Real Life Breastfeeding Stories

Weighty Matters

Of the thousands of mothers and babies that we followed over 17+ years, there were a few instances where the mother would take the baby for a well check and be told her baby wasn’t gaining weight as expected when in reality, baby was growing appropriately, it was just that the scale was read incorrectly.  Or weight was read in kilograms and in the conversion to pounds and ounces was not calculated correctly.

Even though these instances were rare it is worth being aware of.  In these cases the mother thought the baby was losing weight and/or starving.  Even if the healthcare provider encouraged them to continue breastfeeding and would work with them to make sure baby was on track with weight gain, the message from the weight on the scale was so powerful–I’m starving my baby–that they weaned their baby.

As digital scales become more the norm this may help, but often they can be read in pounds and kilograms also.  Just be aware.   You don’t want to have to alter the way you want to feed your baby based on one weight.  If you question the number, have your baby weighed again or seek a second opinion.  If the weight is truly the issue, usually you can seek someone knowledgeable about breastfeeding to help you reestablish your milk supply or help you figure out what is going on with feedings.

Why bring this up if it happens so rarely? Because it mattered in these 3 or 4 families lives.  It was devastating to the mother twice!!  Once because she felt she must wean because she wasn’t providing adequate nourishment for her child and then again, when she found out she had weaned her baby unnecessarily.

You don’t want to have to alter the way you want to feed your baby based on one weight.  If you question the number, again, have your baby weighed again or seek a second opinion.  If the weight is truly the issue, usually you can seek someone knowledgeable about breastfeeding to help you reestablish your milk supply or help you figure out what is going on with feedings.

We’d prefer if you or your baby got to choose when breastfeeding ends.