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Weight loss in 6 mo old

382 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  readytobedone
My niece has a 6 mo dd who has gone from just below 12 lbs in September to 11 lb 3 oz in November. I too have had a slow gainer, but he never lost weight and I don't know what to tell her. Her ped took a look at the baby, didn't order any blood work and diagnosed poor milk supply. Instead of referring her to a breastfeeding clinic or lactation consultation though, he sent her home with a can of formula.

Can somebody please provide some perspective on this situation? My instinct is to tell her to stick with bf and to ignore the doctor, but I don't want to minimize the weight loss. I would have thought that they would at least want to check iron and thyroid. I think she was about 6lb 7oz at birth. The baby isn't at all interested in cereal, so I suggested she try some fruit or veggies instead.
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She's really little for being 6# at birth and definitely a slow grower. I'm surprised the DR has waited till now to start pushing formula. What does mom think? I'm assuming she's coming to you for help. I think the first basic thing anyone is usually told, at least what I was told was bf baby, pump, and then offer whatever mom got w/ the pump (a GOOD pump). Or sometimes the baby can't wait once they learn to recognize hunger cues and I gave whatever I had in the fridge or formula and then pumped. There are also many herbs out there to help w/ milk supply also, MOBI has a great list. W/ Ilana she was a happy to starve baby w/ a weak suck so everything was going against her. We started supplementing at 4 mos old while working on milk supply and she gained a # in the first week. She still was never big (until right before she turned 1 and then she hit 50%), but it was obvious she needed more food, she had just never learned to cry about it or something, who knows. She lets me know now, lol. We did have to keep supplementing till she weaned, but I've had to do that w/ all of them. I'm hoping for better this time.
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Having had a baby who didn't gain early on, I'd say take a belt-and-suspenders approach. The formula isn't a bad idea, but I'd try pumping and feeding first, and only supplement with formula if she can't pump.

A baby who isn't getting enough out to show other signs, I'd think--is the baby fussy, hungry, asking for food every hour? Sleeping badly?
Is she in Canada too? Does she have access to a good LC? Pumping is a great idea, as PP said. If it were me I would also look into domperidone. Is baby taking solids? Here is a link to high calorie solids: (note avocado!)
That said, weight loss is not normal, especially if she hasn't been sick. A good LC will have some ideas about bf friendly docs in the area too...
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Thanks for your responses. I'm feeling quite concerned right now. The lactivist in my says no formula, but I know my own biases and have never been in her shoes. It seems like a lot of weight for a baby to lose. And of course she gets a different piece of advice from every person she speaks to. Goodness being a parent is hard.
A couple thoughts that come to mind is if the baby had been gaining well, but has lost some now, they might want to look into a couple of things. Is mom using a hormonal form of birth control? Does baby have signs of reflux? Might baby have some underlying infection like a urinary tract infection etc.? Had baby been sick recently? Probably her best bet would be to use an electronic scale to weigh the baby before and after a few feeds. Also, remembering to go back to basics...nurse 8 or more times a day, both breasts. Any solids should be given after feeds at breast. Lastly, contacting her local LLL Leader for support, and/or her local LC for weights and a feeding plan might really help. Please let us know how this turns out.
i personally think it's unprofessional and inappropriate of that doctor to recommend formula without knowing what's behind the weight loss issues. it could be a supply thing, or it could totally not be, in which case the formula is not going to solve the problem. is the baby pooping and peeing lots? is she otherwise healthy and meeting milestones?

yes, that is a TINY baby for that age. and i would certainly supplement in the mother's shoes, in a heartbeat, if i thought that would help. but i think the underlying reasons need to be medically examined, and if the doctor's just jumping to formula, that is NOT a good thing.

can you advise her to see an LC for a weighed feeding, just to see how much babe is getting? if she's getting enough, then you know that's not the issue. could be metabolic or food intolerances.

and FWIW, my DD lost about a pound at 7 months (went from 18 to 17 pounds) when she started crawling. she is now 18 months and 24.5 pounds, totally healthy.
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