Thursday, September 1, 2011

behind in growth

Emma had her first checkup today, at three weeks of age, and she is not yet back up to birth weight.  Her birth weight was 3.67 kg and she still weighs only 3.48 kg, about 200 grams below (7 oz).  Theoretically she could catch up in one week.  Practically, I hope she does.  She has grown in length and head circumference, but the rate of growth is slower than expected in both.

Clearly this hemorrhage episode of mine has taken a toll on her.  Her weight was about the same as it is now in week two of life, just before my bleeding episode, so for the past week she has probably done poorly, with me trying to establish my milk supply again.  Not to mention that we had difficulties right after birth as well for a bit, with her losing almost 10% of her weight because I did not have much colostrum and then I took a while to build the milk up to meet her needs.

I did worry, and still do a little, but instinctually I feel that things are improving and that she will catch up.  There is a big difference between the fussiness of yesterday, when all she wanted is to be on the breast, and the contentedness of today, when she slept for 3-4 hours at lunch, and had a bit of social time too.  I think that the lack of gain is reflecting a past, not present, problem.   That being said, I also struggle with the feeling that I am inadequate once again as far as reproduction goes, and that I am failing yet another basic human function, that of feeding one's infant.  But those are my own feelings, and I don't plan on letting them interfere too much if I can.  I know that supplementing would help with the growth in the immediate future, but I also know that in the long run it will deprive her as my milk supply will only go down once again, probably for good this time, and that she will not have the benefit of being breastfed like I planned for her.

I will weigh her again in one week.  I am expecting a pleasant surprise.


  1. It's great that she's willing to keep at the breast to get what she needs - and the long nap was a good sign that she had filled her little belly. You guys can do it!

  2. honestly don't worry too much about supplementing and a declining milk supply at this stage...i did this (supplement) with my son in the beginning as i felt like my milk supply was low, but with persistence and some pumping, by the time he was 6-8 weeks old i really got the hang of breastfeeding. My milk supply improved and i exclusively breastfed until 6months, and all the way up until 14months.
    the first 6 weeks are always hard :-)

  3. I hope she starts to gain and your supply picks back up. You can do it, momma! ((hugs))

  4. Some new research is showing that mothers who were given IV fluids before/during the labour have babies that lose more weight within the first few days of birth - sometimes over 10%.

    I am assuming you were probably given IV fluids, so perhaps this is also accounting for the sudden loss & slow gain.

    The new research proposes instead of using birth weight as baseline, use 24 hour weight as baseline. Do you know Emma's weight when she was 24 hours old?

    Here's the research...

  5. You are such a good mommy. You've been through so much and you're still standing tall. I think Emma will be back to normal very soon and all of this will be behind you.