When Breastfeeding Isn’t Working: What to Do if Your Baby Isn’t Gaining Weight

If you are a new parent, breastfeeding or pumping can be an overwhelming experience. The process is often rewarding and fulfilling but doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes, parents may find that their baby isn't gaining weight even though they provide enough milk. Here are some tips to help you understand what is happening and how to help your baby get the necessary nourishment.



Nursing Challenges That May Lead to Poor Weight Gain in Babies

Your baby may not gain weight while breastfeeding or bottle feeding for various reasons. Some of these include poor latch and incorrect positioning at the breast, insufficient milk production due to hormonal issues, low-quality breast milk, and oversupply.

A poor latch is usually the result of incorrect positioning and can cause your baby to have difficulty extracting milk from your breasts. This can lead to inefficient feeding sessions, leading to inadequate energy intake for your infant. It also often results in discomfort for both mother and infant during feedings and cracked nipples from improper suctioning.

Insufficient milk production is often caused by hormonal issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS can interfere with normal lactation processes, such as mammary gland development and prolactin production, leading to a low milk supply or low-quality breast milk that lacks essential nutrients necessary for proper infant growth and development.

Additionally, an oversupply of breastmilk can mean your baby isn't getting enough calories because it can't extract all the fatty material necessary for proper nutrition during feedings due to the overwhelming amount of available food sources.

Other possible causes include medications taken during pregnancy or while nursing (such as epilepsy drugs), smoking while pregnant or nursing, preterm birth/low birthweight babies, illnesses such as bacterial infections or viruses that interfere with digestion/absorption of nutrients, medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or other digestive problems that prevent adequate nutrient absorption from food sources consumed orally (through breastfeeding or bottle feeding).

What about congenital anomalies causing issues?

Finally, congenital anomalies such as cleft lip/palate or lip/tongue tie can impede a baby's ability to suckle appropriately at the breast or consume sufficient amounts from bottles due to difficulty swallowing liquids properly due to structural abnormalities within the mouth area.

All these things must be considered when figuring out why a newborn isn't gaining weight despite having enough food available through either breastfeeding or bottle feeding methods.

Suppose your baby isn't gaining weight while breastfeeding despite seeming content after each feeding session and having plenty of wet diapers throughout the day.

When to seek help from a professional

In that case, it may be time for you to seek professional help from either a lactation consultant or pediatrician to identify any potential issues causing this problem so you can work together towards finding appropriate solutions for better overall health outcomes for both you and your infant(s).

Proper diagnosis should always come before beginning any treatment plan, so speak with a provider specializing in newborn care before attempting any drastic measures on your own! With the right combination of patience, research into potential causes, professional guidance, and diligent caregiving practices, then, hopefully, soon enough, you'll see those scales start tipping in favor of more positive progress about optimum nutrition levels achieved through proper ingestion via oral consumption methods such as breastfeeding/bottle feeding!


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