Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

  1. #1

    Default Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    How much should a breastfed baby drink? I keep reading information about how babies typically drink 2.5 times their weight in ounces but how true is this for breastfed babies?

    My daughter has been slowly dropping on the growth curve (began with 25th percentile for weight and now is around 5th to 10th percentile) and I began suspecting that she wasn't taking enough. So I began weighing her before and after her nursing sessions (we have a reliable baby scale) and for the last 2 months, she has consistently taken in only 15 to 18 ounces a day. I've tried nursing her more often but she refuses the breast unless she is REALLY hungry, which is about every 4 to 5 hours but will only take in about 2 to 3 ounces at most before she stops and will not continue.

    I wouldn't be worried otherwise but she's gaining less and less every month (12 pounds 6 ounces at 5 months), still has trouble keeping her head up steady for more than a few minutes and she gets sleepy after being awake only about half an hour to an hour. I'm worried that she's not getting enough hydration and nutrients such as iron with the low amount of milk she's taking in and it's affecting her energy and development.

    Everyday I wake up thinking it will be better today but it never is and I end my day about to have a breakdown.

    I really need some guidance and advice on this matter. I've been getting help from a lactation consultant but her advice has not helped at all so far.

    Am I being overly worried for nothing? Please advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    I would trust your mommy instincts. If you think she is not getting enough, I would look into it further. If the LC you saw was not helpful, can you find another one? Does your LO tire easily while feeding? How is diaper output? What does the pediatrician say about weight gain? Her ounces do sound low and every 4-5 hours does sound like a long time to go in between every feeding. How many times does she nurse in 24 hours? Is she fussy or content when feeding at the breast? Does she come off content when done or is she always falling asleep at the breast? Sorry about all the questions. IME thinking about the answers to questions can sometimes lead you to an answer or another path to investigate. Are you pumping in between feedings to have supplemental milk avaiable if she needs it? I think a call to a local LLL leader would probably be helpful as well.
    2001 2004 2008

  3. #3

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*umbribyz View Post
    I would trust your mommy instincts. If you think she is not getting enough, I would look into it further. If the LC you saw was not helpful, can you find another one? Does your LO tire easily while feeding? How is diaper output? What does the pediatrician say about weight gain? Her ounces do sound low and every 4-5 hours does sound like a long time to go in between every feeding. How many times does she nurse in 24 hours? Is she fussy or content when feeding at the breast? Does she come off content when done or is she always falling asleep at the breast? Sorry about all the questions. IME thinking about the answers to questions can sometimes lead you to an answer or another path to investigate. Are you pumping in between feedings to have supplemental milk avaiable if she needs it? I think a call to a local LLL leader would probably be helpful as well.
    Thanks so much for the quick response! It is such a relief to hear some validation for my concerns since everyone around me, including my husband seems to think I'm overreacting and "she'll drink what she wants, she won't starve herself." As if things are always that simple!

    She doesn't seem tired after nursing but a combination of slight frustration and distracted but usually she seems neither content or upset, just something in between. She'll nurse halfway and come off, look around, whine a little, and when I put her back to the breast, she'll suck a little and pull off again. But more often than not, she'll refuse. If she's not stopping because of distraction, it's sleeping, or it's frustration over something, or she wants to smile at me, there's always something. I can count on one hand where she's nursed to true fullness. I can tell the difference. She nurses 5 to 6 times a day and had just began to sttn, but without increasing her subsequent intakes. How is this possible!?

    Diaper output is anywhere from 3-5 wet and 1-2 dirty diapers a day. Today it was 3 wet and 1 dirty. Doctor was not concerned with her weight but I called him friday about the ounce issue and did not get a call back.

    I try to pump in between feedings but I can't get a drop out unless I'm fully engorged. It's always been like this and I can't seem to get around it. I've tried supplemental feedings but she refuses the bottle and sippy cup. Will take a spoon, but it takes like an hour to get an ounce down, minus all the spilling.

    My LC thought she might have reflux because she would arch her back at every feeding. So she precribed medication, which took away the arching problem but she's still not taking in enough and prematurely stopping the feedings.

    I'll try contacting my LLL leader on Monday.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    Like pp said, listen to your mom-sense. I'm a bit surprised at your doctor's attitude. I know a mom who's baby wasn't gaining well and she was at the pediatrician's office every 2 weeks and her own doctor was pushing formula even though she had tons of milk. I suppose your baby's gaining enough in length and head circumference to satisfy him/her? I've met a few babies that just don't seem that hungry. They were developing normally in all other ways, just slow on the weight gain. There's nothing really wrong about being on the 10th percentile. The charts that doctors use match the growth of formula fed babies best. Breastfed babies often drop down a growth curve or two around 3/4 months.

    From what I've read, 19-30 oz / day seems pretty a pretty normal intake. Babies increase their intake up until about 4 weeks, then it stays the same, regardless of weight. DS did gain alot of weight in the newborn phase, but it did slow down later.

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...olids-how.html (Its too early to start solids for your LO, but here's a chart illustrating total energy intake.)
    http://www.kellymom.com/store/freeha...oughmilk01.pdf
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns..._increase.html

    Below is the baby-guide we are given in my area. Take a look at page 135 (under baby development). It tells you what physical development is normal for different ages. It also has the social/emotional/language development appropriate for the ages. DS had a hard time holding his head up straight, perhaps he had a heavy head, but his head was often crooked even at 5 months. The public health nurse was quite concerned when we took him in for his 4-month shots, but my doctor was not worried.

    http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/...bestchance.pdf

    If she's distractable, which she probably is at this age, you will want to nurse in a quiet dark room, wrap her up, and let her focus on the feeding. We were on holiday when DS was 5 months and we didn't have anywhere quiet to nurse so he ate far less than normal. We didn't weigh him but I swear he lost weight during those 2 weeks. One question: has she started sleeping through the night on her own or are you using a method?
    Last edited by @llli*monika.h; January 4th, 2009 at 04:40 AM.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    Thanks Monicka.h for the links. They were very helpful, but have confirmed to me even more that DD is not getting enough. She has only 3 to 4 wet diapers a day and are not "sopping wet" at all. And she's only getting 15-18 ounces a day, but usually closer to 15 ounces since some feedings she'll take no more than 1.5 to 2 ounces. She's been sleeping through the night on her own. Believe me, at this point, i would wake up every hour for her if she would only eat.

    We feed in a quiet dark room everyday and every feeding. I've been basically confined to my house for the last several months because we can't afford to waste a feeding in public where she'll be distracted.

    Developmentally, she seems to be right on target based on the government health link you sent me (very helpful btw). But I feel like she's barely eeking by since she does all those things but very little since she's only awake about 5-7 hours a day. I can't help but feel like she's capable of being more active and alert if she would only take in a few more ounces a day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    Dehydration in infants is very serious and if your lo is still having so few wets a day I would go immediately to the ped and demand some help/advice with the situation. That isn't something you want to let slide. Sorry you haven't gotten a better response from the ped, but maybe just go in with the facts and ask for help.
    Renee
    LLL Leader


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    Sounds like you're doing everything you can, mommytomaya. If your doctor's not listening to your concerns, you need to get a 2nd opinion right away. In the short term, can you pump and feed her your milk another way, such as by spoon? Perhaps she will be more willing to eat this way? Let us know how it goes.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    So I contacted my pediatricians' office this morning but my doctor was not in so they had me speak to another pediatrician. I let him know about my concerns about her low milk intake and low wet diaper output and as I was afraid of, I got the typical suspicious/dismissive response that always keeps me from asking for help in the first place. The doctor question me as to why i was weighing DD in the first place and answered every fact and concern with the "every baby is different" answer. When I asked him about the kellymom information about typical baby intake being 19 to 30 oz and DD's intake was 15-18. He told me that didn't sound so bad.

    I want to just trust him and leave it at that and move on with my life and preserve my sanity but I can't help to not feel comfortable with his answer. I'm going to make an appointment with my lactation consultant for this week, attend a LLL meeting tomorrow and see where we can go from there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day

    sounds like you're doing the best you can. You can always just keep offering the breast as much as possible. Hope you find answers you need soon!
    Renee
    LLL Leader


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Baby getting less than 20 ounces a day


    Trust yourself. You are doing a great job looking out for your LO even though it is hard. I hope you will find help soon. Keep a close eye on the diapers and look for signs of dehydration to be on the safe side while you look for answers.

    You said you were not able to get any milk out with pumping. Just curious, do you have a hospital grade pump? Sometimes you can get better results with them. Just a thought.
    2001 2004 2008

Posting Permissions

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