Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grace's weight

I can't believe how chilled our doctor is, Grace weighed 10lb3oz today, up from 9lb a month ago, that's ok if you assume a smooth weight gain, as it's roughly 5oz a week. Problem is, I've been weighing her weekly and her weights have been 9lb10oz, 9lb14oz and 10lb4oz. So she's apparently lost an ounce from last week, she was due a feed both times, so that doesn't explain the difference. I wasn't all that surprised as this week she has found her fingers and started sleeping through the night and usually that's not just sleeping through, but sleeping late in the morning too for 11-12 hours of sleep. The doctor hasn't suggested we do anything, but we might try waking her in the night.

For comparision, Nathanael at the same age was 9lb8oz, i.e. 11oz less, however, he was 23oz less at birth. His weight gain was dropping off the charts used for him, whereas Grace seems to be just about holding her own on the one our doctor uses after a significant drop early on. The lactation consultants gave me the WHO growth chart, which of course I can't find right now. It's supposed to represent the ideal weight gain for breastfed babies and is available on the WHO website, so I don't need that paper version! Her weight in kilos is 4.625kg, which according to this chart is pretty much spot on the 3rd centile, her birth weight, 7lb4oz, or 3.3kg is about the 50th - though they use the point of regaining her birth weight as the centile line she should be following, which was a little past 3 weeks iirc and thus about the 15th.

The thing is, I like my doctors attitude and if it wasn't for the contrast between this and our experiences with Nathanael, I probably wouldn't give it a 2nd thought. I think we need to keep a close eye on Grace, check she meets her milestones etc. but I think the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding at this point outweight any slight disadvantage of non optimal weight gain. Whereas with Nathanael we were told that giving him formula would give him the best of both worlds, improved weight gain and the benefits of breastmilk. Knowing what I know now, I disagree with that, though if there is a genuine shortage of breastmilk, you should never restrict a baby's feed volumes. Nathanael did have some formula, firstly at about Grace's age when I fell down the stairs and was flat on my back in A&E waiting for xrays, then later during my hospital admission for depression and after that when I was working part time and not quite able to pump enough for him. I'm proud that after those troubles, the only milk he received from 6 months to a year was mine.

We also didn't get any vaccines today as I had scheduled the wrong type of appointment! It was good though, as once I saw her weight, I didn't want to give her any, sleeping more is a common side effect from vaccines and that is the last thing she needs to do. I'd also be happier if she was around the 12 pound mark when we start giving her them.

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