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Getting baby to gain weight.

Last post 05-27-2009 1:06 AM by joi. 8 replies.
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  • 05-04-2009 3:32 PM

    Getting baby to gain weight.

     A doula client of mine had her first baby two weeks ago tomorrow.  Baby was in NICU for nearly a week with lung problems and was IV fed.  He went home last week and today at his check up they found he had lost 6 ounces.  Doctor is saying that they need to formula feed and mom does not want to.  She is to take baby back for a check up on Friday so I would like to know what she can do in the mean time to get this little guy to gain.

    She said a big problem is that he will fall asleep at the breast right away.  I asked her if he is getting the hind milk and she didn't know what I was talking about.  The nurses told her to feed no more than 15 minutes on each side.  I am thinking he isn't getting the hind milk since he is only on each side for 15 minutes and sleeping most of the time.  Could that be the problem?

     

    Vicki - wife to Chris, mom to eleven, doula and midwifery student.
    Filed under:
  • 05-04-2009 4:57 PM In reply to

    • ZoeysMom
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Lincoln, NE
    • Posts 63

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

    It's great that you can be there to help this mom find her way!  She's lucky to have someone being suportive of her, and excellent that everyone is at home now :)

    I have a few questions though:

     

    What was the baby's birth weight, and weight when he left the hospital?

    How was baby born, and what medications/fluids was mom given?

    When baby was in the NICU, what was he fed?  Did mom pump her breasts, and if so how often?  If she did, did she make enough milk to meet her baby's needs or did the hospital supplement him with formula?

    Now that everyone is home, how often is she nursing, or offering the breast?  Is baby nursing at night as well or is he sleeping a several hour stretch?

    Does baby have any other health concerns other than weight loss?

    Has she seen a certified lactation consultant?

    How important is a long-term exclusive breastfeeding relationship to mom?  Often times the very answer to this question will allow a solution/plan to present itself :)

    Mandi
  • 05-04-2009 6:32 PM In reply to

    • midwifea
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-12-2009
    • Kailua Kona, HI
    • Posts 475

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

    Very good questions Mandi!

    I would only add that some herbal support to increase mama's milk supply and richness of milk would be of benefit.  Mother's milk tea, More Milk plus supplement etc. etc,   Plenty of skin to skin with baby will help and worry will not.  Baby's are resilent and strong and still not back to birth weight at 2 weeks is not completely horrible given what he has already been through.

    Blessings,
    April
    moderator

    "The Voice

    There is a voice inside of you
    That whispers all day long,
    "I feel this is right for me,
    I know that this is wrong."
    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
    Or wise man can decide
    What's right for you--just listen to
    The voice that speaks inside."
    — Shel Silverstein
  • 05-04-2009 6:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

    One option for this mom is that she can pump her milk and "top off" the baby after he nurses.  She may only have to top off for a  short time before baby starts to nurse more efficiently at her breasts.  Some babies nurse for 15 min on each breast, some 10, some stay there for hours on end.  Watching the clock is very hard and makes you nurse the clock instead of the baby.

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 05-04-2009 6:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

     Pumping and topping it off would be good ideas if she didn't have much milk, but she does.  She says that after he nurses she can still express lots of milk.  it seems like he is just too sleepy and she can't keep him awake.  That combined with the 15 minute rule for each side makes me think he isn't getting the rich hind milk.

    Vicki - wife to Chris, mom to eleven, doula and midwifery student.
  • 05-04-2009 10:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

    I often wonder how many babies these Dr. have nursed.  The brst milk is very important to this baby as you all well know.  I would let this baby nurse as long as as she can get him to on one side so he does get the hind mild.  She can also not change baby before feeding,when he falls to sleep,change him and wash his face with a cool cloth to get him to wake up,and try some more.  I don't know where they get the idea that nursing tires the baby.  research has shown that tiny premies can handle nursing better than bottling  Bottling does tire baby because thry can not control the flow and must keep swallowing or choke. Toping him off is a good idea.   Offer to feed at least every 3 hours.  Don't let him sleep any longer than that around the clock.  As April said,the babe has already had a hard week on the job.  Cut him a little slack and just feed him!  He will soon eat them out of house and home.

    claudia

    Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A Heinlein
  • 05-05-2009 4:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

    It's been my experience that if baby's not getting hindmilk or enough hindmilk, then the diapers will tell you that (they're consistently green, poops are small and few) and baby's not a happy camper--fussy, cries a lot.  The topping off was a suggestion for supplementing.  If the doctor feels that this kid needs to be supplementing, using mother's own milk is a much better way of supplementing and getting him to gain weight than going to the artificial stuff (and it's cheaper).  If the doc insists on supplementing, she may want to try using her own milk.

    If mama has good support at home and not a bunch of other little ones running around, can you suggest to her that she just hang out with baby in bed or on the couch or in the recliner during the day and nurse like crazy?  If she's treated like a queen and waited on hand and foot and is simply taking care of her immediate needs (shower and toilet, for ex.) then she can simply nurse and take care of the baby.  If he's sleepy, perhaps he's too hot.  We tend to bundle babies up too much and if he's too warm he may just get too sleepy also.  Lots of skin to skin with mom may help him.

    [yay! Claudia's got an avatar! No more creepy shadow guy!]

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 05-05-2009 9:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

     My grand unit,the one who is in nursing school was out and fixed me right up!  That is me,btw,and the statue is a fishwife from the north sea in Scotland[Nairn]  I spent a month there this fall.

    claudia

    Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A Heinlein
  • 05-27-2009 1:06 AM In reply to

    • joi
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-22-2009
    • europe
    • Posts 7

    Re: Getting baby to gain weight.

     hi,

    thats what we do when they need more hindmilk:

    both should go to bed, naked, skin to skin (makes baby to drink more often and mother to produce more milk), they should nurse really often for at least 20 minutes at least 8 (better 10-12) times in 24 hours

    when you do have a good feeling and think that this baby just needs a little support: let her make a breast-massage each time before nursing, so "first milk" (dont know the english expression, sorry) and hind milk get mixed and baby gets the rich milk from the beginning on

    when you think the baby needs more support: let her make a breast-massage before nursing (for mixing..) and afterwards let her pump the hind milk and give this hindmilk to the baby with a spoon or a cup (for your doctor: feeding hindmilk works much better than feeding formula!); often babies need just a few time this special-rich-hind-milk-extra and wuush! they begin to gain weight and you can stop pumping

    love, joi

     

      

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