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Thread: Worried about slow weight gain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default Worried about slow weight gain

    I'm worried about my friend's baby. She has 3 children and has successfully breastfed the first 2 for a year and she is currently bf her 4 month old. The problem is the baby was 7 lbs at birth and now is only 11 1/2 lbs. It seems like she is not gaining enough. I don't want to say anything since she has no worries and thinks she is doing just fine.

    My situation: I have 2 boys and the first was a real challenge to bf. We were going to a local bf support group at my hospital almost weekly where I would weigh him regularly. There were weeks when he wouldn't gain any weight and out of concern I supplemented with formula and eventually weaned him early at 4 1/2 months. My second baby has been very easy to nurse from day 1. However, I've always felt I don't store much milk and he nursed very often (every 1 1/2 hours) until he was on 3 meals of solids a day. He's currently 9 months and weighs 21 lbs.

    My friend swears she has an oversupply. She works part-time and pumps usuallly 6 ounces each time (not sure how often she pumps). I can never get more than 3-4 ounces, even after going 3 hours. She also has the baby on an every 3 hour schedule. My thinking is that my son is so big because he nurses often and gets a lot of hind milk since I don't store a lot of foremilk. I believe the opposite is true of my friend. I think this tiny baby is getting mostly foremilk and that is the reason for her slow weight gain. If she just nursed on one side, would this help? Not sure it is my place to say anything, but it seems like her pedi might.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Worried about slow weight gain

    Every woman is different as is every baby. Some women are able to store higher volumes of milk in their ducts than other's and some women are able to pump more or less milk than other women. Every breastfeeding mother is unique

    Some babies are slow gainers or just small. Other babies gain very quickly or are just bigger than other babies. Each baby is unique And often times it's not a question of what the scale says but more a question of whether baby is otherwise doing well. Is baby meeting all of his developmental milestones? How does baby look?

    In cases of oversupply it is often suggested that mom block feed -- or nurse baby from one breast only during a specific time frame. This helps the woman's supply by stimulating her breasts less as well as emptying the breast more often -- an empty breast has a higher percentage of the fattier hindmilk than a full breast.

    Sometimes when breastfed babies are put on a schedule they don't do as well as they would otherwise. Many babies who are "Babywise'd" end up with failure to thrive. It's possible that your friend's baby might gain weight faster if baby wasn't on a schedule but there's really no telling. Her pediatrician will probably mention it to her if he's worried about the baby's weight gain

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Worried about slow weight gain

    Thank you Carol.

    I hope the pedi gives her proper advice. Doctors all too often recommend supplementing when a baby is slow to gain weight, rather than refer a woman to a lactation consultant or offer nursing advice. She's a competent nurser, however and I don't think she'd give up too easily.

    I don't feel it is my place to but in, unless she asks for advice.

    Thanks for your feedback.

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