Weight gain in breastfed babies
Weight is an important indicator of a newborn baby’s health. For babies who are bottle fed, and who are readily taking the bottle, weight gain is not an issue. Formula is heavier and richer than mother’s milk, and therefore better enables the weight gain.
When it comes to breastfed babies, weight gain becomes slightly more complicated. If your child is latching on fine and getting fed often enough, that is a good indicator that their dietary needs are being met.
However, some babies may be slow to gaining the weight back. While the trajectory of weight gain is subjective, however, weight serves as an important indicator for the nutritional needs of the baby, and therefore must be kept track of.
After birth, babies lose some weight, that they then gain back within two weeks. If your baby is not back to their birth weight 2 weeks, you should check with your Child specialist in Lahore as it may mean that your baby is not having their nutritional needs met
Reasons why your baby is not gaining weight
While your doctor can best guide you about why the baby is not back to the normal weight, some common reasons include:
Disease or injury
There may be some disease, like thrush or some other infection, or injury that your baby has undergone, which is making it harder for them to suckle, due to which they are not getting adequate milk. This then makes it harder to them to gain weight.
Mother’s milk supply may be insufficient, due to which the baby is simply unable to get desired feed. Moreover, some women may also have delayed milk supply, that would then mean that the baby is not getting timely feed.
There is also a directly proportional relationship between how much the baby is suckling and the milk supply; if for some reason, baby is not taking enough milk, then the body will also not produce surplus, compounding the problem.
While breastfeeding is a natural act, latching, not so much. It takes time for some babies, and mothers, to get hang of latching. If they baby is not latching properly, they are also not then drawing milk properly.
Due to this, not only are the babies needs not being met, but it also then interferes with the milk production then as well.
Another reason for lack of weight gain can be the fact that they baby is not getting fed often enough. Newborn babies need to be fed after every 2 to 4hours.
The time of the session is also important. Initially, as the baby gets the hang of the feeding, they might take some time. Due to longer duration, they may also then doze off in the middle, and hence might not be getting sufficient feed.
Remedying weight gain problems
There are several things that you can do to address the lack of timely and adequate weight gain. Some helpful tips include:
Focus on feeding
Feeding is tricky, but you need to focus on it initially. Check if your baby is latching properly; if you have any doubts, consult a lactation expert. Moreover, make sure that you are feeding your baby after regular intervals. This may impose on you, but you have to make this sacrifice for the health of the baby.
Also make sure that the baby does not doze off before taking adequate feed. 20 minutes is a good enough duration during which the baby should be awake. You can tickle their feet if they doze off at the breast.
To keep your supply going, make sure that you are pumping often enough and take adequate diet to boost your milk production.
Ask your Child specialist in Islamabad if you should be supplementing the baby’s diet with pumped or formula milk to enable weight gain.