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DD losing weight- Update post #10

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

DD2 is almost 6 months old and EBF.  I think she may have a dairy or wheat sensitivity, so I have removed that a few days ago.


She has lost almost a lb in a month (according to my scale, not the doc).  She has had a few colds, but a lb seems like quite a bit.


She was born big (9lbs, 12 oz) and she weighs 15.5 lbs now at almost 6 months (DD1 was almost 20 lbs at this stage).  She is also long (27 inches)


I am tandem nursing my 2.5 year old (she nurses 2-5 times in a day).  I don't know if this could be harming DD2.  


I am just feeling a little scared at this point and want to make the best choices for both my girls.


Thanks for any advice or insight.  

post #2 of 10

A 1# weight loss in a 6-month old could definitely be a concern.  Lots of possibilities about what could be going on here.  You mention that the weight loss is on your scale.  Are you comparing two weights made on the same scale, or her weight now on your scale compared to a weight on the Dr's scale a month ago?  Comparing weights on different scales is always problematic, because they can be very different.  So the first step might be to schedule a weight check w/ her Dr., ideally on the same scale she was last weighed on.


She was a big girl at birth!  Intrauterine growth is more dependent on Mom's genetics & nutrition than on baby's genetics, so really big babies will eventually slow their growth to meet their genetic potential.  This doesn't mean weight loss, but it could explain if her growth has slowed significantly.  And EBF babies often grow more rapidly at first and more slowly as they get older.  What's her weight gain been like up until now? 


You mention dietary sensitivities.  Any reasons for these suspicions besides slow growth?  Mucosy stools, rashes, gassiness/fussiness?  Lots of info about food allergies at La Leche League & kellymom (http://www.llli.org/NB/NBallergies.html, http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/food-sensitivity.html).  It will take at least 2 weeks for dairy to clear your system, so you've got some time to wait.  Remember to watch for hidden sources of possible trigger foods (look for milk protein as casein, whey; hidden gluten in processed foods).


You also mention illness.  Did she significantly reduce her nursing recently?  Have a nursing strike?  Diarrhea associated with illness?  All of these could actually lead to weight loss.  She would most likely be nursing more frequently to make up the lost calories if this is the case.  Frequent nursing & re-check weight in a couple of weeks in this case.


Keep us updated!

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 


I weighed her on my scale both times.  It only does .5 lb incraments, so there is some room in there for miscalculation, but she lost weight for sure from 4 months.  I weighed her the next day and she was about 16 lbs, so I don't know what could change her weight by .5 lbs in a day.... I was offering nursing just about every hour, so ?????


I suspect sensitivities because her sister had a wheat sensitivity and had similar behaviours at 6 months (screaming gas at 12am and 4am), DD2 just started this about a week ago.  She had some excema at birth and until I gave up dairy (for about 6 weeks) when she was a few months old.  It has come back slightly, but only one small spot on her forehead. She seems to have less gas now, but is teething, so sleep has not been restful even though I have not had dairy or wheat in about a week.  


As far as illness, she had 3 colds back to back since Christmas and also the flu (just a fever and achy).  She seemed to nurse normally, maybe a few times less at night because of a stuffed nose, but that was just after Christmas, and she was weighed since then.


So, I weighed her about an hour ago and she was between 16.5 and 17.  So crazy.  Same scale and everything.  Oh well, she has been nursing a ton for the past week, so a growth spurt I guess.  I don't think a sensitivity could be cured that quickly.



post #4 of 10

Is there any way that you can consult with a health professional? My first son was diagnosed with FTT at 5.5 months old after rapidly dropping weight. We found out later that he was allergic to gluten and whey which was most likely the underlying cause of the problem. It was really scary and I wish I would have gone to the doctor the first second that I thought something might be wrong instead of waiting a week. Better safe than sorry...hope everything works out well for you guys!

post #5 of 10

With weight concerns, it's generally a good idea to use the scale at the doctor's office.  Home scales can vary 1/2 lb or more from one weigh-in to the next (read the tests on the Consumer Reports web site -- quite telling and a huge variation in accuracy between brands) so they may not be accurate.  Also, make sure weighing conditions are identical each time -- clothes or not, same time of day, recent pee or not.  Best bet is to weigh naked just after or just before nursing.  


You asked about tandem nursing.  If you have any concerns about weight, I'd be sure the baby is nursing first.  If you're nursing on demand, aiming for 8-12x/day round the clock, tandem nursing shouldn't cause a problem.  The only thing that raises a red flag for me is that you said your older child nurses 2-5x/day -- the inconsistency of that could affect your supply - on a day she nurses 5x, she's consuming more of your supply than if she nurses twice.  Unless the pattern is similar for days on end, your body won't respond to her increased nursing by producing more milk.


Anyway, I'm a huge advocate of doctor's scales for accuracy, plus watching for enough really wet diapers per day, being sure pee is clear, and behavior is normal...

post #6 of 10

It sounds like more of an issue of having a scale that isn't very precise, which is typical of a home scale.  We just tried to purchase one to track the weight of our sick old cat and all spent 24 hours weighing ourselves a LOT since we've never had a scale.  For the adults, it would vary weight up to 10# based on time of day, when we'd last ate, used the toilet, etc.   For the 2-year old (about 23#), almost 2 # variance.  For the sick cat (about 8#), 4# variance depending on how cooperative he was.  Needlesss to say, I don't believe anyone's weight changed that much in 24 hours.  Scale went back.  But I can easily see how weighing a baby before/after a poop, nursing session, even just being squirmy, could mean a # weight difference, especially if the sensitivity is only 1/2# increments.  Consider if baby was just below that 1/2" a month ago, had just nursed, and hadn't pooped that day. . . then a month later, baby hadn't nursed recently & had a big poop. . . easily could appear that baby weighed "less".


Personally, as long as your pediatrician is not over-reactive, I would set up regular weight checks at the Dr's office on the same scale each time.  Perhaps weekly until you are sure she is continuing to gain, then monthly to track.  If your ped is very reactive, though, you might be setting your baby up to for lot of testing and interventions, pressure to wean or supplement, that may not be indicated.  Often IBCLCs have scales available and some baby stores do as well.  Again, make sure to use the same scale each time and be consistent about time of day, feeding, and the like. 



post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

So she had her 6 month check up yesterday.  She gained 10 oz in 2 months.  Doc doesn't want to do anything at this point other than wait and see.  She is hitting all milestones and did grow an inch and her head grew.  Doc does not want to do any allergy testing at this point, but seems to me that we should.  


DD1's weight gain stalled out at 7ish months when she started crawling, but DD2 is not crawling or moving yet, so there is no explanation for slow weight gain.  Can tandem nursing be to blame (DH seems to think so.)  


DD2 was born at 9 lbs, 12 oz and is now 16 lbs, 6 oz.  She gained pretty well all along until after about 5 months.



post #8 of 10

I haven't read all the other replies to your post so forgive me if I'm repeating someone else- but what first came to mind was the question...is DD2 getting the hind milk when she nurses? Sometimes when nursing 2, it is helpful to take note of the "rotation" :) to be sure the younger child is getting the hind milk.  Sometimes the older child will want to nurse upon seeing the younger sibling nursing and end up with the hind milk which is richer in nutrients than the first to flow which provides hydration and some nutrients- but the hind milk is the liquid "gold". 



post #9 of 10

I'm so glad that you updated! I have been wondering how everything was going for you and your baby and I am glad to hear that she isn't dropping weight.


Do you have any breastfeeding support groups in your area that have a scale you can use? Do you have a naturopath who would be willing to do allergy testing? We didn't find out until my son was almost 5 and MAN our lives would have been SOOOOO much easier had we found out about his allergies sooner. Our naturopath did an actual blood test and she was really gentle and sweet about it. I think it cost us around $300 out of pocket for the entire appointment including the tests, and we were new patients.


Good luck, and remember to listen to your gut instincts as well as all the other advice you are getting.


post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 




Well, I took her to a naturalpath and we have been doing some gut healing (seems she had some type of intestinal infection) and have removed gluten.  She was up to 17 lbs at 7 months and is now at 17 lbs, 4 oz.  Not great gaining, but at least something.  


We did some allergy testing today and I should have some type of results in 2 weeks.  


She is 28 inches long... but doesn't look that long and skinny.  

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