Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : Sigh...

Postby cindync » Tue Nov 15, 2005 08:34 am

Avocado is a good source of fat and is mild in taste, and very soft (as I am sure you know). Organic yogurt can be bought in full fat, sometimes as much as 8 grams of fat per serving. When our son came home from Russia he was underweight - this is sad: he was 8 lbs at birth, and was only 13 lbs at 9 months. I realize to you that probably sounds big, but basically he was being starved. One day when we were visiting him in the orphanage, he was hungry, and they brought me a bottle of hot water to feed him. He is still small, he is almost 4, and weighs 30 pounds. But, we tried to find healthy alternatvies to put some weight on. Carnation, full fat organic yogurt, avocado, etc. Butter and whip cream, while fattening, are not all that healthy, although secretly I wish someone would put me on that diet.

Grinding up various nuts is another good healthy way to get fat as well. You can turn them into powder and mix it into yogurt or whatever.

I have friends who gave their adopted children Vienna sausages to fatten them up! That is disgusting, but it worked. The adopted chidren from orphanges tend to be very underweight, there just is not food to go around.

There is a book called "Super Baby Food", it is pretty good. You can buy it on Amazon. It at least has lists of healthy foods and what they are good for.

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Re : Sigh...

Postby molly419 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:00 pm

To chime in about what Whosures doctor stated about metabloism with micropreemies, Abigial will be seeing a specalist at the childrens hospital in Philly just for that. She keeps on having high readings of lactic acid when she gets blood work done. It will be interesting to see what they have to say...

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Re : Sigh...

Postby whosures » Mon Nov 14, 2005 09:21 pm

Oh man, I feel for you. Just know that you are doing the right things! When Riley was still in EI, we had a dietician assigned to us by our First Steps coordinator. I thought it would help but instead it just stressed me out. They told us to do the same thing as you, whipped cream on fruit, milk shakes at every meal, carnation instant breakfast in whole milk, butter on EVERYTHING. UGH. That really freaked me out because I said, "How am I supposed to get her to eat like a normal kid once she catches up??" She also goes through periods where she just doesn't want to eat but those days are getting fewer and farther between. Our pediatrician is WONDERFUL. He is very laid back about it because he knows we stress about it. Riley hit 20 pounds when she was almost 2.5, not she'll be 4 in March and only weighs 26 pounds. I talked to a specialist at our hospital and he said that he's doing research on the metabolism on micropreemies. He said they start out with a super high metabolism to try and keep themselves warm because they're so tiny. Many of them takes years, if ever, for it to slow down. I know it's hard to hear, but it really will get better and try not to let it stress you to much. If you're too stressed out, she may sense it and if she's like my stubborn child, that's even more reason not to eat.

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Re : Sigh...

Postby molly419 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 08:57 pm

Hi Jen-
I am so sorry to hear about Meghans feeding issues. I have been down the same road many times with my daughter Abigail. She was also an micropreemie, has been labled "faliure to thrive", but also has reflux. To make you feel a little bit better, Abigail is 20 months and almost weighs in at 15lb(INCHES away from her growth curve). She is a peanut!

We have gone round and round to get her to gain weight. She is also on Pediasure, and eats table foods 2x a day, the rest is still bottles for calories. For three months, she was on an high fat/calorie diet and actually lost weight! Come to find out, it was like she was on Aktins..GRRRR! Abigail also has never taken over 5oz of bottle at a time.

Our old doctor kept pushing us for her to have a feeding tube put in. My husband and I wrestled with the idea if it really was in her best interest. Since we have moved, we have gotten looks of shock when I mention this to her new teams of doctors. She is very small, but she is smart, hardly ever sick, and is not having any major development problems. Its a hard balance.

I understand the struggles of wanting to see your little girl grow. There have been days and still are where I just cry because she will not eat. But, I truly believe that yes, she will never be a "big" girl, but also long at it does not affect her mental/physical development, I try not to let it bother me. And her doctors agree with this.

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Re : Sigh...

Postby jenandtheboys » Mon Nov 14, 2005 07:13 pm

Jen, you can email me any time about this issue, but I'll throw in a few of our experiences with Ethan here too. I've posted on this topic a hundred times myself (or at least it feels that way! [;)])

Ethan is a micropreemie too, and I've heard the same thing........that they often have a "failure to thrive" issue, although the first time my ped said those words I almost fainted! I hate the insinuation that we are depriving them, trying to restrict their food intake, etc. That's just crazy!

We went from Neosure formula to Pediasure (and our insurance didn't pay....that stuff gets expensive!)...and then went to whole milk + Instant Breakfast. Much less expensive and actually more calories per ounce! Also, our nutritionist got us a few cases of this stuff called Duocal to add to the milk. It's a powder which does nothing but add calories. No texture, no taste, but 42 calories per tablespoon, and we add 2 tablespoons per 4 oz. of milk. Makes his milk have 50+ cal/oz!!!!!!![:0]

Ethan also was one of those kids who won't eat food even though it's offered. With him, it was (and still is, to some degree) a texture thing, sensitivity to or unwillingness to swallow anything that is chunky or has any texture to it other than smooth purees. We just kept offering it, and he would explore it, put it into his mouth, but take it back out or spit/gag it out. We have OT and speech working with him on this, and something that the OT suggested was to add wheat germ to things--for the sake of the texture since it doesn't dissolve in foods or liquids. We added it to his cups of milk, as well as in applesauce, etc (that he would usually eat with his fingers).

This really seemed to have made a difference. All of a sudden, about 6 weeks ago, he started swallowing a few foods, and then it was more, and he eats rice, cheese cubes, spaghetti/pastas, greenbeans (cooked in butter of course!), applesauce, etc. and is finally gaining weight, although slowly. He weighs right at 20 lbs. and is 20 months (17 adjusted). He's not fat by any stretch of the imagination, but not all of his pants fall off now, which is an improvement! [:)]

Sorry about that insensitive doc, and hope you guys can find some techniques that work for you and Meghan. Best of luck, keep us posted!

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Re : Sigh...

Postby tracym » Mon Nov 14, 2005 05:41 pm

I'm sorry it's such a struggle (please ignore my gloating post about weight gain, I wish I'd have read yours first) for Meghan to gain weight. Anorexia [:(!]? I can't believe the dr would even mention that.

Whilst I know it's important to pack in those calories adding so much saturated fat to a child's diet really worries me. However, if that's what the experts say is needed I trust they know what they're talking about. But, if the kid won't eat, she won't eat! No matter what food it is.

I hope things improve before you have to go down the feeding tube route. Good luck with your new tips and tricks :)

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Re : Sigh...

Postby jenchar » Mon Nov 14, 2005 05:20 pm

No, she doesn't have reflux. Thank goodness. Our doctor keeps telling me that this could be because she was a micropreemie...some sort of thing about how micropreemies often have failure to thrive issues. Of course, we also get the sideways accusation that maybe we aren't feeding her enough. UGH.

So, no reflux. Thanks for asking.


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Re : Sigh...

Postby cassie05 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 04:54 pm

Does she have reflux?? Sorry I cant remember anything these days. It could be bothering her and thats why shes not eating. Stephen had a hard time til he was put on a different med, and then it stopped hurting him to eat. ANyways that was jsut a thought

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Re : Sigh...

Postby mom2tori » Mon Nov 14, 2005 03:22 pm

Oh Jen!! I am so sorry! Poor Meghan! I can't believe the doc said anything at all about anorexia-I am sure she isn't waking up in the morning saying 'I am not eating today!' BLAH!! To that doc! I am so sorry that Meghan is still having such a hard time growing-thinking of you and sending chunky vibes Meghan's way


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Re : Sigh...

Postby miracle3 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 02:33 pm

I am so sorry. I hate hearing that PE/prematurity has long term affects. I hope everything gets better. I think it i pretty common for toddlers to have a decrease in appetite at about her age but its especially troubling when they aren't that big to begin with. I hope everything gets better for you.

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