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Diet/weight affecting breastfeeding?

(12 Posts)
Hayls Sat 08-May-04 19:07:04

dd (14 1/2 weeks) has recently started waking more often during the night and feeding more rgularly during the day and generally appearing more hungry than usual. Although it's early, I tried giving her some baby rice this morning and she scoffed it- was looking for more but i stuck to just 1 teaspoon to see if there were any effects. She's seemed a bit happier since then.

My problem is that my HV (who I haven't 'gelled' with- don't know if that's relevant but never mind) suggested that dd could be hungrier because the milk I'm producing isn't of a 'high enough quality'. She suggested that it was because I was tall and thin and had lost my pregnancy weight- I still have 3 healthy meals a day with regular snacks (normally healthy but the occasional slip up!)and haven't been dieting and am certainly not skinny- and to try and eat more to improve the fat content and milk quality. Other helpful advice was to top up with formula, despite me saying that I didn't want to give formula and that she wouldn't take a bottle anyway!

Here was me feeling chuffed for getting back in my jeans but is my vanity meaning my baby's hungry? IS there anything in what she says? I really don't EVER feel hungry and I'm not exercising excessively so I think the weight loss is just meant to be. Should I still have retained a fat store for breastfeeding, as has been suggested?

P.S HV knows I was going to give dd solids- don't know if size of baby has anything to do with it but she's nearly 15lbs and knew what to do with the spoon so she said to give it a go

Hope this makes sense

Clayhead Sat 08-May-04 19:12:10

Hayls, I have no evidence to back this up but your HV is talking bollocks.

Well done for bf, losing your weight and having the good sense to ignore her!

Not of a high enough quality?? What crap! Sorry, this just makes me seethe it's so ignorant!

hercules Sat 08-May-04 19:14:06

Your hv is talking rubbish. Women in 3rd world countries breastfeed and unless you are seriously malnourished your milk will be of an excellent quality regardless of your own diet or weight. If you were able to carry a baby in pregnancy your body is more than capable of producing milk and the quality is always the same.
You cannot imporve the fat content and milk quality.
No need whatsoever to give formula or solids. DD was a large baby and was fine on bm alone until 6 months and now at 7 months still has hardly any solids and her clothes are 9-12 months.
If your interested there is a thread I'll find on exclusinve bf to 6 months.

Clayhead Sat 08-May-04 19:20:10

Seething has subsided slightly...but not much!

Just to add, similiar to hercules' dd, ds is 8 months old, was exclusively bf for 6 months and is of average size. At 7 months he came down with a horrible virus and went back to exclusive bf for 2 weeks, he just didn't fancy the solids; his sister has had two periods in hospital recently whereby I have been stuck there with no food for ds and so just bf more often, through circumstance more than choice or design. He has gone back to solids now. I haven't actually had him weighed for several months but he hasn't seemed to stop gaining weight or getting bigger throughout this.

BTW, my HV is about as much use as yours so I sympathise! When I took dd for her 8 month check, my HV had a right go at me for still bf her; ds's 8 month check is this week...

Hayls Sat 08-May-04 20:23:46

Thanks for your advice. Hercules, I remember reading that thread and found it interesting. She's not my normal HV but I've had to see her a couple of times when my usual one isn't there. I just haven't clicked with her- she seems to look down on everyone, calling us 'girls' colletively and 'my dear' individually. Never mind.

Glad you reassured me that I was doing nothing wrong and that my initial thought that she was talking rot was right. I had read somewhere that you should keep 5-10lbs of pg weight as a bf reserve so was seriously considering trying to put some on. Dh had even gone out and bought full fat milk, which I hate and was trying to force myself to drink. Well. back to trying to fit into ALL my pre-baby clothes (nearly there...)

Clayhead, good luck with this week

furniture Sat 08-May-04 21:02:58

Hayls, like you I'm tall and thin, well actually tall and skinny. Always have been, always will be. Personally I'm not keen on being this skinny but it's just the way I am. Anyway to get to the point, my pregnancy weight fell off me in a v. short space of time and I was back in pre-pregnancy size 8's by the time dd was about 4 months old. I breastfed dd exclusively until 6 months with no problems whatsoever and then even when she started 'solids' (hate that expression) I continued to feed her until just a month ago (she's 19 months now). So the skinny ones can do it just as well as those with more of a 'fat reserve' (that's a dire expression too, sorry).

fairyprincess Sat 08-May-04 21:22:16

Agree with everyone here!

Some medical professionals talk a load of rubbish - and saying you need to 'top up with formula' this is absolutely off the mark. Just keep doing what you're doing

We are all different heights, sizes - this has no effect on breastfeeding.

Good for you Hayls - your little one getting the best

Chuffed Sun 09-May-04 14:17:08

So glad to hear that you don't have to store those extra pounds to bf effectively. DD is almost 6wks and am only about 8 pounds over pre-preg weight. Have been worried about the fact that if I got back to pre-preg weight I wouldn't be able to bf effectively. Yay!!!

Hectic Mon 10-May-04 11:13:48

Hayls-how ridiculous. My son (4th child) is fully breastfed at 4.5 months and I am half a stone lighter than when I conceived. I was back in my jeans after 2 weeks. I haven't dieted; in fact the opposite. We all have such varying patterns of post-pregnancy weight loss. I'm surprised your HV is so unaware of this. She must see mothers of all shapes and sizes coming in and out of the clinic.

tiktok Mon 10-May-04 11:27:11

Hayls, it is a poor show when HVs are so under-informed, and end up undermining mothers who are bf. There is no excuse for it (I know they aren't trained properly, but they should know the basics!)

There is a very good, referenced article to reassure you or anyone else here which you could show to your HV.

Posey Mon 10-May-04 21:01:39

Another one who thinks your hv is talking rubbish!
I'm on the slim side (my bmi shows me to be right on the border between okay and underweight). This is just me, who like furniture eats 3 meals plus lots of snacks.
I b/f dd for a year and now with ds I'm still going strong at 16months. Neither had any trouble putting on weight, in fact neither of them lost any weight after they were born and both floated around the 75th centile for weight.

I think a lot of babies do start waking more frequently and seem hungrier as they approach 4 months.

champs Wed 12-May-04 17:21:36

hi all, just read this post and am conused, why would a hv advise that you use formula esp when your baby was gaining weight, even after you said you didn't want to? I would have thought that your body would make as much milk as your baby needed.

As for the question of dieting, I dont know if it affected my milk quality but it did make me ill when I tried to diet too hard, and that in turn meant it was harder to breast feed and as i breast fed I felt worse.
I do think there is some truth in dieting harshly not being a good idea. I am very overweight and there is no doubt that I need to loose weight but the advise given by many sources is to wait until I stop breast feeding. It was my choice however to diet as I really want to, I just take it easy.
For those of you that have said you didn't try to loose weight (i'm not jealous...really) and it fell off I think you obviously are meant to be that weight and your bodies are just doing there job. Esp if you were *skinny* before hand.

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