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Is my mum right re the quality of my breastmilk?

(18 Posts)
mamakim Fri 07-Aug-09 11:47:41

Dd (14 weeks) has fed every two hours day and night for the past week, i thought growth spurt but it doesn't seem to be lessening. She empties both boobs at each feed. I had her weighed on wed and she had gained 8oz in 3 weeks (no where near as much as previously but hv not concerned).

Anyway i was moaning this morning about lack of sleep to my mum. She seems to think because i don't eat much it's having an effect on the fat content of my milk. She says i was probably okay while she was tiny but now she wants more. I didn't think this was true.

Typically i do not eat breakfast, other than a coffee, sandwich at lunch, pasta/stir fry/fish and noodles etc for dinner - maybe a biscuit occasionally. Would this not be enough? I'm quite skinny i suppose, 7.5st/5'2 - maybe i don't have much fat stores.

I'm so exhausted with her not settling and have ds (2) to take care of. If it carries on I will have to supplement or something (however i know that is the road to the end what with my supply dwindling more).

<sigh> I intended to feed for 12 months.

Please help!

mamakim Fri 07-Aug-09 11:49:10

oh and she did sleep 7 hours at one point.

AnarchyAunt Fri 07-Aug-09 11:50:39

Your mum is wrong. Diet has pretty much no bearing on milk quality or quantity except in cases of very severe malnutrition.

You might want to try and eat more regularly for your own sake as it may help you cope wih the lack of sleep better though.

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Aug-09 11:51:32

No I don't think that's right. Do you always eat as much as you do or have you cut down - while it won't affect your milk it will affect your energy levels.
Do you co sleep? I think DS probably fed like that (day time, probably not quite that bad at night but up 3 or 4 times) when he was that age, think some babies just do. Hopefully you'll get some advice on here on how to cope.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Aug-09 11:53:26

As the others say, it won't affect your milk but I would try to eat a little more as it would help with your tiredness. I find I need to eat much more when I need sleep.

KirstyJC Fri 07-Aug-09 11:57:32

Keep going! My DS2 (now 9 mo) did this at several times before he started weaning, one time he kept feeding every couple of hours for about 2 weeks, including nights. I did find I had cravings for milkshakes and cheese (not together you understand!) and I think that might have been my body's way of asking for more calcium!

As I understand it, your diet will affect your health rather than the quality of your breastmilk, in other words the milk will use what it needs to from your body, and your body will get whatever is left over. So your milk should be fine, but if you are eating too little then you might not get all the nutrients you need.

I would try and eat breakfast though - you might well find that this helps with your energy levels. Try a big bowl of cereal with full fat milk if you are worried about your fat intake. I wouldn't worry about the milk though, it will be fine. If you really can't face brekkie, try this for a snack. Most cereals have extra vitamins etc in as well.

As for frequency of feeds - just grit your teeth and keep going - she will sort herself out. Don't forget it can take a couple of days for milk supply to increase from her asking for more, so if she needs loads more each day it will take your body a while to catch up. But it will get there! smile

mamakim Fri 07-Aug-09 11:58:23

Stealth - I have always eaten this much, i'm not on a diet or anything.

Do you think this phase will just stop then or do i have to get used to it forever more? I do co sleep (starts off in basket then in with me from first feed)

It used to just be 10pm then4/5am..

now it's like 8pm, 10pm, go to bed, 12, 2am, 4am,6am it's killing me, both boobs each time, and she still doesn't seem that content. Surely that's not right?

morocco Fri 07-Aug-09 12:02:40

sounds like a growth spurt tbh - mind you dd1 has always been a 'regular' feeder and still likes her snacks every hour or so - guess they are all different.

nothing to do with milk quality - but are you keeping your iron levels up? helps with tiredness

IsItMeOr Fri 07-Aug-09 12:07:03

Hi Mamakin - echo others that your body will give the baby what they need first, so what you do or don't eat will primarily be impacting on you. You're supposed to need around 500 extra calories per day while BFing, so if you haven't changed what you always eat, think you should eat a little more for your own wellbeing.

RedDeadFail Fri 07-Aug-09 12:07:27

My dd fed every 2hrs day and night for the first 7 months. I co-slept, slept in the day, took it easy, ate well for my own health (was anaemic) and rode it out.

It's so exhausting but your milk supply is not affected by your diet.

frisbyrat Fri 07-Aug-09 12:08:52

Well, on my very rough calculation, one sandwich, if it's, let's say, cheese and ham, would be about 400 calories. And some pasta, let's say carbonara, would be about 500 calories. I'd say you were on starvation diet, frankly!

I've heard people on here suggest that when breastfeeding, you need a couple of hundred extra calories a day to maintain your current weight. I don't know if this is correct, but I do know you shouldn't diet when bf, and, even if you have a couple of biscuits a day (100 calories total?), you are still nowhere near the 2,000 kcal daily recommended for a woman.

On the other hand, I am a fat knacker, so maybe not the best person to give advice on diet. grin

<stuffs in another pawful of pringles. Om nom nom>

RedDeadFail Fri 07-Aug-09 12:17:46

It's not starvation diet. It's certainly not the healthiest diet and probably not enough for an average adult woman but it will impact upon the OP only, not her baby. Babies born to mothers in 3rd world countries successfully bfeed. It is extreme starvation that is a problem.

You can diet when bfeeding too. smile

pseudoname Fri 07-Aug-09 12:18:13

My suggestion is for you to go to bed earlier. Sorry. Even moving your bedtime forward to 10pm (ie go to bed when she wakes up then) can have a big difference.

Make sure you are not getting mildly dehydrated during the day esp since it has been hot. I feel more tired (today) because yesterday I didn't drink enough. I feel slightly hungover.

It won't last.

RedDeadFail Fri 07-Aug-09 12:20:11

OP's BMI for example is just over 19 so slim but within the normal range.

pseudoname Fri 07-Aug-09 12:23:54

fwiw, i am 5ft 4in and weigh the same. i am tandem feeding but eat like a horse.

RibenaBerry Fri 07-Aug-09 12:29:01

The thing that jumped out at me is that, if you aren't eating breakfast, you are probably going from, say 7pm until 11am (assuming one of your biscuits is mid morning!) without eating. Even if you can normally cope with this, whilst sleep deprived and breatfeeding, it probably isn't helping the exhaustion. Could you bring yourself to eat something in the morning (even if you are one of those people who isn't keen)? Even some fruit/fruit juice would be better than nothing.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 07-Aug-09 12:34:50

Your milk will be just fine, but you may be suffering. Could you manage a glass of milk in the morning in lieu of breakfast?

CMOTdibbler Fri 07-Aug-09 12:40:53

It's not going to affect your milk, but I'd have a little more to eat, spaced out - maybe a banana for breakfast, some fruit with your sandwich, and a yogurt with dinner.

And whilst she is waking up a lot, I'd go to bed really early - when DS was up a lot I'd go up at 8, leaving DS in the moses basket with DH downstairs, who would then deliver him in a clean nappy when he needed feeding again (and having tidied up, done washing etc).

Have you tried giving more than 2 breasts ? So switching back and forth - it can help them get more milk out, and tends to increase supply more.

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