At the beginning of maternity and breastfeeding everything is new, so it is very easy not to recognize any warning signs, because distinguishing what is normal from what is not can be quite complicated. In what situations should you go to your pediatrician? Well, if you have any doubts or fears, which we will discuss here:
The baby sleeps a lot or doesn’t wake up
Breastfeeding works on demand once the baby has regained his or her birth weight. At this point, he is already strong and can demand what he needs. However, at the beginning, either because he weighs little, because he was born prematurely or because he is a “sleeping beauty”… he can sleep more than eat and that is a fish that bites its own tail. When they sleep so much, they don’t eat and because they don’t eat, they sleep. The “if he’s hungry he’ll cry” thing doesn’t apply to the beginning of life. Just because a baby sleeps seemingly peacefully doesn’t mean it’s satisfied.
So, at first it’s best to mark the shots so that the baby does 8-12 shots in 24 hours.
The baby has lost more than 10% of its weight
Normally, when a baby has lost more than 10% of its weight, it is discharged from the hospital with the indication to take supplements.
When we talk about supplementation we always think of artificial milk, a bottle. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The first option for supplementation is pumped breast milk, if you can and want to pump, this is the first option.
A baby who has lost so much weight needs a lot of milk to recover, to be as skin-to-skin as possible and, in the case of not having the strength to suck, to defer breastfeeding until he has more energy.
He’s 5 days old and hasn’t started to gain weight yet or he’s still losing weight.
Babies lose weight until about the third day of life and start gaining it from the fifth day.
The first 6 weeks they earn about 20-30g per day. In the event that this is not happening and the baby continues to lose weight, it is necessary to intervene: the baby’s grip, the frequency of feedings, the mother’s technique and the various circumstances that may lead to a drop in milk production must be assessed.
If the baby does not poop every day (and only breastfeeds) this indicates that he is eating little and should increase his milk intake. Waiting around is often counterproductive as weight loss often increases.
He’s over 4 days old and doesn’t poop
If the baby only takes breast milk without any supplements he should take at least 3 poops of the size of a tablespoon a day. If the stools are smaller, they do not count. A baby who poops little may not be eating enough. So it will be important to assess the weight development and see if he should drink more milk.
In the case that you have taken even a supplement of artificial milk the rhythm of the depositions may vary and be misleading.
He’s more than 4 days old and leaves orange marks on the diaper
Orange marks on the diaper are caused by the high concentration of urine and the appearance of urate crystals.
Urates are common in the first two days of life, then they can indicate that the baby needs more milk. If the urates do not stop, do not hesitate to consult your paediatrician.
He cries all the time
Babies cry and they do it to communicate. That a baby cries at certain times of the day and night is common and unimportant. But if the baby cries all day long or cries inconsolably when he wants to suckle, do not hesitate to consult the midwife so that she can observe the baby and a complete feeding.
He doesn’t latch
Whether it has been caught previously or not, this situation requires an evaluation by the midwife and the pediatrician.
A baby who shows a lot of difficulty in breastfeeding and only breastfeeds can lose a lot of weight which is totally counterproductive.
In these cases the first option is always breast milk extraction and supplementation with a non-invasive method.
He’s 15 days old and hasn’t regained his birth weight
Breastfeeding is wonderful but babies have to gain weight. If they don’t, or only gain weight, we can’t wait or take the matter into our own hands. Again the first option is simple: start supplementation with pumped breast milk.
If your baby poops (more than 4 or 5 a day the size of a tablespoon) but does not gain weight, it would be ideal to visit your pediatrician to assess that your baby does not have a urine infection that is usually asymptomatic.
She throws up everything she eats
If she really throws up everything that comes in the form of a shotgun, you see her getting weaker and more upset, don’t hesitate to go as fast as possible to an emergency room.