Mothering Forum banner

Big babies and weight gain ? Need Help

522 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  rrr
I need to pick the brilliant brains here

Do big babies always gain at the same rate as a smaller "average" birth weight baby?

We've had some nursing issues lately and baby hasn't gained the way the Dr expects he should. We were supplementing with formula which I believe has contributed the problems we've had but nursing exclusively hasn't been encouraged by the Dr. I think we'd fine if they wouldn't be so quick to interfere(by formula feeding) with our nursing but obviously the Dr sees it differently.

This is why I feel like we could continue working at gaining at home:

Baby is alert and responsive

He doesn't sleep too much

He wakes easily and on his own to eat

He has plenty of wet and poopy diapers

He does have chubby arms and legs

He has no major health problems, only this weight gain concern

I don't see why the Dr is so concerned because the last I was told he is still in the 90th percentile for babies his age. I mention all of the above because the Dr said she wanted to put him the hospital to feed him formula.
I tend to feel that taking into account his 3 weeks in NICU his "age" is actually 3 weeks younger than he is chronologically. Rather than 8 weeks, he's more in line with a 5 week old, does that make any sense?

I am worried, just so you don't think I'm taking all of this casually but should I be as freaked as the Dr is?

Mama's please tell me what you think!
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
OK, i am freaking out!

either i am missing something important in your post, or you have a grossly uninformed pediatrician.

quickly call the la leche leaders in your area to get ideas on this.

demand tomorrow that the doctor explain exactly why he/she felt supplementation with formula was necessary.

ask LLL leader for names of best lactation consultant in your area to help you increase your milk as you reduce and remove formula from your baby's diet. working with an experienced LC will help you do this without incident.

my fisrt baby followed my birthweight of 7 and 1/2 pounds, she nursed great and remained slim.

my second baby followed my husband and his 2 brothers with a birthweight of 10 and 1/2 pounds. he nursed great, too. and remained plump.

same milk, different genetic path. this is a really important idea. breastmilk is really uniform from mother to mother, babies differ in the code they follow for growth.

there can be an issue right after birth with big babies that their blood sugar isn't stable. breastfeeding is the answer.

breastmilk is the digestable, perfect, brain building food for your baby. this supplementation is an interference in your breastfeeding relationship with your baby.

call LLL today! call! call!

See less See more
It's horrible dealing with unsupportive and unhelpful doctors.

Here's what has to say about average weight gain in breastfed babies:

So somewhere between 4-6 oz a week is expected. Is your baby gaining less than this? Over what length of time?

Peds. get concerned if the baby loses more than 10% of their bodyweight before starting to gain. My dd lost 14% and we supplemented at the start, while working on her latch and me pumping to increase my supply (which decreased due to her bad latch).

I've never heard that birth weight has anything to do with subsequent weight gain. My baby was born 6lb 3oz and was 5lb 5 when she was discharged and the peds were freaking out because they get very worried when babies start to get down to 5lb. I think with a larger baby, there is a little more leeway. I think peds. are also more concerned about preemies and babies that were in NICUs.

If there are weight gain issues and the ped. is talking hospitalization, then I'd enlist the help of an experienced IBCLC TODAY, one experienced with preemies. The doctor might back off a bit then and the Lactation Consultant will be able to give you practical help and support.

I'd trust an IBCLCs assessment more than a peds when it comes to BF. If your baby has a weak latch, after 8 weeks, your milk supply may have decreased - an LC can help you determine this. If your baby was supplemented in the NICU, his latch might also need some help. A ped wouldn't have a clue about how to fix this and will just say supplement. Get an IBCLC fast.
See less See more
I just had a look at your previous posts - gee you have had a lot of problems with the hospital and doctors. I'm sorry you've had to deal with all that. Sounds like arrogant doctors at their worst. It makes it very hard to trust their opinions when they deal with you like this.

Is this the same doctor/hospital you're dealing with? Can you change?

Are you getting any support from WIC re pumps and LCs? My 1st visit from an LC cost me $80 - and she took about 2-3 hours and really gave me a lot of moral support and practical advice. I had a few follow up visits that cost $40 and sometimes she came by just to do weight checks without charging.

Do you have a local LLL group for support? Although I wouldn't mention this to your particular doctors - it might add to your problems. But get LLLs advice and maybe they can refer you to an LC in the area.
See less See more
Average weight gain in the first 3 mos is anywhere from 4-16 oz. That is a huge range.

Have baby's suck evaluated by your IBCLC. If he is having bottles of ABM (artificial baby milk) switching to a SNS, can help him latch better onto the breast without nipple confusion being a factor.

A good LC or LLL Leader would aks, how old is baby? Born 3 weeks early? How much did he weigh at birth? How much did he weigh at the lowest? how much does he weigh now at x weeks? How often does he nurse and for how long?

Alertness, wet and poopy dipes, looking chubby are all great signs.

Failure to thrive babies are listless and sunken looking. Have hardly any pees or poos.

If you had gestational diabetes or IVs during labor, this can elevate baby's birthweight. he may now be growing at the rate he should be, putting on fat and muscle, not just water weight.
See less See more
Just to clarify the situation a bit...

Baby had gained 4 oz in one week which we know of because of the weight checks at the clinic. Ok, so we went home after having made an appt. to follow up two weeks later. During that 2 weeks between appts. we had our "issues" which I felt we were resolving with thee help of this board and the archives here plus my own past personal experience. At the next appt. he had put back the 4 ounces. I guess the Dr was looking it like he hadn't gained anything

It was at this point that she said she was going to give me 2 days to supplement him more often to make him gain a few more ounces. If I didn't get any more weight on him she wanted to put him in hospital and feed him, which I suspect would ultimately end up involving a feeding tube. I think that would be excessive so I'm not anxious to see these Dr's again. I dread it!

I could see that approach if he were truly a sick baby, but he isn't. Considering the problems we've run into I think we're doing pretty well.

I have no trust for those people.

I thank you all for responding to my post!
See less See more
When is his birthdate? How much had he gained up til now since his lowest weight, which was...??? Inquiring minds want to know.

This is why you should call a LLL leader tomorrow (they will answer the phone on Sunday). You need to do some detective work, understand his nursing patterns, see if he needs supplementing at all (which could be with your own milk that you pump after nursing), etc. Understand growth spurts, cluster feeding, etc.

After seeing a LLL Leader or LC, you could get a 2nd opinion from a different dr. You could rent ao good baby scale, as I think wombat did. There are lots of options for you. Or you may be OK. I just can't really tell from what we can say here.
glad to see you've been getting good advice!

LLL meeting will have helpful books for you to check out.

LLL website has an online meeting where you can ask questions.

militant breastfeeding cult website has an IBLC who answers questions.

we all agree that the breastgfeeding comunity can direct you to the best LC. call LLL today!

we have faith in you! you seek and find good info, qualified help and support.

See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.