Low weight gain in a healthy full term infant

April 29, 2016

 

Low weight gain in a full term healthy baby usually occurs because baby is not feeding frequently enough or if there is ineffective milk transfer to the baby.

 

1. Have someone check your babies attachment/ latch at the breast

2. Ensure that baby is feeding regularly and on demand but at least 8 times in 24 hours and at least once at night. I have found that when babies sleep for long periods at night you tend to see the line on their growth chart slowly decline. If this is the case then not to worry to much as you can pin point the reason and rectify this. Try to feed baby once more than usual in 24 hours.

3. Only rarely is low weight gain in a healthy full term infant due to a medical condition like illness or infection but you know your baby better than anyone and if you are concerned please do not hesitate in seeing a GP.

4. If you feel you milk supply is low, then please have a read of the blog 'increasing milk supply'. In the early days poor milk transfer is likely to be the cause rather than milk production. 

5. Don't panic. Please ring and ask for support. Stress hormones can inhibit milk let down. So relax and rest and concentrate on feeding baby wherever and whenever you can.

6. Make sure not to remove baby and let baby come off on there own and always offer the second breast.

7. Try not to focus on weight gain. Note how many dirty nappies baby has in 24 hours and look for an increase in these.

8. Plenty of skin-to-skin will encourage baby to feed. 

9. Whilst baby is ending the feed try a breast compression to ensure they get as much milk as possible whilst at the breast.

10. For sleepy babies that put in little effort at the breast 'switch feeding' may help. Also be a little mean by removing babies clothes or wiping there face with a baby wipe to stimulate feeding again. 

 

If you are very worried about low weight gain, and have exhausted the list above, then top ups of expressed breast milk may be a good idea. Please ask for advice on expressing and safe storage of milk as required. 

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