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

Thread: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    147

    Unhappy baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    I was wondering if any of you could help me. My start with breastfeeding was pretty hard, sore nipples, mastiff while my DS, now 4 1/2 months old, wouldn’t gain his birth weight back in the first three weeks. Our ped and lactation consultant both suggested I start feeding him with a bottle. He’s never had formula but he rapidly started to gain weight after feeding breast milk in a bottle. The only problem was he refused to nurse after that. He cried and cried every time I tried to breastfeed him. I still tried once a day but the only time I was successful was during the night. So every time I had to go anywhere for longer than 3-4 hours I had to bring my pump. My goal was to breastfeed him for at least 1 year so when he was 3 1/2 months I decided to take 2 weeks’ vacation and do nothing but spend time with him and work on the breastfeeding (I forgot to mention I’ve been working 3 day/wk from home and 2day/wk from the office where I pump at least 3x/day). Well, he finally started to nurse again without fussing. It was hard the first couple of days because I was overproducing. I was so happy thinking we finally got the breastfeeding going well only to find out 2 ½ weeks later, when I went to see my lactation consultant, that he didn’t gain even 1 oz. I don’t know what else to do. I see the milk on the side of his mouth and he gets 4-6 wet diapers/day. She suggested I gave him 3 bottles/day and breastfed as much as he wanted. So I’m back pumping again when at home. Do any of you have any suggestion on how to improve the baby’s suction? I’m committed to breastfeeding him but I have to say I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it for 1 year if I have to pump 4-6 times/day everyday…

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    I don't have much advice, but wanted to offer some and encouragement. It is great that you were able to get him to the point where he was able to nurse without fussing! That is a big accomplishement and you are a great momma for taking off 2 weeks to work on that. Like I said, I don't really have any advice for you, but I wanted to bump your thread, because I know that someone will come along and give you some great advice!

    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,420

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    :

    I was so happy thinking we finally got the breastfeeding going well only to find out 2 ½ weeks later, when I went to see my lactation consultant, that he didn’t gain even 1 oz.
    Was baby weighed before and after eating?

    Do any of you have any suggestion on how to improve the baby’s suction?
    *Slow milk removal is often due to a poor latch - and that would explain your painful start at breastfeeding too.

    I'm not an expert on latch, maybe someone else will jump in here?

    *Breast compressions may help: http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html

    *Using classical conditioning to train your body to have a letdown: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/letdown.html

    *
    With bottle feeding, the flow is instant and continuous. The baby is required to work very little. Once a baby has had a bottle, especially a lot of bottles, she may begin to prefer the ease of bottle-feeding over the work of breastfeeding. She may become frustrated at the breast after the first let-down occurs and the flow of milk begins to slow.

    If baby is getting bottles you might consider putting them away, at least for a while. When you must use a bottle, only use a newborn nipple for as long as baby will tolerate it so that she never gets a really fast flow of milk from the bottle, but has to work a little more to get the milk.

    It can be helpful to do some breast compression when this fussiness starts or right before you expect it to. This will help speed up the milk flow again. Once compression stops helping, try switching baby to the other side when she begins to fuss and back and forth again (after using compression) as you need to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!



    Check the videos here for more info regarding your latch and contact your local LLL leader.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    I was also wondering whether the LC had weighed the baby before and after a feeding to see how much he was getting at the breast.

    I agree about trying the breast compressions, that can help the baby to stay interested/on the breast longer and make sure he gets more hindmilk.

    Are you still having any soreness now that he's nursing from the breast again?

    When you were just nursing with no bottles, how frequently was he eating? How many total feedings in 24 hours? Maybe nursing more frequently would help. He may not be able to get as much in one feeding from the breast, and so may need more total feedings to get the same amount of milk that way.

    Did the LC evaluate his suck/latch? I think there are some exercises to do to work on improving suck, but I don't know much about that.

    I too commend you on working so hard to get baby back to the breast. The fact that he is willing to nurse is a HUGE step! Hang in there and maybe with some more growth, practice, and help he will become a more efficient nurser.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    No, my LC didn't weigh him before and after this time. I only did the weight check. We’ve done this in the past, first couple of weeks. Once I started the bottles his output from the breast got worse and worse.
    My nipples are not sore anymore but I forgot to mention that I've been using a nipple shield that my LC suggested. I was supposed to only use it for a few days and I can't get him to nurse without it since. I'm also working on that… Could this be related to the weight gain problem? I did avoid using the bottle for as long as I could. I even tried the Supplemental Nursing System first but he couldn't empty that either so I started the bottles.
    The feeding frequency is 7-8 per 24 hours. I try to feed more frequently but he is a sleeper and it's hard to see his cues. He is a very happy baby. Who would think a new mom would complain about that but sometimes is hard to know if he is hungry so I always offer the breast if I notice that it’s been at least 2 hrs that he ate. I also wake him up during the day if it gets to 3 hours after the last feeding. He sleeps through most of the night since we came from hospital. I used to wake him up to nurse but my ped told me to stop doing it at night after he got his weight back. He falls asleep around 8-9 and I bottle feed him at 11 before I go to bed and he only wakes up around 6 am when I nurse him. When I was breastfeeding only he was waking up at night more frequently and I always nursed him every time he woke up but he still falls asleep very fast on my breast. I’m going to try the compressions again.
    Thanks for the link and the videos. They are very helpful. I'll pay more attention to his feedings. I let him stay on the breast for as long as he wants but I think sometimes he is just not sucking anything so the compressions should help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    I can feel for you, because my DS actually lost weight his first month. Mostly because I was desperate and took advice from a pediatrician who told me the 10 minutes on each side and no more spiel, and my milk production dropped, plus DS was a sleepy baby. I did have to supplement with formula for a few ounces a day, which I'm finally off, but DS is still low weight for his age. But now he's 9 months old and I know he doesn't have any latch problems. Everyone's been raising cane about it, and I've seen several horrible pediatricians who blamed my breastfeeding him at all past six months for his low weight. (Idiots!) He's been growing fine according to the curve on the new WHO growth chart.
    Anyways, this is just an idea, but why don't you wake him in the night to feed him? My DS was a sleepy baby and would always fall asleep feeding, which I remedied by feeding him long feedings, but during the night they really do need to eat at that age if they're breastfeeding, from what I've read.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    Yes, I just started waking him up or every time he makes any noise during his sleep I offer the breast. He's been sleeping with me. I hope this will help. I also tried the compressions and that seems to keep him awake a little longer during the feedings. There is so much pressure from everywhere!!!! People are used to the idea that fat babies are healthier babies. In my dh's side of the family NO ONE breastfed and they are always comparing how skinny my baby's legs are. Well, he is a pretty tall baby too (90% height in the growth chart and 40% weight-before 2 wks w/o any weight gain he is probably below the 40% now). Anyway, in my family everybody breastfed or still breastfeeds and all the babies/toddlers were also very fat and big so although they support my decision of exclusively BF they also keep mentioning how skinny he looks compared to their babies.
    Does supplementing with solids help? I wanted to wait at least until he is 6 months old but I read on the Starting Solids handout from Dr. Newman that "
    In some cases, it may be better to start food earlier. When a baby seems to be hungry, or when weight gain is not continuing at the desired rate, it may be reasonable to start solids as early as three months of age."
    He also mentions that the breastfeeding should be going well and I think I may still have some latch issues and maybe the fact that we are still using the nipple shield.
    I started the 2-3 bottles/day and he is starting to fuss again on the breast at night. I've been giving one bottle at noon and the other 2 around 8PM and 11PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    11

    Smile Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    I have no BTDT advice but this sounds like the same situation that a friend of mine had with her DS. He did not have a good latch, slow weight gain, pain in nips, shallow suction, many of the same things you are describing. She found out after several attempts to correct the problems that her DS had a minor tongue tie and that was the root of all the trouble. Once corrected they took off like pros!!! It may be worth it to have him checked. HTH

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding, pls help!

    This is not professional advice, but to me it seems like maybe he's just so used to the bottle that he's not eating well from your nipples.

    I'd THINK the only way to cure this would be to offer a bottle only as a last result, so that he has an opportunity to learn to take the breast. If he's still wetting diapers, he's still getting enough to be healthy, and in time he'd be able to eat well enough to actually put on some weight. As long as he is still wetting diapers and making bowel movements and doesn't appear to be getting emaciated, I'd think you should be able to keep nursing without a bottle even if he's not gaining weight, because eventually he'll learn to eat right and WILL gain weight.

    Also, you probably already tried nursing day in and out, but I thought I'd ask anyway - When you're breastfeeding and he stops, you burp and go to the other side, right? I'd just keep feeding him even if he seems like he's frustrated or full,

    But again, these ladies know more than me.

Posting Permissions

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