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Hello ladies. I am new to this board. My name is Jennifer and I have a little girl named Lauren who will be three weeks on Wed. I am having concerns regarding her weight (she isn't up to her birth weight yet) and spoke with a LC who said it sounded like I am making enough milk and she is getting enough but for some reason Lauren is not gaining weight fast enough (she has gained a little more than half a pound in two weeks and they like to see a half a pound each week). My question is if I supplement formula, (which I am sure is what my doc would tell me to do) is there a good chance that we will be able to go back to EBFing soon? I really don't want to supplement because I am loving breastfeeding and the bonding it is doing but, I also want whatever is best for my baby. Do you think there is a good chance she will prefer the bottle over the breast (my nightmare)? This is really upsetting me because I am torn. On one hand I want to just continue ebf and hold off to see if it changes but on the other she is not gaining enough and I want whatever is best for her.
Oh and I am bFing on demand every 1.5 to two hours and I try to rotate breasts each feeding so that she gets the fatty hindmilk. And she has the normal amount of wet/poopy diapers each day. Any help or suggestions would really be appreciated.
I would talk to her doctor. It sounds like they haven't told you to start supplementing yet and if that is the case then they must have thought it was okay. I would just call and ask what they think you should do. If she has enough diapers etc. then it sounds like she is getting enough. So maybe there could be another factor with the lack of weight gain???
Actually, I forgot to add that her first week home she had to be supplemented every other feeding due to both weight and high levels of bilirubin. But, she started gaining weight at a good pace and her bilirubin levels fell so he said I could go with BFing again. And the people at the clinic didn't think that her lack of getting back to her birth weight was important enough to let the physician know (it is a long story but, I thought I had an appt today for her two week check up but it isn't till next week (when she will be almost a month old) so I demanded that they at least weigh her. But the doc said just before the weight check that he was comfortable having me wait till next Monday to be seen.
Weight in a breastfed baby is one of those touchy subjects. What it comes down to though, is your baby happy and healthy? If so, then her weight doesn't matter. She is getting plenty of wet and poopy diapers, it sounds like she is nursing enough and you are both nursing on demand and nursing from one side each feeding. Some babies just grow very slowly, and usually, it sets the pace for the rest of thier lives. If you or your DH are smaller, then chances are, she will be a smaller child. Many breastfed babies also grow much slower than what's considered "normal" anymore. The weight charts are based on formula-fed babies, who are taking in a set amount of calories with each meal. With the breastfed baby, your milk tailors to her needs, and will give her the right amount of calories and fat. Here's a few links on the weight gain of breastfed babies.
How can I increase my baby's weight gain: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growt...n_increase.html
Is my baby getting enough milk?: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html
Usually, formula supplements aren't neccessary for the breastfed baby. Your concerns are valid, it can cause nipple preference now or later on, and it will only hurt your supply. Also, formula doesn't always help like doctors like to think. My cousin has the same problem with her 7 month old son. She supplemented from the start because he wasn't gaining weight "fast enough", or so the doctor's said. She continued with breastfeeding and supplementing for several more months until he went on a nursing strike. He now is strictly formula-fed and he isn't gaining weight any quicker. It's sad because it ruined her breastfeeding relationship. I like to use her as an example, though, becuase it shows that formula isn't always the answer. Some babies do just gain at a slower pace, just like there are babies on the other end of the scale, that gain quicker.
Andrea, mom to Abigail (6) Annabelle (4) and Alexis (1)
Thanks ladies. I am going to keep going with EBF. I really think that she is doing fine, I am going to keep doing it how we are doing it and hopefully she will have a good growth spurt this week. I really appreciate the help, I feel pretty commited to making BFing work.
One more thing, with the bilirubin levels in the beginning to they only reccomend formula because it is a quick fix. The levels would have gone down with breastfeeding, but it may have taken a little longer. With them being so quick to push formula on you in the beginning I would be hesitant to bring up the weight gain concerns to these same people/doctors. I'm sure you know what the answer would have been that's why you came here first
I think you are doing a good job, and if she is gaining anything at all then keep doing what you are doing.
With them being so quick to push formula on you in the beginning I would be hesitant to bring up the weight gain concerns to these same people/doctors. I'm sure you know what the answer would have been that's why you came here first[/b]
Ditto to that! They seem very eager to push the formula and it sounds like your gut is telling you not to supplement. She is gaining, which is important, but it's just a slower pace, which is normal in many breastfed babies.
Also, check out the sticky at the top of the page about the 3-day nursing sabbatical. Lala wrote it out for everyone to reference and it's been known to help increase the weight gain in slower gaining babies.
Andrea, mom to Abigail (6) Annabelle (4) and Alexis (1)
Ditto the other girls. The link from Kellymom is a great one too. Has your daughter reached her birth weight yet and just slow gaining?
BF babies are slower gainers initially, and I say this very hesitantly. THe reality is - BF babies arent "slower" gainers, they gain perfectly. Its that FF babies grow too much too fast. BFing is the standard to judge by - NOT FF babies!
The WHO has a grwoth chart for BF babies so be sure your baby is being compared apples to apples rather than against the STANDARD growth charts peds use which are for FF babies from the 1970s!
Also - considering that your ped suggested formula early on for elevated bili levels (simple common newborn jaundice) and the heightened concern over weight gain tells me your ped is much more accustomed to dealing with FF babies (dont worry - most peds are). However, you may want to consider checking around to find a more BFing friendly ped. Get in touch with the LLL - LCs sometimes are helpful in this area - but their ties are tight & their wallets rely on peds, so they may not always give the full scoop LLL is unbiased, mother to mother support & the members will let you know really quick who is most supportive of BFing
Dont worrya bout supplementing - I think your fears are well founded & there is more at risk by supplementing than there is by just EBFing Count diapers to rest assured that your baby is well nourished & hydrated & youll be fine. At this age 5- 6 wet and/or poopy diapers is all you need to know that your providing your baby with enough. As long as shes happy, alert, developing and thriving, youre doing your job