Being a new mom can be nerve-wracking. You keep checking the health of your baby, read endless books, and do your best to ensure they are healthy and happy. You can watch the newborn lose some of its birth weight during this time.
Before you panic, let us tell you that this is normal. During the first few days, a newborn will lose between 7 and 8% of its birth weight. Most of the babies gain the weight back, and then it begins increasing.
However, if your newborn is not gaining weight, here are some of the reasons behind this.
1. Intake Of Calories Is Low
It is important to understand the calorie needs of your baby. For example, a breastfed baby will need feeding every two or three hours. If you are feeding formula, the newborn will require two ounces of formula after every three hours.
Even if you are doing this, some newborns might still not be getting enough calories to gain weight.
The reasons for this include the following:
- Issues with latching: Make sure that your baby is latching on correctly so that they are getting all the nutrients they need. If the issue persists, you can opt for a lactation consultant
- Sleeping a lot: Many newborns sleep a lot, which means they will not be getting calories. You can gently wake them up to keep feeding them every few hours
- Still learning: Babies are still learning how to breathe, swallow, and suck. Give them time to learn and notice the weight
These are the top three reasons that the calorie intake of your newborn baby might be low. Be sure to keep a check and see if it is because of any of these issues. If that is the case, then work towards rectifying the issue.
2. Burning Calories
All newborns have different calorie needs in the beginning. That is because some of the babies will quickly metabolize all the calories that they intake. There are many reasons why some newborns might burn more calories than others, which include:
- Difficulty with breathing: If your newborn is facing difficulty breathing, they are probably exerting more effort, which means burning more calories
- Premature newborn: A premature newborn will need more calories than a full-term newborn. Be sure to keep on breastfeeding so that they can have a higher calorie intake without burning too much to gain weight
- Heart issues: If your newborn has any heart problems, it will probably expend more energy and struggle to gain weight. Be sure to consult a professional to rule this possibility out
These are the top three reasons your newborn might be burning more calories, which means they don’t have enough in their system for weight gain. You must rectify these problems so that they can have enough calories to gain a healthy weight.
3. Lower Calorie Absorption
Finally, another reason why your newborn might not be gaining weight is that they are not absorbing enough calories from the food they take in. There could be many reasons for a low-calorie absorption rate.
- Sensitive or allergic to certain foods: Babies can be intolerant, sensitive, or allergic to certain foods. If you think your newborn has an allergy, you must seek care as soon as possible
- GERD: Many newborn babies frequently spit up because of GERD. Because of this, they will absorb fewer calories. You can seek medical care for this problem
- Celiac disease: Many newborns develop this disease when you introduce them to solid foods. It can hinder their ability to absorb nutrients in the best way possible
These are the top three reasons that your newborn baby might not be absorbing as many calories as possible for them to thrive.
If you suspect any of these issues, we recommend that you seek medical care. It will enable you to give immediate care to your newborn baby.
Keep in mind that in some severe cases, lower calorie absorption can also be because of jaundice. It leads to weight loss, and your baby might not gain a healthy weight.
So, visit the medical practitioner to rule this possibility out and help your baby gain weight without any issues.
That was your complete guide to why your newborn baby might not be gaining weight. If it has been a month and you are still concerned, we recommend you visit your newborn baby’s healthcare practitioner.
It will help you rule out any serious issues, and you can follow the doctor’s order to ensure healthy weight gain for the newborn.