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Thread: Help baby keeps losing weight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    6

    Default Help baby keeps losing weight

    Hi. I'm feeling very desperate and need advice. I have been bf my DD since she was born 2 weeks ago. She weighed 6 pds 7 oz. 5 days after birth she weighed 6 pds and at her 2 week checkup she weighed 5 pds 12 oz. I am at my wits end and my Doctor wants us to go to formula. Has anyone else been in this position? Some days I know she is feeding like a champ and then others she seems a bit lazy about it but overall she eats 8-10 times a day. She did have jaundice the 1st week and her output was mostly squirts till about 3/4 days ago when it was more substantial. Pleas help. I really want to breastfeed.

    Thanks,

    Marisol

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    Marisol,
    I'm sorry you are feeling so desperate -- let's see what we can do to help alleviate those feelings

    First, know that it's not uncommon for a baby to lose up to 10% of their birth weight after birth.

    Second, know that unless baby is weighed on the exact same scale, at the exact same time of time, under the exact same conditions that the weights cannot be considered accurate.

    OK, so baby was born at 6 lbs. 7 oz. You said at 5 days after birth she weighed 6 lbs. But what was her weight before being discharged from the hospital? And when she was weighed at 5 days old, was it on the same scale as when she was discharged from the hospital?

    You mentioned that she had jaundice the 1st week of life -- did that clear up? If so, it's a great indication that she's getting enough.

    Finally, what is her diaper output like? Please tell us how many wet diapers & poopy diapers per day she is having (please include the color). It's a good indication that baby is getting enough if she's having at least 5-6 wet, sopping diapers + 2-3 substantial poops per 24 hours. A "sopping diaper" is one that has about 3 tablespoons of water in it. Try taking an unused, disposable diaper and pour 3 Tbsp. of water in it to get a good idea of what it feels like. The poops should be about quarter-sized.

    That said, if you truly do find that you need to supplement, please try to do so with expressed breastmilk as it has more calories and fat than formula. Many women find that about 1 hour after baby has nursed to be a good time to pump. You will probably want to provide these supplements (*if* they're warranted, that is) via a supplemental nursing system (SNS), if at all possible. If you are suffering from a truly low milk supply (very uncommon, by the way) you will need to stimulate your breasts as much as possible and you also want to avoid anything artificial such as bottles or pacificers.

    In any case, please let us know the answers to the above questions so we can help you more. Also, is baby allowed to nurse on demand or is she being given a pacifier at times?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    Sorry for the delay in response been bf all night:confused
    The last 2 weigh ins have been on the same scale. She did overcome her jaundice and she gets more active each day. The poop output was not great during the jaundice but the last week she poops a substantial amount (3-4 quarters worth) 3-4 times a day and I think she is peeing 6-10 times a day (hard to be sure with the diapers but they feel heavier than a new diaper). It's frustrating because sometimes she latches on, sucks great, sighs when she is done and than poops up a storm awhile later. Than other times she gets on and we are at it for 1-2 hours and she comes on and off and is still acting like she wants to suck by sticking her hands in her mouth and then she poops a little squirt. I have given her a pacifer at times but not everyday just in the worst of times and I pretty much feel like a failure for that I have another weigh in at 1:30 and if she isn't gaining weight they are going to want me to supplement with formula. My husband, who has been incredibaly supportive till now doesn't want me to ignore the doctor. My DD is so tiny and I am just confused. I was able to pump and breastfeed my twins fairly easily 4 yrs ago so I really thought that 1 would be a breeze and it's harder that ever.

    Marisol
    Last edited by mshiggins527; March 10th, 2006 at 10:51 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    Well, she lost 6 more oz in 2 days. I have to supplement. My hope is she will get bigger and stronger and eat at the breast better. Anyone have a similar experience?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    if you want to give breast milk, try pumping and measuring exactly what she is eating from bottles.

    This way, you may be able to aleviate formula feeding all together.


    And if she is still dropping, then go to formula.


    Just a thought.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    40

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    I had a similar experience, and I remember how hard it was, so I feel for you.

    At my DD's 2 week check up, she had lost weight since we had left the hospital. I remember how desperate and sad I felt. The good news is, she is doing fine now (4 months), and is totally breast fed. It was really hard for me to start supplementing with formula, but I think it was the best thing for her, becuase she wasn't getting what she needed from the breast, and I wasn't able to pump enough ebm to give her what she needed. So the happy ending to the story is that after about 4 weeks of supplementing with an SNS, she did get stronger, which made my milk supply increast to match her need, and we were able to stop supplementing all together. Since then, it has been smooth sailing. I know it is hard to see it now, but it will get better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    mshiggens,

    ((((hugs))))

    Could you see an IBCLC and/or local LLL Leader?

    I would highly recommend you find someone who is familiar with the correct protocol of, and has the right scale for, taking pre and post feed weights. This person will weigh the baby on a *specialized* scale before a feed, and then again after. She may even do this for two or more feedings to get a good picture of the amount of breastmilk your baby is taking in.

    How would you feel about trying to pump after feedings and supplement with the higher fat hindmilk? Could you try breast compression while your baby is nursing?

    Here is some information (not LLL resource) on increasing baby's weight gain:
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html
    http://www.mother-2-mother.com/supplement.htm

    Please do let us know how you're doing!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    First of all, I agree that you need to SEE someone who can help you. It would be great if you could find someone who could do those pre and post weight checks.

    Do try the breast compression! It should help your baby take in more milk. And if you can supplement with hindmilk, that would be FANTASTIC.

    If you do need to supplement with formula, IT'S OKAY! It's not the end of your breastfeeding relationship. I know you're aiming for exclusive breastfeeding, but please don't beat yourself up if formula supplementation ends up being neccessary for the time being.

    I wish you the best! Please keep us updated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    I had a similar situation when my baby was 3 weeks old. We saw a lactation consultant for roughly 3 weeks and managed to get my DS to gain weight at an appropriate weight. Initially, we "overfed" him in order to catch him up and then we just supplemented. I rented a hospital grade pump & pumped after every breastfeeding session. I would feed for 30 minutes then give him everything I had expressed the first week. The second week (once my supply was built up better) I supplemented 2oz of EBM after every feed. He caught up GREAT doing this. The next week we dropped the supplements to 1oz after every feeding and finally the 3rd week we went strictly back to breat & reading his cues.
    It was tough, but worth it. He's still a slow nurser (which was the problem to start with which caused my supply to drop and from there it was a viscious cycle but he's gaining appropriately.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Help baby keeps losing weight

    i was in a very similair situation when my daughter was born and i was told my doctor to supplement the first few weeks and now i regret it! some babies are just slower to regain weight and if she is having the wet and dirty diapers i would just keep feeding her like you are now.
    eventhough i was supplementing i switched to 2 hr feedings, even waking dd up at night to feed every two hours. the first 2 weeks she gained about 4 oz. total but the third week she gained 12 1/2 oz. i am by no means an expert, i am definetly learning everyday but coming from a similair situation i just wanted to let you know you are doing a good job and encourage you to keep breastfeeding--it's so rewarding!!

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