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Help! No weight gain

726 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  mom2ken1cam2
My baby is 2wks old today. He has been 6lb 7oz since we brought him home on the 6th. He got jaundice pretty bad (we had a light here at home Tues-Fri last week). My milk didn't come in till late on his 4th day. He seems to nurse well. I can hear him sucking and swallowing. We've been doing wt checks Tues & Fri. Today ped said I should pump to feed him because he may be having to work too hard to get the milk and be using too many calories. I'm crushed. Dd had many bf issues, with using formula to supplement, I don't want to do bottles. I feel like it will spiral downward if I even start. I don't even know how to begin. I did try to pump after a feeding, didn't get a lot (no big surprise). I'm afraid if I try to pump first, I won't get enough to satisfy him. He's having enough wet/bm diapers, so he's getting enough but not gaining weight.

Any help/advice will be most welcome, thanks!
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can you offer nursing more often to him?

make sure you are well hydrated, and find a lactation consultant or a La Leche League leader to work with you, hopefully you can find someone today so you don't have to worry about it over the weekend.

i see you have an older child, but will someone be available over the weekend to watch and play with her and you can spend the whole day just lolling around in bed with baby with your shirt off and babe's shirt off and just nurse, nurse, nurse.

pumping is a learned art and does not come easily to most women and is not a good indicator of what a woman can actually produce.

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This is where I get confused. Ped says me letting ds nurse too often/too long is part of the problem because he is using too much energy to eat and then not gaining. My gut feeling is to try to nurse more but I just don't know. I was just on kellymom looking at all the info there about increasing supply/weight gain too.
If the baby is latching on fine, and you can hear sucking and swallowing, then the baby is fine. I would work on your supply and monitor diapers. I would go to Jack Newman's site and follow his recommendations for increasing supply. I think that you have a really high chance of success in totally bfing your baby.

I would take:

3 capsules blessed thistle 3 times a day AND
3 capsules fenugreek 3 times a day

Pump after feeds for 10 minutes to help tell your body to make more milk-- it is not for him right now, just to increase your supply. You can freeze it.

The baby should have 6-8 wet diapers a day -- that is the best measure of a well-hydrated baby. If you are not getting that number, please seek help from a midwife, doctor or nurse.

Go to bed with your baby for 24-48 hours where all you are doing is resting and nursing. The baby will not get too tired if he is nursing a lot. That is blatant bullcrap. It is good that he is maintaining his weight -- he just needs to start gaining. Don't lose hope Mama -- it will work.

PM me anytime. I am a midwife and can help with breastfeeding issues.
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Let and encourage the baby to nurse as much as possible. Cosleep with the baby and encourage nursing through the night (supply is often higher at night) Make sure you're drinking enough water. Try eating at least one bowl of oatmeal a day.

good luck!

We had the same problem. Our pediatrician thought she was literally burning up the calories she was taking in as she nursed.

I started taking domperidone to increase my milk supply. Bach's rescue remedy may help for a quicker let down.

Also, try using a Medela SNS with the small tubing (the full sized SNS comes with S/M/L tubing). Use the small. That way she'll still be working to BF, but she'll be getting just a little more.
I hope things are going better for you.

Please, please, please contact a LLL leader or a lactation consultant, and listen to them as opposed to your ped. I have a friend that lost two nursing relationships because she did exactly what your ped told you to do.

When I was having supply issues, I did what PP suggested. Get into bed with that baby and just nurse, nurse, nurse! It really will make a difference. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of calories and lots of water.
Excellent advice above. Please do not feel conflicted about ignoring your ped's advice. Doctors are (unfortunately!) rarely trained in lactation. Rely on the evidence-based advice from LLL and an LC if you would like an expert opinion.

Nurse, nurse, nurse! Hope your sweet babe starts packing on the pounds soon!

Best wishes.
How often are you feeding? I know at 2 wks babies tend to sleep alot. Don't let them sleep more than 2 1/2 hours, wake up and nurse, keep nursing. Keep yourself hydrated and eat well, get someone to help out if you can. Get in contact with LLL they helped me out when I had my twins. Make sure your baby is getting foremilk and hind milk. Your hind milk is all the fat that will help him gain. There were times I breastfed every hour and 1/2 or even every hour. The first 4-6 wks are important not only for the baby but for you to establish a good milk supply, that's why nursing should be more frequent. Keep up the good work! I think it's great you are asking for help. The more info you get the better.
Thanks mommas. I did talk to a LC on Tuesday. We weighed him pre & post feeding and he only gained an ounce. She determined that he isn't sucking very hard and so he's only getting the easy milk and not working for the hind milk. She set me up with a Haberman feeder to help him to learn to suck harder and a hospital grade pump, since I wasn't getting much with my PIS. We are doing ok with this but I still can't pump much (I only pump after he nurses). I am giving him just a little formula (no more than 1/2 oz at a time) to help him to gain weight. I'm letting him nurse as often and as long as he wants too. I can tell that my supply is getting a little better, just because I feel fuller between feedings. He's still having a little problem with the Haberman (lucky for me he still likes my breasts much better). He still isn't sucking very hard but we are going to keep working on it.

Thanks again for all your help and support. Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you all feeding is very time consuming these days, I only hope that we will get through this soon. I have a whole new appreciation for mommas who exclusively pump for their babies.
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would you consider some craniosacral therapy and chiropractic for your babe? see here for a chiro in your area trained in working with babies and children (many of them will also be trained in craniosacral work):

craniosacral and chiropractic really helped our son with breastfeeding when he was about 5 months old and hadn't been gaining weight well because of my supply issues, thrush and his frustration and apparent discomfort with nursing positions. it's very, very gentle and a good practitioner will answer any and all of your questions before beginning a session. working with babies and children is very different from working with adults, in that they tend to simply hold the baby in a supported position that allows the baby to move in a way that will readjust the musculoskeletal system into the alignment it needs to be. most babies do this instinctively, although some become scared when given the opportunity while others simply wiggle into position quickly.

sending you lots of hugs and peace and milky vibes...

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I just want to send
! I've been there and you are so smart and blessed to be getting this help early! Keep up the good work you are doing for your sweet babe!

Also...consider looking into a speech therapist. My ds had weak oral motor and that's what was causing his weak suck. Our LC referred us to a therapist and she gave us exercises to work on at home to strengthen his muscles!
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