Newborn Babies

How to Help Baby Gain Weight While Breastfeeding?

How to Help Baby Gain Weight While Breastfeeding?

There are many parents who complain that their breastfeeding newborn is not gaining weight. I receive many parents who are concerned about the weight of their baby. This is absolutely for the first time parents.

In this article, I have explained the best methods that will help your baby gain weight while breastfeeding.

There are two common issues related to breastfeeding infants:

  • Breast related problems, decrease milk production, etc
  • Newborn not feeding properly, jaundice and sleep problems, etc

Since this a relatively common question asked by parents, I have decided to write a detailed guide for this. 

You can help your baby to gain weight while Breastfeeding, by feeding him more often, maintaining a properer position, breasts compression, and adding solids after the age of 6 months. Your baby should gain weight according to his age.

How to Help Baby Gain Weight While Breastfeeding?

Now, when I started writing about this topic, I came across several reasons and methods that are helpful for breastfeeding infants. There is never a problem with the nutrition status of breastfeeding.

Nature works perfect and breastmilk is always beneficial for the newborn. However, there can be a few reasons that can be stopping your baby from gaining weight.

Let us get into the details of today’s question:

Decrease Milk Production:

This is one of the common problems that can stop a child from gaining weight. If your baby is solely dependant on your breastmilk, you must be aware of the quantity. You should access your child if he is satisfied after you feed him. There are many parents who complain of decreased milk production. 

Now, what to do when there is decreased milk production? You should focus on your diet, drink plenty of water and add fruits and vegetables in your diet along with meat and proteins.

Decreased milk production can also be due to breast problems. This can be because of trauma, previous surgery or decreased breast tissue. If you have any related problems, you should consult your doctor for details.

Decreased milk production can also be related to hormonal problems in the mother. Again it is ideal to consult your doctor for better suggestions.

Avoid Switching while breastfeeding:

Few mothers frequently change sides while breastfeeding. You should start with one side and let the baby decide when it is time to switch the side for breastfeeding. However, if your baby falls asleep, then it is better to change the side and the baby may start drinking milk again.

The baby struggles to get enough milk out of breast:

This is the second most common cause for baby not gaining weight while breastfeeding. There is enough milk in the breasts but the baby is struggling to get milk. There can be a variety of different reasons for this and I have explained all these in detail here:

You should enough time with baby while breastfeeding. Normally babies feed after every 3-4 hours and you should always be there to feed your newborn. While breastfeeding, you should spend more time with the baby. Baby should be able to drink enough milk that he is satisfied other the newborn baby will cry at night

You should spend 20-30 minutes every time while you are breastfeeding your baby. Newborn babies will take more time to learn to breastfeed. When the baby is hungry he will struggle more while breastfeeding. Take care of your baby and he will take his time.

Low-birth weight babies:

If your baby is a low birth weight or born prematurely, you should take more care of him. Low-birth weight babies require more care and need more milk. You should be breastfeeding your baby whenever he demands.

Keep checking the diaper, if it is wet that means baby is getting enough milk. Premature babies also lack the power to suck breastmilk and you may have to assist your baby with breastfeeding.

Problems with baby mouth and palate:

If you have enough breastmilk and still a baby is struggling to feed. Check your baby’s mouth and if you find any sort of problem in the structure of the mouth, immediately consult your doctor. Get your baby checked up by a Pediatrician, there can be lips, tongue, and palate problems.

Check the health of your baby:

If your baby does not drink sufficient breastmilk and he is not gaining weight, check for fever. There are different infections that can cause anorexia in babies. Check with a thermometer and observe for cough, diarrhea, and fever.

Heart problems can also cause the breastfeeding baby to not gain weight. If your baby has not been checked by a Pediatrician, go for it. It is always recommended to get your newborn baby evaluated by a Pediatrician at the time of birth. Heart problems can be missed and should be checked properly.

Feeding more often will your baby gain weight during breastfeeding

This is the first approach when the baby is not gaining weight. If your baby is only dependant on your breastmilk, you should increase the frequency of feeding him. Feed for longer durations and with fewer intervals, this will help your baby to gain weight during breastfeeding.

Keep your baby closed to your skin while breastfeeding:

While you are breastfeeding, your total focus should be on the baby. Keep skin to skin contact with your newborn baby. This will help increase the bond and the baby will drink more milk.

Compress breast while breastfeeding:

Compressing your breast, while breastfeeding will help the baby to get more milk. This will eventually helpful to gain weight. Sometimes, babies struggle to get more milk out of breasts because they are weak. Breast compressions will help to secrete more milk for the baby. This is always helpful.

Express Milk from the breasts after the feed:

This may seem confusing to a few, but let me explain. Expressing breastmilk after feeding your baby is helpful for milk production. Now, that your baby is satisfied, you should express the extra milk out of the breasts.

This helps in:

  • You can use this milk for the baby.
  • This helps to stimulate breast tissues to secrete more milk and helps in milk production.

Breastfeeding while the baby is sleeping:

Few newborn babies struggle in breastfeeding while they are awake. Breastfeeding while the baby is sleeping is ideal in such a case.

Parents have reported that this has helped their babies to gain weight and health. When the baby is hungry, he will drink enough milk in sleep and this boosts the immunity of the baby.

Babies should be given solids after 6 months of age:

If your baby is 6 months old, you should start solids foods. Depending on only breastmilk after the age of 6 months is not advised. Your baby should be eating solids on a regular basis now. This is essential for maintaining proper weight gain in babies after the age of 6 months.

If you are just starting weaning, you may need to struggle a bit. Babies get used to solids in a 1-2 weeks duration. You should start with one food and once it is accepted by the baby, only then go for the second. This will boost the weight and health of your baby.

Maintain a proper position:

First-time mothers often find it hard while breastfeeding. This takes a lot of energy and effort to maintain a proper position for breastfeeding. You should keep the baby in a comfortable position, with a skin to skin contact and hold him properly to avoid milk rash.

Maintain the same position while the baby is breastfeeding, changing positions repeatedly will affect the baby and he may stop breastfeeding.

Team – Dr. Qaisrani

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