Most babies lose up to 10% of their initial weight – and this makes many new parents FREAK OUT!
So the first thing you need to know is this: It is natural, normal, and expected.
In this post I am going to explain why this happens – and why you shouldn’t worry about it.
And by the way, even if your baby loses more than 10% of their initial weight – you still shouldn’t freak out! (If that happens, just follow the plan I created for you here: Baby Lost More than 10% Of Their Weight – What To Do)
Why Does Your Baby Lose Weight In The First Week?
It’s simple… It’s because your baby is designed to lose weight in the first few days!!
When your baby is in the womb, they receive food and energy through the umbilical cord.
After birth this changes (obviously).
Their food and energy source now comes in 2 forms:
- Extra fat stores
Let’s take a look at each, and why they naturally promote the initial weight loss.
Your colostrum, made around 16 weeks gestation, is in very small amounts. There’s nothing wrong with that – that’s actually a good thing, since your baby will only drink up to 5 millilitres per feed during the early days!
And why doesn’t your body make more? Because colostrum is not there to help your baby put on weight. It’s there to give your baby energy to start breastfeeding, AND (hugely important) – to protect your baby from new germs.
Colostrum transitions to milk at about day 3. Which is when you can expect your baby to start putting on weight. Until then – he’s not even supposed to!
#2 Break Down Of Fat Stores
Your baby begins to store extra fat in the last few weeks of pregnancy. This fat will be broken down and used as energy to do two things:
- Other new bodily functions
Since your baby starts breaking down this fat as soon as they are born – they will lose some initial weight, until your milk comes in.
And again, don’t worry!
This Is Meant To Happen!
Your baby will put the weight back on within 2 weeks. And if you’re still worried about them losing weight, and want to minimise it, there’s one simple thing you can do:
Breastfeed on demand.
This means breastfeed your baby whenever they cry. No questions asked!
Yes, you may be feeding up to 12 times a day! And guess what? That’s good. Because all this breastfeeding stimulates your breasts and helps your milk come in!
And once it does – bubs will start piling that weight back on right away!
Still worried? Got questions? You’re not alone. Give me call (or text me) at 0414 403 208 for a free consultation.
I look forward to hearing from you.