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Breastfeeding/baby not gaining much weight while breasfeeding

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QUESTION: Hello, my baby was born five months ago and since then I have been exclusive breast feeding but my concern is that baby hasn't been gaining much weight. Since my daughter's first check up her doctor has suggested I switch to formula because of her low gain of weight.

She was born 23 inches 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 7 pounds 2 ounces when she came home. At this time I was breastfeeding her 30 to 40 minutes every 2.5 to 3 hours.

At 2 weeks, we went in for a check up to see if she regained her birth weight. At this weigh in she only gained 4 ounces. They suggested I start supplementing with formula but I said that I wanted to continue breastfeeding because it was better. So they sent me to see a lactation specialist. They concluded that she was sucking properly.

At 1 month, we returned to get her weight done. At this time she only gained 3 ounces and she was only 7 pounds 9 ounces. The doctor was concerned about her weight so she suggested me offering her 2 ounces of formula after I breast-feed her and to try to offer her the breast every 2 hours. I wasn't quite ready to try formula because I didn't want to risk the chance of her not breast feeding so instead I tried to offer the breast every 1 1/2 during the day and at night time let her wake up when she was hungry.

We went back to the doctor at 2 months and it seemed she has gained a bit more weight. She gained 9 ounces and was 24.5 inches 8 pounds 3 ounces. As a precaution, the doctor decided to get some blood tests done to see if she had any issues to explain why she wasn't gaining much weight. All the test came back normal.

We came back at 3 months and this time she weighed 9 pounds 1 oz. The doctor was pleased with this weigh in and sent us on our weigh.

At her last weigh in they became really concerned because she was 26 inches and only weighed 9 pounds 5oz. They gave her the diagnosed of failure to thrive and at this time said I had to stop all breastfeeding and go to a high calorie formula. Not wanting to fully give up on breastfeeding I decided to breast feed her only at night from 10ish to 7amish. During the day I offer her 2ounces of the formula with 1 ounce of the breast milk I express after each of her feedings.

I got in for a weigh in tomorrow for her and I am worried she is not going to gain that much weight. Do you have any advice or should I just switch her over to the high calorie formula. I just don't want to switch her over fully because she hasn't been sick she has been born, smiled at 8 weeks and rolled over both weighs by 4 months so she is defiantly reaching her milestones on time.

ANSWER: Hi there,

Thank you for the message, my apologies I am only answering now but I only saw the email from allexperts now saying I had a question waiting, I didn't get the original email for some reason.

How did your bavy weigh in?

I initially had similar problems with my daughter, I actually ignored the doctors as she was healthy and happy and hadn't been sick either.  I think the whole weight thing is rubbish personally as long as the baby is thriving in other areas, especially if the weight is the only concern.

A few questions to determine the richness and quality of your milk.  I presume you are eating healthy and a little more than usual? Are you on birth control?  Do you feel the let down reflex?  Have you drank something like jungle juice?

I look forward to your reply, you are welcome to email me directly on maryvede@gmail.com.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: She gained just over a pound in the last month, so I was doind something good. I eat very well. I try to eat full servings of fruits, vegatables, proteins and grains. I don't eat a lot of foods high in fat, or loaded of sugar not to say I don't have the occasional donuts or glass of soda. My baby clearly lets you know when she has had enough.

On a side note A few days ago I decided to expressing for five minutes before I actually give her the breast so there gets the higher calorie beast milk.

Answer
Expressing before is a good idea, but she also needs the foremilk as that satisfies thirst.  While she is nursing on the one breast, you can simultaneously express on the other breast for five minutes.  That will also stimulate the let down reflex, which brings in the rich hind milk.  Swap breasts and then let baby drink from the expressed breast and express on the other one.

Save the expressed milk for a snack, never waste.

Breastfeeding

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Mary van Ede

Expertise

Anything related to Breastfeeding. Expressing when returning to work. Mastitis. Complications.

Experience

I have successfully breastfed all my 3 children. Even expressing with my children when I went back to work. I suffered the challenge of engorgement, mastitis, poor latching. Have done a lot of reading and research.

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Matric. Business Administration. Was an active member of the La Leche League when I was breastfeeding every time. Was an All Expert member for a while - you will find my comments etc in this section - but had to stop my contributions due to work commitments.

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