1 (edited by JayJay 2013-09-16 10:01:54)

Topic: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

My little dude is 3 weeks old and still below his birth weight.  He was born 8 lb 9 oz, dropped down to 7 lb 11 oz by three days old, started gaining it back and was 8 lbs by six days, but the  at his two week appointment was back down go 7 lb 14 oz.  on Monday, at 2 and a half weeks he was up to 8 lbs 1 oz and I have another weight check appointment this Monday but I am really nervous about it.  His arms as legs look skinnier to me.  I think that our problems started with our traumatic birth.  We were separated and unable to nurse right away while they worked on us both, and then he was poked and prodded over and over for his Iraq two days and he just almost refused to eat entirely.  Getting him to nurse was a real struggle and required assistance - my mom or sister would give him a squirt of formula with a syringe when my nipple was in his mouth to get him to start sucking.  Now he nurses all the time, my milk is coming on pretty darn well and is nice and thick and while.  The nipple shield fills with milk so I know he's getting it fairly easily. I do daycare and during the day he just wants to nurse constantly - I think to keep me to himself.  I noticed this weekend that he is eating on a much more normal s hedge.  Maybe he is pacifying more than actually eating during the day?  I'm starting to get worried.  Anyone else experience weight gain issues with their newborns?

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

He should pretty much be eating all day long at this point, with very little time off smile.  If you need to work, I'd wear him in a Moby or something similar and let him get the 3 things he needs all day long - mama, milky and sleep. Have you weighed, nursed, weighed to see what he gains after a feeding?  Just keep doing what you are doing with no schedule at this point.

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Oh yeah I am not trying to put him on a schedule, and I let him eat whenever he wants to.  And he does pretty much nurse most of the day - I will carry him around attached to the boob.  I just think he isn't nursing effectively I guess.  I saw a lactation consultant but she was horrible.  If Monday's news isn't good I am going to schedule with someone else.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

You can do it, Mama! Sounds like you are on the right track, letting him nurse whenever he asks (aka always, lol!) and taking it to the lactation consultants. I hope you get a great one if you need to see one again. But I hope even more that you get good news on Monday!

W is 5 1/2 weeks and still suckles around the clock. Kid loves him some boob. DW has sore/tired nipples from all the sucking but luckily not problematically so, just sore from constant use. Sometimes I lend my nipples to help out, that's a nice benefit of having 2 lactating moms.

Have you considered pumping once or twice a day to get him started like you do w/the formula but being able to use your milk instead so it's the same thing the whole way through his feed, and to potentially give him in a bottle if you end up needing to go that route? We had to give R one bottle a day of my breastmilk mixed with crushed up medication for her first 2 or 3 months of life because of a brain bleed at birth (all healed & gone now, woot!) and she did end up developing a preference for the faster flow of the bottle, so if you go that route, do what I didn't do and use size 0 newborn nipples.

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

MNmommas wrote:

You can do it, Mama! Sounds like you are on the right track, letting him nurse whenever he asks (aka always, lol!) and taking it to the lactation consultants. I hope you get a great one if you need to see one again. But I hope even more that you get good news on Monday!

W is 5 1/2 weeks and still suckles around the clock. Kid loves him some boob. DW has sore/tired nipples from all the sucking but luckily not problematically so, just sore from constant use. Sometimes I lend my nipples to help out, that's a nice benefit of having 2 lactating moms.

Have you considered pumping once or twice a day to get him started like you do w/the formula but being able to use your milk instead so it's the same thing the whole way through his feed, and to potentially give him in a bottle if you end up needing to go that route? We had to give R one bottle a day of my breastmilk mixed with crushed up medication for her first 2 or 3 months of life because of a brain bleed at birth (all healed & gone now, woot!) and she did end up developing a preference for the faster flow of the bottle, so if you go that route, do what I didn't do and use size 0 newborn nipples.

Thanks! I do pump twice a day (most days at least,) always right after he eats and when I do I get about an ounce and a half....so I know he isn't running out of milk.  My doctor told me on Monday not to supplement and I agreed with her at the time because he always seems to eat until he is full.

For a while I did use my own milk with the syringe to get him started (once I was pumping enough to do so) but now I don't have a problem getting him to suck, he latches right on and sucks.  I think the problem may be that he is nursing for too long at a time so he is more pacifying than eating effectively, and I'm wondering if I should try cutting him off so he isn't just pacifying.  I don't know.  I'm fonna keep doing what I am doing and see what the scale says Monday morning.  I just hate that he isn't totally thriving. :-(. But he is very strong so that's good.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Skin to skin. Baby wearing as much as possible. Nurse, nurse, nurse...he should be eating all the time at this point and that means sometimes remaining on the breast to just be comforted (this also helps your milk supply). I can't imagine working with a 3 week old as I know they need so much of your attention at this stage. Just keep doing what you are doing and don't supplement with formula. Wait for this next appointment and then reevaluate.

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

2momsinseattle wrote:

I am sorry! Nursing is hard but it definitely gets easier. I was convinced H had not regained his birth weight at his 2 week appointment, but he had and even gained more. I bet your baby has gained if he is nursing whenever he seems to want. Hang in there.  Heat and massaging my boobs seemed to help the milk flow a little.

I always smile when I see your signature line because you got your BFP on Thanksgiving and that was when I conceived.  :-). I'm hoping he has gained more than I think but he just looks skinny to me.  And last night looking at my birth photos he is definitely skinnier than he was then. We shall see tomorrow I guess.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

JayJay wrote:

My little dude is 3 weeks old and still below his birth weight.  He was born 8 lb 9 oz, dropped down to 7 lb 11 oz by three days old, started gaining it back and was 8 lbs by six days, but the  at his two week appointment was back down go 7 lb 14 oz.  on Monday, at 2 and a half weeks he was up to 8 lbs 1 oz and I have another weight check appointment this Monday but I am really nervous about it.  His arms as legs look skinnier to me.  I think that our problems started with our traumatic birth.  We were separated and unable to nurse right away while they worked on us both, and then he was poked and prodded over and over for his Iraq two days and he just almost refused to eat entirely.  Getting him to nurse was a real struggle and required assistance - my mom or sister would give him a squirt of formula with a syringe when my nipple was in his mouth to get him to start sucking.  Now he nurses all the time, my milk is coming on pretty darn well and is nice and thick and while.  The nipple shield fills with milk so I know he's getting it fairly easily. I do daycare and during the day he just wants to nurse constantly - I think to keep me to himself.  I noticed this weekend that he is eating on a much more normal s hedge.  Maybe he is pacifying more than actually eating during the day?  I'm starting to get worried.  Anyone else experience weight gain issues with their newborns?


I have no advice but I hope you get some answers tomorrow. I was hoping for an update from you but not this kind. I will be thinking of you both and wishing you the best. Hopefully he is just long and he isn't showing his weight. Keep us posted.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Thanks Jais.  I really believe that our problems stem from the traumatic birth.  It started him off on the wrong foot.  He is not a baby that handles stress well at all...in fact poor dude always seems stressed! I'll let you know what the doctor says tomorrow.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

I think supplementing with formula is definitely sometimes called for.  It can build baby's strength so they are strong enough to nurse and as long as you are pumping as well it shouldn't decrease your supply.  But in my case I am pumping an freezing excess milk so if I need to supplement I will use my own milk.  Unless they want me to use a high calorie formula in which case I will mix it into my milk.  It's not a supply issue for me and I don't think it's a flow issue either - the nipple shield will fill up when I barely feel him sucking.  I think its just him being a very lazy eater.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

I did not read well earlier smile I'll blame it on sleep deprivation. It's great that he doesn't need any "starters" anymore. I agree that a traumatic birth can have an impact, have you look up any books or websites with info on what things might help? I'm sure probably being at your breast 24/7 is a major help. Maybe he just needs time to "heal" so to speak and will catch up fine. Regardless, it's clear his Mama's going to do everything in her power to make sure he ends up just fine. A year from now I bet you'll be shaking your head, not able to believe that he had a rough start because of how strong and healthy he is. It's awesome how babies bounce back like that.

Fill us in tomorrow, we're all rooting for little buddy! :-)

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

MNmommas wrote:

I did not read well earlier smile I'll blame it on sleep deprivation. It's great that he doesn't need any "starters" anymore. I agree that a traumatic birth can have an impact, have you look up any books or websites with info on what things might help? I'm sure probably being at your breast 24/7 is a major help. Maybe he just needs time to "heal" so to speak and will catch up fine. Regardless, it's clear his Mama's going to do everything in her power to make sure he ends up just fine. A year from now I bet you'll be shaking your head, not able to believe that he had a rough start because of how strong and healthy he is. It's awesome how babies bounce back like that.

Fill us in tomorrow, we're all rooting for little buddy! :-)

What? Sleep depravation? Why it's almost like you have two babies in your house!! Hehe :-)

No I haven't really looked much up because I don't really know what to look for.  I mean of I had a supply issue or a flow issue, or if he wasn't latching or not wanting to eat all the time I would know what to look for.  It just seems like everything should be going just fine.  I'll talk to the doctor tomorrow and go from there.  And I'll definitely let you know what happens! :-)

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

I hope you are pleasantly surprised by what the scale tells you tomorrow!  Regardless of that number you may want to look into getting one of those baby scales if you think being able to weigh him at home when you want would be helpful (versus becoming an all out obsession which is what I think would happen with many of us!).

Anyway, it really sounds like you are doing everything you need to do to fill that baby full of goodness so keep it up!  Does he look a lot longer to you sinfe birth?  Maybe that's why he seems "skinny"?

Good luck tomorrow, we'll be waiting to hear how he tipped the scales!

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Shanny wrote:

I hope you are pleasantly surprised by what the scale tells you tomorrow!  Regardless of that number you may want to look into getting one of those baby scales if you think being able to weigh him at home when you want would be helpful (versus becoming an all out obsession which is what I think would happen with many of us!).

Anyway, it really sounds like you are doing everything you need to do to fill that baby full of goodness so keep it up!  Does he look a lot longer to you sinfe birth?  Maybe that's why he seems "skinny"?

Good luck tomorrow, we'll be waiting to hear how he tipped the scales!

Yes he is definitely longer.  According to how they measured him at birth he is. Lose to an in h longer but I think they were way off with his length  at the hospital.  Still, he is longer and that could be part of it.  I was thinking of renting one of those scales but you're right / it could be dangerous! Lol.  My mom says I  am stressing too much.  And I probably am - but when you are nursing and your baby isn't gaining weight its hard not to feel like you're failing him. Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

This might reassure you a little:
http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/newborns/scales.html

...mischief makers...
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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

MNmommas wrote:

This might reassure you a little:
http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/newborns/scales.html

Thanks for finding that! It does make me feel better.  I can answer yes to all of those questions.  He pees and poops constantly - and he pees a lot! He will have a very full wet diaper about every two hours  at least, most of the time. And he is very strong - impressively strong for his age.  Nice bright and alert eyes, etc.  Thats what has been confusing me - if he is having lots of wet and poopy diapers that would lead you to think he is getting a good amount of food.  Maybe he just has a high metabolism?  He would have to have gotten that from his donor!! Lol

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

The only thing I can think to suggest is to up your protein intake.  I noticed with both my last nurslings (one whom was a chubba chubba, and one who was thin!) that my milk seemed richer when I ate a lot of protein.  With Tiny I'd just dip into the peanut butter with a spoon a few times a day, and she started gaining faster smile

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Good suggestion Goobie. I don't eat meat so that could help. My milk does APPEAR to be very thick creamy white but who knows. I'm waiting at the pedistricians now.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Okay so last Monday he was 8 lbs 1 oz - the doctor gave him a goal of 8 lbs 5 oz today and....drumroll please.....he is 8 lbs 7 oz!! She said he is looking really healthy and that he looks longer which is probably why he was looking skinnier to me.  She wants him to come in for one more weight check next week just to make sure he stays on track and gets over his birth weight but she is feeling very good about him.  And my mother loves that I am becoming just as paranoid as her! That's what I get for making fun of her all these years. :-)

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Yay!!! Congrats! Great news!

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Yay!  Grow baby grow!

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

JayJay wrote:

Okay so last Monday he was 8 lbs 1 oz - the doctor gave him a goal of 8 lbs 5 oz today and....drumroll please.....he is 8 lbs 7 oz!! She said he is looking really healthy and that he looks longer which is probably why he was looking skinnier to me.  She wants him to come in for one more weight check next week just to make sure he stays on track and gets over his birth weight but she is feeling very good about him.  And my mother loves that I am becoming just as paranoid as her! That's what I get for making fun of her all these years. :-)


Yay for having a long baby. So glad that that was what is happening. At least you can rest at ease about that. Worrying comes with having a child or so I have heard and seen. Take good care and hopefully there will be more good news next Monday.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

This made me SO happy!   Mama milk is such a magical thing.  You are doing a great job, keep it up.

And tell your Mom we all eat a little crow when we finally see what this wonderful, scary journey is all about smile, and I sure she did too back in her day!

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Thanks  guys! Shanny it made me so happy too....I kind of cheered in the do goes office! I think the medical assistant thinks I'm insane. ;-) I'm just glad he is finally thriving....it's not a good feeling when your baby isn't thriving on your own milk.  But the doctor agrees with me that he probably had a slow start because he was traumatized and that he is finally now catching back up.  Good job Baby J!!

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

great update!

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

YES! Awesome job, Jay Jay and Baby J! I don't know you in real life or anything, but this update made me so happy for you!

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

I'll add that I believe there is a reason for everything and I don't think this is an exception.  I have been having SUCH a hard time with the idea of him getting better.  I love my tiny snuggley little baby as have been having hormonal bawling fits at the idea I him  getting bigger.  But then he starts losing weight and struggling to gain it back and it really makes me appreciate him getting bigger instead of resenting it.  I think that's what I needed!

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

MNmommas wrote:

YES! Awesome job, Jay Jay and Baby J! I don't know you in real life or anything, but this update made me so happy for you!

You are so sweet! Thank you! It was JUST the way to start out my week after a weekend of worry.  :-)

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

I am so glad that he has gained weight smile Hugs!

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Excellent news!!

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Keep up the good work! I noticed that you mentioned using a nipple shield...just wanted to caution that there can be a risk of inadequate milk transfer with its use, so please please please use it under the supervision of a IBCLC. Just a suggestion in the early weeks, especially with poor/slow weight gain. That would be my guess as to the root of the problem. Only a guess having seen it so frequently in my practice. Good luck and great job sticking with it!

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

That's good to know! Both my doctor and the LC I saw recommended I keep using it for now because he simply won't latch without it but I am working on weaning him off it.  The shield fills with milk very quickly with relatively little effort from him so I don't know that it's an issue, but it's something I will keep an eye on. :-)

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Note on the nipple shield.  In the first 6 weeks or so, you will be producing more then he needs, IF you can wean him from the shield before the 6 weeks mark when your supply starts to regulate more, and he has to work harder for milk transfer, then awesome.  If not, people have successfully nursed for months using a shield, but it is more likely to cause early weaning and less effective milk transfer.

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Goobie wrote:

Note on the nipple shield.  In the first 6 weeks or so, you will be producing more then he needs, IF you can wean him from the shield before the 6 weeks mark when your supply starts to regulate more, and he has to work harder for milk transfer, then awesome.  If not, people have successfully nursed for months using a shield, but it is more likely to cause early weaning and less effective milk transfer.

That's good to know. Since he has been a reluctant nurser and not gaining weight the way he should, I have just been letting him stick with what he likes rather than messing with him too much.  Now that he is starting to actually gain weight and nurse better I was planning on working more towards weaning him off of it.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Please don't stress over the nipple shield. Not saying don't give it a shot to wean him off of it but if it doesn't work just let it go. We used it for 5 months. It was a thorn in my side but made nursing possible for us. I really couldn't be bothered to try and get rid of it. One day (actually most days) it fell off, but this time she relatched sans the shield and that was it. We nursed for 2.5 more years smile 

Don't sweat the small stuff. Easier said than done I know.

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Thanks Shanny! That's good tO know. :-). The thing that I dislike most about the shield is that it makes it VERY hard to be discreet.  I don't really care for me...I am so not shy about it.  But I try to be discreet for others.

37 (edited by coryandamanda 2013-09-18 10:52:37)

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Awesome news.  #4 had a verrry slow start for us as well.  He was only 2oz over his 6 lb 9 oz birth weight at a month old.   He is now 6 months old, 18 lbs and wearing size 12-18 month clothes LOL.  So much for our "peanut".

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

coryandamanda wrote:

Awesome news.  #4 had a verrry slow start for us as well.  He was only 2oz over his 6 lb 2 oz birth weight at a month old.   He is now 6 months old, 18 lbs and wearing size 12-18 month clothes LOL.  So much for our "peanut".

Ha! When he decide to catch up he did it right! Lol. J is on track to be about 2 oz over his birth weight at a month, too. But he seems perfectly healthy so I guess it's okay.

Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

We had no weight gain and then slow weight gain for the first few weeks of K's life.  Many issues at play, but within no time she started gaining and gaining.  We were way too stressed out about it and had to go the pedi 2/week which was just making it worse.  And we used the nipple shield too -- only way K could get out enough milk.  She weaned herself off it around week 12 and we've never looked back.  It did not cause us any issues, in fact it was a life saver.  Sorry for typos on cell.

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Re: Poor Weight Gain - UPDATED

Jen727BF wrote:

We had no weight gain and then slow weight gain for the first few weeks of K's life.  Many issues at play, but within no time she started gaining and gaining.  We were way too stressed out about it and had to go the pedi 2/week which was just making it worse.  And we used the nipple shield too -- only way K could get out enough milk.  She weaned herself off it around week 12 and we've never looked back.  It did not cause us any issues, in fact it was a life saver.  Sorry for typos on cell.

Sounds like she had a very similar start as J.  I'm hoping we are over the hurdle now - we shall see at the next weight check.