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Thread: Friend's 3 weeker not gaining weight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Friend's 3 weeker not gaining weight

    A friend of mine had a baby 3 weeks ago via emergency c-section (placenta previa with sudden bleeding) at 37 weeks.

    He's doing well. Except he's not gaining weight. He's not back up to his birth weight of 7 something pounds.

    He's also a bit fussy after he nurses and in the evenings. The evenings, to me, sound pretty normal, actually, for most babies. She was telling me in the evenings he nurses every hour, but I explained that was pretty normal, and even more so for a 3 weeker who could be hitting a growth spurt any time.

    Her ped told her that if he's not "better" (i.e., gains at least 1 oz and stops being fussy after eating) she HAS to start supplementing with formula. They go back this week for a weight check. The doctor thinks he's sensitive to something she's eating, and thus he wants the baby to have 50% formula and 50% breastmilk (not in the bottle together). IMHO, that's a slippery slope, and she's not happy about it -- she says it's silly, since she has plenty of milk, is more work because of dealing with the bottles, and she has to pump to keep her supply up.

    Currently, they have her pumping and feeding at least some of the meals so they know how much she's making and so they know how much he's getting. She says her breasts feels softer after nursing, so he's obviously getting milk from her. She can pump 1-4 oz total after nursing, so there's probably plenty there. His latch is good (surprising to me, since I know what bottle she's using, and it's not an ideal nipple) and she's feeling like the nursing part is going OK. It's just the fussiness . . . I think it's getting to her . . . . and I think the doctor's concern about his weight is bugging her, particularly since the baby is doing well otherwise. Lots of wets and poops, alert when awake, sleeping OK.

    She does not eat dairy already, as I suggested cutting dairy, so that can't be why he's fussy. She says she doesn't eat much that's wheat-based.

    Here was what I suggested:
    • Continuing building her supply by nursing at the breast. Pumping's OK, but . . .
    • Babywearing (I gave her a sling, but it was too small. I'll fix that in the next couple of days.)
    • Keeping a log to see if she can make any connection between what she's eating and when he's fussy (or if there isn't really a connection). I suggested contacting LLL or an LC to get information on an elimination diet
    • If they make her supplement, to use breastmilk and not formula. Or to not bother and just keep nursing and monitoring the situation!
    • Contacting our local LLL before his weight check appointment, if at all possible. (I have a feeling she won't, because she's terribly shy, so that's why I'm posting here. So I can pass along information.)
    • Nursing on demand.
    • Asking WHY and WHAT the supplementing is supposed to do for him, since he's otherwise healthy. Press the doctor, but I'm not sure she'll do that either
    • Gripe water. Might not help, but it might. And then she may feel like she's doing more for the fussiness, along with the tips I gave her from my experience with super-fussy baby Ian.


    Fortunately, she's good friends with another friend of mine who has exclusively breastfed her 8 kids and has seen a lot of stuff. Her mom is pro-breastfeeding too. At least she has some breastfeeding support.

    But the other friend had the same suggestions I had . . Anything we missed?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Friend's 3 weeker not gaining weight

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    A friend of mine had a baby 3 weeks ago via emergency c-section (placenta previa with sudden bleeding) at 37 weeks.
    to your friend...

    If she is able to post herself, please send her over! If nothing else, print out the responses so she can see them herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    He's doing well. Except he's not gaining weight. He's not back up to his birth weight of 7 something pounds.
    Do you happen to know what his lowest weight was? Is he being weighed on the same scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    He's also a bit fussy after he nurses and in the evenings. The evenings, to me, sound pretty normal, actually, for most babies. She was telling me in the evenings he nurses every hour, but I explained that was pretty normal, and even more so for a 3 weeker who could be hitting a growth spurt any time.
    Cluster feeding is normal.

    Is there anything else going on? Is mother sore? Is baby having plenty of wet and poopy diapers? How often is he nursing? Can mom hear audible swallowing?

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    Her ped told her that if he's not "better" (i.e., gains at least 1 oz and stops being fussy after eating) she HAS to start supplementing with formula.


    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    They go back this week for a weight check. The doctor thinks he's sensitive to something she's eating, and thus he wants the baby to have 50% formula and 50% breastmilk (not in the bottle together). IMHO, that's a slippery slope, and she's not happy about it -- she says it's silly, since she has plenty of milk, is more work because of dealing with the bottles, and she has to pump to keep her supply up.
    Well, what's even MORE silly is to suggest formula when worried about sensitivity. It doesn't make any sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    Currently, they have her pumping and feeding at least some of the meals so they know how much she's making and so they know how much he's getting.
    Baby is more efficient at removing milk than a pump. Many doctors don't understand that and think that what a woman pumps is what she makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    She says her breasts feels softer after nursing, so he's obviously getting milk from her. She can pump 1-4 oz total after nursing, so there's probably plenty there. His latch is good (surprising to me, since I know what bottle she's using, and it's not an ideal nipple) and she's feeling like the nursing part is going OK. It's just the fussiness . . . I think it's getting to her . . . . and I think the doctor's concern about his weight is bugging her, particularly since the baby is doing well otherwise. Lots of wets and poops, alert when awake, sleeping OK.
    Can you be more specific about the fussiness?

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    She does not eat dairy already, as I suggested cutting dairy, so that can't be why he's fussy. She says she doesn't eat much that's wheat-based.
    Does he fuss at the breast? Are his bowel movements "normal"? Is he peeing and pooing plenty? How often does he nurse?

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy View Post
    Here was what I suggested:
    • Continuing building her supply by nursing at the breast. Pumping's OK, but . . .
    • Babywearing (I gave her a sling, but it was too small. I'll fix that in the next couple of days.)
    • Keeping a log to see if she can make any connection between what she's eating and when he's fussy (or if there isn't really a connection). I suggested contacting LLL or an LC to get information on an elimination diet
    • If they make her supplement, to use breastmilk and not formula. Or to not bother and just keep nursing and monitoring the situation!
    • Contacting our local LLL before his weight check appointment, if at all possible. (I have a feeling she won't, because she's terribly shy, so that's why I'm posting here. So I can pass along information.)
    • Nursing on demand.
    • Asking WHY and WHAT the supplementing is supposed to do for him, since he's otherwise healthy. Press the doctor, but I'm not sure she'll do that either
    • Gripe water. Might not help, but it might. And then she may feel like she's doing more for the fussiness, along with the tips I gave her from my experience with super-fussy baby Ian.


    Fortunately, she's good friends with another friend of mine who has exclusively breastfed her 8 kids and has seen a lot of stuff. Her mom is pro-breastfeeding too. At least she has some breastfeeding support.

    But the other friend had the same suggestions I had . . Anything we missed?
    It's great that your friend has support!

    The only other things I would suggestion mentioning are:
    *Feed frequently--as often as possible
    *Breast compressions to help baby take in more milk for his efforts (LMK if you need links)

    Keep us updated!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Friend's 3 weeker not gaining weight

    He's nursing every couple of hours, except in the evenings, where it's every hour. She was complaining that she nurses him for 40 minutes and then 20 minutes later, there he is crying to eat again. I told her to just go with it and go to bed with the baby, but she's not comfortable with it.

    I do not know what his lowest weight was. It's probably different scales, and that's a good point. I will call, or stop by with the new sling, and suggest she tell them to use the same scale each time.

    Plenty of wets and poops. He's latching great. He's suckling well. So she's really puzzled as to why he's not gaining weight.

    I'd forgotten about breast compressions , since that's just something I personally did instinctively.

    The fussiness is two things:
    • crying a lot, and being gassy, after he nurses. The doctor thinks it's from something mom is eating and that formula would make that go away . That's when I suggested she keep a log and keep track of what she's eating and if he's fussy so they can see if there's a consistent pattern or not. To me, it sounds like reflux, OALD (therefore gulping too much air) or that ilk versus a sensitivity. My Ian was like that -- cried after every feeding -- and once we treated him for reflux, it went away. I mentioned reflux to her.
    • Evening crying. It seems to be mostly what I mentioned earlier in relation to cluster feeding.


    I flat out told her I would never let a drop of formula cross my baby's lips and that I had information on how formula is just not good for them if she wanted it. I think she thinks I'm crazy

    She does not have internet access that I know of, so I'm planning to print out whatever we come up with and take it to her and hopefully help her out of this little bobble.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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