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Thread: calorie deficient breastmilk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default calorie deficient breastmilk?

    My daughter is 12 days old and not gaining enough weight to satisfy her Pediatrician. She was 9 lbs when born. 8 lbs 14 oz when we left the hospital. On her first visit to the Doctor she dropped down to 7 lbs 14 oz. It took her awhile to figure out how to latch on. Feedings seem to be going fine now. My milk production is more than adequate. On her second visit to the Doctor she was at 8 lbs. I brought her in three days later for another weight check and she was still at 8 lbs. The Doctor is really pressuring me to supplement with formula because she hasn't gained the 1/2 ounce per day that he wants. I nurse for 40 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. After nursing, she seems more than content. If I offer her a bottle of formula or breastmilk after nursing, she will take an ounce. But, if I don't offer her the bottle, she's fine also. Plenty of wet and messy diapers. She's not lathargic, not dehydrated. Doctor says she looks fine in person. But, on paper he's concerned because she isn't gaining.

    He says my breastmilk my not contain enough calories. I've never heard of this before. What are the chances that my milk isn't nutrionally rich enough to nourish her?

    I think it's too early to start relying on formula. I nursed my son for 9 months, so it's not like I haven't done this before. I'm feeling incredibly pressured to supplement and don't know if I should be alarmed that her weight gain isn't what it should be. My mother and mother-in-law both say that breastfed babies don't pack on the weight the same way that formula fed babies do.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    25

    Default Re: calorie deficient breastmilk?

    I would say to wait before supplementing. Babies tend to gain at their own speed. I have heard of breast milk being deficient b/c mine was. But it was due to other health problems where even I was not getting enough calories eating 8 meals a day. I did bf for 4 months and dd was gaining at first and then stopped gaining but did not lose either. The issue with PMS and hypoglycemia was caught soon enough and she readily switched to formula and did fine. But I think this case was very abnormal. I hope others will have better ideas. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: calorie deficient breastmilk?

    is the baby weight taken on the same scale every time?
    I know our doctors office has 2.
    the womanly art of breastfeeding says that babys sould gain average of 6 oz a week.
    5-6 wet diapars and 3 poops a day the size of a quarter.
    maybe babies take up to 2 weeks to regain their birthweight.

    is the baby nursing 8-12 times in a 24 hour period?
    can you take the baby to bed and have a nurse in for a few days? or add an extra feed in the eve when your watching tv?


    supplementing will cause your breast to make less milk and you don't want that.
    your breastmilk is just right for your baby that was bad doctor advice!
    keep counting diapars and I bet the baby will start growing soon!
    good luck
    andrea

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    54

    Default Re: calorie deficient breastmilk?

    Quote Originally Posted by andrea_ohio
    the womanly art of breastfeeding says that babys sould gain average of 6 oz a week.
    There are different statistics for this everywhere I look it seems! I just read somewhere that once they regain their birth weight (which 'should' be by one week old) they should gain 1/2 ounce per day, which would only be 3.5 ounces per week. In four weeks my son gained 2lbs 5oz, or 37oz in 28 days, so that's over an ounce per day, so is that too much? I just mean, I think every baby is different and if they are growing then just keep an eye on it and make sure it does continue to increase. I'd only get worried if the baby was born in one percentile and rapidly went to another (like from 90th to 25th in a few weeks).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: calorie deficient breastmilk?

    To the OP'er -- breastmilk has more calories and fat than formula. While it's true that the calories in breastmilk vary from one mother to another, I've never heard of calorie-deficient breastmilk. However, I will research this or if another Leader can verify this information, I'd appreciate it. As Andrea mentioned above, we need to know whether baby was weighed on the exact same scale each time she has been weighed, if she's been dressed the same each time and if each weight check was done at the same time of day. If not, then the weight checks cannot be considered accurate.

    Sometimes it's necessary to look at the baby and not the scale. Baby's output is good, she seems satisfied after a feeding and she's otherwise doing well, correct? Breastfed babies typically gain 5-7 ounces per week but just as some gain more than that, some also simply gain less. This isn't an approved LLL resource but it has great information -- Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?

    Keep in mind that any time you supplement, you are running the risk of lowering your milk supply so if you do choose to supplement (btw, it would be best to supplement with expressed breastmilk rather than formula), be sure to pump your breasts as soon after the supplement is offered.

    I'm sorry you are having to deal with this! But hang in there, you'll get through it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: calorie deficient breastmilk?

    Quote Originally Posted by katew
    He says my breastmilk my not contain enough calories. I've never heard of this before. What are the chances that my milk isn't nutrionally rich enough to nourish her?
    The chance is almost non-existant. However, there is a high probability that your doctor does not understand the physiology of how milk production works.

    Was your baby weighed on the same scale in the same amount of clothing?

    How frequently is your baby feeding? When she nurses do you feel a tug at your nipple? See her ears wiggle? Hear swallowing?

    Are your nipples sore?

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