I think I took it for granted how easy my first 2 babies were in some aspects. They were both bigger newborns (8 and 8.5 pounds) and gained very well (both 22 pounds by 5 months). This baby? He is so tiny still... 8 pounds 6 ounces at 6 weeks. Yes, he was only 6 pounds 1 ounce at birth but he has only gained 6 ounces in the last 2 weeks. He has really bad reflux and I am worried he isn't getting enough. He nurses well but he just spits up SO much!! I don't know... he has an appointment December 3rd so I am sure we will talk about it then...
This Is Stressful...
I empathize, mama! My dd3 was (and still is) VERY petite (25 pounds and 36 inches at 32 months!!). She didn't have reflux, but it was stressful at first when she dropped off her curve (she was 8lbs 6oz at birth). Once it was apparent that she was going to stay on that curve I got used to it, but my first two were always at the top of the charts, so it was definitely worrisome for awhile. I think she was only 13 pounds at a year old. Thankfully I had a good doctor that saw that she was healthy and happy and following her own curve, which helped a lot.
I might be reading your post incorrectly and math isn't my strong point... but I think you're saying that in 6 weeks he has gained 37 ounces? If that's the case, then he's averaging 6 oz per week. The average breastfed baby is expected to gain 4-7 ounces per week.
But you're also saying that he's only gained 6 oz in the past 2 weeks (which means he must have been gaining an above average amount prior to that) which puts his weight gain just under the desired 4 oz per week. That might just be a low point that he's about to rebound from and/or he might also be due for a growth spurt. It's something to keep an eye on, but it's probably just a variation of normal and your doctor will reassure you at your next appointment.
I hope that you get reassuring news and that the little guy sees an improvement in his reflux soon. I've had two babies with higher than normal weight gains in the first 6 months and I'd be just as stressed out if I had a third who fit a different pattern (even if it were perfectly normal). The numbers say that he's gaining awfully well for having severe reflux though so you must make good milk :)
Does he seem uncomfortable at all? Gassy? Fussy? In my experience, food sensitivities can often cause reflux-type of symptoms. I would try completely eliminating dairy from your diet and see if it makes a difference. You would need to do it for a few days to see results, but it has been a night and day difference for my babies with food sensitivities. I know a LOT of people for whom removing dairy has made a big difference. I have been able to notice symptoms a lot earlier with each child. This time around, Camden is actually fine if I consume raw dairy (we own a share of a cow from a trusted farmer), but if I eat pasteurized cheese or something with milk in it, he gets fussy.
As far as weight gain goes, I would make sure to check out the WHO breastfeeding charts before becoming worried. The CDC has adopted these charts, which are based on breastfeeding babies from different cultures, as opposed to the old charts which were based on caucasion formula-fed babies. The charts have only recently been adopted, however, and have not found there way to docs offices yet, and most do not know about them. An article I read said that many, many fewer infants would be diagnosed as failure to thrive with the new charts... which means many parents were stressed out for no reason, when their babies were perfectly healthy.
We are basing his growth of the WHO charts... luckily our ped seems to be one of the few who uses them! He has fallen even on those. He seems really uncomfortable. I am already mostly dairy free, T2 (1.5 year old) has a pretty bad dairy allergy and can't even have like... a cookie baked with butter. Anyway, we had an u/s done the other day to rule out pyloric stenosis (thank goodness) and they did some blood work to make sure his electrolytes and everything were good. He is looking ok so far but they are still keeping a close on the little dude. We have another appt on Thursday for a weight check and an appt with a GI doc at some point.
Hugs. I'm sorry you're having a difficult time. That would be worrying.
I have not been able to eat even a little bit of dairy, or caesin or whey when I'm nursing my dairy-sensitive kids. The least little bit will make them upset. So, if you're only "mostly" dairy free, I would go all the way and really be strict about it to see if it makes a difference. I have other friends whose babies reflux was linked to gluten or soy. And the only way to diagnose this is just eliminate a suspected food for a week or so and see if it makes a difference. It won't show up on a test.
I tried eating a little bit of dairy with Camden (figuring they can't ALL be dairy sensitive, right? And ds1 was not as a baby), and he is still fussy a couple days later. Now I am thinking I will even have to stop the raw dairy (which some people/babies can handle just fine even if they can't handle pasteurized), and I am really bummed. But this fussy stuff is driving me crazy right now.
Good luck, I hope he improves soon.