or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breastfeeding Challenges › Still losing at 2 weeks old?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Still losing at 2 weeks old?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Sorry if any details are missing...I just copied a post I made to my LLL group hoping to get some more responses.....


DD was 8lbs 10oz at birth, 8lbs 4oz at hospital discharge (3 days old) and 8lbs even at 5 days old (pediatrician office) and 7lbs 15oz at 13 days old (pediatrician office). She is getting another check on Saturday and the nurses seemed pretty concerned that she still hadn't gained any weight at 2 weeks old. I had mentioned her popping off/not nursing when obviously hungry thing to her pediatrician last week and he said not to worry about it, of course now I'm thinking that may not have been the best advice. I'm also not thrilled about the pediatrician we have to see Saturday (he's not as pro breastfeeding as the other 2 we see..not horrible, just not great - I have a feeling he is going to suggest formula after breastfeeds). I'm also a little concerned myself that she hasn't gained yet (the boys passed their birth weight within a couple days of birth). I know there is plenty of milk (have had supply issues with the boys, but, I truly believe there is plenty of milk at the moment) because it can still drip/be squeezed out after she feeds...so I'm not sure if she just isn't taking in enough of it; or maybe she just is going to gain really really slow. I guess I'm just wondering what is normal loss and for how long after birth and also what I can do to help her gain...I'm thinking I will start with waking her up more to feed. I'm also going to call the lactation consultants at the hospital tomorrow and maybe Saturday see if they can weigh before/after a feeding instead of just once so I can see how much she is actually taking in. I feel pretty sure she is ok and is just an extra slow gainer (even my boys were pretty slow after the first month or so) but, of course part of me is a little worried about her too...

post #2 of 23

I would definitley talk to the lactation consultants as they would be much better help than a doctor since doctors arent trainedin lactation :) lol Most likely your doctor will suggest formula.  If it makes you feel any better, I have a friend whos babies tend to loose a lot after birth.  WIth each baby, before she even left the hospital, they lost a lb.  Then lost more before they saw a doctor again.  Her second baby started off fairly big.  If I were in your shoes, I'd just be nursing her every two hours, even if you have to wake her, that way you can be sure she is getting all she needs.  I'm pretty sure thats what a lactation consultant will say as well.  Good luck, try not to worry, as long as shes pooing and peeing like normal (poop at least once every 14 days....thats normal for EBF) then I wouldent worry!  smile.gif

post #3 of 23
I totally agree - I think you should see an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant because she really should be gaining by now. I would wonder if your LO might have a tongue tie or another reason she's not transferring milk well. In the meantime, I would wake her to feed often. Breastfed babies can go long period between poops but not until they're at least six weeks. At two weeks multiple daily poops is normal. Another thing that will help - and establish your supply if she's not transferring milk well - is pumping after feeds and using a cup, syringe or finger feeder to give her the pumped milk.
Edited by Megan73 - 12/24/11 at 5:06am
post #4 of 23

I am surprised your ped is not concerned. I am glad you are. There are a few issues that come to mind:


(1) Reflux. It could be causing her pain to nurse, so she is popping off. Obviously formula would NOT fix this issue but she may need meds.


(2) Her ability to transfer milk. This could be because of being tongue-tied (easy fix) or something like what I dealt with-- weak suck.  How strong is she when she nurses?  Do you hear her swallow?  Do you see her jaw and ear move as she nurses?  These are key! 


The fact that she is popping off, however, makes me think more of reflux. I would see a LC, but make sure it's a GOOD one (some are generic, I've found). I'd also see another ped. You do not want to deal with failure to thrive! This is prime time for brain development, so baby needs to eat and gain!


And yes, WAKE her to feed for sure.  It can become a vicious cycle-- baby doesn't eat enough, baby gets lethargic, baby doesn't nurse well . . .Since she is not gaining, wake her every 2 hours, but then make sure her sleep is "good" (carry her upright in a wrap, which means she will sleep better and if having reflux, will lessen the pain). 


Also see: http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/default.aspx  There is a link there for a Yahoo group which is great.


Start pumping now and taking fenugeek, oatmeal, etc.  Keep up your supply while you deal with this.

post #5 of 23

I was wondering the same thing about a milk transfer issue, if you think your supply is ok.  My DS lost a pound his first week and everyone, including my midwife and very-pro-bf'ing-ped, were concerned.  They continued to watch him very closely until he gained his birth weight back, which took him three weeks.  I did have low supply.  I think everyone involved should be wanted your DS to get back to his birthweight as soon as possible.  Hopefully an IBCLC can be of help, possibly with a before and after feeding weight.

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Mamas! I didn't have time to respond - I had been getting on the computer while nursing, but, I've been all hands on deck during nursing the past couple days so very little computer time...I did read though!




Her baby shower was on Friday so my mom was here all day (she's been a LLL leader for 26 years and nursed 8 kids - I think a total of about 20 years lol) she noticed that DD was only sucking for a min or or 2 and then just "hanging out" (wiggling her tongue but not really sucking) - so as a few of you suggested it is a milk transfer problem. My mom helped me keep her awake more and switching sides more etc. - I thought she was staying awake ok, but, /i guess she was kind of drifting off... yesterday she had her weight check and had gained 2oz (she was 8lbs 1 oz yesterday); we saw a different pediatrician than we had been scheduled with which was great and he just suggested lots of ways to keep her awake and said switch sides a lot and put her on the breast as much as possible -- totally different than the advice I was expecting! We go back in 2 weeks for her 1 month, and he felt since we had changed some things and she had gained that she would be ok. I went straight from there for a consult with the IBCLC and she said I have a really fast letdown and she believes DD is only sucking during the letdown and then falling asleep. We did before and after weights and she drank 1/2 ounce when I nursed her once of each side and then almost another 1/2 ounce when I repeated (so nursing off each side twice she drank just under 1oz). LC also checked for a tongue tie etc. and said she most likely does not have one. Her suggestion was fenugreek (to stimulate supply since DD wasn't removing much milk until now) and again all sorts of things to keep her awake, switch her from side to side many more times per feeding (whenever she falls asleep) and also she notcied a really small adjustment for DD's latch that needed to be made (she said DD was "getting away" with it because of the fast letdown, but, once the letdown was over it was making it hard for her to continue to draw milk out with her flutter sucking) so I'm attempting to correct that (I'm having a lot of trouble doing it on my own, but, when possible I am having someone assist) also LC suggested breast compression whenever DD sucks, so I'm doing that....so hopefully things are looking up; though I am EXHAUSTED and feel like I am never not attached to DD lol and it is taking a ton of concentration on my part every single feed...but, hopefully we will get more efficient soon. LC suggested we come back early next week and we may just do double check everything is going well. I wish I had invested in seeing a LC when I had problems with DS2 - I probably would have nursed him longer! Oh well, I am really glad I did this time.


Thanks again for all your support and advice!

post #7 of 23

So glad she gained something!   I would go in more often than 2 weeks from now, though, like your LC said,-- just for a weight check.  The reason I suggest this is because part of what she is gaining might be from length vs. body fat, if that makes sense, so it's something to keep an eye on.


RE: staying awake, consider pumping and giving her milk that way until she gets fatter/is more alert.  I know a lot of people are anti-bottle, but I used an SNS (VERY big pain) and also a Haberman feeder (baby got tired of using this), and the bottles worked the best.  That way my DD got the calories she needed w/o too much effort, as too much effort = more tired, less weight gain.  The bottles did not confuse her at all-- once she "got" nursing we stopped using them anyway.


Breast compressions help a lot-- did they teach you how?  Also, I found that skin-to-skin contact makes a different, as does tickling their feet and rubbing your hand up/down the spine.'


I am so glad you are hanging in there.  I hear you on the LC investment.  We spent a lot on 2 of them for my 2nd DD, but in the end it was FAR cheaper than formula. 


Oh, and this might sound crazy, but at one point, DD had gained weight, I knew my milk supply was back, she'd been adjusted w/cranial sacral therapy (something you might consider-- it made all the difference for us), but then her suck REVERTED.  I had a little talk with DD, telling her that I was just not organized enough to use formula with her, and pumping full time was out of the question-- she had to learn to nurse and stick to it.  I nursed her non-stop and within a few days we used no bottles of pumped milk.


A few links:


More by Jack Newman: http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml

post #8 of 23

Great suggestions.  A weight check with the LC in a week might not be a bad idea. Glad you got some help!!!

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

LC did show me how to do compressions...I had a vague idea, but, she went more into the timing of it etc. (like in the video). I have an SNS and bottles, and maybe 80 ounces of milk in the freezer (and pumping about 8oz/day - trying to fit in more sessions but its so hard with constantly nursing her and no time for myself or the other kids), but, I am hoping to save it for when I got back to work in 4 weeks. I am not intirely against feeding her with a bottle or SNS, but, I'm hoping to avoid it. On the other hand the main reason I wanted to avoid it was for fear of my supply suffering because I don't do to well with pumping, though at the moment I think the pump may actually be stimulating and removing more milk than the baby. I think I might go for one more weight check at least first and see if she is still gaining. I keep forgetting about skin to skin - I strip her down quite often but I forget to do the same to myself!

post #10 of 23

it sounds like you have some answers for what is going on for your lo, and i hope that all stays smooth! i would just like to offer that those weight checks can be really helpful until your lo is consistently gaining. i would go in even twice a week to be sure all is on the up and up. good luck to you!

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

So we went to the WIC office today so we could do a before/after weight without having to pay for a LC visit...she took in 2oz after a typical nursing session (a couple minutes activitly sucking on each side twice) - so much more than taking less than an ounce on Saturday! Since it was a different scale and they weighed her clothes and diaper on I know their weight for her isn't quite acurate, but, they weighed her at 8lbs 13oz before her feeding - she was 7lbs 15oz at the pediatrician's office naked a week ago, so I regardless of a bit of inacuracy, it seems she has gained quite a bit and must be at least near hir birth weight of 8lbs 10oz (she will be 3 weeks old tomorrow). She has also added in morning cluster feeding before we get out of bed...I haven't put much effort into these feedings, but, she's been kind of hanging out on the breast while I attempt to sleep or at least rest for an hour or so before we get up...that may be helping too. Her cheeks look chunky now too..soo cute!!!


So I think we are pretty much in the clear as long as we keep up everything we are doing...and hopefully she will stay awake better soon so I can mulitask while feeding her!

post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by LilMomma83 View Post



So I think we are pretty much in the clear as long as we keep up everything we are doing...and hopefully she will stay awake better soon so I can mulitask while feeding her!

Good news!!!

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ok, so we went to the pediatrician's office today and weighed her while there (same scale/no clothes as her other weights with the exception of the weight at the WIC office yesterday). She was 1/2 an ounce below her weight a week ago. :-/ We now have a prescription for breastmilk fortifier (though no pharmacies seem to have it!) and another appointment in a week and a half. Along with instructions to increase my protien and fat intake. I'm so frustrated!

post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by LilMomma83 View Post

Ok, so we went to the pediatrician's office today and weighed her while there (same scale/no clothes as her other weights with the exception of the weight at the WIC office yesterday). She was 1/2 an ounce below her weight a week ago. :-/ We now have a prescription for breastmilk fortifier (though no pharmacies seem to have it!) and another appointment in a week and a half. Along with instructions to increase my protien and fat intake. I'm so frustrated!

Oh my goodness, mama!  I have been there-- I know how frustrating and scary it can be.  If you have a chance, sign onto the Mobi group I mentioned-- they helped so much:  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/mobi/


What do you think is the issue?  Is it your milk or is the way the baby is transferring it?  When my DD had issues, right away my milk was "suspect" but I knew it was OK.  My DD's latch looked textbook perfect, but it was very weak.  I even had my friend nurse her (her LO was only a month older) because my friend had oversupply issues and let down quickly-- figured maybe it would jumpstart her nursing.  My friend noted that it was very weak as well.


If it is your DD, maybe you could try cranial sacral therapy, as I mentioned earlier.  It aligned her jaw.  I am not one to typically believe that alternative treatments work, but I was desperate.  A local LC did this for my DD and it made all the difference. 


post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks- I just requested membership to the MOBI group - I could have really used it when DS2 weaned so young! IT will help now though too - I think that's why I'm so emotional - afraid my milk will dry up and she will wean young too.


I think its a transfer issue primarily, and due to that she is probably mainly getting formilk. She sometimes doesn't latch properly, but, since Saturday we have been pretty good about fixing it (sometimes I don't check if she keeps popping off - it doesn't hurt went she isn't latched properly so the only way I know is kind of pushing on my breast which makes her let go alot). LC thinks it has to do with her only nursing a couple mins at a time - on LC scale her weight increased very little after a feeding, so she thought DD is not taking in enough and also primarily getting formilk (her poops were a little green, but, now they are mainly yellow/orange).


I couldn't find the fortifier, so pediatrician order us some that should be in next week, and told us to mix a little neosure with the breastmilk until that comes. I spoke to the LC again and she said to use the SNS so I get the stimulation still and also so DD will stay used to the breast (obviously since she doesn't like to work for her milk the thought of introducing a bottle is kind of scary!) I've done 2 feedings with the SNS and she took about 1/2 ounce from the SNS each time...it "felt" like she took the same from me...I used the smallest tubing, but, I did keep the bottle as high as possible (per LC's suggestion - she wanted the milk to drip a little into DD's mouth - the idea being that DD would suck if milk was coming out because she sucks during a letdown) well...she still sucked during a letdown and still stopped. I suppose she did (hopefully) take in a little more though anyway. She would suck through my letdown and then stop and even if I made sure the tube was dripping into her mouth she wouldn't suck or swallow - just let it dribble out the edge of her mouth! She did spit up a little though...she's only spit up maybe 3 times since birth...of course I want her to keep the milk in; but, I wondered if she spit up maybe she was more full??

post #16 of 23

The poos can be very confusing.  My DD had only one "green" poo then-- normally she had the typical BF yellow poo after every feeding (textbook!) but again, was not gaining.  She didn't lose, but she didn't gain.


Are you only using the SNS and nursing?  To me, the SNS was a lot of work (I had 2 so that I could have one drying while using the other), esp. since I also had to pump, nurse, and also had another child (I know you do, too).


Really, I would suggest some bottle feeding or other method.  If you need to use formula while you build your milk supply, use it.  The bottom line is always "feed the baby" and your DD needs to gain weight, period.  One of my LCs said "no way" to formula, but when I knew my milk supply was getting low (due to the poor transfer), and DD was NOT getting anything from nursing (I listened to her swallow).  I told my DH late one night.: Please go get some formula.  (My own pumped milk had run out.)  DH said he was so happy I said that . . .he knows how pro-BFing I am, so he didn't want to bring it up, but it pains me to think about . . .there is no way that my feelings about formula should ever have come into play when the health of our DD was at stake.  The look on my DD's face when we fed her via the bottle was amazing . . .she looked like, "Finally, food!"  It broke my heart that I didn't do it earlier.  I look back at those pictures of her 1st weeks when she was not gaining and feel awful.  I only had to use formula few times while my supply (pumped milk) caught up, but was grateful for it.  My friend also donated some milk for me-- maybe that is possible for you, too?


Do you have a hospital grade pump?  I am not great at pumping at ALL, but I used one (very often-- every 2 hours) and along with the nursing, oatmeal, fenugreek, etc.  it worked.  Having the formula handy took the pressure off, too, which I think helped my stress level and increase my supply.


Those first 6 weeks basically all I did was dedicate my life to feeding the baby. At one point, my mom's elderly neighbor called my mom and said, "She died" (referring to her partner) and hung up.  My mom, so worried about my DD, rushed over thinking it was me who called about the baby.  So scary!


Thinking of you and your LO!!


ETA, If you had a hospital birth, contact the LC there-- then you don't have to pay for the weight check.  Your dr should do those, too.

post #17 of 23
I'm so sorry you're struggling with this hug2.gif
I think your LC is right to suggest the SNS. If it's working for you, why take the chance of adding flow preference to the challenges you're already facing? I can tell you from experience that it's heartbreaking to have your newborn refuse the breast. You're doing breast compressions and switch nursing to get more letdowns and keep her awake, right?
ITA agree with the suggestion to rent a hospital-grade pump - it may make all the difference while you're working on her latch and sucking. The first eight weeks are really your window for establishing a good supply so I would pump as much as you possibly can. I know how tough it is.|Breast massage and compressions can double pumping output.
Your LO may well get better at nursing as she gets bigger and stronger!
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the support, mamas!


I'm just using the SNS for now, it's easier for me to use the SNS than have to pump every single feeding (I know I could never do that with my other 2 kids running around). My second son had a weak suck and lots of ear infections and went on a nursing strike that lasted 5 weeks and my milk almost completly dried up, I tried to relactate and was unsuccesful (my oldest son self weaned around that time too and looking back I think he was what really kept my supply going as long as it did) it took me months to come to terms with that...if the SNS does not work to get DD to gain weight I would be willing to do anything of course, but, I'm not quite ready to go to bottles having had it backfire in the past (we will probably start giving her one every other day or so to prep her for me going back to work; but, I don't want it to be anymore often just yet). I did just calculate and figure she is getting about 4oz/day from the SNS which is half what the pediatrician wanted to suppliment, but, I think I can double that if I use it through the night (LC had said I didn't need to use it at night - but, she also thought DD would stay on the breast longer if I used the SNS and she doesn't).


I'm seeing the LC's where I delivered - I got billed when I saw one after DS1 was born..maybe that was just because it has a consult vs. only a weight check though I'm still on state health insurance for another month or so in addition to my DH's health insurance - I'm just not too sure if the state insurance is covering the LC - I hope it is! I know DH's covers, but, the copay is really high..I think I may go back today for another consult and weight check though because I could use a little help managing latching and the SNS - I don't have enough hands! I have never met the LC on call today though, so hopefully she is good...I talked with her on the phone when DS2 was a baby and she had great suggestions but I didn't feel she was very understanding of my situation (like that I didn't have a choice to just take time off work and school (internship)...even though I would have LOVED to).


I'm using an Avent Duo electric, I have used a PIS in the past and couldn't get nearly the output from it, today I took the little massage pads of the flanges on my Avent because they were hurting my left nipple (I swear the thing has grown) but then I didn't really get any milk out and when I put it back on I pumped another 2oz. So I would be willing to try a hospital grade pump, but, I doubt it would work for me. I am kind of concerned if my motor eventually gives out...right now I'm just hoping it doesn't and it's not showing any signs of that, but, this is the second baby I've used it for.


I am switch nursing and doing breast compressions both while nursing and while pumping - I'm also doing that shake/massage/compress thing (I cannot remember where I learned it, but, I remember using it while trying to maintain supply for DS2) after my pumping goes to drops - then I can usually get another letdown and pump another 2-3oz. I'm getting 6-10oz in the morning when I first get up, I'm sure it will be less as I start adding other times in - I'm going to try and add to more sessions in each day so I can still put away some hopefully while pumping enough for the supplimenting.


I've never used donor milk, I'm open to it if someone I know well were to offer though...I am hopeful that I have plenty though, and my supply seems to be good still. I don't think formula is the devel or anything either, but, I just hate using it early on...I full expect to have to give it to her while I'm at work when she's an older baby though - the longest I was able to go without it was probably 4 months...though with my chest freezer (bought just for breastmilk lol) I'm stowing away as much milk as I can and before going to supplimenting I thought I might get to at least 6mos without formula.

post #19 of 23

If the SNS is working for you (not adding to your stress) then stick to it!  Bottles do not have to be your only other alternative, though-- I am NO expert, however. I am guessing LLL or an LC (or MOBI) could help.  I Goggled this quickly and came up with: http://breastfeeding.about.com/od/problemssolutions/a/equipment.htm 


The way I saw it for myself, my priorities were:

(1) Get calories in the baby with the least effort on her part possible (because my DD had little energy to begin with, so I didn't want her to waste it on feeding)

(2) Keep up my milk supply

(3) Get DD to nurse


RE: hospital-grade pump, I rented one on a weekly basis-- not sure if that is an option for you.  I had to use it religiously, every 2 hours (even at night for a total of 12 times a day).  Like I said, I am normally awful at pumping but it did work.  Since your pump is working now, I would stick with it.


Have you called LLL?  They might be a good resource for you, maybe even with finding out about a pump if yours dies (hope it does not!).


I hear you about work/school-- life doesn't stop when you have a baby.  I was lucky that I had just finished school 2 days before my DD was born, but if it happened this time, it would be very tough since now I have 4 other DC and work from home.  Stress is no good for your milk supply.


If anyone nearby offers help, take it.  This will not be like this forever, so take what you can get now!  My mom helped me out a few times (taking care of my other DD) and it made a difference.


So glad your supply is OK-- that is a very good sign!!!

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

I have contacted LLL. My mom is a long time leader (26yrs) which is helpful, and her group has a FB page so I've been in contact with her co-leaders and some other moms that way (and we have been to one meeting) We are going to a different LLL group on Tuesday as well - it conveniently re-located the same place on time as DS1's preschool - perfect!


We saw ANOTHER LC at the hospital yesterday after I had posted here..I decided I didn't want to take a chance of needing a consult today and them being closed. This LC was able to identify another latch problem (which actually stopped the clicking DD has been doing - what my mom has been saying is the problem, she just could not figure out what was causing it). When LC helped DD latch she nursed without clicking, took nothing from the SNS, and gained almost 2oz! However, I have not been able to repeat that latch but once on my own..I think maybe when her mouth grows it will resolve, but, I'm going to keep trying. In the meantime LC said to always have the SNS ready and just slip the tube out of her mouth if she is nursing really well. I'm getting a little better with it too I think...I've also figured out swaddling DD helps and doesn't seem to make a difference with the sleepiness.


I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster ride, but, I'm trying hard to take it one day at a time!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding Challenges
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breastfeeding Challenges › Still losing at 2 weeks old?