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when to change breast?

(8 Posts)
lucindapie Tue 27-Sep-11 11:14:28

I just went to get my baby weighed today and discovered that she has not put on enough weight. She loves feeding so that's not a problem. But I am really confused about when I am supposed to change sides, the diff between foremilk and hindmilk, and how to get to it. It seems like everyone gives different advice! My baby is one month old. Does anyone have any similiar experiences, and how did they solve the problem? thanks for your help!

shesawakeagain Tue 27-Sep-11 12:40:38

How much weight has she put on? Did someone say it is not enough or is she just not on the same line on her chart? All 3 of my kids didn't put on as much as the charts suggested that they would. My youngest is 2 months, and has dropped from 25th centile to the 9th centile, but she has put on some weight each time I weigh her. I spoke to the health visitor and she said there is no need to worry unless a baby drops down 2 lines or more on the chart.

HV also said that breast fed babies gain weight more slowly than bottle fed. She also said that some babies do well and gain more weight in pregnancy than there genes are predetermined for, and that it can take a few weeks to find there natural weight and centile line. I feed from 1 breast for each feed, and then use the other breast for the next feed, this makes sure that she gets the hind milk. Foremilk comes first and is a bit like a thirst quenching drink, later in the feed comes the hind milk, which is more filling.

Try not to stress about it. Does she seem healthy and happy? Is she content? Or screeming with hunger? If you had not weighed her would you have been concerned about her health? It sounds like you are doing a good job with the breastfeeding. Speak to the health visitor if you are really concerned. Good luck.

lilham Tue 27-Sep-11 12:49:06

I swap whenever she comes off after feeding on the same side for a bit. I have a fast let down so DD sometimes come off when milk comes in and it's too fast for her.

EauRouge Tue 27-Sep-11 12:50:12

How much weight has she gained? How often is she feeding? Is she happy and healthy?

Don't worry about fore- and hind- milk, it's all a bit confusing because they are talked about like you make two different kinds of milk- you don't! This is a good explanation. There's no need to swap sides, if you DD comes off one side and still seems hungry then you can offer the other side but you don't need to time it or anything like that. Just follow your DD's lead, she will let you know smile

If you're ever worried then see if there's a LLL group near you.

kellieb7 Tue 27-Sep-11 12:51:27

I got soooo confused about this is in the early days because the midwife said "ensure she drains the first breast before offering the second" and I was like hmm. After advice from here I found that switching from each breast everytime DD came off really helped and DD was happy with this (she would always fuss if I tried to put her back on the reast she had just come off), this sometimes meant that I switched several times during each feed but it really worked for us and DD's weight shot up and we are still happily doing it this way 9 months on grin

bangcrash Tue 27-Sep-11 12:59:57

The more you switch the more milk babies tend to take so they put on more weight. One side per feed can reduce gain as although the milk may get fattier it is harder to remove and little babies often get a bit snuggled in and sleepy.

Bf babies typically gain lots in the first three months and then slow down.

lucindapie Tue 27-Sep-11 15:29:48

thanks everyone for the advice, I think the mistake I have been making is not switching when she comes off the first breast, but just thinking she got unlatched by mistake and retrying with the same one.
shewakesagain, that's interesting what you say, about putting more weight on in the womb, than expected for what her genes were. I was really surprised as her birth weight was 8 1/2 pounds, and both me and my husband were 7, so a bit of a surprise to have such a big baby!
I'm not sure about how much weight in term of the norm. We are expats living abroad so I'm not sure they do it the same here in terms of the chart and centiles but will ask next time.
My doc gave me the advice to feed for at least 30 mins and wait at least 2 hours between each feed. I found that a bit confusing as to be honest I have no idea when one feed ends and the next begins, as my dd is a snacker and likes to take lots of breaks in between courses. I really don't like the idea of trying to control her eating anyway as I feel she naturally know what she needs and I want to trust her intution! I feel like I just need to learn to listen to her better and know when to switch.

RitaMorgan Tue 27-Sep-11 17:52:52

This article is really helpful - www.analyticalarmadillo.co.uk/2010/07/foremilkhindmilk-and-lot-of-confusion.html

I also had a big baby at birth (75th centile) who really wasn't meant to be big - he quickly dropped down to the 25th centile in the first 3 or 4 months and has stayed there.

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