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Thread: Not gaining weight?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Unhappy Not gaining weight?

    My daughter Madison is 3 months old (12/29/07) and weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz. at birth and was 19 3/4 inches. At her two week well check she was 9 lbs. 1 oz., so I felt like everything was going well. She was and is latching on great and eats about every two hours. She nurses about 8-10 minutes on each side, and until about a week ago would spit up puddles after each meal. Even with the spit up she was and is very happy after every feeding and has more than 6 wet diapers a day and usually one giant BM every 24 hours. She eats about 9-10 times in a 24 hours period. At her two month well check she weighed 12 lbs. 2 oz. dropping her to the 75% for weight (her height was 23 34 inches and in the 90%). I weighed her about five days ago and she weighed 13 lbs. I realize that the 75 percentile is still pretty high, but her two older siblings never left the 90% their whole first year. Since her 2 week well check she seems to be growing slower and slower. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or what I need to do differently.Over the last month she and I both have had two colds and the stomach flu, so I'm not sure if that has something to do with anything. Madison usually goes to sleep around 8 and sleeps till 2 or 3 in the a.m. so I usually pump before bed around 10 p.m. and the most I ever get from either side is 1 1/2 oz. Is that normal? Should I change something in our routine? Do breast fed babies gain slower and fewer pounds than bottle fed? Could she be failing to thrive? Am worried her doctor will want me to start supplementing with formula. (For the last five days I've been giving her pumped milk in a bottle after each nursing and usually she just smiles at me and won't take it). Need any and all advice....thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: Not gaining weight?

    Quickly I'd like to respond to a few things... first sounds like she is doing great!

    Do breast fed babies gain slower and fewer pounds than bottle fed?
    Yes they do grow at different rates - here's a link with more about that.

    Could she be failing to thrive?
    She's not failing to thrive if she's continuing to gain at a healthy rate for her. Hopefully your doc is well versed in lactation and will help you through this.

    Am worried her doctor will want me to start supplementing with formula.
    If he did that, we'd know he's not as I said above

    She sounds to be doing fine. Read the link I gave and let us know if you still have any questions.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Not gaining weight?

    It sounds like you are doing everything right. 75th percentile for weight and 90th for height is not "failure to thrive"- FTT is a very specific diagnostic term for a baby who isn't growing at all or is barely growing.

    Colds and stomach flu could explain a slower growth rate, but again, your baby's stats are PERFECT, so whatever she's had hasn't affected her much. Your feeding routine and her diaper output both sound marvelous.

    You ask if breastfed babies gain slower or less than formula-fed babies. Some do, and some don't. Overall, however, a breastfed baby reaches the end of her first year somewhat leaner than a formula-fed baby. Breastfed babies also tend to become leaner adults, so when you look at your tall and relatively slender daughter, just imagine her as a tall, slender adult. That is not a bad thing to become!

    You mention that you only got 1 1/2 oz from pumping. That's not unusual, especially late in the evening when you are tired and your milk supply is usually a bit lower. Also, remember that your baby is much more efficient at getting milk out of you than even the best pump is. Many mamas get very little when they pump but still have perfect success with breastfeeding.

    Just stay confident. It really sounds like you are worried over nothing- but then, that's how you know you're a mom. You worry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Not gaining weight?

    Hello. Glad to hear your LO is enjoying breastfeeding. I just want to say a couple of things:
    First, if she was failing to thrive, I think it would probably be pretty clear to you. She'd have far fewer wet diapers, she would cry all the time (or not cry and just lie there looking off into the distance) and her skin would be very transparent and her limbs would look skinny. Take this advice from a mom who (very unwisely) was SO ultra committed to breastfeeding that I ignored my babie's cues and did not supplement for his first 6 weeks (when he gained a total of 6 ounces). - needless to say he looked like a child from Africa with a bloated tummy and he cried all the time. BTW he's perfectly healthy now but a tad too spunky.

    That brings me to my second point, if your doc recommends formula, remember the most important thing is that your baby is alive, not that your baby is breastfed. The tricky part here is that your doc may be recommending supplementing too soon without really checking out what's going on beyond his/her 5-minute examination of your LO. I would say, still continue to breastfeed, maybe if you're concerned you could squeeze in an extra feeding by pushing the feedings closer together. But if your daughter smiles after being done at the breast... that's the whole story of how she's feeling! AHHH ... bliss!

    Lastly, I wouldn't worry about her percentage until she's down past 25%. I even had a girlfriend whose son was in the 15% range since about 6 months, but he's really healthy. Her family and especially her hubby's family are really thin, so he just was built like his dad. Those percentages are only a guideline. I think the marker of a healthy baby is just - how is she acting? Content or screaming? happy or sad? alert or lethargic? You get my point.

    Good luck! Oh and by the way I hope this post didn't sound anti-bf or pro-formula, but I am just pro-healthy-baby ... bottom line!

    have a great day!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Not gaining weight?

    I kind of know how you feel except my first was 75%+ and my 2nd has never been above 15% in his life and the 15% was his FAT time. His little sister is turning out just like him though so you can't really use your other kids to judge like that. Trust me, it brings nothing but pointless worrying.

    What you're looking at till about 5 or 6 mos, is at least 4ozs a week gain on average. You have to account for any time she might have been sick or something stressful was going on w/ you etc as during those times not gaining as much or even losing w/ an illness is normal. It sounds like she's perfect to me though, I remember my chubby baby and just loved it! My dd was just over 13# at her 6 mos.
    Jennifer, child passenger safety technician and mama to,
    AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), and Olivia (2/12/09)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Not gaining weight?

    Thanks everyone for your quick and helpful advice and boosts of confidence. My husband has been trying to tell me for a couple of days that everything is fine and that I worry to much- but sometimes it means more coming from someone who has walked a mile (or more) in my shoes!

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