Your baby’s weight gain!

The weighty debate and how we need to take a broader look.

Feeding well, sleeping well and only waking up couple of times a night.
Happy, smiley, reaching all developmental milestones and yet some professionals say wake baby up and feed to gain weight.
Some babies are just not big weight gainers and in my experience with many babies over the years we need to stop getting mums stressed about weight gain.
The plotting on the chart scenario and stressing mums out because their babies are not the average, needs to be stamped out.

This article has great insight that all babies aren’t created equal!


Look at the Baby, Not the Scale

It sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet I have seen so many mums whose babies have looked healthy, nursed well, met developmental milestones one right after the other and have lost all confidence in breastfeeding due to someone telling them that their baby’s weight was not on the charts. This someone was looking at the scale and charts, rather than the baby.

In the first 24 to 72 hours after birth babies tend to lose about 3-10% of their birth weight and then regain that weight over the next 2 to 3 weeks. If a mother receives lots of IV fluids during labor, the baby could be born “heavier” because of the increased water. The somewhat higher weight could be measured if a baby were weighed right before it peed for the first time. The difference of this extra fluid retention might only be a few ounces, but some parents are told to be concerned when, at their baby’s two week checkup, the baby is a few ounces under birth weight.

Another common problem at early checkups is a baby that is not gaining what the practitioner considers to be “normal weight gain.” There is not general agreement on normal weight gain and the range in texts are from 140 – 250 grams a week. Some babies are genetically destined to be a lot smaller or larger than others. As I mentioned in the first paragraph:
Easy concept, isn’t it?

If you have been told that weight gain is not acceptable, look hard at this list of questions:
Is your baby eager to nurse?
Is your baby peeing and pooping well?
Is your baby’s urine either clear or very pale yellow?
Are your baby’s eyes bright and alert?
Is your baby’s skin a healthy color and texture?
Is your baby moving its arms and legs vigorously?
Are baby’s nails growing?
Is your baby meeting developmental milestones?
Is your baby’s overall disposition happy and playful?
Yes, your baby sleeps a lot, but when your baby is awake does he have periods of being very alert?

If you have answered yes to the above questions, you may want to progress on to two important questions which the “charts” seem to ignore.

How tall is mom?

How tall is dad?

If someone were to ask you what weight a 33 year old man should be, you would laugh. The range of possibilities varies according to height, bone structure, ethnicity and many other factors. Yet babies are expected to fit onto charts distributed throughout the country with no regard to genetics, feeding choice or almost anything else.

In summary, babies who are nursing, peeing clear urine and wetting diapers well in the first weeks of life are almost always all right. I cannot recall seeing a baby for whom slow weight gain in the first 2 to 6 weeks was the only sign of a problem.
Older babies, 2 to 12 months of age, grow at varying rates. Weight gain should NOT be used as a major criterion of good health. Developmental milestones and interaction with parents and others are more important. Do not be persuaded to supplement a baby who is doing well. Get help with breastfeeding and use other things besides weight to guide you.

Snippets from article by Dr Jan Gorden

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