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Thread: Growth Charts Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Question Growth Charts Question

    My 32-weeker is now 17 weeks old (9 weeks adjusted). He's not on the charts for weight (yet?), but he has been gaining 4-5oz. a week on breastmilk only. The pediatrician thinks he's underweight - but how can you measure a preemie against full-term standards? His growth rate should be the main factor, right? At 4-5oz./week, he IS gaining at the lower range, but he's still gaining within acceptable limits.

    Anybody want to share their thoughts or experiences, please?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    When my doctor puts my daughter's weight on the charts she puts the actual and adjusted ages, but really only counts the adjusted age when giving us the percentile. Is that the age that your son is not make it on? Also, keep in mind that a Preemie does not gain weight at the same rate that full term babies do, but as long as he is growing consistently I wouldn't worry. Also, if you are using those charts to judge if your breastmilk is "working" so to speak, a week is certainly not enough. Give yourself at the very least one month to see and know that growth charts are created by formula companies, and we all know that formula fed babies often weigh more.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    are you keeping track of wet and poopy diapars?
    5-6 wets and 3-4 poops the size of a quarter.
    Sometimes it just takes a while for babies to start to gain. The bigger they get the better they learn to nurse. Is the baby nursing any at your breast or are you just pumping? A lll leader could give you some hints to get the baby back to the breast.
    are you going back for more weight checks?

    the breastfeeding answer book says that if your going to supplement its best to use your own milk.
    are you feeding on demand? Sometimes taking the baby to bed and just nursing helps a slow to gain baby. Get lots of skin to skin contact!
    you realy should contact your local leader. She might know another mother that you could talk to about nursing a premie baby.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    893

    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    Quote Originally Posted by tish
    My 32-weeker is now 17 weeks old (9 weeks adjusted). He's not on the charts for weight (yet?), but he has been gaining 4-5oz. a week on breastmilk only. The pediatrician thinks he's underweight - but how can you measure a preemie against full-term standards? His growth rate should be the main factor, right? At 4-5oz./week, he IS gaining at the lower range, but he's still gaining within acceptable limits.

    Anybody want to share their thoughts or experiences, please?

    You cannot measure a full term agains a preemie, you'll drive yourself nuts doing it, on the weight chart, on development, everything. 4-5 oz a week sounds great to me, sounds like your doing a great job providing mommys milk to him!!! The pedis all think preemies are underweight, they start out smaller, so yeah compared to a full term, they are, nothing to worry about. My DD was born at 34 weeks at 5 lbs 8.2 oz. She's now 11 months old and 18 lbs 8 oz, she's a little small (short) but you cannot tell it and it took awhile for her to start to gain/put on the weight. Sounds like you are doing great and keep on with it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    281

    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    My son was born at 35 weeks and was 4 pounds 14 ounces. It was months before he even registered on the weight percentiles. Thankfully, it was the pediatrician who was the one reassuring us that it was perfectly normal for a preemie to be smaller than a full term baby and that it could take about 2 years for him to really catch up to full term babies on everything from weight/height to developmental milestones. Their only focus was on whether he was gaining weight appropriately and following HIS growth curve, which he was. By around 6 or 7 months (hard to remember now) he started creeping up over his curve and landed in about the 20th percentile for weight and has stayed there ever since. He will never be a fat baby (thankfully, I say), but is growing appropriately. At his one year appointment, he weighed 19.5 pounds and the pediatrician couldn't be happier. Sounds like you guys are doing great! Keep up the mommy milk!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    Thanks so much for all the affirmations and encouragement. DS has been weighed several times, always gaining about 4 or 5 oz. a week. But he's been REALLY fussy and screams like the dickens. He was having one of his screaming fits at our appt. last week, and the pedi. (who did a fellowship in neonatology) was concerned that he was hungry, especially since he wasn't on the charts (pedi uses adjusted age). He's been exclusively BF (no pumping) since coming home from the NICU and his diaper output has been fine, but the pedi recommended supplementing. DH and I talked about it after we got home (and we could think straight when DS calmed down!), and we decided to try and fix any BF issues before supplementing. I spent all weekend nursing DS, and I think we turned a corner. I can hear him drinking a LOT more now and he's getting multiple letdowns - takes him 45 minutes sometimes, but that's the way it goes. We've also had some moments of peace and have actually seen him smile!

    I have a call in to the pedi to give him an update and get him on boars with the BF plan. I don't think DS will be measuring up to the FTs any time soon, but I feel better hearing your views on that.

    Thanks so much!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    yeah glad this week end got a little bit beter for you.
    Dr sears has a bunch of info on his web site about fussy babies.
    It sometimes helps to know what works for other babies

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp

    and its going to take a while for you and your hubby to get to know the new baby. You'll get it. There will come a time when everything will just click and you'll know his board cries from his feed me this minute cries.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    893

    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    Quote Originally Posted by tish
    Thanks so much for all the affirmations and encouragement. DS has been weighed several times, always gaining about 4 or 5 oz. a week. But he's been REALLY fussy and screams like the dickens. He was having one of his screaming fits at our appt. last week, and the pedi. (who did a fellowship in neonatology) was concerned that he was hungry, especially since he wasn't on the charts (pedi uses adjusted age). He's been exclusively BF (no pumping) since coming home from the NICU and his diaper output has been fine, but the pedi recommended supplementing. DH and I talked about it after we got home (and we could think straight when DS calmed down!), and we decided to try and fix any BF issues before supplementing. I spent all weekend nursing DS, and I think we turned a corner. I can hear him drinking a LOT more now and he's getting multiple letdowns - takes him 45 minutes sometimes, but that's the way it goes. We've also had some moments of peace and have actually seen him smile!

    I have a call in to the pedi to give him an update and get him on boars with the BF plan. I don't think DS will be measuring up to the FTs any time soon, but I feel better hearing your views on that.

    Thanks so much!

    That's great to hear, I know my DD normal nursing for the first 5 months was a 30-45 min. session, she got in no hurry, now at 11 months were down to about 20 min sessions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    10

    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    Sorry for getting into the conversation but I was wondering :isn't there a chart especially for preemies?
    My doctor seemed to used one

  10. #10
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Growth Charts Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandora View Post
    Sorry for getting into the conversation but I was wondering :isn't there a chart especially for preemies?
    My doctor seemed to used one
    My DD's doc is a neonatle specialist (was also her doc in the NICU) and she said they use a regular growth chart and can just subtract the age from it to find actual growth weight if was to be full term.
    (ie: baby was born 2 months early and is now 4 months old, so they would chart baby at 2 months of age to adjust, does that make sense?)

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