No weight gains... Help!

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emommyof2's picture
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 310
No weight gains... Help!

So I've been fighting an uphill battle with breastfeeding with this little guy. On the surface everything looks fantastic, the latch is solid, no pain, lots of milk (I can even pump upto 3oz after a feed!) He's gulping and swallowing for the full 20 min feeding, and he's not lethargic or fussy, in fact he's one heck of a happy little guy!

BUT...

He was born at 7lbs 15.5oz, and at his weigh at one week he had dropped to 7lbs 3oz which is the standard 10% loss high but livable. (I know for a fact my milk was late to come in) Then at his two week checkup he had only gained 2 oz!!! (about 9days after the first weigh so a bit over a week)

Immediately they thought it was my milk supply as I had issues with previous attempts at breastfeeding with my girls. So I was on Domperidone by that afternoon and upped my calorie intake, water, ate oatmeal, drank a Guinness, and made those breastfeeding cookies! Suffice it to say I did EVERYTHING anyone ever mentioned would increase milk supply. Add to that, the SNS supplementation with the feeding tube while breastfeeding... and all that we accomplished was that he puked if I tried to feed him any more than what he was getting naturally!

Four days go by and today we went into the clinic to be weighed again... and he hasn't gained an ounce... NOT ONE OUNCE!!!! I'm heartbroken... they again watched me feed him and are as stumped as I am, he is CLEARLY getting more than enough milk, his output is high (12 wet and 2 poops yesterday alone) but he's not gaining at all!

So here is where we're at... they want me to exclusively formula feed him for two days, while pumping during his feeding times. Then they're going to come by and weigh him again to see if he's put on weight... if he has then the problem is my milk (and I'm an epic failure) If he hasn't, than there is some underlying issue and we have to go to ped's for a referral.

I'm afraid that if I formula feed him for the two days even if he gains there is no going back, pumping will NOT keep my supply strong enough to continue (even with the drugs) and he may just decide bottles are that much nicer so forget all that work at the breast. He's only two weeks old and already I've screwed everything up, I'm in tears and have no idea what to do!!!

Total side note, he's also grown length-wise in leaps and bounds having been born at 20 inches and now almost 24!!! Am I wrong in thinking that his weight would be fine if he wasn't growing like a weed???

:help1:

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

Hmmm that is a stumper! It sounds like it is going great! Since he is only 2 weeks I honestly think it is too early to worry and be forced to FF. Both my kids were very slow gainers in the first month and I always worried but like you they had enough poop/pee diapers and were mostly content babies.
I don't think you have screwed anything up! Since he is growing so much in length I think you shouldn't worry yet. And since he isn't LOSING weight at this point I think I personally would give it another week. I understand where they are coming from by telling you to feed him formula for 2 days to see if he gains but you are right I think it may be hard to go back. Have you tried feeding him and weighing him right after he was done?? I would try talking to some LLL people. I am so sorry you have to have this struggle right now! But don't give up! It really sounds like he and you are doing great!!

LMCH's picture
Joined: 02/05/07
Posts: 2031

I agree...i wouldn't give up yet, either. Give it another week and see what happens. Is there a possibility of seeing an LC or weighing him on an infant scale before and after he nurses to see how many ounces he has taken in? I really hope you can get to the bottom of this or that he just starts gaining. I agree that it is good that he has gained in length at least. I can only imagine how frustrated and upset you feel about this...keep at it and see what happens in a week :bigarmhug:

emommyof2's picture
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 310

I have an appointment with the LC on Thursday, but the midwives don't want me to tough it out that long. *sigh* I talked it over with a friend who's a big LLL member and she agree's with me. Hubby and I have hashed out a semi plan and reasons ...

I'm anemic always have been will probably always will be, unlike most people I don't recover I just stay at horribly iron deficient. All the reading I've done today shows that one of the major factors in no weight gain babies who like mine are eating well and having good output is iron deficiency. Since babies get the iron through the breast milk from mom... if I'm low he's not getting what he needs. Combine that with the fact I'm still bleeding heavily I think that is where our sticking point is.

Soooo... I upped my iron (tripled it actually) and we've decide to continue breast feeding during the day and supplement with a bottle at night (so far so good) The formula will add calories and iron (and test to see if there are underlying issues) and let me get some rest. I hope that makes sense to someone not me... cause it took me a few hours of research and tears to put it all together! Here's hoping it works.

lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573

I too was going to suggest the feed &weigh. It seems you already have a plan though. GL!

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

Sounds like you've developed a plan you're comfortable with, glad you have an appointment to see the LC. All I can add is - good for you for hanging in there! A lot of other people would have thrown in the towel already.

:kaos3: :kaos3: :kaos3: :kaos3:

LMCH's picture
Joined: 02/05/07
Posts: 2031

glad you have a plan and an appt. with the LC. keep up the good work!!!

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

You are doing great! My babies were all slow gainers in the beginning, esp my daughter. Our ped suggested that I give her a formula bottle AFTER every other feeding. That way she was still working on my supply, and not having the bottle too much, but you could also do it after each feeding. It worked too. She lost more than the 10% (and started little at 6lbs 3oz) and didn't start to maintain/gain until at least 1.5-2wks. At her two month appt she was 12lbs, the doc was in shock. Smile

pico83's picture
Joined: 09/06/06
Posts: 3011

I'm curious, could he be getting too much foremilk? If you can pump 3oz after a feeding, that's the fattiest stuff, right? Maybe you actually have too much and he's basically just getting water. :shrug:

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

"pico83" wrote:

I'm curious, could he be getting too much foremilk? If you can pump 3oz after a feeding, that's the fattiest stuff, right? Maybe you actually have too much and he's basically just getting water. :shrug:

I don't disagree with the concept of too much foremilk, but to call it "basically water" is wrong. It still contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, antibodies... much different than water - just less fat than the later milk.

Joined: 08/25/07
Posts: 203

Just be careful..if you aren't pumping at night, your supply could go down because it thinks your little guy isn't eating. It could also eventually cause AF to come back early, which can also cause iron/supply issues and anemia.

I would perhaps do block feeding like mentioned above, so he does get that fatty hindmilk. If he is having so many wet/poopy diapers then I wouldn't worry about the fact that he's getting milk...it's obvious that he is. If anything, for your sanity, you could invest in a scale so you could actually see by weighing him how many ounces he is getting at each feeding.

emommyof2's picture
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 310

Update...

Well my plan worked out a little less than I'd like but more than some thought! LOL He had gained 5oz as of the weight check, and we're going into the clinic tomorrow morning to do another weight check and I'm hoping he'll have gained another 5oz which would put us back to birth weight!!!

He is totally NOT digging the formula, we went through three different brands and finally opted for the pre-made ready to go good start version to get him to stop puking it all up every feed! Even with all that, he won't drink more than an ounce through the SNS system without puking.

I totally agree with PP and the hind/fore milk issue, so I switched up the feeding from 15 on each breast to 25 on one and go back to the same breast if he is still acting hungry. I just have to be hyper vigilant to pump on the breast I missed on each time.. and sadly sometimes I've forgotten!

A side note, this much pumping is wrecking havoc on my boobs! Even with the nice expensive Medela freestyle pump (which is awesome) I'm sore from the time I wake up to the time I fall asleep! I'm hoping that he'll make the mark on weight tomorrow and I can see the LC tomorrow night and get back to the comfortable feeling I had before all this stress!