It is the opinion of some lactation professionals that a weighted feeding is essential in order for a lactation consultation to be well rounded and effective. A weighted feeding is when baby is weighed on a professional and sensitive scale directly before and after a breastfeed in order to estimate baby’s milk intake and transfer. At GoldiLacts, while we agree that weighted feedings can be useful, we believe that the complexities of only ONE weighted feeding at ONE consultation may be misleading.
Every baby is different. Every baby has different sucking patterns, times of day when they eat more/less, times of day when stools are larger and more frequent, and each individual experiences exposure to different environmental factors that can contribute to longer feeding times at the breast. There are many variables that contribute to how much your baby takes in at each feeding, such as: the time of day your consultation is scheduled, the events that occur directly before the feeding, potential growth spurts or milestones your baby may be experiencing at the time…and more! New babies also tend to cluster feed regularly. During these times, babies take in far less milk each time but they do it more frequently throughout the day. Put simply, the scale may say baby took only a half-ounce at one weighted feeding, causing concern and worry for parents… only for some time to pass after a consult where they take in two or three ounces at their next feeding! A breastfed baby will rarely take in the exact same amount at each feeding.
When it comes to weighted feedings, we believe that the only way they can be truly effective is to conduct multiple measurements, held at different periods of the day, over the course of a few days for the purpose of creating an average. ONE weighted feeding, while it may bring a comfort, is not a great determining factor of overall intake and should never determine a mother’s perception of her personal breastfeeding success. ONE weighted feeding is only ONE measurement of your baby’s growth, taken at ONE time. ONE weighted feeding should not be considered the determining factor in your baby’s individual growth pattern or breastfeeding success. ONE weighted feeding should not take the place of monitored growth tracking from the pediatrician at your regularly scheduled well-baby visits.
It is our goal to help discover multiple ways in which mom and baby together thrive by perfecting latch, relaxing into a comfortable feeding pattern, encouraging an abundant milk supply, and paying close attention to baby’s diaper output. If diaper output is consistent and your baby is gaining weight steadily at every check-up you are most likely doing just perfectly!
At Goldilacts we hope that an initial consult is only the beginning of an ongoing relationship in which, along with your pediatrician, we work together to follow up, monitor progress, and make adjustments. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to provide you with exceptional lactation support! Thank you for allowing GoldiLacts to be a part of your breastfeeding journey!