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Newborn BF baby keeps loosing weight...anyone had similar?

Hi Girls

First post in baby and unfortunately not a happy one from me.
My beautiful baby boy was born at 36+2 nearly 2 weeks ago (12 days old today)

He developed quite bad jaundice at 4days old which saw us both re-admitted for Jackson so receive light therapy and then, because of the heat and the fact he was so jaundiced, he became dehydrated.

I had to express for 3hrly 60-70ml feeds which was hard work - I was struggling to get that in hospital, probably due to the anxiety and worry. I managed it just about, literally before he was due to feed and then the cycle started again. I was beyond tired but I didn't care as I needed to do what I had to do for my lovely boy.

Since being discharged, he is still slighlty yellow but (I thought) feeding really well. His latch is perfect, I can hear him gulping and swallowing and my confidence grew.

Then he was weighed on tues and his weight had dropped since his hospital visit. The MW didn't seem overly worried at this point due to the stress of the first 8days of his life and had him re-weighed again today.

He has lost again and I am just beyond disheartened. I really thought he was doing well. He was waking himself for feeds every 2-3hrs and feeding from both breasts for over 20-30mins each time.

I am just so sad.....I really want him to fatten up. I am now back to having to express after a feed to try and see if its the hind milk he is missing out on. The MW said it could be a number of things, his suckle isn't strong enough from being early, my milk (although now plentiful) might not be calorific enough.

Has anyone else had a newborn baby who kept loosing weight? Please tell me it gets better. I just feel like such a failure its untrue.



  • I didn't/don't BF. But from what I believe it's common for BF babies to lose weight at first.

    Newborns have the fatty deposits to help them when they are small, so I'm sure your lo is fine.

    Hope someone else can offer some better reasurrance. xx
  • We had very similar. We were in hospital initally for a week after birth. She was v jaundiced too and had light therapy. She lost quite a lot of weight and then weight gain was very very slow. We were checked on quite regularly and had blood tests which were very image BFing was hard and she had to have a little formula top uo in hospital - only about 10mls, but i was quite upset about it. I became v engorged and she found it hard to latch. It sounds like your LO doesn have this problem though, so thats really good!

    It took her a long time to start gaining more significant amounds of weight and at 3m she was still on the 2%ile for her age. She was 2.5 weeks early. Keep going, you will get there and it will be SO satisfying when you get him weighed and hes gaining well. You cant help but feel pleased with yourself!

    It really does get better, and 12 days is still very very early. Have faith, come back and let us know how you are getting on.

    Em xx
  • Thanks mithical - you're right about weight loss. I wouldn't be worried except he now weights just over 1lb less then birth weight.

    Thanks for sharing your story Ems, it does sound familiar. He had lost 12% of his birth weight by day 4.....and has dropped since then.
    I'm so unbelieveably tired and sad about it all....I just want to cry all the time but don't want Jackson to pick up on my upset. I produce milk like no tmw which is good and I thought he was feeding well but evidently not.

    Now the MW has put me back on 3hrly feeds followed by expressed milk....i'm never going to get any sleep and feel like the cycle is just continuous. I am exhausted.....I hope by Monday he has gained, I really don't want to have to go back to hospital again...
  • Sorry to hear you are struggling.

    What I can suggest:

    1) lots of food and fluids for you!
    2) Rest whenever you can, whenever you baby sleeps, you sleep - tiredness reduces the amount and quality of milk - forget house work, etc, make someone else do it. Rest yourself as much as you can, and on top of that eat well and drink well.
    3) Try feeding him from one breast at a time, so he eats it out completely - dont be discouraged if he starts to be a bit slow as the hind milk is a bit harder to suck out. If he gets a bit tired, burp him, tickle his cheek, or ear or foot. And offer the same breast.
    4) If you try out feeding from only one side and you think it might not last him the 3 hours, offer him boob a bit earlier, say after 2 - 2.5 hours. You can increase the gaps later on.

    And rest rest rest, whenever you can! Try feeding in bed, lying on your side, so you can snooze while baby is feeding.

    If it was me, I d try not expressing but giving him the one boob so he really eats it out fully.

    Good luck! xx
  • Oh, hun, sorry to hear you are going through such a stressful time! It is so exhausting in the first weeks and it sounds as if you are having a harder graft than most. My only advice is, given the sort of physical strain you are under, make sure you look after yourself as much as possible. Sleeping when he sleeps may be tough (I never learned the knack) especially if you are having to express as well, but you can keep yourself well-fed and hydrated. Make sure you always have a glass of water nearby and remember to eat lots of calorie-rich foods on a little and often basis. I lived on Oats 'n' More cherry and chocolate chip cereal bars for the first three months. Not only did they give me short term energy but they helped the level of calories in my milk.

    I am sure Jackson will start gaining weight soon. In the meantime, congratulations on his birth!
  • Well done for sticking with it! I know how hard it is. I had boy/girl twins in Feb and my little boy really struggled with weight loss. It's a vicious circle because they don't have the energy feed so they don't get the calories that give them the energy to feed... I fed both babies, gave him a top up of expressed milk, then expressed milk ready for the next feed.

    We made it through and 6 months later he's still fully breastfed as we're starting weaning. He's rocketed up to the 75th percentile line having dropped past the 2nd percentile line at one point. I look back at his newborn photos and can't believe he's the same little boy, He didn't even have the energy to cry but now he laughs at everything and is so happy.

    My advice is to take it one feed at a time. Don't get overwelmed by the big picture. Get others to cook for you and look after everything else in the house. My mum used to bring me meals while I was feeding and my dad was in charge of my 2 year old daughter. Eat as much as you can. I found ice cream and yogurt really good. Wake him to feed at least every 3 hours, even at night. Get as much rest as you can and make sure you take time to enjoy him. Have lots of cuddles, eye contact and special whispered conversations. Make feeding time a special time for the two of you rather than something that's hard. You can do it!
  • Thanks fooxoo - all good advice. I'm trying the one breast approach at the min. The MW has told me to feed from one, then once he pulls away naturally express from it to get the remainder....then use that on the next feed when he pulls away again.
    I'd love to rest between feeds but with feeding, then expressing, then getting everything steralised again for next feed, there is just no time to sleep. It's such a vicious cycle.

    My husband goes back to work in 2 days. I had such grand plans for his paternity leave, I naively imagined it to be all 'skipping through fields' and being out all day together. Instead it feels like its been wasted (although I obviously would do it all again in a flash to get Jackson well again).

    My husband is helping me loads - he's been amazing, but as the breastfeeding is down to me, its me who is knackered and not sleeping. I have lost my appetite plus weight even though i'm trying to eat. I'm not far off my pre-birth weight (10lbs) so I know I need to eat more.

    THG - thanks so much - i've packed hubby off to co-op to get me some tracker bars and high fat yoghurts so have nearby. I think the nack is I just need to force myself to eat whenever I can. I have a pint glass of water on my bedside table so gulping that often as I can too and refilling. Thanks for the congrats, I am still very very happy but its hidden I think. Trying not to show it to Jackson, I save him my smiles.

    KKNG - I cannot believe you managed through all this with twins - I feel bad for feeling so bad!! I'm doing the same thing you had to do, feed, top up with ebm, then express for next feed. I really hope in 48hrs when MW comes again he has gained.
    Jackson rarely cries but I have noticed he is more alert since being out of hospital for jaundice - thats what I find so disheartening.....he slept literally 23hrs out of 24 for the first 5-6days of his life...he was so de-energised. But the last week has had him eyes wide open, gurgling, following my voice and pulling some very funny faces. I really thought his energy was from my milk.

    keep your fingers crossed for me that he turns a corner in the next 48hrs....I really really do not want to be readmitted to hospital. I came so close to packing it in and just buyin forumla today but the MW and hubby have given me enough support to just try for another 2days to see how he does.

    Everyone said the first few weeks were the hardest - they weren't kidding image

    PP84 x x
  • sorry you are having such a tough time honey...
    i have been expressing for 2 weeks now, as you know my little one never latched properly... even now we are trying to get her on at every feed, and then when she gags and pulls away and starts howling (how she has been from day 1) we put her on the bottle with expressed milk. its so hard as i too feel like i am on a treadmill of expressing and feeding and totally drained emotionally!

    I'd love to offer some advice, but only have a few days more experience than you with less BF success... so i guess i thought i would let you know you aren't alone!
  • I'm really sorry it's not going so well just now mrs P. Can I ask..did you lose a lot of blood at delivery? Have you had your bloods done? Fellow did09 piggypops told us that anemia can cause bf problems. Another member to look out for is maenad, tottie and calleigh who are all brilliant with bf problems. I hope it works out for you soon x
  • Thanks MrsB27....hugs to you and Katherine. Sorry you are struggling too.

    Thanks Princess - no I don't think I lost a huge has done my bloods....or suggested it. Maybe i'll mention to MW next appt.

  • Hi hun, thought id reply as i had a similar experience. jasmine was born in dec at 34 weeks and i was desperate to bf. she too had very bad jaundice and was a terrible feeder for first 2 weeks. i managed to express quite a bit and she had that thru an ng tube but still didnt put any weight on until she was 4 weeks old. how old is ur lo now? keep perservering. it can be hard with a preemie. as soon as he starts to feed well etc he will soon put on the weight. just keep going! i sadly had to give up at 6 weeks as milk dried up image they told me it was prob due to her not suckling well from the start and bu the time i got home i wasnt expressing half as much as i did in the hospital.
    good luck and im sure he will put it on before u know it xxxxx nat xxxx
  • he was born at 36+2 mumtojay ans is now 12days old. I am expressing lots which is good....
    thanks for kind words xxxx
  • Make sure you get lots of carbs too Mrs PP84! that includes your fav biccis and cakes. Personally i recommend cadbusys oat and chocolate biccis... for the baby's healthimage

    Have you got people around that can help or just pop in when hubs is back at work? I alsways find it really hard to accept help, but in those early days you just have to say yes to everything on offer, and ask for things too! Generally people are really glad to be able to do something to help.

    When is the next weigh in?

    We'll be thinking of you, and we'll laugh in a couple of months when you're telling us he has outgrown all his clothes!!

    Em x

    [Modified by: Ems101 on August 30, 2010 08:48 PM]

  • foxoo hit the nail on the head with all the things to do to increase mill supply, my ds lost a lot of weight and even when he eventually started putting it on he only regained his birth weight at 4 weeks as he was so slow in gaining but it did pick up ok after that xxx keep it up your doin a great job xx
  • Hi MrsPP84
    DD2 kept losing weight and at day 10 the MW told me I had to express and give formula. I was gutted as I thought we were doing ok.
    DD1 only had 3 days of BF but because of complications during delivery my milk didnt really come in and we were advised to express and give formula. Expressing failed miserably because there was just nothing there. So she was ff.

    I couldn't go through it all again this time round so at day 10 I started ff DD2. I felt so guilty for about a week but DH had to go away for work and I would have been on my own expressing and topping up whilst trying to entertain a demanding 2 year old. And I didnt feel it was fair for either of them.

    Just thought I would let you know my story. I cant give you any advice really but good luck and do what is right for you and your LO.

    Serena x
  • Hi,
    Don't feel bad that I had two - having one baby can be really difficult. You're doing so well to keep going! I'd echo what others have said about getting people in to help. Don't be afraid to ask your friends. I'm sure you'd return the favour if they were in the same situation. I find it easiest to send a text message to a few people saying something like "Can anyone help me on Wed afternoon for a few hours?" They can say yes, no or that they're busy. They don't have to say yes if they don't want to. I've found some people who are fantastic at helping me.
    Take care. I hope you have a good night.
  • Hi again,
    I also meant to say that my little boy really seemed to pick up once he reached his 40 week due date (was born at 37+2). It was like he wasn't ready to wake up to the world just yet.
  • My little one was 2 weeks late but lost a lot of weight post birth. When he was weighed at 3 weeks he was still 10% under his birth weight and it took 7 weeks for us to get back to his initial weight of 8lb. By 13 weeks he had dropped from the 50th percentile to below the 0.4th percentile. Our problems were due to a submucosal tongue tie which can be hard to spot. This was treated and his weight is improving. I had to express and top up and it was exhausting. I hired a double pump from medala to cut my expressing time. I also took iron supplements and fenugreek.
    I thought my little one was satisfied when he fell asleep at the boob but now I think he was just knackered from sucking and not getting enough food
    I would recommend asking for your little one to be checked for tongue tie even if only to rule it out. Good luck.
  • thanks everyone - really good to hear hints n tips...
    Jackson was weighed yday and had gained a teeny amount.
    HV is weighing him today so will see what her scales say compared to MWs (hubby convinced they don't get them calibrated enough lol and every gram makes a difference!)

    The MW told me to carry on with the tediously tiring routine of giving ebm and BF in one sitting...however he's drinking longer and stronger on the breast and then refuses to take any bottle so think i'm going to ask HV today if I can go back to breast only.

    He's been really windy from the bum end too the last few nights and I swear its cos of the bottles. Used some infacol last night which seems to have helpe d- poor monkey.

    Bodlondon, good idea about asking on tongue tie - will ask HV this morning, thanks.

  • I think you should ditch the expressing! :P Give yourself some rest! cause that will make your milk better!

    Good to hear that he is putting some back even if a tiny bit!
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