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Normal Newborn Weight Gain

Expert Q&A

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Updated January 22, 2005

Q. Our baby went to the doctor this morning for her 2 week check-up. She was born at 7lb. 4 oz. and 19 inches. 4 days later (daughter had a C-Sec.) she left the hospital at 6lb. 11oz. At the jaundice check-up she weighed 7lb. 1oz., and now (at 13 days) she only weighs 7 lb. 6 oz. and is 19 3/4 inches. The doctor said everything is normal. I don't agree!!!!! He said breastfed babies gain slower. Not THAT slow!!

She has reflux, but she doesn't throw up much when strictly on the breast. We also keep her upright for at least an hour after eating. She sleeps in her infant seat so she will retain all she eats. I stressed that my daughter needed to eat cultured yogurt and drink buttermilk because the baby's dirty diapers show only "colored water". There is absolutely NO consistency. Daughter said she needs to eat more meat. I think the baby needs some kaopectate or something. We have tried Enfamil with iron as a supplemental bottle, but baby throws it ALL back up. What can we change? I am seriously concerned. Sincerely, Granny, Mississippi

A. Most babies lose weight during their first week and then get back up to their birth weight by the time they are two weeks old. Since she is over her birth weight, your Pediatrician is probably right that she is growing just fine.

Also, newborns usually gain about two-thirds of an ounce each day. So if she was 7lb. 1oz. at about 6 days of life, then she gained 5 ounces over the next 7 days, which is still well within normal expectations.

Very loose stools can also be normal for breastfed babies. If it is really a problem, Kaopectate definitely wouldn't be the answer. The first step would probably be to stop supplementing with formula, since you describe that making her worse, and maybe have mom stop eating and drinking dairy products. This guide to colic in the breastfed baby discusses other problems that might cause a breastfed baby to have watery stools.

Since you feel so strongly that something is wrong, you likely should schedule another appointment with the baby's Pediatrician for another weight check. You might also try to go to this visit so that you can express your concerns and get an explanation from the doctor.

If you are still not satisfied with the doctor's responses, you might get a second opinion from a lactation consultant or another Pediatrician.

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