Am I feeding baby correctly?(13 Posts)
Dear all, I have recently given birth (9th June) and baby was weighed yesterday only losing 80g which MW was very pleased with. However, I am breastfeeding and giving formula too. I know it's early days...but I have been breastfeeding well. Baby is latched on correctly and I can see all the signs of feeding ok in him physically including being dozy after feed, then we try and settle him to sleep and soon after he screeches and wants our attention. Sometimes it is wind (although I didn't think they could get wind from breastfeeding as much). Then we discover that he may be still hungry after a 40 minute breastfeed,so I start to wonder whether to feed with formula as I think he may not be getting enough milk from me? Most times we result in formula as a top up and after a long winding session he does sleep. What do people think? I'm a first time mum and my partner has no experience either. We use internet for advise obviously as I sometimes doubt what the professionals say as it does not seem to suit our baby. I can understand now why so many women give up on BF now as you're not sure how much they're getting. Don't get me wrong I am enjoying it and it does not hurt.
Breastfeeding works on supply and demand at this early stage
The more you feed the more milk you produce
Is there a particular reason you are topping up?
It is usual for a baby to be unsettled especially a few days after birth - your milk has probably only just come in so that will help matters
Mix feeding is ok but it is likely the more you formula feed at this stage the less milk you will produce so Breastfeeding may well seem inadequate when it isn't
I would offer the breast as much as you can and both at each feed
Congrats on our baby
Congratulations on your baby! It sounds to me like you're doing really well with the breastfeeding.
Newborns can and do feed a lot. Something I wasn't particularly prepared for either. I think there are lots of reasons. Their tummies are only tiny, so they like to feed little and often. They also like the comfort, so sometimes they are not necessarily really hungry, bit just want a cuddle with you. Also, this sort of cluster feeding could be to help build up your supply. They often go through 'growth spurts' and will feed loads for a few days, and then it settles back down to normal.
And breastfed babies can and do get wind. My first suffered terribly with it but my second doesn't have it at all.
Go with your instincts: if you and baby are both happy, carry on with what you're doing.
Totally normal at this stage to feed what seems like all the time. Whatever you decide: breast or formula or a combination then just keep feeding! Just be aware that if you plan to carry on bfing then try to avoid formula top ups early on as this will affect your supply. Once bf more established then using formula for the odd feed (to give you a break) is less likely to cause a problem.
Keep posting here for advice and speak to your HV.
My honest opinion? Stop with the formula top ups. If he seems to want milk, breastfeed him. Sometimes it'll seem like you're feeding around the clock, that's normal. Sometimes you'll worry about how much milk hes getting. Again, normal.
Almost certainly you are able to produce enough milk. Most women can, but topping up with formula yhis early could affect your supply.
And as for settling? In my experience of 2 babies, one 3 yo, one 10 week old, they generally sleep on top of you early on. Any attemo to lie them down elsewhere willresult in them waking up and usually another feed. Again, normal.
I found the la leche book the womanly art of breastfeeeding helpful this time around. also seek out baby cafes in your area where you can get advice and meet other bfing mums.
I switched to formula after 3 weeks with my 3 yo so no judgement of formula intended, but having experienced both I can say that if bfing works for you, it's easier than formula feeding by far.
Oh, and congratulations on your new baby! Try to relax and enjoy these early days. Take it easy on yourself, build youreelf a little nest, make sure everything you need is close to hand (something to eat and drnk, tv remote, somethibg to read) and enjoy your new baby.
The advice ive read is that as long as your baby is content for at least a few minures after a feed and is gaining weight appropriately then STOP WORRYING. easier said than done I know
It's a question of faith....baby will latch on and feed til full. Then ask again when hungry. At first it is ALL the time as they learn how to get the milk and it is a skill the are getting used to. They need little and very very often! Then slowly but surely they need fed less frequently for less time. I really struggled with not knowing how much DS was ever getting but as I said, it's just faith....the more they feed, the more you make. Every bottle of formula is telling your body not to make milk. If LO is guzzling away at your boob, your body will think - I need to make more! It's really hard but for the first few weeks I just fed and fed and fed!
DS used to eat every hour for 30-40mins to get what he needed. Now at 5 months he goes 3 hours approx and feeds for 10 mins max. He just gobbles then is ready to play again!!
Also, breastfed babies do get wind. All babies get wind. Give LO a good patting/rubbing after feeding for a big healthy burp!
I wish midwives and NCT had explained just how long new babies may want to feed for. Isla was nursing 9 hours a day, and would have done more but we don't have a great latch and it was too painful. The pain was bad enough, without worrying that I was starving my baby.
Now she is 5 weeks she is only on about 5 hours a day, it is less painful, and her slow but steady weight gain, heavy nappies, bright eyes and smiles give me confidence that while we may not be the best at technique or efficiency, we are at least muddling through OK and she is getting what she needs.
If I had known better what to expect in detail it would have really helped. Friends had kind of told me, but not in detail and I didn't understand properly what it would be like.
Be good to yourself. To begin with your body is always a bit behind baby's needs, but if you just keep feeding as much as you can bear it, your body will catch up.
Oh, and drink LOTS of fluids!
Thankyou so much for your replies. All very helpful. My concern of breastfeeding was that he was crying because he didn't have enough of my milk (maybe milk had not come in too well yet being day 6) tried expressing today - got 10ml out, is that expected? This makes me wonder if he's getting enough. Also if you do feed every hour, 2hrs or whatever when does baby sleep?
In the first weeks the baby might catnap on and off in between feeds or feed for ages then conk out for a while - it's an old cliche but every baby is different so just follow your baby's lead! The best advice is to just feed whenever your baby shows any interest to boost your supply and keep your baby contented. It's hard going but it's so worth it honestly - keep going!
Don't use the amount you expressed as an indicator of how much your baby gets - babies are much more efficient than pumps! My right boob expressed quite well but I could only ever get tiny amounts from the left - but DD was very happy feeding from it.
Also my MW told me newborns have a stomach the size of a marble - remembering that really kept me going in the early days, it doesn't take much to fill it. But yes they do want to fill up again very soon!
You might express lots, or just a little - it doesn't represent how much your baby takes. Sometimes I can barely express 1oz, and my baby is 8m old! I know he's getting plenty of milk when he feeds directly.
I would definitely echo everyone else regarding not worrying about a top-up. Unless your baby is failing to put on weight, then you are doing fine. Your baby has a tiny stomach, and breastmilk will be digested fairly quickly, so seeming to be feeding all the time is pretty usual. Another thing that babies do is suck in order to stimulate supply - the more they suck, the more milk your body will produce. The first few weeks is full on - there are a couple if growth spurts to manage where you can do nothing much more than sit down with a large cake and a lot of water, and watch plenty of TV.
It's going to get easier - after about a month, you'll be a bit of a pro, but the early weeks are confusing and a bit worrisome. Huge congratulations on your new baby!
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