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not 'feeding on demand'

(37 Posts)
KatyN Tue 21-Jun-11 10:47:30

I've been recommended by my obstetrician to try 'not feeding on demand'. Im trying to find a book/books to read on the subject to see if I'm happy with the approach but daft as it sounds I'm not sure what it's called except 'not feeding on demand'.
The obstetrician described it as 'the way you were brought up' suggesting my mother could just explain everything to me, but my mum (bless her) can't remember the details.
I've heard it's pretty contensious so thought I should be well informed before I make a decision!

HarrietJones Tue 21-Jun-11 10:48:29

Feeding schedule? Why have they suggested that?

Yesmynameis Tue 21-Jun-11 10:49:59

Does he/she mean the classic 4 hourly feeds, e.g. feeding to routine rather than on demand as advocated by Gina Ford etc?
Gina Ford's books are called the Contented Little Baby books, but there are others too. hth?

mousymouse Tue 21-Jun-11 10:50:14

why has s/he recommended that? is there a specific (health) reason?
bm is so different to formula, small babies need bm 'on tap' for the first week. this helps keeping you sane and baby happy and the milk supply stable.

Adagoo Tue 21-Jun-11 10:50:26

Did he not give you more information than this? Can you call him? It seems very dangerous to adopt a feeding schedule you don't understand. Is it that your baby is not 'demanding' ? How old is your baby?

mousymouse Tue 21-Jun-11 10:51:07

for the first weeks or months I wanted to write.

Secondtimelucky Tue 21-Jun-11 10:59:30

What reason did he/she give for this, and are you planning on breast or formula feeding? Generally speaking, routines for feeding are not particularly well suited to breastfeeding (unless your child happens to naturally fit the pattern the routine demands) and can be bad for supply if adopted from birth. Don't have time to trawl, but I suspect that a site like Kellymom could give you more information.

KatyN Tue 21-Jun-11 11:13:20

yes she was meaning the 4 hourly thing. I'll read the gina ford book, but I've been advised to give her a wide berth. I was hoping that maybe there were other approaches that didn't seem as harsh as the reviews I've read of the contented baby!

The suggestion was because I suffer from depression and she was trying to find ways to help me. She did say at first that he will only have a tummy the size of a wallnut so I should feed him a lot for the first few weeks.

The other suggestion (which makes me laugh whenever I picture myself on the sofa) is to feed and express at the same time. then my DH or family can feed him if I need a nap.

I will see her again before the LO arrives so I just wanted to be more informed to discuss it further (I'm only 19 weeks at the mo.. i've got a while to cogitate!)

Yesmynameis Tue 21-Jun-11 11:26:08

The Baby Whisperer is another one

BertieBotts Tue 21-Jun-11 11:30:12

Hmm, TBH, she sounds badly informed about breastfeeding. My personal opinion would be that it would be more helpful to have realistic expectations about breastfeeding and know where to look for support if you are finding it overwhelming, than trying to force a small baby into a routine, wondering why it isn't working and getting more stressed and possibly causing supply problems on top of all that.

There are many things your partner, mum, etc can do to help without you worrying about expressing - they could technically do absolutely everything else, leaving you with just the feeding to concentrate on. How about having a babymoon, just staying in bed for the first week or so with the baby. If you read up about safe co-sleeping you can doze while feeding, and then nap with the baby when he/she falls asleep.

japhrimel Tue 21-Jun-11 11:38:25

Badly informed. Feeding on demand is recommended as being best for breastfeeding and best for baby.

You also don't want to be expressing in the first few weeks unless you have to as it can leave you prone to engorgment, over-supply, blocked ducts, etc, etc (I know, I had to as DD was in SCBU then needed top-ups and it caused so many issues!). Leave it until your baby is a month old if you can.

HarrietJones Tue 21-Jun-11 11:51:06

I recommend sitting on the settee eating chocolate & constantly feeding baby. Dh/mum can help by bringing food for you or nappy changing. Lower you expectations completely about what you will be doing so if you leave the settee/ bed it's a bonus.
First few weeks with a baby are hard work but also very rewarding. Bf itself is magic, that your body can make the baby grow ( I used to love having dd1 weighed as I was v proud of my milk making her grow that muchblush

BalloonSlayer Tue 21-Jun-11 12:00:39

Gina Ford recommends feeding every 3 hours, not 4. She thinks 4 hours is too long between feeds.

Don't want to turn this into a GF debate, but I used her book because I was completely flummoxed by demand feeding - I was giving 10 half-feeds a day (as opposed to 5 full feeds) because a half a feed was all it took to get him to stop crying, so that was what I thought he needed. When I realised that if I gave him more at each feed he would go longer between them and even nap, my life was transformed. And I know that sounds as if I was stupid but all the midwives and HVs would say when I asked how often he needed feeding was "as often as he wants it dear," and I hadn't got a clue.

TruthSweet Tue 21-Jun-11 12:02:11

Katy - There has been some research done recently into bfing & depression by Kathleen Kendall Tackett amongst others that showed that bfing had a protective effect on depression as a fully bfing mother gets more slow wave sleep (the repairing/healing type of sleep) than a partially bfing mother or even a non-mother. Even if a mother had depression if she bf her baby, the baby had similar normal EEGs to babies that had non-depressed mothers.

Speaking from personal experience only - depression can make you withdraw from life so I would imagine if you weren't forced to hold your baby by bfing them it might be easier not to interact with them (again just from personal experience) sometimes bfing was all the interaction I felt able to provide my children with, if the sheer necessity of feeding them wasn't by bfing them I might not have picked them up/cuddled them at all. Bfing focused my mothering and gave me something to do with my children when I was at my worst - I probably wouldn't have made it without bfing.

Secondtimelucky Tue 21-Jun-11 12:02:49

I would agree- trying to force a reluctant baby into a routine does not sound like the best thing to assist with depression. A hungry baby will cry, and crying is hard to deal with whether you suffer from depression or not. If your baby is a natural fit for that type of routine, he/she will probably do it more or less on their own anyway.

I am not a medical professional or expert, but Bertie's suggestion about getting support with everything else sounds a lot more sound to me.

EggyAllenPoe Tue 21-Jun-11 12:07:18

first emand feeding doesn't mean waiting until the baby is crying (a common misconception amogst some quarters) in fact i would say with a newborn - if it is awake, or near awake, offer it a feed.
and then feed until it is asleep again

feeding to a clock can help if your baby is very sleepy and not taking enough - but there's no reson to think this would be the case before you give birth.

the best indication that a baby is feeding well is that they make lots of wet nappies.

tabulahrasa Tue 21-Jun-11 12:09:40

I FF and still fed on demand, I genuinely don't know how trying to stick to a schedule wouldn't be stressful.

You're going to at some points either be trying to feed a baby that doesn't want fed yet, or not feeding a hungry baby - feeding on demand is way easier, baby cries, you feed it.

Fair enough tweaking what you're already doing to increase the length between feeds, but starting off on a schedule I think would make it harder, not easier.

Secondtimelucky Tue 21-Jun-11 12:10:55

Sorry Eggy - i didn't mean that demand feeding meant waiting for crying. I just meant that, if you didn't feed a baby who was hungry, it would almost definitely result in crying. Sorry if I wasn't clear with that.

tabulahrasa Tue 21-Jun-11 12:13:02

Yeah you wouldn't always wait till you had a screaming baby till you fed as Eggy says, quite often awake and they will take a feed, but mine cried before they actually woke up, lol, not full on screaming, but definitely complaining that they were hungry

ellodarlin Tue 21-Jun-11 12:15:15

I bf 'not on demand' on account of having the least demanding children ever. For the first few weeks I fed 3 hourly between 6am and midnight and they 'demanded' a feed at some point during the night. Obviously if they wanted another feed I would have given them one but it rarely happened. After a few week I used GF routines but always for a bit younger than my babies actually were. She is perfectly OK if you can get over the bossiness and poor writing and she doesn't advocate leaving a hungry baby to cry. Lots of people are great at demand feeding but like baloonslayer, I was flummoxed and even now my dcs would rather sleep than eat.

ellodarlin Tue 21-Jun-11 12:18:08

Do you think you will be less depressed by a routine rather than feeding on demand? Some people find routines more stressful and some find feeding on demand more stressful.

EggyAllenPoe Tue 21-Jun-11 12:21:34

secondtime i wasn't thinking of anyone on the thread..actually i was thinking of a lady i met who was quite assertive in her opinion of it eg 'demand feeding? how do you stand all that crying..??'

although what i did find with second baby onwards...there were only certain times i could feed them, and therefore it was wise to get a feeding in before e.g walking the dog, going out etc...rather than have crying aby whilst trying to do those things.

TheBride Tue 21-Jun-11 12:23:17

Same as Ellodarlin here. I had to wake DS every 3 hrs, so you might get one like him!

However, I did always try to make him have a proper feed- didn't let him just doze off at the breast after a few minutes. Basically, he'd feed for 40 mins or so, then I'd do nappy change and then he'd sleep till the next feed. After 5 weeks, the feeds got much shorter and he stayed roughly 2-4 hrs between feeds, depending on time of day, right until I stopped at 6mo.

Secondtimelucky Tue 21-Jun-11 12:24:44

Eggy - oh, I see. Misunderstood because your post was just below mine. What a funny thing for that lady to say? For a start, even if you don't feed until the baby cries, surely it's going to be a tiny period of crying if you feed straight away? I do agree that sometimes it's useful to 'prompt' a feed - for us particularly before a car journey!

crikeybadger Tue 21-Jun-11 12:33:03

aahhh dammit, just wrote a post and I've wiped it!

here is an article about cue feeding vs scheduled you may find it useful.

I have heard anecdotally that some women with depression find scheduled feeding more predictable and therefore less stressful. However, as Bertie, say it can be more heartache trying to get them to fit in to that routine.

Definitely yes yes to babymooning and co-sleeping.

hope all goes well.

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