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12 weeks child not gaining weight. What could be the reason?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My daughter was born at 3.5kg at her six week needles she weighed 4.7kg which the doctor said was great she is now 12 weeks old and only weighing 5.4kg she is exclusively breastfed but to me it seems she isn't gaining a lot of weight in the last six weeks. My other three kids were all 5.4kg at six weeks of age so I'm wondering if she's getting enough milk from me. She feeds frequently on demand normally every two to four hours.
Posted Thu, 2 Aug 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 39 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
Please do not worry.
According to the information you have provided it does seem that your child is at present weighing normally for her age though the gain in the last six weeks has been less ( about avg 100 gm / week ) than the first six weeks ( about 200 gm/ week).
On an average breast fed babies weigh less than formula fed babies and usually double their birth weight at around 4-5 months. So if your child is feeding well ( passing urine 5-6 times and stools 1-3 times ) and reaching milestones appropriately then you need not worry as she seems to be normal .
Also breastfed babies for the first 4 months may show variable weight gain per week ranging from 110 - 170 gm/ week as they grow in spurts and not necessarily daily.
Considering another important point is ,how was the weight monitored , on same scales, similar clothing or naked , after or before feed etc.
Baby needs to be weighed on the same scale with the same amount of clothing (preferably naked) each time to get an accurate picture of weight gain. Different scales can give very different readings.
Now assuming that the weight was taken appropriately and baby feeds and sleeps well ( seems to be content) and achieving milestones appropriately ( neck holding, recognizing mother,social smile etc) I would say that she seems to be growing fine and you need not worry at present but one thing you can do is to monitor and plot her weight on a growth chart( available with any pediatrician or the Internet ) . This way you can be assured that there is no growth faltering of her weight gain is steady and on similar curve as before . Any drop in weight gain or loss of weight can be noticed promptly and managed accordingly.
As a breastfeeding mother you might be concerned about your milk output which is a common anxiety in many but with a good nutritious and regular diet it is rare for breastmilk to be inadequate for any baby.
So do not take stress and do keep up the good work of exclusive breastfeeding of your baby for the first six months as that's the best you can offer her.
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.
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