25 answers

Newborn Weight Loss

My 3 day old daughter just had her first check-up. She was 10 lbs at birth, but weighed in at 8lbs 14oz today. I know some weight loss is normal, but this was apparently too much. The nurse asked me to monitor my breastfeeding for the night and come back in tomorrow morning. If my little girl has not gained at least a little by then, she wants to supplement my breastfeeding with formula. I'm very worried about my little girl. Hs anyone else had this happen? What could cause this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all your advice! It was all incredibly reassuring.

We took the little girl into the doctor's office this morning after spending yesterday closely monitoring how long and how often she ate, as well as how many wet and poopy diapers she had. Sure enough, her weight this morning was 9lbs 3 oz! I think a large part of this was that my milk came in sometime last night...my breasts were nice and full this morning.

Thank you all again!

Featured Answers

Hi E.! I have a 5 mo old daughter and she went through something very similar (not as much weight though). She lost weight and then didn't gain any. I think it was due to my breast feeding struggle (very painful!). Anyway I supplimented with formula and breast milk and we had an appointment on monday and friday of the same week to keep a close watch on her weight and she also had a slight case of jaundice. In those few days she gained 8 oz more than they wanted her to. Also formula is heavier than breastmilk and babies get full faster. Formula is good but breast in my opinion is best. I still use both. So I think its just a learning process as long as nothing else is wrong and she has wet/soiled diapers and seems content the weight will come. Hang in there!!

My little one lost more weight than the doctors wanted as well. I supplemented with a premmie formula. It had a little "extra" than regular formula. It just took a week or so to bulk her up.

She had absolutely no problem breastfeeding and formula feeding. No problem going from bf to a bottle.

It is an anxious time for you. I remember it verry well. It will pass.

Consider the formula. BF should go just fine as well.

More Answers

Hi E.! I have a 5 mo old daughter and she went through something very similar (not as much weight though). She lost weight and then didn't gain any. I think it was due to my breast feeding struggle (very painful!). Anyway I supplimented with formula and breast milk and we had an appointment on monday and friday of the same week to keep a close watch on her weight and she also had a slight case of jaundice. In those few days she gained 8 oz more than they wanted her to. Also formula is heavier than breastmilk and babies get full faster. Formula is good but breast in my opinion is best. I still use both. So I think its just a learning process as long as nothing else is wrong and she has wet/soiled diapers and seems content the weight will come. Hang in there!!

I had the same issue, I tried to breastfeed in the hospital and my supply was not flowing good at all and I felt so bad. When my daughter was born, she weighed 8 pounds and then once we left, she was 7 pounds and the doctor had me bring her in every week until she gained more than her birth weight but my problem was I did not have enough milk to support her appetite. We worked out just fine with formula and she's been gaining every since. Like the other mother said, as long as she has normal bowel and urination, then she is getting enough milk.

I would not worry though, as long as you are feeding her as often as she'd like and you are taking her to the doctor and there are no other issues, I would not worry about it but if it continues to bother you, try supplementing with some formula. Talk with your doctor first to see what is the best for you and your daughter.

This happened to us as well. my little didn't gain enough weight by 2 weeks and the dr determined I wasn't making a enough milk. I had to supplement with formula. So I nursed first and then have her 2 to 4 ounces a formula, that did the trick for us. She weaned herself at 3 months, we think because she had a cold. But doing both worked ok til then. Good luck. My daughter was extremely fussy, and screamed and cried the first two weeks, I thought she was just fussy/colicky but it turned out she was being underfed. As soon as we started supplementing she was like a different baby...

My first son, now 2 years old, lost "too much" too, going from 5.10 down to 4.12, but he came through it fine. I was SOO worried too since it really didn't seem like he had much to lose with already being tiny and just with it being your baby, your natural mother instinct is to worry of course. The reason for him was that he was too sleepy to eat. He was 5 weeks early and had jaundice that made him extra sleepy, but even with that, we just plugged away trying to keep him awake to eat and he came back up. 3 days IS way too early to talk about supplementing I agree. 3-4 days I think was when my son bottomed out with his weight and then it came back up without supplementing. It helped my piece of mind tremendously to pump and bottle feed some to be sure he was taking in ounces. Supplementing is such a slippery slope sometimes. Sticking with the breastfeeding when it's tough in the beginning makes it so much easier later on. I hope you are getting some sleep. I clearly remember how terrified I was when they told me my son was losing too much weight, so I can definitely empathize with you. Best wishes to you with your growing family! :)

I think if you decide not to supplement, someone (probably a LC) should see the baby every few days until you're sure she's gaining. Is she showing any signs of jaundice?

I think breastfeeding exclusively is great, and I agree that supplementing can interfere with supply if you don't cut back on the supplement, but formula is not poison either. I wouldn't supplement with every feed, but if a once-a-day supplement keeps things moving along until your milk supply is completely in, it's an easy-enough way to make sure baby is healthy and put your mind at ease. I agree with the advice to talk to an LC right away.

My firstborn was showing signs of jaundice on day 3 when we called in an LC, who helped us to get breastfeeding going - and she recommended a supplement. Without the supplement, he probably would have ended up in the hospital under lights for the jaundice. Watch for the wet/dirty diapers (tip - put a kleenex in the diaper, which will help you to tell if the diaper was used - the newborn pee is so tiny.) Watch for her pee getting more yellow/orange. And definitely watch for little crystals in the pee - that would indicate dehydration.

WOW- what an overwhelming amount of responses you have!

I, too, was in the same situation as you. I actually had an "on-call" pediatrician in the hospital tell me I could not breastfeed my daughter on the second day of her life because she had lost weight and that I should definitely formula feed her. Luckily, I had done nothing but read about babies while I was pregnant and knew that babies lost weight after they were born. This doesn't mean that he didn't undermine my self-confidence though!

After taking her home (still exclusively breastfeeding her!) I found a pediatrician who was pro-breastfeeding and would let me bring her in anytime I wanted to weigh her, which really helped. I was also pretty obsessive about counting her diapers, which helped my peace of mind on a day-to-day basis!

My 8lb 9oz baby is now 6 years old, she was breastfed for 5 months exclusively, nursed until she was 3.5 yrs old, and eats like a horse now, but guess what? She is still only in the 10% percentile according to the pediatrician's office and weighs in at a whopping 37 lbs- that's right. I know some 3 yr olds who outweigh her! But she is healthy as can be!

The moral of the story: Trust your instincts! If you want to exclusively breastfeed, visit a LLL meeting, call the hospital and ask to speak with a lactation consultant or find one online. One visit is expensive, but it is WORTH IT! Feed your baby on demand- this might mean every 2 hours, or every 10 minutes for awhile!

Also, something that helped me- I had a very sleepy baby who was so comforted by the breast that she would just "sip" and then fall asleep there (but nowhere else! LOL) and the LC told me to gently massage her shoulder to get her to reflexively suck- it worked! I would just very gently rotate or "shrug" her shoulder and she would rouse just enough to begin nursing again.

Don't give up! Don't let one person's comment make you feel like you are starving your baby or not doing the best thing in the world by nursing! I know how fragile we can be in our self-confidence when we have just given birth, and you need to find encouragement right now, not DIScouragement!

Best of wishes to you and CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby!!!
A. R.
-I'm also an aspiring lactation consultant if you couldn't tell! :)
(you can feel free to email me anytime at ____@____.com)

I agree with the previous message 100%. I have a 2 month old and the first 2-3 days he slept sooo much more than he ate (that whole "coming down the birth canal") was a little much for him and he was TIRED.

I think 3 days is wayyyyy wayyyy too early to talk about supplementing. Definately talk to a LaLeche League mom. Plus, if your daughter was 10lbs at birth its different to loose over a pound versus a 5lb baby losing a pound, you know?

And remember, your pediatrician works for YOU, not the other way around. He or she can certainly recommend that you supplement, but you are under no obligation to follow those recommendations. I just re-read your message . . .it was the NURSE that said this???

Also, being the mom of a 3 year old who had severe weight gain issues (my first was a preemie), they may fluctuate up and down each day, doctors normally only look at the week to week gain or loss - not 3 days and certainly not the FIRST 3 days of life.

Count those diaps and poops, I would bet that after a week, you will see some gaining.
B.

I scanned through some of the other posting and it looks like you have a lot of good information. I don't know if anyone has talked about how much the weight can fluxuate just based on if the NB just wet or pooped. Our little one as premature and in the hospital for 3 weeks in the NICU. That meant lots of being weighed and me stressing about every little ounce. My little guy was given breastmilk and they fortified my milk for a bit to help him gain weight. I did not want him to have formula, so the compromise was for them to boost my milk with formula. I was pumping while he was in the hospital, so that is the only thing, you would need to pump and give him a feeding through a bottle. We had absoluately no problem with him going from bottle to breast, and he was even given a pacifier pretty much the whole time he was in the hospital to stimulate his sucking reflex. So anyway, that might be a way to not have to do a full formula supplement.

But I would agree, if the nurse is pushing you to start to supplement, first talk to your doctor, and if you are still feeling pushed see if there is a LC in their practice or one they recommend. I don't know if I would feel comfortable with a nurse telling me to start to supplement based on 2 weigh-ins (because of the poop and wet diaper thing I mentioned before). Our son seriously would loose a big amount of weight at his weigh-in if he had just had a poop or a really full wet diaper. We had wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital who were telling us to not be so concerned about the weight from weigh-in to weigh-in, but to look at it for a 1 day period. Oh!!!! I just remembered how once we went home from the hospital, our Ped told us if the office uses a different scale, you can seriously be off a a good number ounces, even digital scales. So make sure they are using the same scale, and remember you will have a difference in scales based on when weighed at the hospital and your doctor's office.

Hope that helps some.
S.

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