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Please1983 posted 10/9/2013 08:39 AM

My baby boy was 5 weeks old yesterday. He was 8lb when he was born and is now 8lb 7oz. He took over 2 weeks to make up his birth weight but between weeks 2 and 3 he put on 9oz but now between weeks 3 and 5 he has only put on 2oz. The health visitor was lovely and didn't seem overly worried about him yet but she wants to see him again on Monday and if he's not put on weight by then we might have to think about supplementing him.
He is pooing and peeing plenty and seems to be a happy wee man, he can be fussy and cluster feed in the evening but that's normal isn't it?
I just feel so bad to think that I haven't been giving him what he needs.
I looked out my pump last night and have used it twice now to try to get supply up and today I'm not doing anything I don't have to do, just spending the day sitting with him and trying to get him to feed as much as I can.
Anyone got any tips or stories for me?
Thank you.

UnexpectedSong posted 10/9/2013 08:48 AM

Congratulations on your baby!

You are doing just fine. Two weeks to regain weight is very normal.

Are you nursing him on demand? And nursing him as long as he wants?

Don't limit the duration of the nursing sessions.

Eat oatmeal. Drink to thirst. (Don't drink too much - just don't forget to drink.) Pumping is fine, but at this point, nursing on demand will help your supply.

He is coming upon a growth spurt at 6 weeks. Be prepared for lots and lots of nursing!

Keep up the good work!

[This message edited by UnexpectedSong at 8:49 AM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

Undefinabl3 posted 10/9/2013 09:03 AM

If he is a happy wee man and pooping and peeing then i would hold off on the supplements.

I was still in the hospital and DD was a friggen Hoover on the boob and they were all like 'i think we need to supplement. I told her she was crazy...and that was the end of that. This was my second baby and I knew the song and dance, so if you really dont want to supplement don't let them push you into it.

I would suggest making sure you are eating and drinking normally, dont skip out on a meal or drinking water.

Relax and do a lot of skin to skin.

And feed on demand. I basically become DD's pacifier when i was home with her. I could pump another 6 to 8 ounces after she was full. At my peak I was pumping over a pound of milk a pumping and storing it up. I felt like a cow LOL

You can pump if you like, i think you might get more supply if you pump right after you nurse, so its like the baby is feeding 'more' but its really you pumping.

Please1983 posted 10/9/2013 09:22 AM

Thanks for the replies.
I do feed on demand and for as long as he wants, normally about 35 mins a feed. But I guess a lot of that time is quite lazy feeding.
I will get some oatmeal.

UnexpectedSong posted 10/9/2013 09:26 AM

I have had days where baby nursed 45 minutes out of every hour... for 8 hours straight. I had time to get a drink and go to the bathroom. That was it. My husband would come home to find me in the exact position I was in when he left for work.

Your baby is gaining, eating, and pooping. He's doing fine.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 10/9/2013 09:35 AM

The whole "not gaining" thing is stupid in my opinion. There is a difference between being a slow gainer and LOSING weight. Don't be discouraged. Keep on feeding on demand and pump in between. Don't be surprised at what you see when you're pumping. Pumping doesn't create the same hormones nursing does to create a let down. And some people just need a lot of work at pumping to get anything. Pumping is not a good indicator of what is coming out when a baby sucks.

Cluster feeding is totally normal. And a giant pain in the ass. Babies normally do it in the evening to fill themselves up for the overnight sleep. Though they end up waking up anyway. Cluster feeding will go away.

Don't let people or doctors get you down. I stopped nursing my middle at 18 months because of outside pressure. I regret it to this day. I'm still nursing my youngest and she just turned 2. Do what YOU want to do but obviously be aware of how he is growing. If he needs supplementation it doesn't mean that you need to stop nursing. It's not just one or the other.

peacelovetea posted 10/9/2013 09:57 AM

I would look more at baby than at the scale -- is he "wet" (eyes and mouth moist, skin glowing?) and is he content? An undernourished baby will be highly fussy (to get more feedings) or utterly lethargic (because of an inability to keep fussing from lack of energy). Is he trying to start holding up his head and so on? The pooing and peeing plenty is the best indication he is getting food.

Is there a family history of smaller babies? Did you have a lot of fluids during labor, through an IV? This can inflate the birth weight.

It sounds like you are doing the right things -- just keep nursing. If you do decide you need to supplement (and I think watching and waiting is reasonable given what you said so far), use a supplemental nursing system on the breast rather than a bottle -- if you can pump enough to use breastmilk in it so much the better.

Another option would be to consider doing block feeds, so that baby is nursing on one breast for a longer period of time (2-3 hours say, you can figure out what works) so that he gets more of the fatty hindmilk. But I wouldn't be too fussed about it really -- but it might be something to tell the nurse you want to try to put off the pressure to supplement. :)

Love that you have a home nurse! The UK is so civilized compared to here in the US.

musiclovingmom posted 10/9/2013 10:28 AM

My dr suggested that I only nurse one breast at a time so that my babies got more of the fatty hind milk. He equated that milk with McDonald's French fries in terms of fullness and weight gain. I'm on number three and nursing that way still. However, my middle child gained only one ounce between 3 and 6 months and did not grow in height at all. Since this was concerning, we did his bloodwork and he was anemic. Since I was also anemic, we had to supplement. He didn't take a lot of volume (due to reflux) and I first I pumped and mixed the formula into breast milk, but I don't maintain a good supply from pumping. So, I'd say try whatever tricks you can, but don't discount that there may be an actual issue. Btw, my son is 2 now and small, but growing steadily, very happy and all boy.

GraceisGood posted 10/9/2013 11:07 AM

We are all so different and so are our babies.

It is good to be concerned, but looking back, I see so much worry I expended instead of enjoying my wee one.

My oldest nursed nearly hourly for at least 6 months, she hardly gained any weight, I kept a log of all diapers, nursings, times, length, etc. I was very ill during her pregnancy, but it was not diagnosed until she was nearly a year and a half. I think this was part of her issue, not that I was not providing enough, but that my body was disadvantaged during her forming as well as feeding. Tried to supplement but all formulas caused her to throw up horribly.

She is 17 now and still petite. She will be the shortest of all 4 kids to be sure, but she is healthy.

I had issues with baby 3 thinking my milk was not plentiful, so I ordered Mothers Milk Herb tea from my herbal supplier and wowzers talk about pump up the volume!!! Wish I would have known about it for baby 1, the herbs in it would have helped my own health issues as well, live and learn right.

Congrats on the wee one,


Sienna500 posted 10/9/2013 11:49 AM

Firstly, congratulations!

I see our children are just about the same age except my baby will be 5 weeks tomorrow.

Don't worry although I know it's easier said than done. It's like TCD said, there's a big difference between not gaining and losing. Not gaining isn't a massive deal at this stage, you know what health visitors are like they always make a fuss!

With my first child I was told to bath her with my second child I was told not to bath him, now I've been told to bath again. Don't let the health visitor worry and if you're little guy's happy that's all that matters.

Cluster feeding in the evenings? Tell me about it! If it isn't normal then we both have weird babies!

Please1983 posted 10/9/2013 14:43 PM

Thank you everyone.
I guess I know he's fine, I just got myself a bit upset and started to doubt everything.
I'm only 5 ft 1 and his daddy isn't exactly tall, so I was surprised he weighted was much as what he did at birth.
I have ordered some mothers milk tea to see if that ups the supply and he has barely been off me all day.
Congrats to you too sienna500!

Undefinabl3 posted 10/9/2013 15:02 PM

I just got myself a bit upset and started to doubt everything.

its easy to do when a professional is telling you that you might need to supplement. I mean, they went to school and got that degree and everything.


they know averages, and abouts, and sometimes. They have book smarts, but you have mom smarts. The one thing that I wish I had known when my son was born was that the doctors don't always have to get their way just because they have the degree.

DS wouldn't nurse, they practically pulled my boob from him saying 'if it doesnt work at first, then its pretty much never going to'. There happened to be a Breastfeeding coach there the second night and saw me struggle to nurse. She pulled all the stops.

Turns out, i just didnt have enough nipple. Medela makes this guard thing that actually helps extend the nipples...that helped, then the nipple shield helped even more. And then found out that a pacifier taught DS how to suck much better.

If i had just up and given up, I think i would have felt so bad.

Trust in yourself, trust in your gut. You sound like you are doing fine!

Holly-Isis posted 10/9/2013 16:24 PM

I ditto the suggestion of nursing longer or only on one breast. The fore milk gives the hydration, the hind milk gives the baby the fat. You could even try hand expressing from the breast you plan on nursing from right before a feeding so he gets the hind milk sooner.

As long as he's wetting and pooping and showing some growth, he should be fine. Some babies just grow slower. As a society, we're used to formula fed babies and tend to measure all babies against their growth. Well, proteins made for a cow will grow a body like a cow is meant to grow...more quickly. Proteins for a human will grow a human as a human is meant to grow...slower and using some of that to increase brain growth.

Congrats on your new little love!

JanaGreen posted 10/9/2013 17:30 PM

I had true supply issues (I suspect IGT), but I tried everything. Oatmeal actually seemed to help. You can take Fenugreek, and there's a tea called Mother's Milk. I thought it was gross but I drank it anyway. There are recipes on the web for lactation cookies - if you add enough chocolate chips they are tolerable. Reglan is often prescribed here, it didn't do anything for me but for some ladies it works wonders. Domperidone is supposed to be better than reglan but in the US they won't prescribe it for BFing. Not sure about the UK. Read up also about "power pumping" sessions, and using massage while pumping. That helped my pumping output a little bit.

My daughter was born at 7 lb 6 oz, and was at 6 lb 10 oz at ten days old, so for me supplementing was not optional - I HAD to. If you do end up having to supplement, it's not the end of the world and it does NOT mean your breastfeeding days are over. I still nursed until my daughter was nine months old, including pumping at work for six months. She got at least some breastmilk every day. I'm glad I didn't quit, even though everybody told me to. Good luck and congratulations on your precious son!

[This message edited by JanaGreen at 5:34 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

Holly-Isis posted 10/9/2013 18:15 PM

The problem with supplementing when the baby is already wetting 4-6 diapers a day and having regular BMs is that breastfeeding is supply and demand. If you supplement, your body believes the baby needs less and will produce less.

Pumping more, pumping one side while nursing the other and being sure baby gets that hind milk will do more for increasing milk supplies and baby's growth.

I almost forgot- some breastfed babies have fewer BMs as their bodies process the milk better. Look at the wet dipes and the type of poop. If it's green and frothy, there's too much fore milk and not enough hind milk.

lost_in_toronto posted 10/9/2013 19:34 PM

Not sure if this was said and I missed it but if you are nursing from both sides make sure that you are starting with the breast you finished with last feeding. This can ensure fore/hind milk balance.

tushnurse posted 10/9/2013 19:50 PM

Be happy with the amount of time you have been able to do this. You have helped your little man off to a great start.

Keep at it. Try to relax. My first was way early and a fussy feeder. I was unable to nurse or pump. I was crushed. Obviously now looking back had I been able to relax I may have been able to pump or produce milk as he got bigger and stronger. I was in no way able to produce nearly enough for my girl. So I formula fed both, they are now 14 and 16. My boy is 6 foot 2.5 inches and still suoer thin. My daughter is 5 foot 3, and thick and super strong.

My point is evenif you cant supply them with what you think you should, your babiez willbe just fime. There is a good reason there have been wet nurses since the time of Christ. Some of us just were not made to nurse.

Funny thimg is I had super easy pregnancies and got pregnant just thinking about it.

Please1983 posted 10/10/2013 16:01 PM

Thank you everyone. He's still feeding away almost constantly and will hopefully have put on weight by Monday.

Gottagetthrough posted 10/10/2013 16:26 PM

kellymom is a good breast feeding site

drink lots of water

check out la leche league in your area.

and most importantly, believe in yourself! =) I don't know why, but doctors and nurses freaked me out with breastfeeding. I was so worried with baby #1, who was a really good nurser! With baby #2, who was NOT as good a nurser as baby #1 I was so much more confident. Made a world of difference! =)

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