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Office Hours | Map

Breastfeeding

Weight Gain, Slow

This article is an excerpt from "The Nursing Mother's Problem Solver" by Claire Martin.

Q: Should I be concerned about my daughter's weight gain? She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces at birth. Now she's 8 months old and weighs about 13-1/2 pounds. My doctor is concerned that she's not gaining enough weight, even though she nurses 3 or 4 times a night and eats 3 jars of baby food a day.

A: Some babies are slow to gain weight. The weight charts used at pediatricians' offices are based on formula-fed babies. Several studies have shown that breastfed babies don't follow the same growth curve-their growth and weight gain starts tapering off, relative to the charts' growth curve, at about 6 months.

Part of the reason for your baby's relatively slow weight gain could be her increasing level of activity. She's crawling, cruising, and starting to be interested in pulling herself up. As long as she is producing enough wet and poopy diapers, is alert, and has energy, she's probably fine. A baby is supposed to triples its birth weight at the first year, and she's got a few months to go.

Is your doctor aware that she's primarily breastfed? Is your doctor aware that breastfed and formula-fed babies tend to grow at different rates? (Remember, the cliché is that breastfed babies are long and lean.)

Ask us if she's being weighed on the same scale each time you take her to the office. Different scales can read heavy or light.

Ask us about her growth and weight gain relative to her parents' size and physique. (Does your family, or your husband's, sway toward the small and light?)

And consider the bright side: Small babies use small diapers, which have more to the package, for the same price, as larger-size diapers.


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About the Author

Claire Martin is a parenting writer at the Denver Post. Her writing has won national and regional awards, and has appeared in publications such as the St. Petersburg Times, Good Housekeeping, and Sunset magazine. She lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters, both of whom were breastfed.

From THE NURSING MOTHER'S PROBLEM SOLVER by Claire Martin. Copyright © 2000 by Claire Martin. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

PAGS News

Pediatric Associates (PAGS) is pleased to announce that Mark Mandell, M.D. has joined the leadership team of Steward Health Care Network as their Chief Pediatric Medical Officer. Dr. Mandell has been a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates for over 25 years and will continue to see patients in both the Beverly and Salem offices.
If you are expecting parents or are looking for a new pediatrician, please join us for our "Meet the Pediatricians" nights.  They will be held at our Beverly Office at 30 Tozer Road on:
June 14th (6:30 pm)
July 19th (6:30 pm)

Dr. Morgan and Dr. McAuliffe are once again participating in the Bruins Beard-A-Thon. If you are not familiar with this, you pledge to grow your beard until your team either wins the Stanley Cup or is eliminated from the playoffs.

 

The Bruins have not made the playoffs the last two years so are beards have not made an appearance for several years now. Both have participated in the past to support the Bruins and Gail Wright who was one of the original PAGS front staff employees. She was a huge Bruins fan and passed away in May 2011 from Breast Cancer.

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