Weight gain is one of the main indicators of a baby’s health. For breastfed babies, the norm is a set of 700 g / month for the first three months of life. In the fourth month, the increase may decrease slightly, but should not be lower than 400 g / month. More precise norms for a particular child can be clarified by examining the World Health Organization charts designed specifically for breastfed babies. Moreover, not only gains are important, but also the dynamics of weight gain.
At the age of about 3 months, the baby undergoes very important changes both in his life and development, and in the very process of breastfeeding. More details about this were here .
Of course, the increased activity of the baby cannot but affect the weight gain. In addition, it is impossible to add all the time at such a pace as it happens in the first months of life. If the decrease in increases is smooth enough and fits into the norm, then there is nothing to worry about.
However, if we are dealing with a sharp decrease in the increase, and even against the background of active anxiety in the chest, it is necessary to understand the current situation.
A sharp decrease in gains at this age, as a rule, is observed if there is a dummy in the child’s life and / or separation of feedings and sleep.
If there is a dummy, then the child can choose at this age a dummy instead of a breast, since this is facilitated by the extinction of the sucking reflex (this was discussed here ). Also, at this stage, most feedings are either breastfeeding for calming when something went wrong, or around dreams. It is at these moments that the baby is often given a pacifier instead of a breast. Taking into account the fact that there are fewer attachments (the baby grows – other important things appear), the baby sucks too little in time – he simply does not have time to suck in the required amount of milk.
The separation of feeding and sleep is especially critical for children who switch to feeding only around dreams, and at other times they categorically do not want to breastfeed. Mothers of such babies immediately understand that something went wrong. If the child applies during wakefulness, but does not suck for long, not enough, then the mother may pay attention to the lack of nutrition not immediately, but only after weighing in 3-4 months. It is important in such cases, nevertheless, if possible, to organize feedings around dreams.
Inaccuracies of attachment and / or organization of breastfeeding may also “emerge”. For example, if earlier the child compensated for incorrect attachment by prolonged sucking, now he does not suck for so long, and can receive significantly less milk. In addition, before there was plenty of milk, the breast was actively filled between feedings, and now milk comes in response to sucking. If sucking is not effective, then milk production is also problematic.
Separately, it should be said about feeding according to the regime. If the mother fed according to the regimen in the first months, when the formation of lactation occurs, she could form fewer prolactin receptors, as would be the case with frequent effective breast stimulation. The first months of lactation is more dependent on hormonal levels. There is a lot of prolactin, due to this milk is produced with a reserve. With mature lactation, the level of prolactin decreases, now it becomes important the number of prolactin receptors that are able to “catch” this same prolactin. In this regard, less milk may be produced than the baby needs.
In addition, if the mother even fed on demand for the first months, and now decided to increase the intervals between feedings, this can also affect the increases. During wakefulness, the child may ask for a breast, suck for a couple of minutes, and be distracted. Sometimes they drop their breasts without even waiting for the first tide, which means they have not sucked practically anything. In a few minutes, the baby will again remember about the breast, want to kiss, but the mother may refuse due to the fact that he was applied very recently. As a result, the child will remain hungry. Thus, at this age, on-demand feeding is still significant. It makes sense to practice increasing the intervals between feedings a little later.
Sometimes mothers try to give the baby one breast at one feeding or even several feedings in a row in order for the baby to receive “hind” milk. Perhaps this is true for the first months of life in some cases (and sometimes it does not work even during this period). For a child of 3 months, this is definitely not suitable. A healthy child of this age already has enough strength and energy to suck out milk quickly enough when applied correctly. After that, the child is forced to wait for the next tide, receiving drops. At this point, some children begin to resent, and some will simply do something else, having less than their portion.
In this regard, it makes sense to offer a second breast when sucking becomes ineffective (one swallowing movement accounts for 6-7 or more suckers). If the attachment to the breast is correct, the emptying of the breast is effective, the baby will definitely get to the “hind” milk without breast “shifts”.
Thus, we looked at the most common reasons for which there may be a sharp decline in gains at the age of 3 months. Of course, there may be other, individual reasons – it makes sense to discuss this with a breastfeeding consultant.
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