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HV review at 9 mths said bf 3/4 times a day ?!(23 Posts)
So my DD had her 1 year check over the phone today (despite being 10 months) but HV said I should work towards only be bf her 3-4 times per 24 hours. Erm so she probably feeds at least 4 times in the night! Ok maybe I could count it as less, as in she takes one side and goes back to sleep. So would one feed be both sides technically?
Anyway I think I might feed her 12-14 times per 24 hours at the moment. I don't have a set routine, but do feed to sleep, so 2 naps approx and bedtime makes 3 already ( sometimes I feed both sides, sometimes only one.) She actually eats loads of food, 3 proper meals a day. I could add snacks in but what? She'll drink water. She occasionally had a plain biscuit, but that's not idea. She's pretty solid, but not fat, is very tall so maybe she could eat more and bf less? Her feeds are quick and I bf my first child and can't remember what he was doing at this age. We have a large age gap.
I’d take what the HV says with a pinch of salt... I was also feeding every few hours at that point and still am at 17 months.
Did she say why you "should" be reducing her feeds. If she is happy, growing and eating well then why does it matter? Because she needs to fit into what a health visitor thinks they "should" be doing at a certain age. I would just ignore to be honest.
Dd1 was down to only feeding overnight by 9 months. Dd2 would happily feed 8/9, times a day, but I'm 'forcing' her to cut out one feed at a time. So she has a feed at waking, one at 3:30, feeds to sleep and then as much as she wants overnight. For us, dd2 wasn't eating that well as she was relying on milk, so I wanted to stop that. I think it's harder with bf as you don't know what quanta ties they're taking, so hard to know if they're having a bit too much milk
Just do what works for you and your baby. I had a baby that fed lots (day and night) and hasn't made much difference either way nearly a decade down the line.
Christ, that is a lot. Don't you WANT to cut down? A bit? Surely she's eating loads of food as you say, so she doesn't actually need to.
Babies vary, mine were probably doing 4 feeds in between food (first thing, mid morning, mid afternoon, pre bed) but they never really did frequent feeds after 12 weeks or so. Neither is wrong / right as long as baby and you are well and happy.
Ignore. If you’re happy with how often she’s feeding then just carry on as you are. It’s not medical advice, there’s no reason why you should have to cut down especially if your DD is eating well etc. Many BF babies and toddlers feed multiple times a day until they are 1+ or 2+, it’s completely normal. HV give a lot of outdated advice, I was told by mine that if she wasn’t drinking cows milk at 9 months then I should start to offer her custard instead even though she was having breastmilk.
Ps. Scheduled feeding works for some families but not others. Personally I can’t think of anything worse, I don’t eat or drink on a schedule so why should my baby?
It is a lot, I could get her having more water, but I they are quick feeds max 5 minutes. I don't think I have masses of capacity. To cut down I'd have to move to more of a routine. For example some days DD falls asleep in pram on school run, this morning she stayed awake so fed to sleep for her morning nap later on. So it's hard to know how I could cut them out. I hadn't even considered it a lot until she said I should be aiming for 3-4.
And sorry she is 9 months, 10 months next week!
Do what you feel is best for your baby. I just nod along with the advice and then do what is best for my children. Having to stick to a set amount of breastfeeds is ridiculous, I don't stick to a certain amount of drinks or snacks in a day so why should a baby be forced to.
Please don’t change what you’re doing as a result of this HV. Many of them actively try to encourage weaning and getting them into cups of cows milk. They take the old school schedule approach because it helps them to give general guidelines.
What would be the point of her having more water? Milk is mainly water but has loads of antibodies etc for immunity so it will still hydrate her but with added goodness. In many countries tap water is not safe to drink and babies of this age have milk as their only drink.
If you want to cut down for other reasons then go ahead but don’t think you are doing something wrong. Your DD will just adjust when she’s ready. Mine had dropped right down to about 3 feeds a day by 12 months and then by 20 months she was back up to 10+ times 🤷♀️
I'd keep feeding on demand. Sounds like she's given you advice for bottle fed babies.
That’s rubbish advice and not even standard NHS advice which is at 9 months you should give 3 meals a day and continue to breast feed on demand. Snacks are not recommended until 12 months because it may reduce the amount of milk they have.
Look at breastfeeding websites like the la leche one and take your cues from that, they are so much better than hv
I genuinely felt like the HV in my area were trying to eradicate breastfeeding rather than promoting it.
They went on and on about 'how much' is the baby getting- I don't know breast don't come with a measuring tool!
They made so many of the mums I. My group give top up feeds, which affected production and then encouraged them to stop altogether.
They would make me feel so bad after every visit. My husband eventually said enough is enough - stop going.
Both my kids breastfed past 1 year, they both thrived and are good heights and weights. I'd get asked a list of questions until they came to one they didn't like my answer to and then betrayed me for my mistakes.
You are her main source of nutrition. Well done for getting so far and keep doing what you are doing.
Maybe look at gentle night weaning at around 18-24months.
Baby the same age. Not had the HV chat yet but I’m sure it will be imminent! Had a really rough time with them last time (basically doing everything wrong apparently with feeding my newborn)
DS is on 3 meals a day and BF 3/4 times, maybe 5 at a push if he wakes up in the night. I recently stopped feeding to sleep which made a HUGE difference - took a few days to crack it. I thought he slept well anyway and did self soothe, but the stopping of feeding to sleep has coincided with him sleeping 7-6ish (previously would wake at maybe 2/3 then sometimes 530ish)
I feed when he wakes up pre-breakfast, offer the boob after morning and afternoon naps and bedtime. It soon cut the number of feeds down and offering after has meant he usually doesn’t bother in the morning and will have 5/10mins in the afternoon. Normal feeds were anyway between 5-15mins anyway.
Another game changer was getting him confident using his cup with water in?
It sounds like she pitched her advice badly. Do you think she was trying to be supportive and it came across badly? I know many breastfeeding dyads feed as frequently as you do, but some mums would find that a bit intense. Perhaps she mistakenly thought you were struggling with that frequency and was trying to be supportive?
I would do your own research and decide what you are comfortable with. I had problems with bf and had pretty poor advice from all the health professionals I saw in the early days. Without going into all the details turned out DS had issues with dairy. By the time we saw consultant DS was over 1 and I was fretting because HV was banging on about stopping o/n feed. Consultant said ' don't worry about it. Just do whatever gets you through. It won't be forever.' Best blimmin advice I got from a HCP.
My 2 year old was still feeding two / three times a day.
at your HV. My 2.5yr old would bf more than that given the option (currently weaning because I'm pregnant with dc3 and don't fancy tandem feeding again). Both my ds's bf much more than that.
I'd echo what a pp said about it sounding like advice for FF babies. Most HV's have very little experience or knowledge about bf past 6 weeks.
Unless you want to reduce feeds I'd either
- nod and ignore
- ask her what evidence base she's using for that advice (I can be a total pita)
Seeing as breast milk is the most nutritionally dense food she could be eating right now (although she will need extra iron now) why on earth would you cut down if she’s not ready or replace with water? Hv’s have dangerous non-science based advice IME.
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