Mommy & Baby: Weight Gain & Failure To Thrive
By Kirsten Hawkins
A guide to appropriate weight-gain and what to look for if you suspect failure-to-thrive:
Birth - 2 weeks of age
2 weeks - 3 months of age
4 - 6 months of age
One year of age
Failure to Thrive:
There is a difference between slow weight gain and failure to thrive. With slow weight gain, the gain is consistent. With failure to thrive, you will see a baby who continues to lose weight after 10 days of life, does not regain her birth weight by three weeks of age, or gains at an unusually slow rate beyond the first month of life. Things to watch for from the mother's and baby's side include:
- Tongue-thrusting, pushing the nipple out of her mouth
- Protruding tongue, her tongue will form a hump in her mouth, interfering with latching on
- Tongue-sucking, she sucks her own tongue and not on the nipple
Getting the help you need
Lactation consultants can be very helpful in resolving issues related to latching on or inverted nipples, both of which can cause a problem with nursing. Allow the consultant to observe your baby nursing and note if there are problems in position, latching, or something else. Do not permit the consultant to dissuade you from your flexible routine if that's what you've decided to do for your family. Remember: if flexible routines were unhealthy, NICUs wouldn't use them for the most vulnerable of babies"preemies.
If you determine that your nursing difficulties cannot be solved or are more stressful on you as mommy than what you need, do not feel guilty about switching to a bottle. It is more important that your baby receive nutrition to grow and thrive than to fit someone else's ideal of motherhood.
About The Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a baby and parenting expert specializing new mothers and single parent issues.
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