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overfeeding a ebf baby?

(14 Posts)
HippyHippopotamus Thu 21-Jul-11 08:11:01

just want to check my facts!

I was at the hospital last night with my almost 1 yr old dd. Paed doc was looking through her red book and asked if the hv had talked to me about overfeeding her when she was a baby (she was in 98/99th percentile til about 7mths). i explained she was ebf until 6mths so surely that wasn't possible. Doc said that the hv still should have talked to me about it. dh is v tall, i'm above average, both of slim-ish build and I put that to her as a reason that dd might just end up tall like us. Doc was adamant that it should have discussed in a 'serious' way. I changed the subject at that point because it was taking her focus away from the reason we were actually at the hospital!

So, am I wrong or does the doc need educating?

Oh, and they're still asking 'did you have a normal or c-section birth' hmm but that's for a different thread!

NotQuiteCockney Thu 21-Jul-11 08:13:46

You're right. If she was EBF (and not expressed milk) than overfeeding isn't possible.

Somebody's baby needs to be on the 98th/99th centile ... why not yours?

TanteRose Thu 21-Jul-11 08:16:30

Doctor needs educating! you can't overfeed a bf baby.

and in any case, its months ago, why on earth bring it up now?

hmm at "normal" v. "c-section"

CareyHunt Thu 21-Jul-11 08:21:55

When ds1 was about 6 months, EBF, and putting on a pound a week, and I was a nervous 20 year old mum a stupid paed told me he was 'putting on too much weight' and that I should 'cut out a feed' shock I explained I was bf on demand and that I didn't see how I could cut out a feed and the doc was v. cross and patronising.

AFAIK, centile charts are based on the weight gain of ff babies and do not take into account the different range of gains bf babies make. Ds1 was a whopper at 1, always on or above the 98th centile. It all averaged out when he began to walk. I think that sometimes paeds don't have much real-life baby experience.

Ds1, who I continued to BF on demand, is now a tall, slim, very healthy 13 year old.

twinklegreen Thu 21-Jul-11 08:22:10

You are right, the doc needs educating. You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby as the nature or how they get the milk means they only take as much as they want, you can't force them to take extra.

And anyway if her weight was ON the chart then she was a normal weight for a baby of her age, as the graph represents a normal distribution.

juneau Thu 21-Jul-11 08:23:29

I didn't think it was possible for an EBF baby to be overfed either - and it's a question I've been asking because my 10-week-old son is enormous and sticking solidly on 91st percentile for weight.

Also, AFAIK, 'normal delivery' is just a term medical people used for vaginal birth. I have no idea why you're still being asked about this so long after the event, but I don't think it's a term that's prejudicial to c-section births.

SleepySuzy Thu 21-Jul-11 08:23:39

I'm no expert but what a load of old bollocks! I can't see how it's possible!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 21-Jul-11 08:26:14

No, of course you can't overfeed an ebf baby. I also don't understand why it matters now, given that your daughter was at the top percentile at 7 months (which is fine) and has gone down since anyway - I mean, if they were worried about weight, surely it's resolved itself?

RitaMorgan Thu 21-Jul-11 08:29:08

Someone has to be on the 98th and someone has to be on the 2nd - if your baby was EBf then she was exactly the weight nature intended her to be.

tiktok Thu 21-Jul-11 08:57:41

Doc is under-informed.

Carey - charts are not based on ff babies and in fact never were. The data used to be from babies whose feeding was not differentiated. Today's charts are from data that comes from breastfed babies.

HippyHippopotamus Thu 21-Jul-11 09:09:39

thanks all, your comments have all confirmed what I was thinking

juneau this is off topic slightly but i have known girls who have had a c-section to get upset about being asked if their birth was normal or not. In fact, there was one in the room with me last night. Her son was almost 3 but still being asked if she had a normal delivery. She had to reply that no, it was a c-section. I had a thread about this on here before so feel free to search, may have been under an alter ego though, i namechange a fair bit!

tiktok thats interesting, i didn't realise the charts were from bf babies nowadays. do you know the reason why? actually, i've just realised of course its because an ebf baby will be the weight nature intended [hands hits forehead emoticon!]

IgnoringTheChildren Thu 21-Jul-11 09:11:55

I completely agree on the basis that EBF children who are feeding on demand will normally be taking in the amount of milk that they need and it's silly to worry about their weight gain or where they are on the charts (it's rather worrying that so many health professionals don't seem to understand what the charts actually show!)

However... I don't find the statement "you CAN'T overfeed a BF baby" to be particularly helpful. My DS1 was a very sucky baby who would have been happy to remain attached to the breast all day and night (he rarely "fell off" after a feed). He quickly regained his birth weight and everything seemed to be going well, however he had a very bloated tummy and was sick after every feed, sometimes quite a lot of milk would come back up (and I, being concerned that he hadn't had enough milk, would stick him back on!)

None of the midwives I saw were worried (we saw a different one at each visit and I asked them all about his bloated tummy). The health visitor also didn't seemed concerned until DS1 started to become a rather miserable and obviously uncomfortable (which tended to result in me letting him comfort suck...) Anyway she suggested that maybe he was overfeeding (and this is probably the only piece of useful advice I've had from her in nearly 4 years) so I tried restricting the length of his feeds.

He continued to put on weight (although at a slightly slower rate), stopped throwing up so much, his bloated tummy reduced in size and he was clearly a much happier and more comfortable baby. As he got older I stopped restricting how long he fed for as he got better at self-regulating.

So while it doesn't apply to many EBF babies, some babies do overfeed and it can lead to them being very miserable and uncomfortable! It's more helpful to say that an EBF baby who is happy and content isn't overfeeding, even if they're gaining weight rapidly and/or are at the top of the charts.

tiktok Thu 21-Jul-11 09:25:50

Hippy, new charts from WHO/UNICEF data collected in settings all over the world were adapted for the UK (mainly by changing the layout and presentation, there were no changes to the data) and issued in May 2009 (Jan 2010 in Scotland). It took a few months for all the UK to use them but I don't think anywhere can be using them now.

www.rcpch.ac.uk/growthcharts

TruthSweet Thu 21-Jul-11 09:28:15

Some babies with reflux over-feed as the act of bfing is a painkiller (due to the hormones released by suckling and the saliva produced during suckling) and as bm is an antacid it soothes the throat as it is swallowed. This can lead to excess weight gain or it might lead to excessive vomiting which slows weight growth <DD1 I'm looking at you!>

This isn't true overfeeding though as it is the baby, themselves, who is deliberately getting more milk than they need. This is rather than a bottle fed baby who may take more milk due to the action of the bottle or by care-givers who bottle watch rather than baby watch (e.g. the bottle has 7oz in it and the baby normally has 7oz, today only wants 3oz but is encouraged to take the full 7oz).

Not saying all parents over feed bottle fed babies but that it is recognised that over feeding is risk of bottle feeding regardless of the bottles content (it's the same risk for EBM as well as juice/formula/cow's milk/water).

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