Weight Loss in 8wk old?! So worried... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Weight Loss in 8wk old?! So worried...

Our 8 wk old DD is losing weight, and I have no idea why! She's been nursing like crazy (all 3 older siblings were EBF with no problems - I make a TON of milk), she barely ever spits up, she's an angelic little baby - everything else about her physically & developmentally seems perfect, but she's not gaining weight.


She is petite, was 19", 6lb 14.5oz at birth. At our 2day PP with the midwives, she had gone down to 6lb 7oz, but gained it all back by her 2wk visit with the ped and grown to 20.75". The 6wk PP checkup with midwives had her up to 7lb 2oz, so I thought we were all good.


Today's 8wk checkup with the ped had her at 6lb 11oz, and 22". I was floored - how could she nurse constantly, but still lose weight?! None of my other babies have done that, they've all been perfectly plump by 8wks. My DH & I are on the tall/thin side, so it's not unreasonable to think she's just naturally a beanpole...but weight LOSS is pretty disturbing.


The Dr. drew some blood to run some tests, and we are nervously waiting for the lab results. He said he knows I'm a pro at BFing, and doesn't think anything is wrong with my milk supply or baby's nursing habits...and though he hates recommending formula, he thinks I should supplement to give her extra calories. It makes me feel so sad and scared, and it's so easy to blame myself, like I'm not doing good enough for her.


Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or advice here?? What could be going on with my little angel-baby?!
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#2 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 04:16 PM
 
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It sounds like you are doing everything right so don't beat yourself up! You're awesome! Can you see an IBCLC for another opinion? Can they have you go back for a weight check? Different scales will be different. I would be hesitant to add formula. Your milk has lots of great fat and calories in it. Formula may be harder to digest and babies can't absorb all of the nutrients as easily because it's not natural. Do you do massage before you nurse? Massaging and basically jiggling can help loosen the fat that is stuck to the walls of the milk ducts. I believe Kellymom.com has more info on fat in milk.

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#3 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 04:24 PM
 
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Three things come to mind:
-two different scales, see if the midwives will weigh her again.
- check for tongue and lip tie in case there is a milk transfer problem
-do breast compressions, sandwich your breast to increase the milk transfer (google: Jack Newman and breast compressions)
Good luck, I hope everything works out well.
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#4 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 04:29 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Asiago;18126201]
-two different scales, see if the midwives will weigh her again.
/QUOTE]



Also, wet & poop dipers?
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#5 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[quote=Nazsmum;18126225]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiago View Post
-two different scales, see if the midwives will weigh her again.
/QUOTE]



Also, wet & poop dipers?
Thanks mamas! <3 To answer questions...


Going back Mon for a weight check. Not sure if the midwives' scale is any different; got similar weights within a few days, and both offices only have one infant scale, so it was really shocking.


I will check with an IBCLC, just for another opinion - I'm very skeptical about the formula too, can't stand the thought of giving it to her if I don't have to! Plus, it seems counter-intuitive to replace a feeding of nature's perfect food with a feeding of processed junk...like a body builder trying to gain weight by replacing a meal of chicken & veggies with a Big Mac & Coke, ya know?


As for massaging/compressions, I actually didn't know it loosens fat in the ducts, but I've always instinctively done that anyway! I noticed that it increases milk transfer while pumping, and have done it ever since.


Doesn't seem that she has tongue or lip tie, or any transfer issues...she drinks in long, deep gulps, as I have a very active let-down reflex. I also make sure she finishes each breast before switching sides - learned that one with DS1 after oversupply issues!


Diapers seem totally normal, she goes through about 6 - 8 per day, with 3-4 of them poopy...sometimes major blowouts (she is so teensy the diapers don't fit tightly around her legs).


One thing that occurred to DH after the Dr. asked if I was taking any medications...I have been taking a Chinese herbal supplement to help with PPD, and began taking this new blend last Wed. This would coincide with the weight loss - not sure if it could be the culprit?


Dr. called with lab results, and most things look fine - she has slightly low blood sugar, and borderline elevated levels for liver function (but bilirubin is low), otherwise everything is great, so he's not concerned yet. Still waiting on the thyroid test.


Sigh. I'm going to look into those herbs, quit taking them until I know for sure.
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#6 of 28 Old 10-18-2014, 03:27 AM
 
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herbal supplement? I would check into that...Jack Newman is a good to check with. A LLL leader might have one of his books.
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#7 of 28 Old 10-18-2014, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well it looks like that supplement contains at least 4 different herbs that should be avoided while BFing: Licorice, Angelica (dong quai), Ginseng, and Kava. There are several others I couldn't find info on, so not sure if they're safe. Can't believe neither my acupuncturist or I thought to check!


Since I can't tolerate the old standards (fenugreek & blessed thistle), I found some other herbs that help increase milk production, fat content in milk, and balance hormones: Goat's rue, Chaste tree, Marshmallow root, Red Raspberry leaf. Maybe Motherwort to keep me on an even keel...PPD is improving, but don't want it to come back!! I stopped the other herbs and will start with these, as well as increasing my intake of good fats like coconut oil...hopefully that's all it will take.


I'm also calling my local LLL leader for a second opinion, and see if she has any other suggestions. Sheesh, by the time I'm done with this, and after all the problems I had with DS1, I should just become an IBCLC myself!!


Thanks mamas for the Jack Newman reference - he's got a ton of great info on his site! Will update when all her test results are in, and she has another weight check...crossing my fingers that she starts gaining now!!
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#8 of 28 Old 10-18-2014, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and one other fun thing to add to the mix: DS2 woke me up today by saying "Mama, I feel like I'm gonna throw up & I have sloppy poops!" So just after I helped him clean up and gave him some homeopathic arsenicum, he spewed on the kitchen floor.


Treating him like he's got the plague - the last thing we need right now is the baby catching the stomach flu!! Arrgh! When it rains, it pours.



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#9 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 05:23 PM
 
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Oh, sorry to hear that! Hope recovery is swift. As per baby, please keep us posted (only if you have time). Good thing you looked into the supplement, that may have been the issue. Also testing at birth, PKU (newborn screening) would likely have thyroid levels. It may be good to compare the results of the test just taken. Each state seems to different newborn screening panels, but many have the thyroid on it.
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#10 of 28 Old 10-27-2014, 05:53 PM
 
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How are things going?
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#11 of 28 Old 10-30-2014, 05:27 PM
 
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Please update if you have the time, I hope baby is gaining. Best wishes.
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#12 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just an update, as I haven't had much time to get on here this month!!


Shortly after my last post, Alana went to a specialist at Children's Liver/GI clinic, and was admitted to the hospital for 6 days. They refused to let me BF her, as they worried the herbs were still in my system, while they fed her high-calorie formula. When I used my phone to look up how long the herbs stay in your system (24 hrs max), they finally conceded that I could begin "tomorrow".


"Tomorrow" came, and upon arrival at the hospital, they told me I still couldn't BF, as they were now worried about a condition called galactosemia, where one cannot digest milk sugars (human or animal). Again, I looked it up, and with this condition symptoms present within the first few feedings after birth, and the baby is incredibly sickly...no way she had this! Other than being underweight, she was healthy, and the sweetest, happiest little baby anyone could imagine.


They put her on a soy formula - I told them I was concerned about that, as soy allergy & intolerance runs in our family (not to mention the GMO chemicals and phytoestrogens...but I digress). When the nurse came in with it, she asked about my concerns that Alana would tolerate the soy - I said, "I can tell you right now if she'll be ok with it" and proceeded to muscle test her. She tested weak, and I said "Nope - she won't tolerate it." The nurse looked at me as if I'd just sprouted a second head. Sigh...crunchy mamas don't belong in the hospital!!


By this time, pumping wasn't yielding anything - literally, one drop on the breast shield - and mastitis was beginning, in spite of using every trick in the book. Even the LC at the hospital was stumped. I began to wait until the nurses had just come in for her vitals, and I was pretty sure we'd be alone for at least 30 min or so, and stealthily nursed her anyway. It was the only way I could clear out my ducts and keep up my supply!!


Within a day, she had dark red circles around her eyes and a blistered diaper rash from the soy formula...not helped by the chemical-laden Huggies they used in the hospital, which all my kids have been sensitive to. I finally bought some Seventh Generation diapers and brought them in, along with some Motherlove diaper ointment...again, they all thought I was crazy.


Her liver enzymes normalized, and the labs they ran (and boy, did they run labs! she was a pincushion, poor girl!)...they all came back negative. No PKU, no thyroid problem, no cystic fibrosis, nothing that was obvious. No one could figure out what was going on, so they pinned it on the herbs. She began gaining weight steadily, and they finally let me resume BFing the day they discharged her.


I still had to fight to get her off the soy or milk-based formula supplements - she gets constipated and vomits all the time with milk proteins - thank goodness one dietician finally listened to me!! They put her on a high-calorie hypoallergenic formula instead...I still worry what's in it, but at least she doesn't have bad reactions.


She is still going for weekly weight checks with the hepatologist, who says she's not gaining fast enough, and has instructed me to give her at least 3-4 oz of formula before nursing, and BF her for 10-15 min afterwards, "mostly for you", she said. (Ha!! Because mamas BF only for themselves?!) She is still only 2nd percentile, but eating great and gaining weight steadily, and her regular Ped isn't concerned at all anymore. But if Alana doesn't meet the Dr's expected rate of growth at her checkup at Children's tomorrow, or if the 2nd round of metabolic labs come back with something, she may be readmitted for placement of a feeding tube...which I will fight to the bitter end!


But it terrifies me, as there was just a news story about a mom in a similar situation, whose BF tongue-tied baby was losing weight, and was taken away by CPS when she bought the formula the Dr recommended but refused to take him to the hospital. And what did the hospital do when CPS brought him in? Fed him the formula.


SO frustrating, and heart-wrenching!! I HATE dealing with Western medicine and allopathic doctors...to have my sweet baby at their mercy is sickening. Please send some good vibes & prayers her way! Thanks, mamas!!

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#13 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 09:01 AM
 
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I'm so sorry this has become such an ordeal! Sending prayers and hugs for you and baby. I hope she keeps gaining weight and you can stop the checks soon.
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#14 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, @pokeyac ! I'll update when we know more...crossing fingers this will all be over soon, and she can just be a normal baby again. <3

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#15 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 10:09 AM
 
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Also, it's disappointing that doctors don't seem to understand breastfeeding. You need to nurse to keep your supply up and the longer the baby nurses, the more fat she gets. It's definitely not for you. Baby needs to nurse. Frustrating.

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#16 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeyac View Post
Also, it's disappointing that doctors don't seem to understand breastfeeding. You need to nurse to keep your supply up and the longer the baby nurses, the more fat she gets. It's definitely not for you. Baby needs to nurse. Frustrating.
Right?! I don't understand how a doctor, especially a female doc who is a mother herself, could be so uneducated about it...and make such insensitive comments. "Since she's not getting what she needs from breastfeeding, it's mostly for you...so you can still have the bonding."


Umm, excuse me Doc, but I've EBF 3 other babies - count 'em, THREE - with no problems. And at this point, I know just as much about breastfeeding as the IBCLC from the NICU did when she came to visit me. So I said, "Well, I'd still like to nurse her as much as possible, especially considering that it's cold & flu season...she won't get any immunoglobins from formula." She acted surprised, as if she'd forgotten about that and didn't want to admit it, and hurriedly said "Of course, you should definitely continue for that too...just make sure she gets the high-calorie formula first."

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#17 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 12:45 PM
 
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Formula isn't the end of the world, I know that some like to say it is- but there are some babies who need it and many babies who thrived on it. There's a reason you can't look at a room full of people, or even a room full of peoples' medical charts, and reliably be able to pick out the breast fed from the formula fed.

Formula was invented because there was a need for it, not because scientists were sitting there grinning evilly and wondering how they can ruin the lives of babies. There are babies who would die without formula, even if their parents are gushing milk at them. I've seen people whose babies had serious problems digesting breastmilk sugars/proteins and needed the hypoallergenic formula to thrive, and it wasn't diagnosed until the baby was 8+ weeks. It is true that generally they were not happy babies and it was clear they were suffering from very early on, but it still wasn't diagnosed early. Babies also have different temperaments, some can handle more discomfort and up the comfort nursing, others can't handle any discomfort and make it well known.

Hopefully you'll be able to get everything sorted to be able to go back to EBFing. It's awful that the doctors wouldn't take your concerns seriously about things like the soy and diapers and your baby had to suffer. If your baby does continue needing to be combination fed, or even ends up exclusively formula fed- it doesn't make you a bad mother. As you said, you've successfully EBF'd three babies. This isn't on you! Every baby is unique and has different needs, and this one just needs a bit of formula.
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#18 of 28 Old 11-24-2014, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, @sillysapling , for the perspective. FWIW, I do realize formula isn't the worst thing - I was formula-fed, and I survived! My biggest issues were with the type of formula they tried first, even knowing she may not tolerate it...and the insensitive way they treated me.


I am glad she's on a supplement that she tolerates now, and is gaining...if that's what she needs to thrive, then I'm all for it. It's just very difficult for a mother to hear that she can't meet her baby's needs, and the emotional aspect of it doesn't register with these doctors. There are much more gentle ways to convey the message that don't include statements like "Well your supply isn't doing anything for her anyway" or "She's not getting what she needs from you". Ouch.


The scariest part is that even though she's drinking as much of this high-calorie formula as possible, and nursing afterwards, she's still not gaining fast enough to satisfy them. I just don't want her to wind up in the hospital again, and I hate being scared to death by their worries that she has some outlandish disorder! Sigh. Just praying all this will be past us soon.

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#19 of 28 Old 12-03-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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Hugs and support to you & your family for all you're going through. I hope baby continues to gain and you are able to get some peace. Just wanted to send some positive thoughts & prayers your way.
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#20 of 28 Old 12-03-2014, 12:07 PM
 
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Why formula first and then the best? Why not use an SNS?

Bring back the old MDC
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#21 of 28 Old 12-09-2014, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
Why formula first and then the best? Why not use an SNS?
Well, in their opinion the formula is "best" right now, and my milk is second fiddle. They have her on a 30 kcal/oz mixture, so she's getting 1.5x the calories of breastmilk. She's finally almost on the weight charts again - but the fact that she needs so many calories to gain weight normally is still concerning.

Now the metabolic Dr referred her to a nephrologist, because he thinks there's something wrong with her kidneys - amino acids in her urine, and elevated liver enzymes again. Now he thinks there is no way it was the herbs I took, must be something in her organ function. That's the scariest thought of all, because it's none of the "usual suspects" - something rare. Sigh.


Feeling so overwhelmed, and sad. She knows she's not getting much milk from me, so she won't even latch on to nurse anymore, unless she's half asleep...maybe 1-2 times a day. The whole thing is so heartbreaking.

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And a baby BOY born Nov 17!
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#22 of 28 Old 12-09-2014, 04:36 PM
 
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I'm going to pray for your DD.
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#23 of 28 Old 03-14-2015, 04:47 PM
 
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@my3beasties - how is your DD?
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#24 of 28 Old 03-14-2015, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nazmum, she is doing great now!! At 6 mos, she's still only 15th percentile, but growing, happy, and healthy!

When the Dr told me i could cut down calories in her formula, I got an SNS against the Dr's advice (?!), which saved our breastfeeding relationship! Now she only takes a bottle while I'm working 2 nights a week! Couldn't ask for much better than that!
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#25 of 28 Old 03-14-2015, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Haha, sorry on mobile, it's a little clunky Thanks for the prayers, she's our little miracle baby for sure.
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#26 of 28 Old 03-15-2015, 05:22 PM
 
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WOW great!
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#27 of 28 Old 03-16-2015, 01:04 PM
 
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Great news! You followed your instincts and you were right!
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Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!


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#28 of 28 Old 03-16-2015, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yes, I cross-posted in this thread, more of the story there: https://www.mothering.com/forum/363-b...l#post18331698



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