On demand breastfeeding

(27 Posts)
mellmumma Fri 19-Aug-16 13:37:45

So I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but feel I need some reassurance please.

I have a beautiful baby boy (first baby) who will be 4 weeks old on monday.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding 'on demand' quite literally. He has taken to it really well and I've been so pleased with that.

His birth weight was 7lb11, he lost 100g in first few days but by following week was up to 7lb15. Just been to have him weighed two weeks later and he is now 10lb1! So he has gained 2lb 2oz in 14 days!

He feeds so much in the daytimes, as he always seems to be rooting, sucking his fingers, my shoulder, whinging... But in the night he can go anything from 1 - 4.5 hours for next feed. (since introducing a swaddle blanket last couple nights been more like 3-4 hours.. Heaven!)

I told my mum (who bottle fed me) and can sense the disdain in her voice, like I'm overfeeding him. Keep hearing 'he just needs a dummy/ let him just cry sometimes/ he can't possibly be hungry again' from various people....

My health visitor claims a breastfed baby can't be overfed. But sometimes he is on and off the boob every 20-30 mins. To be fair to him he isn't on there for very long normally,, maybe 10 mins at a time.. a long feed is a rarity. sometimes he spits up a little after but nothing major.

Please just reassure me my little one quickly turning into a chunky monkey is not a bad thing!!

Seeing my mum this afternoon and feel I want to be armed with your success stories!

Wigeon Fri 19-Aug-16 13:43:36

Have a look at the Kelly Mom website, which is evidence-based information about breastfeeding. This page confirms you can't over feed a breast fed baby. There is loads of other useful information on there too, if you have any other things where you need to find factual, not anecdotal, information.

Sounds like you and your DS are doing wonderfully. smile

BertieBotts Fri 19-Aug-16 13:44:26

This is all totally normal and it sounds like you're doing great smile

With breastfeeding, the more you feed, the more milk you make, so him feeding often is just him building up your supply, perhaps because he has a bigger appetite, perhaps because a growth spurt is on the way.

In addition breastmilk is a drink as well as a food and it can be more watery when it's warm so that might be one reason why.

If you think about it most adults either eat or drink much more frequently than once every 3-4 hours, so why should we expect babies, whose tummies are much smaller, to go that long?

Lastly on that note a breastfed baby's tummy is smaller than a bottle fed baby so they do tend to want more frequent feeds.

knaffedoff Fri 19-Aug-16 13:45:45

You can't over fed a bf baby and why would you want to listen to your baby cry????

It may be worthwhile reminding your mum that this is your preferred feeding choice, you wouldn't wish to criticise her parenting and her respect towards your parenting would go a very long way x

Congratulations on your new baby, he is clearly thriving and you should feel very proud ❤️

BertieBotts Fri 19-Aug-16 13:49:12

Oh, one more point. They now believe that birth weight is much less relevant to a baby's natural size than they used to think. Birth weight tends to be determined by the mother's size, baby's gestation, and whether you had gestational diabetes. Babies then 'catch up' or 'catch down' to the weight they are supposed to be by about 2 or 3 weeks of age. That's why there's a gap on the newer weight charts.

Sweetpotatoaddict Fri 19-Aug-16 13:50:38

Sounds like you are doing brilliantly. Once he's a little older you'll begin to see a bit of a natural routine develop, eat- sleep- play-repeat type of thing which I think leads to more definition between each feed. Just now keep doing what you are doing, sounds like your body is producing exactly what your baby needs smile.

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 14:00:45

Hang on... You're BFing and happy? At the same time???

Stop immediately and ensure that your baby cries regularly with a hungry tummy. Make him wait four hours for his next meal and then only allow him 10 minutes each side or he'll become greedy.

This way he won't be a spoilt brat.

Honestly hmm you're clearly doing an amazing job and this is such a refreshing BFing thread compared to the dozens of mothers who struggle. Just keep bloody going and ignore the arbitrary advice. brewcake

ImYourMama Fri 19-Aug-16 14:10:03

Reading your thread is so inspiring for an expectant first timer - please keep doing what you're doing, it's lovely to hear of a positive experience

icklekid Fri 19-Aug-16 14:16:19

I am doing exactly the same as you and this is dc2- keep feeding on demand and know you are doing the right thing. Explain to anyone who does make comment that you are following health visitor/midwife/ latest advice regarding breastfeeding. If wants to snack feed (short feeds and often) and your happy then thats fine. Even better that he can go 3/4h at night as that will save your sanity!

Nan0second Fri 19-Aug-16 14:33:34

This is normal. Ignore non experts. Frequent feeds in day may lead to longer stretches at night so go for it!

mellmumma Fri 19-Aug-16 14:35:26

Thanks so much everybody! I knew we were doing ok just felt a real wobble today that I'm being judged by everyone around me.

Honestly, in a really non braggy way as I know how lucky it is, I am loving the bond that breastfeeding has created. I was a 'I'll give it a go' sort of person in pregnancy and of course there were nights I was crying and calling midwives in the first week home convinced the baby was starving. Also been through the sore boob and cabbage leaf stage.

But now I have this sense of pride in him and me, that he has picked it up so well and that we seem to have conquered it. Especially when he seems to have a good day/night routine too. I'll feed him all day long if he continues to sleep so well at night!

Secretly loving that he wants to latch on all the time... Hence my worry that maybe I am overfeeding him. But he is latching on hard and guzzling away, no messing or silly suckles here so obviously happy to eat.

Just checking that I'm not becoming a 'feeder' in a bad sense!! Obviously those people we do see are always in the daytime, so all they ever see is him latched on under a muslin, that combined with the hefty weight gain has raised eyebrows in the family....

But screw it. We are doing just fine! Xx

adagio Fri 19-Aug-16 15:23:47

Congratulations! You are doing so,so well and should be really proud smile

It's not always easy particularly at the beginning - you have got through the hardest bit! Lots of daytime feeds are much more likely to give you better nights, so don't reject him when he asks. Ignore the nay sayers, keep him close and feed him often. In a few months he'll be off and about exploring and you will miss the cuddles grin

And to answer your question, as others have said it is impossible to overfeed an exclusively BF baby.

DorotheaHomeAlone Fri 19-Aug-16 15:46:13

Both mine were just like this at the start. It really helped get my supply established and we never had any problems. Why are people offering advice at all when what you're doing is working?

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 17:27:28

I think it's jealousy dorothea.

Absy Fri 19-Aug-16 17:35:31

Ignore the other people and listen to your baby. I had exactly the same thing - DS seemed to be feeding pretty much constantly. When he was 8 weeks we went to stay with my ILs and FIL complained that he didn't get to play with DS enough because he was always eating. But - BF babies do eat all the time, particularly at the beginning because they're trying to gain weight / you're establishing supply and they're not very efficient feeders. It does ease up! I promise! When I think back now it's crazy how much time he spent feeding - I was tracking it and there was one day where he spent 9 hours of the day eating. Now he will feed for 5-10 minutes and he's full for a few hours.

Enjoy this time. Make sure you have lots of nice drinks and snacks, use those long feeds as a chance to watch crappy TV shows and cuddle your baby. I now miss being able to watch will and grace while he's eating as he gets distracted and it's over so fast

Absy Fri 19-Aug-16 17:38:09

One thing I would check is if your DC is sucking to eat, or just comfort feeding. DS was (and is) a big fan of sucking for comfort which doesn't always require my nipple. Your HV / a lactation consultant should be able to show you how to distinguish between them, but even so if your DC is still managing to feed and properly and you're happy being used as a comforter every now and then, it shouldn't be an issue

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 21:11:28

Even if baby is sucking for comfort, they're only 4 weeks old! If that's what they need then I see no harm in indulging it. I'd rather a baby used me for comfort than a dummy.

timelytess Fri 19-Aug-16 21:14:29

'Sucking for comfort'? Oh my. Well, yes, it is comforting. But the sucking also stimulates your milk production so its essential.

Spottyladybird Fri 19-Aug-16 21:15:48

I agree yorkie he's still so tiny and mum is his world. Keep going OP you're doing a great job.

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 21:18:56

It's basic communication, all he can do is ask to be connected to you and I think that's amazing! I think people worry far too much about breast feeding, formula feeding, feeding on demand, comfort feeding... Who the hell cares! I've yet to meet a teenager still attached to mum for comfort so it can't be all that terrible!!! blush

iamtheurbanspacemanbaby Fri 19-Aug-16 21:20:42

Totally normal. My mum and my partners mum were similarly unhelpful. They both bottle fed and didn't 'get' breastfeeding. I got told I obviously want making enough milk as he was always hungry, even though he'd put on 1lb in a week! Constantly got told I should top him up with formula. Carry on as you are, you are doing great.

Formidabbadoo Fri 19-Aug-16 21:32:04

Sounds brilliant. My baby was same weight at birth but also wanted to smash those charts and be bigger (we were kind of expecting her to be a bit bigger as we were both 9lbs and are tall etc)
I had similar comments from my mum who, as a mother to 9, was, in my eyes, an expert. But it took a while for me to click that she wasn't a breastfeeding expert and she really struggled to get it. In fact I realised around the 6 weeks mark that she wasn't an expert at all.
Don't sweat the comfort/hunger thing either. Well done so far

BertieBotts Fri 19-Aug-16 22:07:53

I don't think it's jealousy when people offer advice. I think they are just fondly remembering their own young children and trying to share what worked for them rather than it being some thing malicious. People get overexcited and it can come across as criticism rather than sharing.

Rinceoir Fri 26-Aug-16 12:14:07

I got this from my mother constantly. She was convinced 4 hourly feeds were the way to go and that I was overfeeding DD. She gained a lot of weight initially also- jumped from 25th to 75th centile. She fed 12-15 times in the day for the first 6 weeks or so, with an evening cluster feed but did good stretches at night from the beginning and went through the night (11-8) from 8 weeks so I wasn't complaining!

DD started crawling at 6months and by 18months she was just below the 9th centile where she has remained since.

ChipIn Sat 27-Aug-16 02:23:57

^^what everyone else said smile well done for doing it your way. I did the same with my DD (now 9mo) and she put on LOADS of weight at the start and is now 85th percentile for weight, so it won't mean overweight or reliance on food.
As boob is also comfort it's normal for babies to be at the breast and not necessarily be eating much either. Also, one thing that irritates me is people saying baby is asking for a dummy - dummies were made to mimic the breast, so that's probably what baby is actually asking for hmm

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