Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Baby not gaining enough

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Baby not gaining enough

    My daughter is nearly 5 weeks old. She has been breastfed with a nipple shield nearly the entire time and I'm trying to get her off of it. I've been working with a lactation consultant because she doens't feed often or for a long time. I thought my supply was fine but the consultant says my baby isn't gaining enough and I need to pump after each feed and syringe it to her. I hate doing it. It doesn't feel natural. I want breastfeeding to work but all my time seems to be dedicated to worrying about how much and how long she is feeding. She had gained around a lb. since birth. The consultant says she thinks my supply is low and she isn't getting what she needs. Anyone else gone through this? What is your opinion? I've been in tears over this so many days. I just wish I could breastfeed her and that be it but there are so many other things/worries involved.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    Im sorry that you are going through this. I wish I had some advice for you, hopefully someone can help soon. I know there are things you can do to help increase your supply, I will try to find them for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    I know exactly how you feel. I was in a similar situation. What works for me is this. For 1 week I supplemented my son with 1 ounce of formula after each feeding. My main goal was to bulk him up and it worked. I used Symilac Organic.
    After the bottle of formula I would them pump. This built up my supply. After 1 week and a doc's visit, I stopped the supplementing and just BF him. Pumping will help you produce more and also let you see how much you are making. You could always not BF him at one feeding and just pump prior to nusing him to see how many ounces you get. I was about 2-3 ounces when he was 5 weeks. Once he got stronger he was able to suck harder and I then weaned off the shield.
    Supplementing was frustrating and you really need to dedicate yourself to doing it. I had a friend supporing me and used these blogs for support as well. You will get off the shield at some point. If your main concern is building up your baby's weight, then you may want to supplement to ease that concern. It works for me. I'm sure others will not agree but I'm just posting what my doc recommended and what did work to get his weight up. Once they are stronger then it's easier to wean off the shield.

    Best of luck and stay positve. DrinK LOTS of water too.. you'll get there. All the best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    Welcome to the boards. Those early weeks can be very difficult. It sounds like you are on the right track trying to get some help and working with an LC. what kind of shield are you using? Some are better than others at not affecting supply - the silicon ones primarily. Can I ask why you are using a shield?

    How often you are nursing? Every two hours or even more often would probably be appropriate for you at this point. Can you give us a better understanding of how often you nurse and for how long? Has the LC given you any ideas about why your baby is nursing for such a short time?

    It's very difficult when you feel like you need to resort to unnatural means to "breastfeed" your baby. However, the first rule is to feed the baby, and make sure she is growing appropriately. As you probably know she should be gaining about an ounce a day, so about a pound every two weeks. What was her birth weight and lowest weight? I promise things will get better if you can stick with it. You should also try contacting a local LLL leader who would be able to help you more than we can on these boards. Keep us posted!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,864

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    Pumping can definitely help build your supply, but it's not an accurate indicator of what you're producing. You may only pump a few ounces, but your baby is so much more effective at removing the milk from your breast that s/he may get much more than that. A few weeks ago I met with an IBCLC to try to figure out why my supply was dropping, and she measured his actual intake from the breast--it was almost 7 ounces, and I normally pump anywhere from 2-5 at a time. If there are concerns about whether your supply is low, maybe you could get an LC to measure your baby's intake. It eased my mind a lot.

    Paula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    How do they measure your baby's intake????
    I too am concerned about my supply. It started the other day when I went to pump to have milk for a bottle feeding (so my hubby can feed her too).
    After about 14 minutes I was only able to get about 1 oz from one side when I use to get like 3 or 4 oz in about 5 minutes!
    When this happened it got me thinking...
    1. She only nurses for 4 to 7 minutes - is it b/c she stops getting any more milk?
    2. Sometimes she falls asleep after nursing but sometimes she gets fussy/whiny.
    I have tried pumping several times in the past few days. As a matter of fact, this morning I pumped the right side after not being "used" for about 5 hours. I could only get barely 1 oz after 8 minutes.

    But she gained 9 oz in the past week.
    And maybe my supply is adjusting? It's been 9 1/2 weeks now, so I don't have as much milk as you have initially?
    OR pumping just takes longer now. So I need to be patient & relaxed and let the milk flow.
    I don't know Any input?

    There is a huge possibiity that I am the biggest worry wart...well second biggest to my mom.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    Their measure intake by putting your baby on the scale before and after a feeding. However, not all scales are super accurate so you can't trust exactly what the scale says. The best indication is wet diapers and baby's happiness.

    I think it sounds like your supply is just evening out to what it is supposed to be. Many, many women have a hard time getting much out when they pump. It really depends on what type of pump you have and other factors. Stress will also reduce output. 1 oz. in 8 minutes isn't bad, and remember that your baby is much more effective at getting the milk out than any pump will be. Also the shorter feedings could mean your baby is getting more efficient. My son only nursed for 5 minutes total started at 3 weeks.

    Studies have shown that most babies between 1 mo. and 6 months eat about 25 ounces of bm per day, it really doesn't change much during that period of time if they are exclusively breastfed. So if your baby is eating every 3 hours around the clock, that's about 8 feedings with only about 3 ounces per feeding to get to 24 ounces for the day.

    9 oz. in a week is great. No need to worry at this point! Just watch your baby, not the pump.

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    Thanks for your reply. I really need some advice.

    To answer your questions, my baby was 7lbs. 4oz. at birth and went down to 6 lbs. 8oz. She is now up to 8 lbs. 4oz. She only nurses about 5 minutes per feeding, sometimes only feeding every 4 hours. She wakes 2-3 times in the night and has another small feed. Because she nurses so little, I have to pump. I'm only getting a small amount when I pump and she doesn't like bottles and cries when being fed by syringe. She does like to suck on my nipple shield but I can't tell that she takes very little, by the way she sucks.

    My lc suggested the nippleshield due to flat nipples and now I can't get her off of it.

    I'm about to give up. I've even bought the formula. I don't want to do it but I feel like I'm going to be pumping lots more than I'm going to be feeding her. It's hard to do that. I've bought supplements that have helped, but even when she does feed well I don't seem to have enough for her even with pumping six times a day. I want breastfeeding to work but I'm being told she isn't gaining enough and that if I give her formula instead that she will gain more than with breastmilk, with her short feeding time.

    Please,someone tell me if you have any advice!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    the previous posts are good advice but what ever u do DONT GIVEUP...it will get easier i promise i almost gave up my lo went from 7lbs 8oz to 6lbs 4oz when i brought her home talk about the weight loss..and plus she had jaundice and we had to have her with a biliblanket...my supply was low to..so i ended up supplementing which dont beat ur self up about if u have to till ur supply gets up..its ok...i was bottlefeeding everyother feed till my lo was about 2-3 mo. and now we are just down to 1 bottle if that...stressing does not help ur supply also...so hang in there mama

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Baby not gaining enough

    If you've already started formula then you might not like what I have to say here. If not, here's some more info.
    First of all, breastmilk has more fat and calories than most formula, so bm really is best. See thishttp://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi...dcalories.html)
    According to this chart (http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...ght-gain.html), the average weight gain for a baby 0-4 months is 5-7 ounces per week. I'm going to assume that your baby was down to 6 lb 8 oz. around day 4. So in a 4 and a half weeks, she gained 28 ounces (from 6 lb 8 oz. to 8 lb 4oz) which means she's gaining 6.2 ounces per week, within the normal range.

    Is she having at least 6 wet diapers per day? what about poopy diapers? Is she content most of the time? Can you hear her swallowing when she is nursing for those 5 minutes? I would seek another opinion on the weight gain before switching to formula. Is the LC you've been working with IBCLC? (it means certified) My son nursed for only 5 minutes starting a 3 weeks old. However, he did nurse about every 2 hours. Do you try to nurse your baby more often and she just refuses?

    Many people think formula is the answer to bfing challenges, but I honestly believe (and know from people around me) that it can bring just as many challenges if not more. Someone I know recently gave up bfing and switched to formula and then was complaining about how fussy and gassy her baby was- that happens!

    I used a nipple shield in the early weeks due to engorgement and never thought we'd get rid of it, but then was able to easily wean off of it. Try starting a session with the shield to pull out your nipple, then quickly remove it and relatch your baby. It won't always work but eventually it will!

    You can do it! PM me if you need more support. Keep us posted. Have you tried calling a local LLL leader for more help? They're volunteers (read: free)!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •