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Thread: Failure to Thrive ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Failure to Thrive ?

    I have a teeny-tiny DD. Born 8.1, and dropped to 7.2; She is 17 weeks now and only at 9.8; she has been steady there for almost 2 months now. She has grown more then an inch and developmentally is right on track but not putting on weight. I worked w/ my local LLL Leader and started feeding her every 1.5 hours wether she was aking for it or not, but still no change. I bought a scale and I've weigh her before and after a feeding and she will eat 7-8 oz each time. I am not too concerned but I am sure when I go to the Dr this coming week he is going to freak out on me. She only poos about once a week and we change wet ones 5-6 times a day. They are not saturated but there is urine in it. Should they be? Her skin is good, she is happy and laughs and smiles and sleeps well. On the World Heath Org growth chart, she is on the chart, but has leveled off. She cut her 1st tooth at 3 1/2 months and has been teething for that 2nd one to come in for 3-4 weeks now.

    Asside from her being so small, are there other things to look at w/ Failure to Thrive? I dont want to be doing her long term harm by trying to keep breastfeeding. My biggest concern is that she will be small her entire life, and that I may be interfering w/ brain development.

    The family is also giving it to me to start on solids and formula, so forget about support at home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive ?

    I'm sorry you're having such a tough time- it can be really scary when a baby doesn't grow the way the charts imply one "should."

    If she's smiling, and meeting developmental milestones, and growing in height, and still on the charts, I don't think you're going to get thrown a "Failure to Thrive" diagnosis right off the bat. She is growing- perhaps she's just putting all her calories into height, rather than into weight. And her diapers sound like they're in the normal range. So, that's all good news, right?

    It's great that you have a scale, and are weighing your baby before and after nursing. If she's taking in 7-8 oz of milk per nursing session, you know for sure that a) you don't have a supply problem and b) your baby doesn't have any sort of problem with her suckling ability. That's all good news, too.

    I think the difficult news is that, with no weight gain in 2 months, it's possible that your doc may recommend some tests, just to make sure your baby is following her own personal growth pattern and not suffering from some underlying problem that's keeping her from gaining weight.

    You mention that your daughter is sleeping well at night. That must be nice- but if you're concerned about her weight gain, perhaps a couple nighttime feedings would help? If you're not co-sleeping with your baby, you might want to try it: a lot of co-sleeping babies turn into all-night snackers, and they can take in a lot of calories that way.

    Just hang in there, mama. You are doing the very best that can be done for your little one, and I know it must be very hard when you're not getting the support you need.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Southern Maryland

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Momma1 View Post
    If you're not co-sleeping with your baby, you might want to try it: a lot of co-sleeping babies turn into all-night snackers, and they can take in a lot of calories that way.
    Yep, that's how my LO is. Eats like a piggy at night.

    Good luck!!! I remember how scary it was in the beginning with my LO who was jaundiced and not gaining weight at a good pace. But that all evened out! I hope the same for you!!!
    Mommy to Allison Rae

    Born 9-18-07 @ 1:18am

    BF for 18 months! Finally weaned!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive ?

    For that age, I think the diaper situation sounds fine. A lot of bf babies only have dirty diapers about once a week. Wet diapers do not have to be saturated to be considered wet. It sounds like you are not having a bf issue. Some babies are just small. Hopefully that is the case here. My DD was always on the low end of the growth charts too. Someone has to be on the low end!
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    in flip-flops

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive ?

    It doesn't sound like a BF issue to me either. If it were me I might get her tested for some type of metabolic or absorption problem though. I'm not familiar with all the names or tests, but maybe someone else will chime in. Either way (whether she is medically healthy or not) I think weaning to formula would do more harm than good. It sounds like you are doing an awesome job BFing! Your LO just has a confusing growth pattern, so that's a challenge to work through while you continue to give her the best you can on all fronts - momma's milk & nursing!

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
    Dental issues? Find out how to Cure Tooth Decay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive ?

    I had a somewhat similar situation, although I'm sure mine is a worst case scenario! My daughter is 11 weeks and had trouble building a sustained weight gain from the beginning, which culminated in a long failure to thrive workup in the hospital (she had not surpassed birthweight at four weeks, despite lots of help from LCs, feeding around the clock, etc). Part of her problem is that she was aspirating during feedings -- meaning the milk was going to her lungs, not her stomach. I think there are usually signs of this -- coughing, etc. -- but I know there is also something called "silent aspiration" where there are no symptoms, but the milk is just dumping into the baby's lungs instead of the stomach.

    If it were me, I would probably want to get the full FTT workup just for peace of mind. If there's nothing wrong, then you can be at ease. But if there is a metabolic issue, aspiration, or an allergy (I'm assuming your pediatrician has thougth about a milk protein allergy? That can also cause poor weight gain) you would want to know about it.

    I know that poor weight gain is so stressful -- my daughter is just about 9.5 now and we have fought for every ounce. In my case, her aspiration issues make bfing impossible because her feeds need to be thickened, so I'm just pumping and giving the bottle and hoping she can go back to the breast in a few more weeks. My doctor reassures me that what's most important is the thngs you say -- that the baby is alert, happy, meeting milestones, etc. So that's reassuring for you. Good luck!

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