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Wwyd: a friends baby not gaining weight

  1. ldh112

    kiwi / 556 posts

    Honestly, it would be difficult for me to not want to report her for medical neglect. Reporting is done anonymously so they would never know it was you. If the baby's cheeks are sunken in/guant and has a general appearance of being weak or sickly I wouldn't hesitate to report.

  2. ShootingStar

    coconut / 8472 posts

    Maybe you should call your own pediatrician and see what they advise? Babies not getting enough to eat and ignoring the problem is pretty serious to me, but I'm not a doctor. Maybe they'd say it's mom's business. But if they think it's serious enough to call CPS, I would do it.

  3. Ree723

    grapefruit / 4819 posts

    @jh524: This could be a stretch, but do you know if her baby was tested for cystic fibrosis at birth with the heel prick? I'm not an expert in this at all, but the cough and the fact that she's not gaining weight or keeping food down are red flags to me that *could* potentially indicate CF. People with CF struggle to gain weight (due to their body's inability to absorb nutrients properly), and have a persistent cough that is quite mucusy - you said the baby has a cough, has it been around since birth or is it a new thing? More than likely it's not CF, but if she hasn't had the baby tested, I think it is definitely something to look into.... Could you ask her if she had the heel prick done?

  4. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @Ree723: I will ask her today when she comes over.
    I will also check her cheeks when I get the chance to see how she reacts. I am not the only one in the family concerned about the baby.
    I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions here. I don't want anyone to get upset over this. It is scary but glad to have everyone on here to talk to. I will do what i can to help make suggestions to her. So thank you to everyone. I still have a few more days here and will see how the next few days go with her

  5. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @gingerbebe: is there a test they do at birth to check for GD?

  6. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @Maysprout: she pooped 1 time when she was over yesterday and mentioned they have been weird colors, not a regular bm newborn poop color.

  7. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    @jh524: Its usually a heel prick thing where they check the baby's blood sugar like they would for adults. They usually do it right away for moms that had GD. I only ask because the baby was big and I wonder how closely mom was monitored in terms of prenatal care if she's so sketched out by doctors in general. As an example, my boss' son was born at 36 weeks and the baby was 8lbs. and mom had GD. The hospital checked his blood sugar multiple times a day. His blood sugar was low at birth and because it wouldn't hold stable without falling, they put him on formula right away and asked mom to pump - they couldn't trust that her colostrum or milk, whenever it came in, would do it fast enough to regulate his sugars. He was in NICU being monitored just for blood sugar for 5 days being discharged and my boss and his wife just decided to stay with formula to reduce stress on mom and keep his intake steady and stable.

  8. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30692 posts

    @jh524: What's a weird color for EBF baby poop? I feel like the color for poop ranges so much. And EBF babies can poop multiple times a day or once every 10 days.

  9. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @bluestriped bee: I missed the pic but thats alright, thank you
    . @gingerbebe: she was probably never tested for Gd but I will ask. She saw a midwife for her prenatal care. When she started laboring the Doula?? Said she wouldn't deliver the baby because her heart rate was unstable. She got to the hospital and they Considered her high risk saying she had no prenatal care. They took the baby for 48 hours in the nicu because baby had a high Heartrate, jaundice and they thought 6 weeks early but changed it to 3 weeks early. She was still 9 lbs at birth.

  10. jetsa

    grapefruit / 4663 posts

    I have no input but I do have a peanut (5th percentile) she was born at 7-3 (2 weeks early) and at 3 months was just 11-8. The dr has not been concerned but I am. 1 pound in 3 months something seems wrong! My dr is very against unnecessary supplementation but at that point I think he'd be advocating for it

  11. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @Adira: well grandma told me that mom said her poops were a weird color. I don't know I didnt see it first hand. I ask her though

  12. psw27

    pomelo / 5220 posts

    I agree with @Ree723 I hate to play internet doctor, but the baby might have cystic fibrosis and needs to be seen by a doctor ASAP.


  13. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @psw27: wow ok I'll ask her if she was tested for cf at birth. I know it's totally different but she did mention she has a cyst by her eye but I didn't see anything. I will do some more digging today and try to get more info from her.

  14. psw27

    pomelo / 5220 posts

    @jh524: so sad I hope the baby (and the mama!) get the help they need so this little one can grow and thrive.

  15. Astro Bee

    pear / 1503 posts

    That's very alarming to me! There is something really wrong for baby not to be gaining weight. Is she not growing by length either?

    Just as another comparison, DS was 50% by weight for his first 6 months, and fell slightly to 40% thereafter, but his ped said that it was normal for breastfed babies to drop a bit somewhere bw 6 and 18 months, as they get more active. DS was an early crawler and pull-upper, so I wasn't concerned. He was 7 lbs 2 oz at birth and 13 lbs 12 oz at 3 months. He has been 85-90% for height all along.

    I pulled up the WHO charts for you. Your friend's daughter has fallen to bw 2-5% at 3 mo, down from 90% at birth! Maybe numbers will sway her that there is, in fact, an issue?


  16. jedeve

    pomegranate / 3643 posts

    Can you offer to watch her two year old while she takes the baby to an appointment? Maybe even offer to call and schedule it for her. I think you could privately voice your concerns to the receptionist/nurse and explain why you think it's urgent. I think they would squeeze you in.

  17. MenagerieMama

    pear / 1547 posts

    I haven't read everything but I want to say if you are really concerned and she isn't responding to your help, call CPS. If they need to investigate they will, they can tell you if it's appropriate. Their goal is to keep families together so don't feel like CPS = taking baby away. DH and I are mandated reporters and is a child psychologist so he calls them daily. They are a good resource!

  18. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @Astro Bee: wow thank you for the stats I will talks about them with her

    As for some peoples cps suggestions.. I'm not going to take that route until all options are exhausted and if I think she's not taking proper care after the time I've been here. I feel like cps would be betraying another mother jeopardizing the child from being with her family but babys health is at stake here so I will wait this out and see how the next few days go.

  19. Boogs

    hostess / papaya / 10540 posts

    I would rather be that guy and say something vs watch something bad happen to the baby. You could be totally wrong and baby is fine, but at least you tried. Or you could be right and baby can get medical attention it needs.

  20. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    In this case after reading everything I'd rather be the bad guy too and say something. It doesn't matter what the baby started out weighing... It's the lack of weight gaining that's really concerning b/c that means baby isn't eating. I totally understand the want to EBF, but there comes a point when having a healthy growing baby trumps EBF (and my definition of EBF here means breastfeeding, pumping, syringing, spoon feeding BM, etc)

    This puts you at a really tough spot! And you're so sweet for trying to help the best way you can. I just hope the mom listens!

  21. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    Good luck over the next few days. We are all rooting for you and this sweet baby.

  22. Mama Bird

    pomegranate / 3127 posts

    @jh524: I completely understand how you feel about CPS, and I do hope you can get through to the mom without going that route. But failure to thrive (if that's what's going on) can have long term consequences, and her baby could be falling further behind every day. Would she at least see a lactation consultant?

    That said, LCs and chiropractors are not substitutes for regular medical care. It's not OK to deny that to a baby, especially since she doesn't seem to be doing well.

    Good luck!

  23. Mrs.KMM

    grapefruit / 4355 posts

    Wow - just reading all of this , I'm concerned for this baby. I hope we're all wrong but it definitely feels like something is going on here. Please keep us posted!

  24. yellowbird

    honeydew / 7303 posts

    Wow. Personally, if a friend, relative, acquaintance, patient, or anyone I knew had an infant that they refused to seek medical advice for and who had only gained 1 lb since birth and did not seem healthy then I would have absolutely no problem calling CPS myself and would feel obligated to call for the sake of the little one! I hope she is okay!

  25. pastemoo

    cantaloupe / 6146 posts

    @jh524: I would talk to grandma unless you are really very close. Sounds like grandma both has concerns and knows more. It sounds like mama is on a situation where she is blocking out advice, so I wouldn't go with the direct approach . Talk to your husband and others involved but don't be the only one who says something. Maybe mama has PPD and isn't remembering to feed baby, maybe something more complex is going on.

  26. Torchwood

    pomelo / 5607 posts

    I've gotta say, I'm not pro-calling CPS normally, but in this case if she isn't taking you seriously very soon, I'd call. My cousin's son was very similar- high birth weight even being born a bit early, but totally failed to gain at a healthy rate, with a lot of spitting up. Turns out he has a serious disease (eosinophilic esophagitis) and would have died without proper medical care. (Which she got, even though doctors didn't take her seriously, and even accused her of Munchausens by proxy, so basically the opposite of this situation.) I know I would feel guilty as hell calling, but I'd feel infinitely worse if the baby had a bad outcome.

  27. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    @jh524: Still thinking of you and that baby and have been for days! My son is now just shy of 15 months and thriving but he was born at 6lb 15oz and was down to 6lbs 6at discharge because my milk wasn't coming in and he had jaundice. The doctors made us come in every 48 hours for like two weeks and I was BFing 24/7. My son never stopped crying and was puking everywhere. After 3 weeks we got him medicated for reflux (which ultimately required a few dosage adjustments and then a second drug that finally made a huge difference), started supplementing with formula, and eventually put him on a 3 hour feeding schedule on bottles of pumped milk and a bottle of formula at bedtime because his weight was still not going up as fast as doctors wanted and I wanted to verify the total amount he was eating every day. After 3 months of hard work he was about 12lbs (so just under double his birth weight) and he was at the 30th percentile for his curve. The ped wasn't worried anymore but told me to keep up whatever I was doing. At 1 year he was finally at 50% and my ped told me to relax, but that first year was me constantly worrying about his caloric intake, fattening up his solids with oil and butter, and spending upwards of 3 hours a day pumping until I weaned to formula. When I think about those early months when he was screaming and crying from hunger and reflux pains (he was on meds until 5.5 months) I feel so bad and so grateful he's okay. I really really hope however she gets help that this baby finds a solution soon. My son fought bottles and eating for months just because he associated it with pain and throwing up and being miserable, so he basically cried all the time - from hunger, then pain, then from throwing up, then from being hungry from throwing up, etc. I so feel for this baby! God bless you for being concerned!

  28. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @gingerbebe: thank you. Your situation sounds so similar to what's happening! The baby is failing to thrive and I think there are multiple factors all at play. Possibly GERD and failure the thrive...

    I talked to the mom and she got upset and didn't talk to me much at Thanksgivibg but came around eventually. I can't bring myself to call cps on them. It's family. Even grandma is worried sick though and keeps saying get her to the dr.!

    The baby may have colic also but mom is saying she has food allergies per her own decision. She says she's taking her to a Dr but I don't think it's true pediatrician or family dr. The baby is failing and grandma just told me that mom was told that but isn't doing anything.
    On Thurs., Baby bf's and was happy for about 10 minutes then gets very upset and spit up everything and chokes. Has wheezing sounding breathing and eye mucous. She's very thin. I told mom the stats about her growth a previous commenter provided and she says she knew.
    If cps was called, what happens? I just don't get it, mom and her family that came & saw the baby, are all highly educated people. Apparently dr googles who know everything:( it's a sad thing here but I don't think I can do anything.

  29. Jess1483

    nectarine / 2641 posts

    @jh524: I'm not a social worker, but I have worked in the mental health field and as a teacher. I have students who were in some borderline abuse cases, and mostly the CPS worker would meet with them and lay out some rules about what the family had to do. It's not like CPS will come and just remove the baby right away (unless they believe she is imminent danger, in which case I hope they would). I would guess they would lay out some guidelines about how often she needs to take baby to the doctor, require proof, maybe even go on the doctor's visits with her. I hate thinking of this poor baby not getting enough food. It's so sad.

    It's so hard to call. I was a mandated reporter, so I was required to do so, which kind of takes the question out of it. With family, it would be super hard, but something's gotta give.

  30. JoyfulKiwi

    nectarine / 2667 posts

    @jh524: I'm a teacher and mandated reporter and I understand the hesitation to call CPS. It always made me feel guilty and uncomfortable when I've had to do it in the past. It's a very tough call to make, especially with this mom being a family/friend (sorry, I'm not quite clear on this woman's relationship to you).
    However, I think since you've talked to her and her own mother (?) has expressed concerns AND she has a clear pattern of ignoring medical advice/care, it may be the ultimate route to take. If you truly feel that baby is unwell and needs medical attention, please try to intervene. The first year of life is SO crucial and problems now can compound into major problems later (I work in early childhood, birth to 5) and I see many kids who have issues and their backstory includes parents ignoring warning signs from a young age.
    Like @MenagerieMama: said, CPS is not the bad guy and they don't want to take children from their homes. In my experiences with them, they want to stabilize families and, most importantly, keep children safe & healthy. I know some 'Bees around here are in social work. Maybe you can start a thread asking for more details on how CPS calls/visits work?

  31. Chuckles

    persimmon / 1495 posts

    @jh524: as a teacher who has had to call cps, I understand your hesitation. People often think that calling = child taken away. But that's not usually the case. They can assign a caseworker who can keep an eye on baby, help mom make a plan for medical care, and require her to follow through. There can be education for mom and other support services. Hope this helps you feel better about calling. It sounds like the right thing to do in this case.

  32. jh524

    pear / 1632 posts

    @JoyfulKiwi & @Chuckles: she is also a teacher in early education in CA. She's seen neglect first hand as well.
    I am at a loss of what I can do. I'm back home now and it's been on my mind non stop

  33. ldh112

    kiwi / 556 posts

    @Chuckles: I agree with this. Really, there isn't much else you can do but call and report a concern for medical neglect. I know it's family, but like you said, you rarely see them and it doesn't seem like she is interested in having a dialogue about it. You'll never be named as a reporter and at least you would know you did what you could. If not you, would someone else in the family be more comfortable making the CPS call?

  34. littlebug

    honeydew / 7504 posts

    @jh524: Hi, social worker here! A call to CPS (which is totally anonymous - you do give them your name, but they are not allowed to ever give it to the person being reported) will generate an investigation. A caseworker will visit the home and take a good look at the baby. From there they will make a determination of whether or not baby is in life-threatening danger. If so, they will remove the baby from the home, first try to place within the family, but if no one in the family is willing/able to help, they will place baby in temp foster care. If baby is not in life-threatening danger, they will give mom a checklist of things she needs to do in order to avoid losing baby - proper doctor visit being the first, probably. They will continue to follow and make sure she does these things.

    I know it's hard to call. I had to call on a very close family friend a few months ago because I feared her children were in danger. This was a girl I've known since the day she was born. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. But I just knew that I'd never forgive myself if anything ever happened to her 2 beautiful little girls.

    Please feel free to wall me if you have any specific questions. I don't work in CPS, but I know people who have, so I can try to get answers.

  35. Mrs.KMM

    grapefruit / 4355 posts

    @jh524: Honestly, the more you talk about this, the more I feel like you need to call CPS. This baby needs someone to be in her corner and help to make sure that she gets the medical care that she needs and deserves. If her mom is not willing to do that on her own, then she needs somebody to force her to do so. CPS will do that and she will never know that it is you who reported her.

  36. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @jh524: family or not, you need to call. Someone needs to stand up for and protect this child. It's supposed to be the mother but she is failing at that right now and this baby needs help!

  37. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    I'm REALLY not trying to be mean, I actually do feel for you and appreciate the predicament you're in. I'm just not sure that there's a gentle way to say this. But if you can live with yourself if something happens to that baby, then by all means just stand by. But I suspect that if something happened to that baby as a result of not calling (death or serious illness) you would feel remorse for the rest of your life. At this point, if the worst happens, it's not just the moms fault - it's the entire family's fault for not getting involved when they knew something was wrong. The mom is a big girl. She can take care of herself however she wants. But that baby deserves more. It sounds like she is suffering. She is helpless and the one person who is supposed to advocate for her is not. So it has to be someone else.

    I get that it's hard to do. But getting a call that the baby died will be a lot harder in my opinion. The mom sounds completely inept. It actually hurts me to think about the pain this baby is in. Physically hurts my heart.

  38. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @SweetiePie: exactly this! I keep thinking about stories we hear of babies dying and saying how did no one in this babies life see it coming?! Likely, people did see it and no one said or did anything!

    I get it seems like a parenting choice to not seek regular preventive care from a pediatrician or not supplement. But, when your parenting choices are hurting your child you no longer have the right to choose anymore. Someone needs to step up for this baby. He has no choice in his suffering and it is just wrong to let him continue to be in pain. CPS is there to decide if there's a problem or not, so regular citizens like is don't have to make that decision and risk making the wrong one.

  39. coopsmama

    cantaloupe / 6059 posts

    @SweetiePie: This. A thousand times this.

    Please call.

  40. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I'll say a prayer for you and for the sweet baby. I hope you can find a way to make the phone call. It's the right thing and you have all the support of this community, even if not from the baby's mother.

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