Breastfed Baby Not Putting On Enough Weight

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    Anyone got any advice on how I can fix this? He’s 12 weeks, fine in all other ways. I’m under pressure to bottle fed him & really don’t want to.


    We were just talking about this at toddler group this morning. Its amazing how much pressure you can feel under when you are breastfeeding. And the biggest thing people say is change to a bottle and you can see what baby gets. I felt this pressure too but I kept at it and it did come okay.

    Have you any idea what you feel the issue is yourself…do you feel baby is getting enough milk and still not putting on weight or do you have worries over the quantity of milk he is getting. Simple things like is he getting the foremilk, (the thinner milk the baby gets first, which has a lower fat content) and then getting the hindmilk, (the high-fat, creamier milk that follows). I didnt know all this when I started and sometimes switched from one breast to another but I found when I stayed on one they got the foremilk and then the hindmilik comes after that which is more fatty and filling. I had to let mine empty one breast completly then move onto the next one if they needed. I found mine went through growth spurts and somedays would be feeding literally all day and then would settle back into a routine when more milk came in due to them demanding more.

    There are local groups and good websites out there…I know its very individual how breastfeeding works for you. Its so natural to feed your baby and I always found it a really special time but it can be hard work too with lots of questions….keep asking and hopefully you’ll get the right support and advice to encourage you to keep at it.


    contact caligal she may have some advice for you….


    Thanks. He seems so content & active. Seems to feed well, but not piling on weight. Maybe quality is thew issue….


    I had small babies… and both were breastfed…. 6.6lbs and 6.7lbs respectively. Their fellow babies were all so much bigger, and neither of mine were chubby…. but they were healthy. When you say you are feeling pressured, are you talking about docs or PHN? Or other moms? Bottom line is… you as a mom will know if babs is getting enough. Like Mummy5, I agree with the feeding side of it…. ie…. always make sure breast feels empty before going to the other side, as the foremilk is the thirst quencher, as opposed to be filling, fatty etc….
    I also felt the pressure, but I persevered… and weight gain, although not as rapid as other babies was slow, but steady. You’ll know yourself…. 😉 Trust your gut.


    I’m really just echoing the other girls here but, if you know he’s active and healthy, he probably is just fine! Not every baby will fit on the bell-curve for growth.
    Do make sure that you are looking after yourself and eating plenty of lovely healthy, fatty foods. It’s the only time we can get away with it really (maybe just speaking for myself there!). I know full well that, as busy mams, we are sometimes the last to be fed & looked after.


    What stress you must be under! I know how tough it is as I went through the same hassle with Zoe.

    Some suggestions:

    1- Go to and look at growth charts designed for exclusively breastfed babies here:

    2- Feed on demand not by a schedule. Everythime that baby is awake, put a boob into his mouth. The more you feed the more milk you make and the more baby puts on weight. Try this for just one week and see how you get on.

    3- Are you sure you have a good latch? If baby is not latched on properly or not for long enough he will not be getting the proper full fat hind milk which is calorie intense.

    4-PM if you’d like a home visit or come see us at Costa on Wed. Or alternatively contact La Leche Dundalk leasder Jennifer Harrison at (087) 2459337.

    Eventhough you are an experienced breastfeeder every single child is a completely different breastfeeding experience!

    Hope this helps and we miss seeing you at our group on Wednesday’s 😉


    Pookie, I feel for you. Its not nice to be told your baby has not gained enough weight.

    I would say get to the breastfeeding support group at Costa, it is wonderful. Highly recommend you go along next Wednesday if you can. The best advice you can get is from other mums who are going through or have been through the same thing you are experiencing.

    A good way to know he is getting enough milk is through his nappies, if he is having plenty of wet and dirty nappies,thats a good sign he is getting enough.

    The charts the PHN’s use are for bottle fed babies, who can be heavier than breastfed babies and sometimes (in my opinion) they put too much pressure om mums to move to bottles because they want the babies to fit into their charts. Sometimes its all about statistics to them – I think they are too quick to suggest bottle feeding when they should be more supportive of mums who want to breastfeed.

    I was put under enormous pressure to put our son on bottles when he was a newborn, I had literally no support from the nurses and felt like I was doing a terrible job because they kept telling me he was under weight. I gave him breast milk for 14 weeks and then moved to bottles and I regret that decision terribly.

    He is 8 now and still as thin as a rake but very strong and very healthy, he is rarely sick and always full of energy. If I could go back in time, I would not be badgered into moving him to bottles at 14 weeks. I went against my own instinct and regret it.

    When we had our daughters, I breastfed them until they were almost 1 and they gained a good amount of weight but never loads – they would have been at the lower end of the weight chart. Not worryingly low but low enough to get the odd comment about ‘topping them up with formula’. They were never chubby but they were healthy and seemed content and that was enough for me. Guess I had more confidence on babies 2 and 3 and knew my own mind better and was not about to go against my better judgement so they could fit better into the PHN’s charts!!

    Go to the bf group if you can and have a chat with the mums and see how you get on there. You’ll be amazed how many women have been through what you are going through.



    I bf two babies. I was told on 1 he was putting on too much weight and i was over feeding the the other didnt put much weight on at all 🙄

    I just watched the amount of wet nappies as a guide to what he was drinking, as mammy5 said the hind milk is the full fat milk, i think they have to be feeding for a good few mins before the hind milk comes in.

    Maybe go to the meetings and talk to other bf’ing mums

    how is your diet? Are you eating, drinking and snacking enough? i found eggs, cheese and turkey slices for quick high protein snacks


    You’re a skinny lady yourself, your son might get it from you.
    Once you checked dirty/ wet nappies, let him enough time to empty your breast and you have a decent diet yourself then I’ll keep breastfeeding.
    Go to bf meetings you’ll get advices from mum with experience. Sometimes PHN are young and do not have kids themselves and they talk from what’s in the books, mums will share experience and all kids are different.

    If he’s healthy, then don’t mind too much the pressure (easier said than done).
    You can always weigh him before the feed, then after, so you’ll know how much liquid he took, won’t give you the calories intake but you can see that he gets enough milk to sustain himself and stay hydrated (easy enough to check, pinch his skin and it should go back fast and without wrinkles and marks), gp should be able to see that.

    As well if the pressure is too much, you can do what I did for my son for other reasons, I gave him from early stage 1 bottle feed per 24 hours and rest was bf, and I did it for a while (about 7 months), still had enough milk even by giving 1 bottle (formula) a day, never gave more.

    Best of luck,


    Thanks for the feedback. It means a lot when you doubt yourself.

    Caligal called around & reckoned his latch wasn’t good – lips curling in instead of out. She also gave me advice on feeding at night, expressing & general nutrition. Fingers crossed. I’m also getting a bit more help.

    Hubby has been away since 12th March & with three kids the strain is probably affecting milk supply a little as well…


    Caligal is great for support at times like this – hope her latch advice helps. (and have to say, fair play to caligal, she is about to have a baby anyday and is still busy helping other mams – she’s some woman!)

    Keep at it and hopefully he will start gaining a bit more from now.

    You are doing great managing 3 kids on your own, its not easy, so pat on the back for you. If you have family or friends who can help out make sure to ask, we all need a hand when we have a newborn, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel tired or overwrought on certain days. Even ask them to bring some dinners over or take some of the washing home – every little bit of help makes a difference.

    Take care and eat and drink plenty – the more you can rest, eat and drink, the better your milk supply will be. Good luck.


    Great too hear… well done Caligal, your some woman

    hope the better latch up’s the supply and he feeds better


    How are things this am for you Pookie2?


    Great to hear things have improved for you. This is a great article called

    Look at the Baby Not the Scale and it’s written by a pediatrician who knows what he’s talking about.

    There’s also a Bettystown LLL group that meets regularly and I found it a huge support with Cooper (who is almost a year and breastfeeding well).


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