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Thread: baby not regaining weight

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Default baby not regaining weight

    Baby A is a beautiful due date baby, born weighing 6 pounds 9 ounces, and 19.5 inches long.

    Day 1and day 2 she passed ALOT of meconium- 4 full diapers worth. She latched on immediately and was a big eater of colostrum while waiting for my milk to come in. By end of day 3 my milk came in. She became a "sleepy eater", especially during the morning hours. I was feeding her every 2-3 hours, but would have to wake her up and keep her awake while feeding. By afternoon and evening she picks up steam and eats almost constantly, and wakes up to eat and be changed 3-4 times in the middle of the night.

    At day 6 we went to the pediatrician. Her weight went down to 5 pounds, 12 ounces! Dr. wasn't really concerned- baby was eating throughout the exam, had a good latch and good focus. As long as she had 6-8 wet diapers and at least 3-4 poopy diapers, Dr. said her intake was fine. Dr. set target weight gain of 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce a day.

    Baby has at least that many wet diapers- some days more and usually makes more poo.

    By Day 11 the midwife weighed her and she had only gained 2 ounces!
    She is otherwise healthy. Good color, alert, not dehydrated, not spitting up, not too fussy.

    Midwife said to pump and add 1 to 2 ounces pumped milk to each feeding. I have a Medela Pump in Style, but I have had a hard time getting 10-20 ounces a day. The best I can get is a little less than 6 ounces. It's been only 2 days, but I'm freaking out.

    I'm pumping and breastfeeding constantly, my nipples are SORE and I'm still not getting the milk pumped. What's upsetting is that Baby can drain my breast even when I can't get any more from the pump. She eats until she falls off the nipple (anywhere from 15-30 minutes) and has a trickle of milk running down her chin.

    I started fenugreek today and am happy to get a hospital grade pump. What I DO NOT want to do is supplement with formula.

    Anything I can do to help me produce the extra and get this baby to gain weight?

    Thanks for any suggestion....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    Was the same scale used? If not I would ignore it all frankly and focus on her output and general demeanor.

    She sounds fine to me. I would stop pumping and focus on nursing as much as possible and let the baby set your supply, establish the relationship . I would offer every 2 hours, and anytime inbetween she seems hungry.

    I know how hard it is, my LO was slow to gain weight at first and was a sleepy baby too. He is totally awesome now!

    ETA: If you are still worried I would call a IBCLC or a LLL leader- I have come to disregard almost anyone elses views on breastfeeding, there is just so much mis information.
    Last edited by AllieM; December 12th, 2007 at 10:57 PM. Reason: add stuff
    Allie, moma to Owen born 11/23/2006 and breast feeding ever since. .

    No time for flash cards! ~fun and learning for toddlers and preschoolers.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    The weight descrepencies came from two different scales. My best suggestion is to find one well-calibrated scale and stick with it.

    Is it the pump that is making you sore, or were you sore before you started using the pump?

    About how many times per 24 hours does your baby nurse? Does she actively suck? Is her latch comfortable for you?

    How many wet and poopy diapers does she have per 24 hours? What does the poopy look like?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    Thanks so much for your questions....

    "The weight descrepencies came from two different scales. My best suggestion is to find one well-calibrated scale and stick with it."

    Oh how I wish! The original scale used at her birth was used for her third weighing, and essentially confirmed the pediatrician's scale

    Birth: 6 lb, 9 oz (midwife scale)
    Day 6: 5 lb, 12 oz (Ped scale)
    Day 11: 5 lb, 14 oz. (midwife scale)


    "Is it the pump that is making you sore, or were you sore before you started using the pump?"

    I was a little sore the first couple of days of breastfeeding, but then it went away. I keep needing to get bigger cups for the pump. The standard was WAY too small, then went up to 27 mm, and that rubbed my nipples and blocked flow, so it will be 30 mm today and maybe a hospital grade pump. I have these rough red circles around the lower parts of my nipples, but am able to breastfeed OK.


    About how many times per 24 hours does your baby nurse? Does she actively suck? Is her latch comfortable for you?

    I moved to every two hours during AM through afternoon and demand feeding PM and overnight. 8, 10, 12, 2 , 4 , 6PM. I usually have to wake her up to feed in the AM feedings. Then in the evening she will literally nurse until she falls off the breast with milk running down her chin. She'll actively suck 20-30 minutes, stop, appear to be asleep. When I try to delatch her, she starts sucking again. She might go into the bassinet for two 1/2 to 1 hour periods during the evening. She wakes up 3 or 4 times at night , from 12 midnight to 8ish and eats and gets her diaper changed. She latches well, and it doesn't hurt at all.

    I try to pump in between, but get my best yield in the AM, with very little after dinner. Strangely though, the baby is getting plenty of milk, even when very little to none is coming out of the pump.

    "How many wet and poopy diapers does she have per 24 hours? What does the poopy look like?"

    14 dirty diapers yesterday. 5 exclusively poo (I think) 6 exclusively pee and 3 combos. Her poo looks the color of butternut squash (yellow/orange-ish)
    and is very squishy.

    She is so beautiful and alert and easily soothed, I can't imagine she is sick or has a major problem. BUt she is so little and has no chub on her arms or legs, it scares me....

    Baby A is 2 weeks old today and I know she is nowhere near her birthweight. Anything I can do to plump her up without giving up breast milk I'd gladly do.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    It took 3 weeks to surpass LO's wieght. The wieght he left the hosp. NOT the birth weight. 3 mos later we're at almost 15 lbs, so just keep trying and begging for one more week!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    The original scale used at her birth was used for her third weighing, and essentially confirmed the pediatrician's scale

    Birth: 6 lb, 9 oz (midwife scale)
    Day 6: 5 lb, 12 oz (Ped scale)
    Day 11: 5 lb, 14 oz. (midwife scale)
    Was your baby making as many wet/poopy diapers then as she is now?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    I was a little sore the first couple of days of breastfeeding, but then it went away. I keep needing to get bigger cups for the pump. The standard was WAY too small, then went up to 27 mm, and that rubbed my nipples and blocked flow, so it will be 30 mm today and maybe a hospital grade pump. I have these rough red circles around the lower parts of my nipples, but am able to breastfeed OK.
    The circles are from the pump's breastshield?

    Have you considered hand expression?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    I moved to every two hours during AM through afternoon and demand feeding PM and overnight. 8, 10, 12, 2 , 4 , 6PM. I usually have to wake her up to feed in the AM feedings. Then in the evening she will literally nurse until she falls off the breast with milk running down her chin. She'll actively suck 20-30 minutes, stop, appear to be asleep. When I try to delatch her, she starts sucking again. She might go into the bassinet for two 1/2 to 1 hour periods during the evening. She wakes up 3 or 4 times at night , from 12 midnight to 8ish and eats and gets her diaper changed. She latches well, and it doesn't hurt at all.
    10-12x per day--that sounds good! Does she end the daytime feedings herself, too?

    Yay for milk running down the chin!

    It sounds like she is cluster feeding at night--totally normal! Good for her, and your milk production, too! Here's some info:
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    I try to pump in between, but get my best yield in the AM, with very little after dinner. Strangely though, the baby is getting plenty of milk, even when very little to none is coming out of the pump.
    Totally normal!

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    14 dirty diapers yesterday. 5 exclusively poo (I think) 6 exclusively pee and 3 combos. Her poo looks the color of butternut squash (yellow/orange-ish) and is very squishy.
    That sounds GREAT! What goes in, must come out!

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    She is so beautiful and alert and easily soothed, I can't imagine she is sick or has a major problem. BUt she is so little and has no chub on her arms or legs, it scares me....

    Baby A is 2 weeks old today and I know she is nowhere near her birthweight. Anything I can do to plump her up without giving up breast milk I'd gladly do.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    From your description of her output, it sounds like A is getting lots of milk. Great job, Mom!

    It's understandable that you're concerned that she has not yet regained her birthweight. It is generally expected that newborns do so by their second week. However, there are exceptions to this expectation and it is a very good sign that your baby is pooing and peeing so much.

    Are you supplementing your baby's feeds now? How much per day and how are you supplementing?

    Are you aware of breast compressions? This technique can help your baby take in more milk for her efforts (helps with weight gain). This webpage tells how to do the technique and contains a link to videos that show you how:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html

    If pumping is causing you pain, you could consider hand expressing after feeds (or between feeds). Here's an informative video:
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...xpression.html

    Here is some information on how to tell baby is getting enough:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

    Info on increasing baby's weight gain:
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html


    Are you in touch with an IBCLC or your local LLL leader?


    Keep us updated!

  7. #7
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    Wow thanks so much for all the great info! Hand compressing while she feeds really helps to keep her at it. Compressing during pumping gives me better yields too.

    I'm also getting the hang of the pump. I switch off between 27 mm and 30 mm shields. 30 mm yields less but doesn't pinch my nipples so much. The hospital grade pump was a joke. It's a Medela Lactina and had no more and even less power than my in style. Taking it back today.

    The best investment was renting the baby scale. Baby A gained 2 ounces in 2 days! With the scale we figured out that she's most likely a lazy eater. She only took in .9 ounces in one feeding. With the double the weight for intake equation, she's barely able to maintain on the amount.

    So the supplementing with breast milk helps. The pumped milk is almost all hindmilk, so even if it isn't 1-2 ounces a shot, it's good stuff. And as long as I'm pumping dry with every feeding, I'm literally raining milk in the morning and periodically throughout the day.

    The only thing that's a bit odd is that she's having fewer poo diapers, but they are HUGE. She only had 3 very large poos yesterday. Before she was having 4-5 smaller ones, now she seems to be saving up. ALOT of tooting and stomach rumbling, but the output is less fequent.

    So I've looked up the LLL group leader's name and number and will be calling on Monday. We've been in such a whirlwind over this situation that we've literally destroyed the house. Clean baby clothes strewn about not put away, dishes everywhere, equipment scattered, adult clothes in piles- it looks like a bomb has gone off. I want to get my world back into some semblance of order. I also want to give Baby A the chance to benefit from this new system.

    Wish me luck and thanks so much for all the help!

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    let the house go and just worry about baby! That other stuff can wait!
    did you have an iv at birth?
    some ladies with iv will find that their baby drops alot of water weight in the 1st week and it takes a while for them to gain it back!
    IT sounds like you are doing all the right things.
    Do call your local leader she can help!
    andrea

  9. #9
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    Midwife said to pump and add 1 to 2 ounces pumped milk to each feeding. I have a Medela Pump in Style, but I have had a hard time getting 10-20 ounces a day.
    Hmmm, I think asking someone to pump that much extra per day immediately is really unrealistic. You are an organic organism, and it takes a while to advance to that sort of milk "plateau". Certainly you would not be able to pump that much in addition to bf full time. Not in the begining.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenn07 View Post
    The best I can get is a little less than 6 ounces.
    That in itself is a huge amount to pump on top of bf full time. Seriously. I agree that it sounds like the milk supply is not the problem. Babies grow at their own speed and rate. I noted that your baby is now gaining regularly and that is terrific.

    A tip on pumping is that you don't need to wash everything each time. Simply stick it in the refrigerator. Milk can stay in the fridge for around ( I think) ten days.
    Last edited by carpentergirl; December 14th, 2007 at 06:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: baby not regaining weight

    Hi there! I'm chiming in a little late here, but it sounds like you have gotten things on track. An ounce a day gain is great (6 ounces per week is average weight gain). It sounds like the compressions are definitely helping. As she gets bigger and stronger, she will likely become more effective at removing milk on her own. I just wanted to add that the three big stools still sounds normal. There is a very wide range. For the first 6 weeks, you generally want to see 3-4 per day or more, at least the size of a US quarter. Some babies poop constantly, others save up for awhile. Three large ones sounds like great output. Also, all that rumbling and gas is pretty normal too.

    Keep up the great work!

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