Need help with low weight gain — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Need help with low weight gain

My EBF 11 week old has all of a sudden become uninterested in nursing after 3-4 minutes.  She'll pull off, relatch, take two swallows before pulling off again. After doing this a couple times, she'll quit completely for that feed. If I try to keep feeding her she just turns her head away and pushes at my breast before becoming upset. Unfortunately at her 2 month pedi appt., he was concerned about her weight gain and wanted me to try to up my feed times from 10-15 minutes to 15-20, which I would be happy to do if she obliged.  I met with a LC for some help and a weighted feed and my lo took in just shy of 3 oz (88ccs)  in about 5 and a half minutes, so I feel better knowing she's a super efficient eater, but there's still the weight gain issue. Between 2 weeks and 2 months, lo averaged just 3.7 ounces of weight gain per week. The week after her appointment,  I got her up to a 4oz gain in a week, which is still low. I've tried supplementing ebm in a bottle and she does the same thing as at the breast. Her diaper count is normal and she is otherwise content. The lc had no tips to keep her on longer, but suggested supplementing her with an ounce after bad feeds, but of course she won't take it. 

So I guess my question is, is it possible for a baby to be healthy despite low weight gain? And any tips to help keep baby eating longer? Thanks!
 

Re: Need help with low weight gain

  • It sounds like she's transferring well and having plenty of diapers. Is her pediatrician using the right growth charts? A BFed baby's weight gain will slow down more drastically than an FF baby. Best of luck! 
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  • Remember most pediatricans get little to no education in breastfeeding. I had a LO that had trouble regaining and gaining in general. If you know your LO is eating well I would attempt to feed every 2 hours. Otherwise I think 4 - 7 oz is good per week.
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  • Every baby is different and grows differently.  Have you asked your parents how you and the father gained weight and grew as children?  Maybe you were slow growers too?  It sounds like LO is getting enough.  If everything else looks good then you might just have a slow grower.  Like PP said, just keep feeding every 2 hours.  Good luck!
  • Agreed about the 4-7 oz weight gain being normal for breastfed babies. The pulling off could be just the baby becoming more distracted since they are more aware of their surroundings now or teething. I would try to nurse in a quiet, darkened room to help.
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  • I personally wouldn't worry.

    If you wanted to get more nursing in, I would try more sessions, not feeding longer. That doesn't make sense to me.
    Chad and Fawn

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  • Thanks. My pedi is pretty laid back and pro-bf,  so I suppose the fact that he was concerned was what concerned me. Up until her 2 month appt I was sure she was doing great at bfing. I know percentages don't mean much, but it still sounds alarming to go from 95th percentile to 40th in 6 weeks. I'm glad this sounds normal to others though too...here IRL, everyone just keeps commenting on how small she is....which I cant help but take personally. Thanks again for the feedback. 
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