My breastfed boy is not gaining ...

cajuncurlscajuncurls Posts: 270Registered Users
Yesterday the home health nurse came by (son was a month early) and when she weighed Ian he had lost two ounces since two weeks ago. He is going to be 4 months old on the 25th and weighs 13 pounds, 5 ounces. He is growing longer, but not filling out.
I've been exclusively breastfeeding and was thrilled with it until I got this bit of news. What am I doing wrong? I did notice that lately he does not suck as long as he used to, so I figured he wasn't gaining like he should. Should I give up and switch to formula?
Did you do it for love? Did you do it for money? Did you do it for spite? Did you think you had to, honey?
- Eagles

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Comments

  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    First thing you should do is contact a certified lactation consultant or your local La Leche League leader. You shouldn't give up and switch to formula without trying to figure out what the problem is (unless you really want to). They may be able to help you so that you can continue to breastfeed exclusively.
    Also, even if you can't do it exclusively, you can supplement with formula (or expressed breastmilk) and still keep breastfeeding. Even if it is part-time, you and your son continue to get benefits from breastfeeding.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I wouldn't quit breastfeeding just based on one weight. Two ounces isn't very much, and 13.5 pounds is a pretty good weight for a 4 month old anyway, and maybe he just had a really good poop before the previous weigh-in.

    I'd probably just work on making sure his diapers are adequately wet and that he's alert and responding appropriately and seems satisfied, and make sure he was growing and gaining over time, not just once. Some babies are just smaller than others. It's the growth curve over time that matters, not the position on the growth chart.
  • NalliaNallia Posts: 2,979Registered Users
    Breastfed babies tend to slow down in weight gain at 4-6 months old. They don't gain weight the same way formula fed babies do. Many breastfed babies gain weight faster in the early months than formula fed babies and then slower in the later months.

    Here is some information on weight gain:

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T023600.asp

    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/25slow_weight_gain.html

    A 2 oz. loss would not concern me at one weight check. Both of my children slowed in their weight gain significantly at around the same age. My son dropped from the 90th percentile to the 25th percentile and has remained there ever since. He's 3 now. My daughter dropped from the 55th percentile to the 25th and has remained there as well. She is 18 months old. For both of them, it was a matter of growth spurts, becoming more active, and just plain old genetics kicking in.

    If your son is developmentally on track, healthy and seems like he is getting enough to eat (has enough wet and dirty diapers) I would keep an eye on it but wouldn't worry about it too much. If he continues to lose weight or doesn't gain anymore you may be having some issues with your milk supply. Some women start to produce a bit less milk when their children get a little older, for various reasons. Most can be addressed and fixed if it is a problem.

    Hope that helps!
    "...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

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  • FieryCurlsFieryCurls Posts: 2,904Registered Users
    My daughter weighed 12 lbs. at 4 months. She is still under 20 lbs. at 10.5 months, so he might be like her and be a small baby.

    ETA: Lilly was 3 weeks early.
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  • cajuncurlscajuncurls Posts: 270Registered Users
    Thanks ladies. This is my fourth baby but my first breastfed one, and i love it. I dont want to give it up but i want whats best for ian. I guess im used to having fat formula babies and up until now, he's been gaining like crazy. I did some internet research and i dont think he's getting enough hindmilk. I read the mothers diet doesn't make a diffrence in fat content of milk. That doesn't seem possible to me. Any ideas on how i can make my milk more fattening?
    Did you do it for love? Did you do it for money? Did you do it for spite? Did you think you had to, honey?
    - Eagles

    age.png


    age.png
  • NalliaNallia Posts: 2,979Registered Users
    cajuncurls wrote: »
    Thanks ladies. This is my fourth baby but my first breastfed one, and i love it. I dont want to give it up but i want whats best for ian. I guess im used to having fat formula babies and up until now, he's been gaining like crazy. I did some internet research and i dont think he's getting enough hindmilk. I read the mothers diet doesn't make a diffrence in fat content of milk. That doesn't seem possible to me. Any ideas on how i can make my milk more fattening?
    Your diet won't affect how much fat is in your milk. It even only hasa small affect on how healthy it is for your son. That's why breastmilk in women from poor countries is comparable in nutrients and fat content to those of women in industrialized nations. Their babies are just as nourished as ours. It isn't until they are weaned that they suffer malnutrition. Our bodies will take whatever it needs from us to make the milk to meet our babies' needs. Eating healthy is important, but in the long run, it is most important to our own health than to that of our babies.

    You probably don't need to make your milk more fattening. He may just not be nursing on one side long enough before you switch to the other. I made A LOT of milk and both of my children nursed on only one side at each feeding from about 2 weeks old. Doing that ensured that they got all the hindmilk at each feeding. Do you nurse him on the first side until he pulls off on his own or do you nurse for a specified period of time on each side? Does he seem hungry after eating? How soon does he get hungry again?

    There really can be any number of reasons for a two-ounce loss over such a short period of time. It could be something as simple as the conditions not being exactly the same at each weight check. How soon before being weighed did he nurse each time? Did he have a bowel movement before one and not the other? At this age, there will be times when they stop gaining weight for a short while and then they will gain all at once. Has he gone through a growth spurt recently? Both of my children would go through periods when they grew in length but not weight and then gained a bit of weight.

    You absolutely want to keep an eye on it and make sure he is getting everything he needs, but just know that one weight check with so small a difference at this age doesn't always tell a whole lot. You're doing a great job with nursing! :)
    "...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

    a33304d72319c25b3ad2d4d075ab3bc0.jpg
  • StarmieStarmie Posts: 7,169Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I just had a look in my sons baby book to see what he was at that age - at 4 months he was 13lbs. The nurse (according to the book - I can't recall, it was too long ago!) was pleased with him. He was 4 weeks early and always smaller and skinnier than my other son - still is now, and much skinnier than his friends (he's 11). For the first 3 months he was given formula on occasion as he had oral thrush which caused me intolerable pain and I had to give the bfeeding a break now and then. It obviously didn't make a great deal of difference to his overall weight gain.
    I'd go with geeky's suggestion of seeing a lactation consultant - mine was a lifesaver.
    3b in South Australia.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    It's pretty normal for babies to get more distractible as they get older too. That might be a reason for the low gain. I second the suggestion of trying to keep him longer on one breast. You could wait until he pulls off the first breast himself, offer the same breast a second time so he gets a bit more hindmilk, and only when he pulls off again offer the second breast. If he seems distracted when he nurses, you can try feeding him in a dimly lit, boring room, or you could trying buying a nursing necklace that he can play with while he eats.
    Both my babies also followed the typical breastfed growth pattern, gaining more the first few mohts then leveling off. They also had completely different body types. At the same ages, with the same diet (exclusively bf on demand) they weighed close to the same but my son was a little ball of chub and my daughter, while not skinny, never got that way. Babies grow and gain at different rates.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • cajuncurlscajuncurls Posts: 270Registered Users
    Yes, the problem may be that Ian is very easily distracted. And especially lately since he's found his hands! They are SO entertaining!
    He was born a long, skinny baby and I guess he'll stay that way. He was 4 wks early, 5 lbs 8 ozs but 21 inches long! All gangly arms and legs.
    It looks like my daughter may be the football player ...
    Did you do it for love? Did you do it for money? Did you do it for spite? Did you think you had to, honey?
    - Eagles

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