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Thread: Is my son gaining enough?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Is my son gaining enough?

    My son is 6 weeks old and I was EBF him without supplements until last Friday. Every doctor visit (one per week) he was gaining 1 oz. per day perfectly. Then we went in two Friday's ago and he only gained less than half of what he should have gained. The doctor told me I had to supplement with formula. I asked if I could use the breast milk I pumped in between feedings as a supplement instead and he said no because it doesn't have enough nutrition to make him grow and I HAVE to give him formula.

    I was crushed. He told me to nurse him on both sides then offer him formula and give him as much as he wants. We went back 5 days later and he gained 11oz. Which seemed like a lot unless he just had a growth spurt.

    I asked if I could just BF now and he said no I have to continue with the formula until he is confident my milk is nutritious enough. The thing is I don't want to give him any formula at all. He is spitting up more with it and he already has acid reflux and is on zantac. Also, it seemed to give him diarreah. My son falls alseep at the breast and it is a big pain in the butt to wake him up for a bottle afterwards. Most of the time he doesn't even want it.

    I was to go back in 5 days for another weight check which was today. Well I only BF and didn't do the formula becuase I felt it was messing his little body up and he only gained 2oz in 5 days.

    I was wondering in terms of weight if you need to look at it as a whole? I wanted to post what he has gained so far to see if it seems alright.

    He was born on September 10th at 7lbs 6oz. He left the hospital on the 12th at 6lbs 12oz. now 6 weeks later on October 23rd, he weighs 8lbs 13 oz.

    Thanks in advance for any help!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: Is my son gaining enough?

    His weight gain does seem a little slow, but he is gaining. Any weight gain is good weight gain. I think that you were right in not supplementing. It can definitely screw up digestion, make reflux worse, and mess up your supply.

    How many wet and poopy diapers a day does he have? If he is gaining, albeit slowly, I'd hold off on the supplements IF IF IF he's having enough wet and poopy diapers a day.



    Try these and see. If your baby is happy, satisfied, gaining weight (even slowly) and wetting/pooping enough, then I wouldn't give formula, but that's just me. Kids gain at their own pace, even if we try to change them!
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Is my son gaining enough?

    Overall, I'm not sure why the doc is so concerned about the weight? Perhaps one of the docs who frequents this site can chime in? With both of my babies they've gained about 2 lbs every 2 months...maybe a little more in the first 6 mos. or so. Your baby has already gained 1 pd 6 oz. in 6 weeks...to me that doesn't sound too far off. Does he have plenty of wet and dirty diapers? Is he happy and content?

    Also, do you know for sure that your doc. is Pro-breastfeeding anyway? It doesn't sound like he is. Most research today indicates that breastmilk is rarely not nutritious enough for any baby. I think I heard somewhere that the only reason it wouldn't be nutritious enough was if mom was severely malnourished, or sometimes if mom is on a very strict diet...I heard somewhere that strict diabetic diets sometimes can have that problem, but I don't know how accurate that is...maybe a diabetic mom has that answer here.

    One other thing you could do to get baby to gain more weight, is to make sure you are nursing more often if baby will go for it...like every 2 hours during the day (from the start of one session to the start of the next, so there may not be much down time in between), offer the breast even if baby doesn't "ask" for it but don't force him... and make sure you don't let baby sleep for more than 4 hours straight without nursing at night at least for a while yet...I think our ped. wanted our kids to be a couple of months old before they started longer sleep sessions at night.

    Finally, talk to your mom and Mil and find out what you and your dh's growth patterns were like when you were babies...the parents stature also plays into how big a baby will be, so if you and your dh are small, its likely baby will be too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Is my son gaining enough?

    Hi Judith,
    I am sorry that you have been made to feel inadequate by your ped. I can understand that you want to do the right thing for your ds and I commend you for doing such a great job so far!

    When computing weight gain LLLI always suggests starting from the lowest weight. So your ds was 6-12 and 6 weeks later he is 8-13. This is a gain of 33 oz. in 6 weeks, or an average of 5.5 oz. per week. According to the Breastfeeding Answer Book babies your ds's age should have an average weight gain of 5-7 oz. per week, but some healthy babies can gain less (4 oz. per week) and do just fine.

    As you can see, you ds is well within the range of normal. Of course he was supplemented during that time, so we don't know exactly how much extra he gained from the formula. But you have a healthy strong baby right now. I could also ask you about wet/dirty diapers, but that will be altered with the addition of the formula. How have they been since you quit the supplement?

    Some moms find that not limiting feedings, but keeping baby at the breast all of the time is helpful when they are worried about supply/weight gain. Essenitally, every time the baby peeps he should be nursed. Try very hard not to miss any feeding cues.

    Have you tried breast compressions? I am pressed for time but will post the link later if you need it.

    Also, pumping after every feeding and offering the additional milk is a wonderful idea. This will help you maintain your supply, whereas the formula supplement could actually cause your supply to decrease.

    Also, has ds always been weighed on the same scale, with the same amount of clothes/diaper? This can alter weight checks considerably.

    You know, you *may* ask your ped. for references as to how he will determine if your milk is "nutritious enough". I wouldn't be surprised if he changed his tune if you asked about this. While you may need to nurse more and encourage ds to take more of your milk, you can rest assured this is not a situation of milk being "not nutritious enough" !

    Let us know how things are going for you.

    By the way, if you have a local LLLL in your area, she would be able to speak with you more about this.

    Take care, and nurse, nurse, nurse!

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