large baby equals mum producing more milk than smaller baby?(22 Posts)
for example - does the mum of a 98th centile for weight baby have to make more milk than the mum of a 25th centile for weight baby?
and does this mean the mum of the heavier baby uss more calories to make milk?
This sounds liked a post made in hope! No idea, but I did lose lots of weight bf-ing dd, who was 99.6th centile...
DS2 was born on 98th centile - he's now 4.5 months and cruising along the 75th centile.
Not sure about more milk - but he does feed much more often than DS1 did. (DS1 is 25th centile).
Ds2 was 4lb 15 at birth - wasn't even on the centiles. I could easily express 6oz at 3-4 weeks (by which time he weighed around 6lb). From that I assume he didn't need as much as I was producing.
my dd2 was born on the 75th centile and quickly went down to 25th centile where she has stayed and is now three years old.
she was never really into breast milk or normal milk when weaned at 10 months and was quite a slim baby.
i use to wonder if it was my milk but now i know she was just not into milk and when i noticed it was too late and a week later there was no more milk late. I was really upset because I wanted to feed her until 1 year but she had other plans
I don't know but it really winds me up when people equate big baby with extra hungry baby.
DS was 11 lbs at birth and he did not strike me as a particularly hungry baby. I fed him on demand and he seemed ok. But there was this pressure on me to top him up with formula because of his size.
My sister used her DD's size (similar to DS's) as an excuse to switch to formula.
It is far easier to establish breastfeeding with a big baby than a little baby. I have found that breastfeeding my daughter a walk in the park compared with breastfeeding my son. My son wasted a lot of the milk I produced by constant vomiting.
Small babies feed more often, they are more likely to suffer reflux, jaudice, require special care and have less weight to lose. Bigger babies are often more efficent at feeding as they are stronger.
Not sure about the evidence on big baby vs small baby of same age (even with same mother). What is known is that beyond the early weeks the volume of milk produced remains fairly constant even as the baby grows, and it is the composition that changes. Every mum's milk for each baby is unique. That's one of the things that's so clever really .
In terms of calories, generally speaking, if more calories are going in to the baby to maintain a bigger weight then mum will use more calories than for a smaller baby. However, I would guess the difference is unlikely to be large, if you were thinking of wolfing down whole extra cakes or something .
Reallytired -I'd be interested to see the evidence for the list of problems associated with small babies you give?
My biggest baby (10lbs 12oz) was soooo easy to feed. If he was taking the extra oz or two I didn't notice! My 'hungriest' baby was also my smallest (9lbs 3oz). He fed constantly and was sick much more than the others because he was such a gannet. He was the only baby who travelled up rather than down through centiles over the first few weeks and months.
If you visit a special care unit I think you will find that a lot of the babies were under 6lb at birth. Not all babies in special care are prem.
Here is a link with some of the problems that a low birth weight baby can face.
I think that abnormally large babies can have problems as well.
My son was 5lb 1oz and it was a nightmare establishing breastfeeding as he was so sleepy. He was kept in hospital for a week as his suck was so weak.
My daughter was just under 7lb and it has a doodle looking after her in comparision.
That's interesting about big babies being "easier" to feed.
Mine were both huge and very good at breastfeeding.
DC3 - just over 2 weeks was smaller than my other two and bf has been a little harder. I've put it down to her mouth being smaller which made her latch not great to begin with and hence i got sore.
Lansinoh and careful positioning have sorted it now thankfully.
So for me a smaller baby was harder to bf.
I found that my bigger baby - DS (over 10lb) was a nightmare - he was the one out of the 2 that suffered with reflux (DD was 8.1lb), he was a nightmare to feed, i believe due to the discomfort he was in - cause it was 'silent reflux' it wasn't diagnosed until he was a couple of months old but he was crying so much and not taking much tha he was losing weight. DD was certainly a more natural feeder though she was smaller one of 2.
moto - she stuck to the 99.6th centile like glue until 6 months - she dropped gradually to just above 91st, where she is now at 2.10. She was a good feeder too, but did feed a lot - every 2 1/2 hours, I think, for about an hour, and then 5 hours cluster in the evening.
I got some pressure from HV to wean early, as she was big, but I just had to look at huge thriving baby and then back at HV with faintly incredulous face for her to back down.
I had two average babies. One became big. one became small.
If you have a big baby it is best to stick with BF rather than formula because then - at least - you know that they are growing rapidly on the right stuff. It is rumoured that is easier to slim down if you have been BF than formula fed, but this is probably a pro-BF rumour.
Although, BF babies do seem to lose interest in milk a bit quicker...a lot of formula fed babies are still having bottles at 3 or 4.
Both big and small babies appeared to feed at roughly the same intervals, but I guess the big one (>99%) just took more in.
Both babies then started going down the growth charts when I started weaning at 6 months.
Big on is now 91% aged 5. Little on is 25% aged 2)
My DS1 was 9lb 12oz and was never ever satisfied. I fed constantly, all day and all night but he still lost weight - I couldn't physically have fed him anymore.
DS2 was 8lb 5oz and I have had the same trouble. Just can't seem to satisfy my babies no matter what they weigh - even with a perfect latch, loads of water, food etc.. I don't think I'll ever get over it tbh
So, no, you don't make more milk. You'd think mother nature would have thought about that wouldn't you!
Mind you, I don't think I'd make enough milk for any size baby so it's all bollocks
I've been told by my HV that it's the other way around. Tiny babies are harder to feed and take in more calories as they try to catch up. They have smaller tummies so need to feed more frequently. Little babies are also more likely to rise through the centiles - regression to the mean.
Ah reallytired, I didn't realise you meant babies who are very small, I thought you were just referring to those below average . I see what you mean now. A baby who weights just under 7lb would be below average, but not in the very low birthweight category.
Another thing that may be relevant to this discussion is the different storage capacities of individual women's breasts. This has nothing to do with the physical size of the breasts by the way! Some breasts have a smaller storage capacity, and so no matter what the baby's weight it will need to take more frequent feeds than from a mum who has a larger storage capacity. Frequent feeding doesn't necessarily equate to an unsatisfied baby.
Regression to mean works both ways, so just as small babies may rise up, big babies may move down the centile lines. Again, this doesn't necessarily indicate a problem in the absence of other cause for concern.
"Regression to mean works both ways, so just as small babies may rise up, big babies may move down the centile lines. Again, this doesn't necessarily indicate a problem in the absence of other cause for concern."
I sometimes think that is why people tend to give supplemental feeds/early solids to big babies - we are conditioned to worry when they drop centiles, and big babies are inherently likely to do that.
Breastmilk is produced on a supply and demand basis. Last week I met a very petite chinese lady who was exclusively breastfeeding twins! She told me that her breasts seemed to know to produce more milk than they did for her first child.
I think a big problem is that many health professionals and mothers do not understand percentile charts. You have to consider both the weight and the height of the child.
If you think of adults, an adult who is on the 98% centile is likely to be grossly overweight whatever their height is. A twenty stone man would have to be 10 foot tall to be in proportion. A baby who is born on the 98th centile may well have dipped to the 50th centile, but be tall but healthy. (Ie, a woman who is 14 st and 6ft 4")
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.