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Bf people - what's your opinion on this?

(28 Posts)
goingnowherefast Mon 29-Jun-09 22:02:18

I've been shown these cartoons that peer supporters can hand out to new mums if necessary - mostly very good, informative about breastfeeding. However I'm not sure about one of the cartoons - the caption is:
"Breastfed babies usually feed more often than bottle fed babies - usually 8-12 times a day, including night feeds for the first few weeks".

I'm not sure because a) 8-12 times a day could lead to a mum worrying if baby wants to feed hourly eg during a growth spurt? I know dd used to have short feeds, I had fast flow, but she would feed sometimes 14 times in 24 hours.
Also b) "night feeds for the first few weeks" would worry me because ime breastfed babies often feed in the night for a few MONTHS and sometimes up to a year! If they start sleeping through and then wake for feeds for example during the 16 week growth spurt, a mum with that cartoon may question if it's right and consider weaning/formula.

So - am I wrong or being unnecessarily pedantic? Please tell me if I am - if not I'll mention it to our course leader!

kazbeth Mon 29-Jun-09 22:07:16

I would have found that deceiving. My first breastfed all the flipping time and only slept through at 16 months. My second is feeding at least every 2 hours still at 6 months and even more now the weather is hot but both are normal (though frustrating at times). The 8-12 does make it seem like it should fall between those doesn't it.

Herecomesthesciencebint Mon 29-Jun-09 22:07:17

I think anything that reduces it to numbers isnt helpful. Just saying most BFed babies feed more often that formula fed babies would suffice.

and yes, the night feeds bit is total crap. so if after a few weeks baby still feeds at night will they feel they are getting it wrong? should def scrap that. else show it to DS2 who still has 4 nightfeeds at 2.2!

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 29-Jun-09 22:13:09

Whilst I agree with some of the points made already, I can also see some value in them putting this in. One of the reasons that some women give up bf quite early is because they didn't realise how hard/time consuming it would be. By giving them some advance warning that it's ok to need to feed at night and lots during the day, they should feel better prepared for the reality, esp if they are surrounded by other formula fed babies who are not feeding at night or anywhere near as often as this during the day.

giantkatestacks Mon 29-Jun-09 22:13:48

But if you said a bf baby may well feed in the night until they fancy stopping then how many people would it put off starting in the first place - best to leave night feeds out altogether and just say x many feeds in 24 hours if they have to have numbers.

DreamingAboutSleep Mon 29-Jun-09 22:15:27

I think anything which suggests that night feeding only goes on for the first "few weeks" is really misleading and may make new mum's feel they are doing something wrong as well as considering formula!!

Maybe if they included some information about growth spurts too? It would be useful anyway and it may help to balance the 8-12 times a day statement? I agree with Herecomesthesciencebint about the numbers bit though, not really that helpful to anyone.

GruffaloMama Mon 29-Jun-09 22:15:30

Hi - I'm doing a peer supporter course - not seen these leaflets but agree it's a bit of an odd number. I found DS fed two hourly during the daytime, cluster-fed all evening and then slept in pretty decent lumps at night (waking after 4-5 hrs and then sleeping for another 3). I was in hindsight bloody lucky and he still loves his sleep now. But if someone had told me that I should feed a certain number of times per day then I would have worried whether I was feeding too much or too little

PortAndLemon Mon 29-Jun-09 22:18:08

Mmm, CSWS, but the biggest shock with me with DS was that he fed all the time. I'd been expecting 8-12 times and the fact that it was constant and more-or-less unquantifiable rather knocked me for six "Breastfed babies usually feed more often than bottle fed babies - this can seem like all the time in the first few weeks" might be a better preparation.

Grendle Mon 29-Jun-09 22:54:40

I think I have seen these cartoons, as I was given one that sounds just like that when I was pg. I completely mis-interpreted it exactly as you describe and consequently don't really like them.

mawbroon Mon 29-Jun-09 22:59:57

Nope, I am not keen on them either.

In reality, my ds took 8 to 12 short breaks a day from constant breastfeeding shock for the first few weeks! My 8 to 12 feeds would have been done before mid morning!!!

And, my ds still woke for milk in the night up until a couple of months ago, and he's 3.8yo.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Jun-09 23:06:29

Message withdrawn

bambipie Tue 30-Jun-09 08:29:39

No I don't like it either.
I used to think of the evening cluster feeding as one long feed, not lots of little ones so it never felt like 12 feeds a day. I thought of it more in terms of the gap between feeds than the number of feeds. And it does imply that babies should be 'sleeping through' after a few weeks which is barmy not always true.

Something like 'All babies are different but BM is designed to be easy to digest so bf babies may want to feed quite often' would seem better to me. And I wouldn't want to be comparing directly to FF.

Verity79 Tue 30-Jun-09 08:32:20

I think it would be better to say 'Your baby should be feeding for a MINIMUM of 8-12 times a day as a new born. More than that is normal but less than that may impact on baby gaining weight and your milk supply may go down'.

But then I had a baby who once weaned off of formula at 8 weeks would/could feed for 1.5 hours with 20 mins between feeds! Not the usually expected 20 min feed then 1.5 hours until next one. She was all arse about tit wink

fishie Tue 30-Jun-09 08:36:06

something about the longest a baby should be allowed to go between feeds during the first few weeks would be more helpful.

although worded better than i have done, it sounds like a target put that way which is not what i mean.

StealthPolarBear Tue 30-Jun-09 08:36:52

PAL, I agree "will feel like all the time in the first few weeks, and by about 6 weeks will have settled down to distinct, separate feeds" would be better. DS didn't stop feeding at night, but by about 4 weeks was having periods of sleep and feeding, as opposed to latch-doze-latch-doze all night!

Bucharest Tue 30-Jun-09 08:40:00

Dd had night feeds till she was 4. angry

Agree with changing the actual numbers into something more approximate...there are some very literal people out there who if the baby feeds 10 times will think it's starving and 13 times that the baby will grow up to be obese....I do agree that women need to know it does feel like it's almost constant.....

tiktok Tue 30-Jun-09 09:07:14

Anything that's prescriptive like this with numbers, times, ages of a baby is risky, because there is a massive range of normal. The wording in that cartoon is particularly misleading as it seems to imply that night feeds cease after the first few weeks. SPB - many babies don't settle into separate feeds by 6 weeks and all is still well.

However, in an antenatal class, I do use numbers and times because otherwise first time parents are unprepared for what 'frequent feeding is normal' actually means. But I couch it in such terms (I hope) that they can realise that babies change, that some days they feed more often than others, that following the baby's needs, whatever they are, is a good thing, and that frequent feeding does not mean the baby is 'starving'. Hard to put all that in a sentence!

It's also true that a few babies feed fewer than 8 times in 24 hours from the start and they are fine....

Ineedmorechocolatenow Tue 30-Jun-09 09:17:26

I read that leaflet and I didn't feel that it was an exact number. I just thought it was an average to be honest. I don't think people will take it literally if you state that it's an average.

DD feeds on average every two hours, sometimes there's a four hour gap, sometimes she grazes every hour for a few hours....

I think there needs to be more honesty about breastfeeding in general. I had a horrendous time when BF DS and ended up giving up after 10 days after all the bullshit I was told before I had him. Had people been a bit more honest about the reality of it, I may have persevered a bit longer instead of being made to feel that I must be doing it all wrong as it should feel 'natural' and be 'easy' and 'painless'. For a lot of women, this isn't the case.

This time I know that the reality is different and have been far more relaxed about the whole thing and it's worked out.

mrsjuan Tue 30-Jun-09 09:28:48

Have to agree with Ineedmorechocolate - there is shockingly little given out about the reality of breastfeeding. I hadn't even heard of cluster feeding before I phoned a helpline in the middle of the first night we were home. In hindsight I should have prepared myself by doing more research but I didn't think I needed to!

porcupine11 Tue 30-Jun-09 09:32:05

I think the sentence needs some parentheses to make it clearer - I think they actually mean:

*Breastfed babies usually feed more often than bottle fed babies - usually 8-12 times a day (including night feeds) for the first few weeks.*

i.e. by 'day' they actually mean a 24-hour period, rather than hourly feeds. This would cover 2-hourly feeds. My DS fed 4-hourly for the first few weeks & we were told to wake him if he tried to sleep past one. Now at 9 months he is still waking 3-hourly for night feeds hmm

I agree the leaflets make it sound far easier than it is - for the first month I had burning pain in my broken nipples for every feed.

CherryChoc Tue 30-Jun-09 10:05:32

I remember our antenatal classes and we had 2 breastfeeding sessions with a bfc. The first one, at the end, the teacher gave us a piece of paper with 24 lines on it and asked us to mark our "ideal" baby feeding schedule. Most people put evenly spaced feeds 3-4 hours apart. Then she put out a big timeline of 24 hours on the floor and put loads of Xs on it where the baby might feed, and everyone was really shocked, but I think because she refused to give a rough idea of how long that stage will last they were thinking that might be it for the first year!

I think it was useful to give people an idea (although misleading to ask for their ideal feeding schedule and then provide them with a realistic one, why not ask what they expected instead?) but when we were chatting to them afterwards a lot of them felt put off by it, so I think it needs to be said in a gentle way, PortandLemon put it well, but you do need a rough time scale idea, how about "...this can feel like all the time at first. This stage usually only lasts for the first 2-3 months but can last longer, contact a peer supporter/bfc if you are worried"

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 30-Jun-09 18:36:56

Message withdrawn

HuffwardlyRudge Tue 30-Jun-09 18:45:16

Don't like that at all.

There is no point in painting an easier picture than is the reality for many people because (a) women who would be put off by just the idea of hourly feeds and night feeds for months, will be put off when it (probably) happens anyway, and (b) women who are comitted and determined to breastfeed no matter what deserve accurate information to realistically prepare themselves.

bedlambeast Tue 30-Jun-09 19:19:47

Message withdrawn

mawbroon Tue 30-Jun-09 19:32:34

LOL at all day, then all night. grin

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