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Thread: 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

    Hi, I have just jointed the LLLI forums tonight. I hope to find a local LC for some added support.

    I have been concerned in the back of my mind about the slow weight gain of my 2 month old daughter. She will be going to her 2 month check up in 2 weeks. Her birth weight was 6#11 oz at 3 weeks early. She was 6# 4oz when she left the hospital. At her 5 day check up...I'm not sure, but I believe she was about 6# 8 oz or less. At her one month check up she was 7# 4 oz.

    Tonight I took her to the doctor because I was concerned she might have an ear infection. It was either that or ANOTHER growth spurt. She just went through a growth spurt last week. She would whimper when nursing on one side, so I was suspicious of an ear infection. Everything checked out fine except her weight...8# even.

    The Doctor (one that she has not seen yet) expressed concern over this so now I am driving myself insane feeling like a bad Mom and feeling incompetent(sp). He wants to get more calories into her somehow, so he would like me to add some rice cereal and applesauce to her diet after nursings. He is pretty much strongly against adding formula because he does not want to compromise my milk supply. I have reservations about adding solids so early, and he tried to reassure me she will use the calories. Anyone else advised to add solids this early? I have done the rice cereal in the past because of reflux on my others. In fact, with this history, he is also putting her on Pepcid for reflux.

    Hannah's history...she has been notoriously fussy. She sleeps well on her tummy which I began doing on Monday. It is either that I am holding her upright all day as she sleeps on my shoulder, or we sleep in the recliner. I have always suspected acid reflux even though she is not a spitter like her brothers. I have given her a colic medicine for colic and it always seemed to soothe her, if only temporarily. It is a milk of magnesium based product so it would make sense that it works for acid reflux at least temporarily. During the day, she nurses every 2-3 hours...every hour more recently. At night she will go 3-5 hours (usually 3) between feedings. This has always been fine with the other babies, so I have not been religious about waking to nurse her. I find it is usually a wasted effort to wake a sleeping baby to nurse, but I am considering this as an avenue to add calories without adding solids.

    My concerns and cry for support is...would you add solids this early? I have never been given the option to give pepcid to my other children even through I tried to push the reflux diagnosis. They were reluctant to treat it...maybe it is only reserved for extreme cases? He asked if I was making enough milk, which of course only gives me something else to second guess. I would have to say the answer is yes though. We change enough diapers all day for sure. I don't count exact numbers, but I would say greater than 3 BM's and certainly greater than 3 wet diapers per day. He was surprised that I have successfully BF 3 other children and would not produce a poor response in a baby.

    Something that has dawned on me today...I have gone back to work by this time with all the other kids. They were getting at least one bottle of formula a day since I could not seem to pump enough to keep up with their demand. Could I really be low on milk supply, but then would she be producing the output in diapers that she is producing if I was? I guess I am just looking for some support from you ladies, you are so good at giving it. We do not have a local LC, or I would be knocking at their door. I will check to see if I can locate one in the next city I think...45 minute drive. Anyone else have this experience?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

    Any supplementation, whether it be formula or solid foods, will affect your supply negatively. I can't believe that a doctor would recommend thatyou start solids with a 6 week old! That is insane. Formula maybe, but not solids. This thread, especially this post by paint-the-moon has some terrific information regarding why you should never start solids in an infant younger than 6 months. If you have troubles finding it for some reason, please let me know!

    If you think you may be having milk supply issues, this LLL site has some great information on increasing your supply. Please try these first, before introducing solids or supplementing. Supplementing is a slippery slope. I know that ultimately you need to make sure your baby is eating enough, but you might find something else that works even better, and doesn't sabotage your breastfeeding relationship.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

    I went to this site and put her weights in to the calculator, and it looks like she's gaining fine. She on the low end of the average gain, but still within it. I would keep doing what you're doing and keep and eye on it. http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/index.html I agree with pp about the solids.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

    Agreed with the above.

    Have you tried pumping a bit before she nurses? I did that with my son when he was being a lazy nurser (so he'd get the higher fat/calorie hindmilk) and he gained 9 oz. in 6 days...

    But, I agree that you should just keep an eye on her...and don't stress out. As long as she's gaining weight in terms of the link above...she should be fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

    I agree with the PP's. As far as supplements affecting milk supply, it wouldn't matter WHAT the supplement was (solids vs. formula) it can still cause your baby to nurse less and therefore supply to decrease. If a supplement is necessary, formula would definitely be preferable over solids at that young age. However, I'm not sure you need to jump to that conclusion yet. Do you have the dates of the weight checks? By my calculations, your baby gained an average of *about* 3 1/2 ounces per week (that was based on 8 weeks, though, so it could be off depending on the dates). According to The Breastfeeding Answer Book, average weight gain for a breastfed baby in the first 3 months is 6 ounces per week, but its considered ok for some babies to gain only 4-5 ounces. Your LO may be just a bit below that. When weight gain is slow (but not nonexistent) its often better to first try to address the problem through breastfeeding management (i.e. encourage the baby to nurse more frequently or continue nursing longer). Have you tried breast compressions? That can help to encourage baby to nurse a bit longer and to make sure she gets lots of hindmilk. Do you have an LLL group in your area? It would be helpful to contact a local leader for some suggestions and support.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2 m/o EBF not gaining weight LONG

    Hi there

    Yeah, her weight is a bit on the low side and maybe concerning. We like to see a minimum average gain of 4 oz/week. Your baby's average gain is about 3.5 oz/week (assuming she's 8 weeks).

    I agree with the previous posters: This is awfully early to start solids. I can tell from your post that you aren't comfortable with the idea and I would encourage you to listen to that inner "mommy voice".

    I would suggest trying to get in some extra nursing sessions throughout the day. Since you've successfully breastfed other children, I doubt that you have a milk supply problem. Probably more of milk *transfer* issue. Some things you can try:

    1. Make sure she has a good deep latch and is taking big gulps while nursing
    2. When she comes off, burp her, and re-offer. Sometimes that extra space the air was taking up can make a small difference.
    3. Try Breast Compressions
    4. Consider co-sleeping, if you aren't already doing so. Allowing her to have access to the breast all night can help increase her calorie intake without you having to get up with her. http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/cosleep.html

    You also mention that she's been nursing as frequently as every hour recently. This sounds like she's gearing up for a growth spurt, so you may find that this problem resolves itself without much effort on your part anyway.

    I'd suggest trying the things I mentioned above, and take her back for a weight check in 4-7 days to see if her weight gain has improved. If it hasn't, then we can go from there.

    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

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