Sarah’s Journey

Overcoming slow weight gain

By: Liana Salvador-Watts, RN, IBCLC

Meet Sarah and Winston. Sarah called me when Winston was two weeks old, because Winston’s doctor told her that his weight gain was slower than expected. Because of the slow gain, she was having to pump after every feed and top up with formula. When I examined Winston, I noticed a possible tongue-tie, and suspected that this was likely the reason he was very slow to gain weight, as he was having to work very hard to remove the milk he needed. Sarah had to work very hard to increase her milk volume, so she took Domperidone while she continued to breastfeed, top up with expressed milk and formula and pump. Winston’s tongue-tie was diagnosed by a specialist and he had a frenotomy/release at 12 weeks. Winston also struggled with reflux and significant abdominal discomfort for a few months, which was also a major challenge, so they did craniosacral therapy to help with this. She continued with breast-bottle-pump until about 4 months, when Winston’s nursing became so efficient and her milk volume increased to the point where she no longer needed bottles or pumping. Finally, Winston was full and content after breastfeeding!

Sarah once told me during a difficult time during those first couple months “I hope I can at least make it 8 months breastfeeding…”. Well now Winston is a healthy 16-month-old and they are still nursing. I asked Sarah if you could say one thing to another parent facing a similar challenge that she did, what would it be? She replied, “Hire a lactation consultant haha. Actually.”

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