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Lack or excess weight in the first year of life becomes the subject of close attention to the pediatrician. No wonder every month or every week after birth, the child is weighed by a doctor. This is necessary to determine the proper development and condition of the baby.

It is considered that overweight is always bad, it is precisely obesity that is always paid more attention. However, the lack of weight or its poor set can affect the development and health of the child even worse than excess.

Lack of weight is fraught with dangerous for the child diseases, growth and development lag. After the birth begins the intensive growth of the baby, the development of the organism as a whole. Therefore, it is important to monitor the weight, as well as the way the child eats: good or bad, a lot or a little. If the body receives less energy sources, it begins to expend its own reserves of fat or glycogen. This leads to disastrous consequences.

If a child gains little weight, it becomes prone:

  • to frequent colds and catarrhal diseases,
  • to dysbiosis,
  • to anemia,
  • to rickets,
  • to many other dangerous diseases.

A child who eats and drinks only breast milk reacts especially acutely to the lack of minerals and nutrients, vitamins. A child may have neuropsychic abnormalities due to mass deficiencies; vital organs, hearing, vision, and musculoskeletal system may develop improperly.

Methods for determining the mass deficiency

Not always low weight - this is evidence of malnutrition in a child. Sometimes this can be caused by the baby’s constitution caused by heredity. That is, if his mom or dad, grandmother or grandfather had or have a lack of weight. This is also possible due to the fact that the child does not eat enough. Less often there are discrepancies with real indicators and tabular, those that are presented in textbooks.

Weighing a child alone is not enough to reveal hypotrophy. Additionally, the following procedures should be applied:

  • inspection,
  • growth fixation
  • lab tests,
  • a survey of parents, including questions about what the child eats.

Mass standards and other indicators

In infants, as a rule, not only body weight is estimated, but also its monthly increase. A child who had a normal weight at birth should normally add 600 g or from 500 to 1000 g during the first 6 months of life. And then - an average of 300 g.

Normal weight is inextricably linked with growth. The combination of these values ​​and will give accurate information about whether your baby gets enough nutrients.

Inspection of a child and a survey of parents

When interviewing parents, the pediatrician learns how the child gained weight earlier, whether he has chronic diseases. Whether there have been recently transferred ARVI or a cold. The doctor asks what appetite the child has and what he eats, about the peculiarities of the child’s behavior and about whether he sleeps a lot or little.

Children with hypotrophy are distinguished by a lack of fat, their folds and cheeks disappear, and the child looks very thin. The skin of a sick baby is dry, scaly, turgor is reduced. When pressed, the skin does not quickly return to its original position. Symptoms of dysfunction of the nervous system may be noted. The kid does not hold his head at all or badly, does not sit down, does not eat, and so on.

Research data in the laboratory will help the doctor clarify the picture and make an accurate diagnosis. For this, a complete blood count is used. When it reveals signs of anemia, decreased levels of lymphocytes and red blood cells.

The main sources of the problem

The main reason for the lack of weight in infants - lack of mother's milk. Pediatricians in this case are advised to feed the child with artificial mixtures. However, do not rush to transfer the baby to artificial feeding.

The reasons for the weight gain during breastfeeding can also be:

  1. Chronic diseases.
  2. Teething and associated loss of appetite.
  3. Summer, heat.
  4. Taking certain medications.
  5. Measurement error.

Alimentary and internal

Causes of weight gain in children breastfed are conventionally divided into two groups - nutritional and internal. Alimentary causes, or in another way - external, are associated with incomplete intake of nutrients, as well as the fact that the baby does not eat well. Domestic talk about the over-expenditure of these substances or their incorrect assimilation.

At present, it is believed that external causes are practically not encountered. After all, it is difficult to imagine that the reason that a baby gains weight poorly may be parental negligence or deliberate underfeeding of the baby. However, sometimes there is a mother’s inattention to how a baby eats.

It is necessary to teach the child to the schedule of feeding. After six months, be sure to introduce new foods into the diet. But it is also impossible to give children food not by age. Their digestive system simply cannot digest many foods.

In addition to the nutritional cause described above, it is worth mentioning about congenital anomalies, defects of the esophagus, regurgitation, mental disorders. All this is the physiological signs of weight loss.

Internal reasons include:

  1. Nutrient requirements too high. This is due to the accelerated growth of the body and its need for additional energy, as well as diseases. A premature baby often gains weight poorly.
  2. Nutrient digestibility. This reason is associated with various diseases: lack of enzymes, allergies, chronic diseases of the digestive tract. The child may have a syndrome of absorption in the intestine, etc.

Weight loss treatment

The diagnosis of "hypotrophy" can only pediatrician on the basis of observations and tests. Treatment is also carried out under his control.

With a mild degree of hypotrophy, that is, with a deviation from the norm by no more than 20%, it is enough only to normalize the diet, introduce a feeding regimen, which is especially important for newborns. When breastfeeding, it is advisable to attach the baby to the breast every three hours. In this case, the mother will be provided with the required amount of milk.

It may be necessary to introduce an artificial mixture if the mother’s milk is not sufficiently produced. In some cases, when the baby is not gaining weight well, the doctor prescribes enzymes, special mixtures, vitamins that help and improve weight gain. It is important to eliminate in time all possible causes of malnutrition.

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1. Malnutrition

The most common cause is elemental malnutrition. It happens that some women after pregnancy, there is insufficient lactation, that is, the baby just does not have enough mother's milk.

In this case, it is necessary to take measures aimed at restoring the health of the mom, and temporarily supplement the baby with artificial mixtures. If the problem is not pathological in nature, then solve it with folk remedies. For example, including in the diet of royal jelly, which we wrote in detail in the heading "useful and harmful."

Royal jelly is used and traditional medicine in feeding premature babies. Medical consultation is required.

Also stopping weight can cause illness. All the forces of the child’s body at such times are aimed at fighting the disease, and not at the development.

Even a trivial runny nose or stuffy nose can cause malnutrition. The baby simply cannot breathe with a spout, because of which, during feeding, it swallows air with its mouth. In this case, the milk is ingested every other time, but moms do not notice this, respectively, without increasing the time of feeding. As a result, for the same period, the baby gets 2-3 times less milk.

Not all children let us know about this problem crying. If you want to make sure that the baby has eaten enough (in accordance with the medical feeding recommendation tables and weight / height standards), weigh it before and after feeding. However, for this we advise you to buy children's electronic scales, they have the smallest error, so every gram will be taken into account.

3. Zinc deficiency

Problems with weight gain in infants may be associated with unbalanced maternal nutrition. If during pregnancy and lactation mom loses zinc, it affects the pace of development of the baby. Enough to take the appropriate vitamins. Again, after consulting a doctor.

Do not panic, all these problems are easily solved. And it is also quite possible that your baby has such a constitution. But go to the doctor, of course, worth it. Especially if the problem is observed one year after birth.

Watch the weight!

So, the baby was discharged from the hospital, and now the parents will have to monitor the state of his health first of all, and the pediatrician will come to visit the baby from time to time.
In order to observe how the baby is gaining weight, it is advisable to buy or rent scales. If a child is born with a weight of less than 3000 g, then it is necessary to acquire the scales and regularly weigh the baby! Scales will be needed not only to monitor the weight of the baby, but also to determine the amount of breast milk that the baby sucks. Then you will know for sure if you are producing enough milk and whether the baby needs extra food.

  • If you weigh a baby for weight, it is better to do it before evening bathing and, of course, on an empty stomach. Lay a diaper on the scale and, after undressing the baby, place it on the bowl. Try to keep the child not moving very actively, otherwise the indicators will be false.
  • If you weigh the baby to determine the amount of milk, then you do not need to undress it beforehand. Put it on the scales before feeding, and then again - after feeding, and subtract the first digit from the second number, then the result will be the number of grams that the baby sucks for one feeding. Multiply this figure by the number of feedings, and in the end you will have a daily amount of food, which should be compared with the recommended rate for this age. But note that the child, depending on the appetite in one feeding, can eat less, in the other - more.

We estimate height and weight

The weight of the child is necessarily evaluated in conjunction with its growth. Normal is the growth of the baby at birth in the range from 46 to 56 cm.
To determine the optimal ratio of weight and height of the child, you need to divide the height by weight.
For example, a baby was born with a weight of 3500 g and a height of 50 cm - 3500: 50 = 70.

  • If the result is a figure in the range from 60 to 70, then the child’s performance is considered normal.
  • If the figure is more than 70, then the child’s body weight is insufficient for such growth.
  • If the figure is less than 60, then the child was born large for his height.

in the first days, all newborn babies lose 8–10% of their original weight

Milk is not enough!

It often happens that a mother comes with a monthly baby to the clinic for a routine examination, and there she is stunned: “The child is not gaining weight well. You do not have enough milk! "She is in a panic:" What to do ?! "
First of all, it is natural for doctors to assume that mom really doesn’t have enough milk. A woman can pay attention to his disadvantage herself, for this you need to track some signs, for example:

  • the child's urination decreases (in the first months the baby must empty the bladder at least 8–10 times a day),
  • the chair is rare, scanty,
  • the baby became restless, crying more, often looking for breasts.

If the matter is really a lack of milk, you should try breastfeed.
For this woman is recommended:

  • more often put the baby to the chest,
  • take turns both breasts in one feeding,
  • don't give up on nightly feeds,
  • take special lactogonic teas,
  • try to rest more, sleep, walk.

With a lack of milk in a woman, the pediatrician additionally prescribes an artificial mixture to the child. If mom wants to keep breastfeeding, she needs to try to combine breastfeeding and formula - go on mixed feeding.
It is desirable to give a breast in each feeding, and after that to offer the baby an artificial mixture. With this approach, it is desirable to weigh the baby before and after breastfeeding, because you can not determine "by eye" how much the baby sucked.

Weight loss

But besides the lack of breast milk, there are some other reasons that can lead to poor weight gain by a child.

  • The child is too weak and does not have enough strength to suck out enough milk.
    This is usually the case in premature and low birth weight babies. It is necessary to try to apply them to the chest more often, to understand that they need more time to saturate. You can express the milk in a bottle and feed the baby - so it will be easier for the child to suck.
  • The kid has problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
    In this case, in addition to weight gain, the child usually has other manifestations, such as regurgitation, colic, and loose liquid stools with undigested pieces. The reasons for such phenomena may be enzyme deficiency, dysbacteriosis, etc. Parents are important to pay attention to this pediatrician - perhaps he will give recommendations to pass tests, advise you to change the mixture if the baby is on artificial feeding, prescribe drugs that help the absorption of food.
    If a child has frequent regurgitations, then it is obvious that part of the food simply does not reach the stomach and intestines, it “goes back”, therefore the child gains weight worse. Often, the baby to regurgitate may have more frequent feedings, but with less food. You can feed the child a little, then wear it in an upright position so that it bares its air, and then put it back to your chest.
  • A common cause of underweight in babies is rickets. This disease occurs in children due to a lack of vitamin D in the body, which is produced under the action of ultraviolet rays and is obtained from certain foods. With rickets in a child, in addition to weight loss, there are other signs - sweating, wiped hair on the back of the head, and constipation appear. The doctor, finding a child with rickets, prescribes vitamin D in an age dosage. When it is taken, the metabolism is normalized, and the baby begins to gain weight well.
  • Cause of poor weight gain can be diseases of the central nervous system, therefore, it would be nice to show a child who is underweight in a child’s weight to a neurologist. With increased intracranial pressure, with hypertonicity of the muscles, there is a lag in weight.

Overfeeding problem

If the weight loss of the baby often causes the parents anxiety, then they take the extra pounds calmly. On the contrary, plump hands and legs with dressings cause such affection! In fact, there is cause for worry.

Too full of children often have problems with the work of the pancreas, which can lead to the development of diabetes, they are prone to allergic diseases, exudative diathesis. By virtue of their build, little fat girls are less mobile than other children of their age: they are too lazy to move, and as a result they begin to lag behind in motor development. They have loose tissue, weak muscles. So, overweight can not go to their advantage!

There is an opinion that it is impossible to overfeed a baby with breast milk. In fact, it is not. If a woman has a lot of milk, and the baby is a lover of food, then he will not give up the pleasure of staying longer at the breast. The more milk a baby sucks, the more his stomach will stretch. And that means, in the next feeding, he will again want to get a bigger portion. How to get out of this situation? You can do the following.

  • If you used to adhere to feeding "on demand", then it is better to switch to feeding according to the regime - feed the baby strictly according to the clock.
  • Не предлагайте крохе грудь по любому поводу – возможно, в некоторых случаях его устроит бутылочка с водой (не подслащенной!).
  • Сцеживайте перед кормлением в бутылочку положенное ребенку количество граммов и предлагайте малышу бутылочку.

With overweight in children, it is important not only to improve their diet, but also to be more active with them. So babies are very useful swimming, gymnastics, massage. Parents need to try to encourage them to crawl, walk.

Having learned that the weight of the child is slightly above or below the norm, do not immediately panic. Deviations from the norm within 10% is permissible. Doctors start talking about hypotrophy and paratrophy if the weight differs from the norm by more than 10%.

What is dangerous weight loss?

Weight loss is hypotrophy. It is very dangerous, as a result of this, severe and not very pleasant symptoms may develop in a child. When the baby is constantly growing for the development of organs and tissues need a constant flow of energy and "building material".

The source of all this is food. When a child lacks nutrients, the body may require their receipt from their reserves.

As a result, with a slight weight loss, it is noted:

  • frequent tendency to SARS,
  • rickets,
  • anemia,
  • endocrine dysfunction
  • dysbacteriosis.

Different external manifestations will be noticeable not only by the doctor, but also by the parents.

Infants have a special sensitivity to nutrients, so against the background of malnutrition they often experience delays in the formation of organs of tissues, pathologies of the musculoskeletal system and lag in neuro-psychological development. It is very important to consult a doctor in time to prevent the development of abnormalities.

How to determine the lack of weight?

Low weight in comparison with the age norm - does not always indicate the presence of hypotrophy.

It may also be associated with the following factors:

  • Constitutional features. In families where parents are heavy, full children are born, and vice versa. Often, weight indicators are a hereditary phenomenon.
  • Feeding features. A breastfed baby can sometimes lose weight, compared with children who are on mixed or artificial feeding.

External causes of underweight in infants

External causes may be due to improper actions of the parents or the environment that surrounds the child.

Often these include the following reasons:

  • Food factor. Breast milk is not enough for satiety of the baby and weight gain. This is due to improper feeding of the nursing mother - the baby consumes enough milk, but it is not nourishing for him. Also, there may be very little milk.
  • Disruption of meals.
  • Incorrectly selected mixture for artificial feeding can also affect the weight, as well as the later introduction of complementary foods.
  • Toxic factor can be called unfavorable ecology, medication, frequent poisoning and the lack of sufficient amounts of vitamins. It is necessary to reconsider the medication that helps strengthen the immune system and other body functions.
  • Social factor is that parents are inattentive to their baby - he rarely walks, communicates little with mom and dad, does not get affection. No one gives him a massage and does not perform developmental gymnastic exercises - all this can lead to improper development of the baby and deviations in weight.
  • Exogenous factors cause great stress - the child often wakes up at night, eats badly and behaves restlessly when the situation changes.

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Internal causes

Internal causes are pathologies of the body. These include:

  • SARS and other diseases of a similar nature.
  • Pathology and intestinal infections.
  • Failure to obtain nutrients and poor metabolism.
  • CNS malformations and endocrine diseases.
  • Immunopathological processes, the presence of allergies.
  • Inherited malabsorption syndrome.
  • Cystic fibrosis or a violation of the glands of external secretion.

Signs of weight loss

When carrying out inspection of a baby with hypotrophy, you can see that the child’s body lacks vitamins and nutrients.

Subcutaneous fat layer becomes thinner, wrinkles and cheeks disappear, thinness is observed.

The skin becomes flabby, dry, flaky, its turgor decreases.

As for the nails and hair, they become brittle, lose their beauty. Observed disorders of the nervous system, lethargy reflexes.

Laboratory data can confirm or refute the presence of hypotrophy - you can also find out the extent and causes of the disease. A baby may experience a decrease in hemoglobin, changes in the number of red blood cells and lymphocytes. In order to find out the cause, you need to pass a complete blood count.

Determination of the norm of weight in infants

The neonatal period lasts 28 weeks, starting from the moment the baby is born.

For all the time he gains 1/3 of his weight, namely, 20 grams every day.

The child is constantly monitored, measure growth, body weight and other indicators. Every month the increase decreases.

Doctors strongly recommend feeding infants no more than 1 time in 2.5 hours. This mode will allow you to restore weight and control the amount of food to the size of your stomach. The hourly demand for food indicates that the baby has easily digested the previous portion, and now wants to get a new one.

  • For the second half of the first month, the child is rapidly gaining weight and becomes 500-600 grams more. This indicator is quite normal. In order to make sure that everything goes according to plan, the child is not rarely sent to the survey, where he is recommended the best diet. A nursing woman should also be fully fed, as the quality and caloric content of milk depends on her food.
  • From the fifth to the 12th week, an infant is actively gaining weight since it consumes from 125 to 200 ml of milk. The monthly rate of weight gain per month is from 500 grams to 2 kg, despite the fact that the child moves very little and only starts to hold his head and try to sit down.
  • From 4 to 6 months, the increase is reduced due to the fact that the baby becomes more mobile. To the weight is added 500-1000 grams. The allowable increase is 300 grams, but the doctor must examine and analyze the condition of the baby.
  • In the period from 6 to 9 months, babies are given complementary foods, and breastfeeding is continued on request. At this point, children gain from 600 grams to 1.5 kg.
  • Between the 10th and 12th months, the increase should be between 300 and 900 grams. Feed the baby need on demand, but it is better to adhere to such a regime - 4 times a day. A small weight gain during this period is due to the fact that the child begins to walk and spends enough energy.

How to treat weight loss?

If a child is found to have hypotrophy, the treatment is carried out strictly according to the doctor’s prescription and under his control.

Normalization of the diet - the first thing to do. But this is not the only parameter that is worth paying attention to.

A special diet aimed at increasing the amount of food will help the baby to gain weight faster and get stronger.

In addition, enzymes, nutritional and therapeutic mixtures, vitamins and other drugs can be prescribed. The duration of treatment of malnutrition depends on how low the weight of the baby. If the disease is caused by internal causes, they certainly need to be eliminated, and after that the nutrition, caloric intake and amount of food should be reconsidered.

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In conclusion, it is worth noting that the lack of weight in infants is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. If the child has a predisposition to low weight, it will be noticeable even at birth. But if a baby loses weight every month, it can be a signal to a very serious problem.

In any case, contact your pediatrician to conduct an examination, weighing, and also to draw conclusions about whether it is worth changing the diet and its frequency. It is possible that in order for the child to have a normal weight, you just need to add complementary foods to the diet and modify the mode a little.

What is dangerous weight loss

Food is a building material without which organs and tissues will not grow. Low absorption of nutrients or too intensive consumption of them in the body provoke various complications:

  • propensity for colds
  • rickets and anemia,
  • dysbacteriosis,
  • endocrine dysfunction,
  • weakening hair and nails
  • general decrease in immunity.

If the body does not have enough nutrients, it takes them from the fatty tissue under the skin, but the problem is that not all substances can be replenished in this way. Most of the minerals, vitamins and vital protein cannot accumulate in adipose tissue and only come from food.

And infants in this case are especially defenseless, because the lack of such substances causes a delay in teething, tissue formation, even in neuropsychic development. A baby with a serious lack of weight may in the future suffer from vision problems, lag in sexual development, motor support pathologies.

Causes of malnutrition

Weight gain, or malnutrition, is caused by either external (nutritional) or internal causes. External causes are caused by low intake of nutrients, internal evidence of excessively intense metabolism or low absorption of food.

External causes

Most often, depletion in infants due to external causes is observed in dysfunctional families, where the child does not receive proper care, attention and adequate nutrition.

But sometimes the lack of weight is also in children with the most caring parents. This is because the mother may simply not have enough milk, and the baby does not eat enough. Reducing lactation without additional feeding is the most common cause of weight deficiency, if you do not increase the production of milk, you should teach the infant to complementary foods.

A prerequisite for the normal digestibility of food is its quality and matching the age of the baby.

The baby cannot eat the same as his parents, the food must be natural, properly cooked, low in salt and thoroughly chopped. Even if the child swallows a large piece and does not choke, it will be difficult to digest his ventricle. As a result, either the baby refuses to eat, or problems with the digestive system begin, leading to weight loss.

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