Underweight Baby — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Underweight Baby

My baby was born at 5 lbs 13 ounces. Was EBF and was up to 7 lbs 3 ounces at her 1 month check up. The pediatrician was very pleased. I started using a nipple shield to save our BF relationship and let my nipples heal from their huge fissures from tongue and upper lip tie. Which I believe has lead to my current problem. My baby won't latch more than a minute or two without the shield. I'm talking frantic awful crying. She even went on a nursing strike after trying a few days to get her to latch without the shield. At her 2 month checkup she weighed 8 lbs 2 ounces and her pedi was very concerned and advised to supplement with formula after each feeding. She won't take the formula though! I've tried putting an SNS tube under the shield, bottles, syringe, cup, finger feeding, before feeding, after feeding, during feeding. She hates it. The LC is at a loss. I've been pumping to try to increase my supply and it takes a few sessions to get 3 ounces to give her a "full feeding", she will take BM from a bottle so it is genuinely the formula that she doesn't like. I'm eating steel cut oats, drinking water and I've just ordered fenugreek which should be arriving tomorrow. Does anyone have any ideas for what I should do in the meantime while waiting for supply to increase? It is breaking my heart that I'm starving her.

Re: Underweight Baby

  • I think it's weird your ped was concerned. She's gained just under a pound. Babies should gain 4-7 oz on average a week so your baby gained 15oz in 4 weeks instead of the average 16oz she should be gaining. I wouldn't say that's alarming but definitely try to keep upping your supply and feed feed feed(add an extra feeding session if you can). No pumping advice as I barely get 1/4oz when I pump.
    swelniakladythrice
  • I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. My only advice is to mix breast milk with formula to get lo used to the taste while your supply increases. Maybe ask for a referral to another lc?
    BabyFruit Ticker
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  • I'm guessing you've tried several kinds? The enfamil for supplementation is the one I've found that seems the closest to bm. It doesn't have that thick consistency that some have, and it doesn't smell vanilla-y like the similac.

    I would try making lactation cookies. You can google the recipe. These helped me. Also-fenugreek can make you and LO very gassy. Take blessed thistle with it (same dose, 2-3 capsules 3x per day) to curb these effects. My daughter was fussy and uncomfortable when I was on fenugreek alone and apparently this is common. The blessed thistle definitely helps.

    My daughter has had trouble gaining as well. As long as there are some oz gained every week, you're doing ok. A pound in a month is not bad at all. It took mine until December to break 10 pounds and she was born at 8 pounds 14 oz on 8/30! Just keep it up and continue working with your LC. Good luck!!
  • Thank you for all of the responses!

    We were finally referred to an actual doctor that is knowledgable about BF and we see her tomorrow. The LC speculated that there may be a reflux issue or something so we can get everything tested/worked out in one place. I will definitely order blessed thistle. Thank you @valerie1132

    @kdoak2015 I kind of was surprised too. I thought a pound in a month was average for BF. She went from the 3rd percentile to the 1st though :( and he showed me a line graph of growth where she was following the appropriate curve and had fallen off.

    The pedi knows nothing about BF though because he told me to take her off after 10 minutes each side... Which would further decrease my supply. I'm not doing that.

    We have tried several different formulas to no avail. I was thinking about trying to add this to it. What do you think? http://www.amazon.com/Medication-Flavoring-Pharmacist-Yummy-Meds/dp/B00HELNXES
  • So I did the math and because December was a long month it had actually been 5 weeks exactly between appointments meaning instead of the average 4-7 ounces of weight gain per week she gained 3 ounces/week. Prior she was gaining about an ounce/day.
  • Keep us posted after your appointment!
    BabyFruit Ticker
    doodleoodle
  • Somehow after increasing the frequency of feedings, pumping, and eating steel cut oats etc. also actually has lost half an ounce. We did a weighted feeding and she ate a little less than 2 ounces. The doctor is having us come in on Monday for a weight check, asked me to start taking Fenugreek, wrote me a prescription for a better pump, and is trying to get us some donor milk.

    But after the appointment something really weird happened. My husband stopped at the grocery store to pick up another formula to try that the doctor suggested (LO and I waited for him in the car) and LO was crying her hungry cry and I tried to give her formula she has refused every time we tried it (including at the doctors office earlier today) and she took it! She ate 2 ounces and didn't even whimper. After we got home I fed her when it was time and then tried to give her more of the same formula and she took another 2 ounces again! What in the world is up with that?
    wintersong
  • And after accepting 3 bottles of formula yesterday she is now rejecting it again. It's like she forgot she accepts it :'(
  • Sorry your going through this. We are in the opposite situation where we are trying to ween DD off of formula and I'm struggling thinking she's not getting enough. We have a weight check Tuesday and I will decide then if we can go off or if we need to continue supplementing. DD is on the smaller side as well only 8,12 at 5 weeks. I hope I'm doing the right thing for her.
  • @kdoak2015 I'm sorry you're dealing with weight issues too! Trust your instincts! You know what's best. What was her birth weight? If it makes you feel any better my LO is 10 weeks and weighs less than yours. I hope you can stop supplementing soon. What are you doing to increase your supply? I'm hoping to not have to supplement at some point as well.

    My baby did start taking formula consistently today. I had to warm the formula AND the nipple of the bottle to the temperature of my skin. Picky little girl. At this point she's had more formula than breast milk today.
  • @kdoak2015 I'm sorry you're dealing with weight issues too! Trust your instincts! You know what's best. What was her birth weight? If it makes you feel any better my LO is 10 weeks and weighs less than yours. I hope you can stop supplementing soon. What are you doing to increase your supply? I'm hoping to not have to supplement at some point as well.

    My baby did start taking formula consistently today. I had to warm the formula AND the nipple of the bottle to the temperature of my skin. Picky little girl. At this point she's had more formula than breast milk today.

    I'm so happy that your daughter it's accepting her formula better...what a relief! When will you get your hospital grade pump?
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • @kdoak2015 I'm sorry you're dealing with weight issues too! Trust your instincts! You know what's best. What was her birth weight? If it makes you feel any better my LO is 10 weeks and weighs less than yours. I hope you can stop supplementing soon. What are you doing to increase your supply? I'm hoping to not have to supplement at some point as well.

    My baby did start taking formula consistently today. I had to warm the formula AND the nipple of the bottle to the temperature of my skin. Picky little girl. At this point she's had more formula than breast milk today.

    Thanks, she was 7,2 at birth. We lost weight the first week were down to 6,8 and then by the second week we were 7,12 due to the formula. Now 1 month on we are 8,12. I'm a bit nervous by Tuesday she'll be less.

    To increase my supply I've been pumping after every other feed(trying to get atleast 4 in a day). I have a prescription for Dom which apparently ups the supply and my DD is pretty much on the boob all day. We also use a nipple shield due to latching issues. It's been a long journey and we plan on sticking it out until 6 months at the least( setting small bfing goals)
    doodleoodle
  • @longliveregina thank you! I'm trying to find one that my insurance will cover, but I think I'm going to have to end up biting the bullet and just rent one out of pocket.

    @kdoak2015 you're a superhero nursing her all day and still finding the time to get in 4 pumping sessions! That's dedication. When I'm home by myself I'm lucky to get in one pumping session.
  • @longliveregina thank you! I'm trying to find one that my insurance will cover, but I think I'm going to have to end up biting the bullet and just rent one out of pocket.

    @kdoak2015 you're a superhero nursing her all day and still finding the time to get in 4 pumping sessions! That's dedication. When I'm home by myself I'm lucky to get in one pumping session.

    Oh @doodleoodle, I'm with you. My DH has been home a lot this week so he's been super helpful. I don't even get s pump session in when he's not home. She's too demanding of my time lol. I barely have time to eat. Good luck with your sweetie I hope she gains soon!
    doodleoodle
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