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Thread: Not enough weight gain?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    3

    Question Not enough weight gain?

    Hi, I am new here and have been EBF now for 8 months and I love it. I have a baby boy, named Nicholas and up until he started solid food 2 moths ago, his weight gain was great. Now the gaining has dropped off and my pedi wants me to change a few things.

    Some background first on us:
    Nicholas was 6lbs 3oz, 18 inches when born. He now weighs 17.7lbs and is 26.5 inches. We successfully mastered BF early on and it has been a wonderful experience ever since. I am a SAHM and nurse him on demand. He sleeps thru the night, nurses 8 to 10 times a day, sometimes every hour. He likes baby food but only eats half of what I give him. He eats lunch and dinner. He is happy and healthy, no colds as of yet and rarely cries. I am very fortunate.

    We had our routine pedi appt today and when the nurse weighed him, he was 17.7lbs. Last appt he was 17.1 lbs and my pedi was not pleased with his weight gain. She reccomended to me to feed him breakfast along with the other meals and to BF him after the meal, not before. Now from everything that I have read about BF, babies should nurse prior to solids because the milk has the calories and the nutrients needed for them to grow. I am frustrated because I really don't feel supported by the pedi and feel like she would rather I fed him formula because his schedule would be in better control. I thought she was going to choke when I told her I still feed on demand. Now another thing, his weight gain was great as I said before solids were introduced, is it normal to have such a drop off in gaining after solids come into play? Should I really be concerned or should I just add the breakfast and just stick to my normal feeding habits? I don't want to change things too drasticly because we are all happy with the current situation. I am afraid with changing things around too much that Nicholas will try to wean early and I don't want that. I want him to wean naturally, when he is ready not because things got changed around and we both get frustrated.

    It is also hard for me because all the other mommy's I know all FF. I am the only BF'er that I know and it is difficult without other outside support. (not counting family)

    Thanks for your imput and any suggestions will be apprieciated.

    Erika

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Not enough weight gain?

    Erika,
    You are correct when you say that "babies should nurse prior to solids because the milk has the calories and the nutrients needed for them to grow." Rest assured, breastmilk remains the perfect food for your baby for the first full year of life.

    Also, please understand that as LLL Leaders we cannot give medical advice and it is extremely uncomfortable for us to outwardly disagree with the advice given to you by a pediatrician. What we can offer though is information and support. It is up to you to sift through the information given and make the best choices for your baby

    That said, would you please clarify for us exactly how much weight your baby has gained since his last doctors appointment? Also, was baby weighed on the exact same scale, at the exact same time of day with the exact same clothing? And are you certain that the scale hasn't been calibrated since his last weight check? If the answer to these questions is "no", then the weight check cannot be considered to be accurate.

    Also, late in the first year of life, breastfed babies tend to gain at a slower rate. It would be important for us to know whether baby's doctor was looking at percentiles on a weight/growth chart and where those charts came from or whether doc was simply looking at weight gain alone.

    I realize these are complicated questions. From the sounds of things, you are doing everything perfectly! Feeding baby on demand, offering solids sparingly and only after nursing first. The scale isn't everything. You may rest easy after reading this: Look at the Baby, Not the Scale

    Trust your instincts, Erika! Looking forward to your response...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Not enough weight gain?

    Thank you, Carol for your reply. I totally understand about the medical advice part and I am just trying to make the best choices for my baby with all available information I can get my hands on.

    Nicholas gained a total of 6 oz in the last 2 months. During that time I introduced solids. He likes them but only eats half of what I give him. He was weighed this time on a different scale and he is weighed with a diaper on only. And, yes, the pedi uses charts to measure the precentile of growth and she looks at previous weight. He was consistant in his weight, hight and head size growth-- half a pound, half an inch and half a cm all the way around, so he did grow. Just not as much as previous months and visits.

    I looked back on my old growth book my mom had kept for me and at this stage, I was 15 lbs and 10 oz. I was half an inch longer than my little one now. I was 17+ lbs when I was 18 months old. So it took another 6 moths for me to gain 2 lbs. I know that really doesn't mean anything but I was happier knowing that my baby's weight was at least similar to mine and my brother's at the same month of our lives.

    I just wish that when drs. say that "the breast is best" that they really meant it. Meaning, they don't really encourage you to BF and they don't discourage you either. It seems to me that they would rather see you FF because there are exact amounts you see your child getting and you keep them on a schedule (formula/solids-- and knowing amount consumed) so much easier.

    I am so proud to be able to BF. It has truely been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and would like to continue for as long as I possibly can.

    Baby is up so I need to get him! Thank you again.

    Erika

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Not enough weight gain?

    I was exclusively breastfed (I'm 27) and at my 9 month appointment my pediatrician said I needed to go on a diet...I was too fat. My mom said no way, didn't change a thing, I started eating even more solids and I lost over 2 pounds. Doctors seem to forget that babies get active, some have a very high metabolism, and the parents also come into play, how big they were ect.

    I am known for the 'take what you need and leave the rest' way of life. My 6 month old was presenting with major food protein allergies, seemed allergic to everything. Doctors told me to give him formula, my common sense told me to look at my baby, who was VERY healthy looking, not losing weight, active, reaching his milestones, very social, ect. I took the food protein allergy and did my own research, and left them with the formula. I have never been back to that doctor. My husband thinks I only listen if it suits me, and he is right. I know my babies are healthy, and what I am doing is right. It is called mothers intuition. You don't need a medical degree for that!

    Sarah

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Not enough weight gain?

    I would go by what you observe in your son - is he happy, still meeting those milestones, have normal wet & poopy diapers? I do know that weight gain can slow down at certain times & it may be b/c of intro'ing solids. You sound like you are well informed so do what you think is best. BTW, my friend has a 9 mos old who is just 15 lbs so I don't think your DS is underweight by any means, esp, coming from 6 lbs at birth! Did ped check to see if his iron or anything was low? The formula comment is ridiculous esp. since everyone knows BM is better! I know my ped gave me the blanket stmt to start solids at 4 mos b/c that was my DD's age, nothing to do with w/r she was ready or not! Ridiculous!! Go with your instinct!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Not enough weight gain?

    He is a happy boy who rolls over both ways, babbles like no tomorrow, loves to go in his walker, sits up and loves to take baths. He has always had clear pee and heavy diapers and also has 1 to 2 poopy diapers a day. I think he is doing great and I am happy with his growth.

    Thank you all for your responses. It makes me feel better knowing that I can turn to you girls for your opinions and to encourage me to use my instinct.


    Erika

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