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To think that breastfeeding a baby boy is more demanding than breastfeeding a baby girl?

(57 Posts)
hairymelons Tue 27-Oct-09 15:39:09

This is my totally made up theory based on something my mum said once, what I've seen friends experience and a bit of cod-science: Breastfeeding boys (in general) is more demanding than breastfeeding girls (in general) because boys generally grow to be bigger than girls, therefore need more milk to fulfill their potential.

Please don't shout or throw things at me, I'm just wondering if others have found this to be true.

My mum BF 2 boys and 4 girls and reckons there was a big difference in appetite. My friends who BF all had girls and they seemed like 3 hourly/take it or leave it kinda babies, whereas DS was permanently attached and always seemed desperate for more. I think it's because he has tall parents and had lots of growing to do. However, I have no experience to make a comparison and so am prepared to accept that my theory is bollocks.


Haylstones Tue 27-Oct-09 15:43:16

Not true in my case and my ds was nearly 3 lbs heavier than my dd- she fed constantly whereas he put himself in a feeding routine early on. She is now a skinny 5year old and he is a rather portly 20mo so they both ate what they needed!

posieparksherbroom Tue 27-Oct-09 15:45:25

Oh no no no no, not in this house. DD was my biggest by nearly a pound and is the tallest in comparison to her peers, still.

posieparksherbroom Tue 27-Oct-09 15:46:01

Sorry, both her and ds3 had reflux and so fed hourly.

iwantitnow Tue 27-Oct-09 15:46:54

My girl fed every 2hours day and night for nearly a whole year and would never refuse a BF. DS is 7 months old and now how 3 feeds a day and one at night and has always spitted out my nipple when he has enough blush. Even though DD was a much heavier baby than DS, DS has caught up and now the same weight as DD at the same age even though feeds alot less - so has grown faster but has fed less.

So yes your theory is bollocks wink.

Indith Tue 27-Oct-09 15:47:48

No. No no no no no no no.

Grendle Tue 27-Oct-09 15:50:46

After the early weeks the volume of breastmilk produced doesn't change dramatically, it is the composition that alters over time to meet the baby's needs. I have never seen any scientific evidence that breastfeeding a boy is more difficult than breastfeeding a girl.

Also, the length of time spent suckling is not necessarily an indication of the volume or calories of milk consumed. Even assuming that the baby has a good latch, some babys drink faster than others and some mums eject milk faster than others (and it does seem to vary sometimes between subsequent children). There are also anatomical differences between individual women that affect the storage capacity of the breast which are totally unrelated to breast size, but may affect how frequently a baby wants to come to the breast.

I'm sure there is other relevant stuff too, but I can't think of it now smile.

BetsyBoop Tue 27-Oct-09 15:51:53

my DD & DS were pretty much the same (boobaholics blush) - even given the fact that DS was 10lb10.5oz at birth shock He was very eager after the birth though & did manage to get my milk to come in a whole day earlier than DD had managed though grin ouch...

However there may be some truth in it as I only managed to get to 5.5 months before I started weaning with DS, by that point he was feeding every 1.5hrs during the day & every 3hrs at night roughly (given that he'd previously been sleeping through...) My HV pointed out that he was heavier than the average 1yo & although not weaning until 6months was the ideal, just don't be daft & start giving him something extra! (he took to it like a duck to water grin)

mankyscotslass Tue 27-Oct-09 15:52:28

It was in our house, both my boys were slow and frequent feeders, attached for an hour at a time and sometimes not going an hour between feeds. With the second ds I handled it better.

DD on the other hand would feed for 20 minutes, pop off, sleep for 3-4 hours and was a dream.

MrsTittleMouse Tue 27-Oct-09 15:52:40

DD1 put on 3oz a day when she was a newborn. Not much good telling her that she didn't need so much. grin

mummyloveslucy Tue 27-Oct-09 15:55:16

I've hered that it's harder feeding a boy. My Mum is a midwife and she's said this. I'm not sure how true it is as I only have a girl. smile

caughtintheact Tue 27-Oct-09 15:57:04

yes yes yes! I have heard this theory from a friend who has one of each and it is certainly my experience so far.

my ds weighs more at 5mo than my dd did at 1 year! he was only 1lb heavier at birth. he feeds MUCH more freqently but is quicker about it.

blueshoes Tue 27-Oct-09 15:59:54

Not much difference except that ds is still bf-ing at 3 (once a weekday morning), while dd gave it up during a nursing strike at 17 months. Ds is bigger sized than dd.

I don't know about other sons but ds is in love with me, in a way that dd was, but not to that intensity.

hairymelons Tue 27-Oct-09 16:00:11

PMSL at the unceremonious nipple-spitting! Ds used to do the same, I felt so used!
So, is it more down to personality than sex?

hairymelons Tue 27-Oct-09 16:52:53

Grendle, that's v interesting thanks. So why the growth spurts/ cluster feeding etc. if the quantity doesn't change?
Blueshoes, DS is showing no sign of stopping at 16mo. Can see him still wanting to feed for a long time, he LOVES it.

crokky Tue 27-Oct-09 16:56:23

My DS wanted to bf all the time (fed for 13 months), but my DD was happy to have a feed and then go 2-4 hours (fed for 12 months). DD was far easier than DS, day and night.

JemintheGraveyardwithghouls Tue 27-Oct-09 16:57:52

Hairymelons- there is no real basis for it to be true.

Morloth Tue 27-Oct-09 16:59:36

I don't know, have never fed a girl. But DS was such a greedy little piggy that he would feed and feed until he literally couldn't swallow another drop.

Then lie back, go to sleep, open his mouth and let all the milk in his mouth run down my front.

kitkatcadaverqueen Tue 27-Oct-09 16:59:52

hmm 2 of each here, no difference as far as I can see.

I think they are individuals aside from whether they are male / female.

LaurieScaryCake Tue 27-Oct-09 17:00:00

In studies mothers gerally breast feed boys longer (timewise in a sessions) than girls because they think what the OP does (and because there is a gender bias and they find it easier to nurture boys than girls)

EdgarAllenPoo Tue 27-Oct-09 17:09:02

i found DD got to the frenzy feeding age much sooner than DS (ie, 10 week growth spurt, instead of DS growth being pretty constant until 4-5mo) probably cos smaller, she needed to feed more often to fill her ikkle tummy. i suspect she was taking a smaller total amount, becuase the dehydration i went through with DS early onhs wa unmatched...

My mum OTOH found her little boys to be totally greedy and way hungrier - its hard to tell, as you don't see how much they are getting.

I think there may be weight to your argument, as indeed baby boys are on average a bit bigger, though it may be easier to feed a boy as they have slightly bigger tummies too, even if they take a larger amount.

>pure conjecture though<

any research out there on this one?

ErnestTheBavarian Tue 27-Oct-09 17:12:46

I have bf 3 boys and 1 girl.

ds1 wanted to suckle all the time, but I think that was more to do with me being an inexperienced first timer.

Re the amount - I can' say there was any difference re the amount each of the 4 fed.

BUT, strangely, all 3 boys self weaned at 9 months. I wanted to go to at least a year. They all coincidentally refused the breast once they turned 9 months old. No idea why...

DD is still going strong at 16 months...

ImSoNotTelling Tue 27-Oct-09 17:13:00

Oooh that's interesting laurie. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe as well when boys cry people always think hunger first, and pop them on, while they might look for other reasons with a girl, because they don't have a preconception about them always being hungry...

<rubs chin in pseudo-scientific manner>

ILoveStripeySocks Tue 27-Oct-09 17:16:13

Was true in my case, but my DS was also 5 weeks prem, whereas my girls were born after their due dates. I went onto mixed feeding with my DS as I was exhausted keeping up with his appetite.

Um, no. In fact, from my experience, DD was the most difficult (and she's the thirdborn). DSs were both done and dusted in under 15 minutes every 3 hours.

Some babies are more difficult to feed than others. That is certainly true.

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