and there is always a good flow. Then I offer him second breast, sometimes he can take it for another couple of minutes but mostly he refuses it. During the nights he can be longer as he is sleepy and not distracted by anything. Day or nights I feed him by demand and it is usually every 3-4hours. We get around 4-5wet nappies and usually 1dirty nappy daily. Sometimes he can pass wet wind which is yellow mucusy. For the last month his weight gain was under 400gr which less than 1pound. And I weighed him yesterday to see the difference since then he gained only 30gr for the last week. I am very concerned about weight gain and loss of appetitte as he used to gain up to 120-180per week before and there is a dramatic change, only 30gr.
    I tried to feed hin in a quite room with closed curtains, for the last 10days cbedsharing (as I read somehere bedsharing babies tend to gain more weight), talk to my HV who says it can happen to some babies they just gain weight very slow. Even if it happens why he used to gain min 120gr each week and went down to 30gr now. What can cause this? I very concerned about it and desperately want to ebf but started to think about formula top up(( just for information his birth weight 2760gr. Other than that my son is a happy and smiley baby, reaching his milestones. Does anyone experience something like this? What do think it might be and how can I help my baby? Thanks in advance and apologies for too many words

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    Hi and welcome!
    It is normal for weight gain rate to slow down after 3-4 months of age. If it did not, toddlers would be enormous and 5 year olds would rule the earth.
    It does sound like the gain rate has dropped perhaps overly dramatically, but it is hard to say. The average (meaning normal gain can be both lower and higher) is for gain to be about 1/2 pound a week (or two pounds a month) and then when it reduces, it reduces to about 1 and a quarter to one and a half pounds a month. But that is not the whole story, because to understand better whether gain is normal or not, you have to look at a longer period of time than a week here or a month there.

    Can you give us your baby's weight check history? We would not need everything- just maybe birth, ( I see you gave that already but we also need to know how much baby weighs now so we can compare the two.) Also, lowest weight after birth (assuming there was a lower weight in the first week or so) and then every month or so since then? I do not know how often babies are weighed where you are...Also, is length and head circ also measured? And are those showing normal growth?

    Also note any different scales used. Unless baby is always weighed on the same digital infant scale, unfortunately, the weight checks cannot be trusted 100%. Also, who is weighing baby? Are they rushed, distracted, are you always checking the numbers too? We place so much trust in what the scales say and forget the rather strong possibility of scale or human error when weighing infants.

    It sounds like your HV is unconcerned. Has any health professional suggested your baby gains too slowly or might need supplements?
    I very concerned about it and desperately want to ebf but started to think about formula top up
    I do not understand this at all. From what you are saying, if there is a problem, it is not with your milk production. What you are saying is baby is not interested in nursing any more often or longer than baby currently is. If it truly is a situation where your baby is so uninterested in eating they cannot gain normally, that would mean baby is ill and you would need to find out what the problem is and fix it. If baby is somehow unable to nurse normally and cannot get milk out efficiently, then pumping or hand expressing your milk to give to your baby might make sense. But not formula. Formula is "formulated" to be as much like breastmilk as possible. Think about it. Of formula had more calories than breastmilk, formula fed babies would all be grossly obese! In other words, formula is not going to help your baby gain better than your milk. If baby needs more milk, then you get baby more milk by pumping or hand expressing and giving that to baby (while continuing to nurse just as often as you already are.)

    Please understand I do not think either of these things are going on. I do not think your baby is ill nor do I think your baby is not able to extract milk normally. I think that most likely your baby is just fine and gaining within normal parameters. I am just saying, if there IS a problem with gain, formula is not a solution unless mom simply does not make enough milk. And given what you have written that is probably not the situation.

    Bedsharing usually encourages more nursing over night and that certainly might increase gain. You do want to be sure you are following guidelines and common sense for sharing your bed safely with baby. Here is more info: http://www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/tearsheets

    Overall, holding/physical contact with baby, day and night, especially (but not only) with skin to skin contact actually might increase gain and tends to increase a baby's nursing frequency day and night. That said, short nursing sessions and to some extent, fewer overall nursing sessions overall than previously are entirely normal at this age. But it never hurts to gently offer to nurse as often as you like. Every 3- 4 hours as the norm sounds a little low, but it is hard to know what you mean (6 times, or 9 times?) so, how many times in 24 hours does baby typically nurse overall?

  3. #3

    Default Re: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    Hi maddieb and thanks a lot for the prompt reply.
    His lowest weight was 2.7kg
    So the history here:
    16.03.16 2.76kg birth weight
    21.03.16 2.70kg
    29.03.16 2.95kg
    15.04.16 3.52kg
    22.04.16 3.84kg
    27.04.16 3.97kg
    04.05.16 4.11kg
    13.05.16 4.36kg
    20.05.16 4.51kg
    27.05.16 4.69kg
    17.06.16 5.10kg
    24.06.16 5.24kg
    15.07.16 5.51kg
    22.07.16 5.54kg

    I totally understand the difference between formulated and breast milk and I know that breastmilk is very important for my baby and willing to feed his as long as he wants and I can provide him with. I just wonder if something became wrong with my milk( i know it sounds silly) that he is not as interested in it as he used to.
    He usually has 7-8 feeds in 24hrs. HV suggested to observe more and hasn't advised any supplements so far.
    Could you give me your opinion by looking at his weight gain history. Do you think it is normal for his age and me being just crazy mom or there is a problem that needs a fix.

    Thanks a lot for your advice, very appreciate it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    Ok, wow, your baby was weighed ALOT!

    I am American. I do not think in metric so I will have to convert all those kg to pounds and ounces to make sense of them. I am sorry, but even those dates are confusing. Day first...help.

    Can you (or someone) take just these and convert them for me? Thanks.

    16.03.16 2.76kg birth weight
    21.03.16 2.70kg
    22.04.16 3.84kg
    20.05.16 4.51kg
    24.06.16 5.24kg
    22.07.16 5.54kg

    I do not think you are crazy. Lots of moms think there is something wrong with their milk. But this is nearly impossible. sometimes there is an issue of milk production reducing for some reason.

    If you offered, would baby nurse any more often? Once or twice more a day maybe? Just wondering.

  5. #5

    Default Re: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    That's downside of living right next to a Children centre)

    Sorry for the inconvenience, here is the conversion:

    16.03.16 6.1
    21.03.16 5.15
    22.04.16 8.7
    20.05.16 9.14
    24.06.16 11.7
    22.07.16 12.3

    Forgot to add, his head circumference around 40cm and height around 2ft now. His birth height 1'7.7 and head was 34.
    current measurement was done at home by me.

    For the last couple of days I am offering every 2 hours daytime and nights remain as demand feeding. Sometimes he takes every 2 hrs, sometimes he just refuses until later.

    Thanks a lot!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    Ok thanks for converting! Sorry about that.

    Ok, so here is what I see.

    Baby lost a few ounces the first few days and then began gaining. I wonder if baby actually lost more at first and that day 5 weight check shows gain already on the upswing? In any case, these checks show a normal situation.
    In the ~30 days from March 21 to April 22, baby gained 2 pounds and 6 ounces. Average gain for this period is 1/2 pound a week or 2 pounds per month, or 1 ounce per day. so this is good gain, a bit above average as it comes out to above one pounce per day.
    In the ~ 30 days from April 22 to May 20th, baby gained 1 pound 7 ounces, or about 3/4 ounce per day. So this is where we see the slow down in gain begin, during this period. I am pretty sure this is still within normal gain range.
    In the ~ 30 days from May 20th- June 24, baby gained about the same as the month before- 1 pound 9 ounces. In fact I would say the gain is just about exactly the same, as this was a slightly longer period between checks. So, baby still gaining 3/4 ounce per day approximately, or 5.25 ounces per week. (On average)
    In the ~ 30 days from June 24 to July 22, baby gained 12 ounces or about 3 ounces per week on average.

    So, gain is certainly slower noticeably slower this past month. As I mentioned above, it is normal for gain to slow down after 3 to 4 months BUT, considering baby was gaining slightly below average (but still within normal parameters) before, this might bear looking at a little more closely. I am quite sure your baby is fine at this point, but I think you might want to watch a trend like this just in case.

    Another measure to consider, is what was overall gain birth until now? Baby was born at 6 pounds, and at 4 months of age, is 12 pounds- baby has doubled their birth weight in about 4 months. I am pretty sure that is a good indication of normal overall gain, even if the gain is slowing now.

    I think the multitude of weight checks might be causing you to be more concerned about gain than otherwise.

    A good book that is an easy read, inexpensive, and should be readily available to you is My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez. He is a pediatrician and in this book he looks at babies, young children and expectations about gain vs. reality of what is normal very closely. He explains weight charts and why they are often misunderstood very clearly. I would recommend this book to anyone concerned about weight gain or eating habits.

    It never hurts to offer to nurse frequently, so I suggest, keep doing that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: No interest in feeding, poor weight gain

    Thank you a lot for detailed reply., that's a huge work. I hope it will get better and it just a temporary thing. I've ordered the book, thanks a lot again.

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