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How much do you eat to keep up with breastfeeding?

(42 Posts)
alux Sun 19-Jun-05 23:50:32

I started this thread because of Mears' one about topping up feeding being the kiss of death for b/f. I don't know if it also applies to swapping a b/f with formula as I am new to this b/f thing so advise me if you can.

I am happy to b/f exclusively but I am getting to the point where I find I can hardly keep up my caloric intake to keep me and dd happy - at 9 wks. I find I have to eat up to 6 times a day to keep up with demand and as she is getting older I am getting hungrier.

One day: 2 weetabix + milk at 4 am. 2 doorstops of brown bread & 2 eggs and bacon at 8 am. geobar mid morning. Lunch of cheese filled pasta at 1 pm. I sometimes add extra olive oil for the calories too! oatmeal and raisins at 4 pm and can't remember yet what at 7/8 pm. I buy Complan drink supplements (250 calories per portion and I make it with about 300ml of full fat milk say another 150 - 200 calories) and have one almost every day when I only eat 4 times a day. 2/3 glasses of juice too. (almost no junk food as I never cared for it.)

I am never sated and eating so much is getting old. Hoping to cut out a mid day feed before her long nap and supplement with formula as I do at night. I pump and store one night time feed. Stopped it once but have recently restarted.

Oh, I am back at my weight before pg. - 50 kilos - under 8 stones.

suzywong Sun 19-Jun-05 23:57:10

with such a young baby you should listen to your body and eat what you want when you want. Horlicks at bedtime is a very good if you don't have the appetite at the moment and snack on nuts, brazils and almonds. Use this time to eat what you like, it doesn't sound as though you will be going off the deep end with rubbish food so eat what ever you fancy.

Just out of interest why are you topping up with formula?

ghosty Sun 19-Jun-05 23:57:22

I wish I had advice to give you ... I am sure someone will be along shortly ...
I just wanted to say at the ability to eat so much and be slim ... even when breastfeeding.
I needed to eat often when I was breastfeeding but if I had eaten as much as you I would have been the size of a house! As it was I only started to lose my baby weight after I gave up b/fing at 10 months.
There may be another reason you are so hungry and needing to eat so much but are so slim? It may not be breastfeeding related?

kama Mon 20-Jun-05 00:16:01

Message withdrawn

kama Mon 20-Jun-05 00:16:31

Message withdrawn

LeahE Mon 20-Jun-05 01:01:47

I seem to remember I was ravanous too at that stage -- actually I definitely was around 6 weeks because DS was in hospital and I was eating 3 full meals a day that the hospital provided, plus a cooked dinner my MIL brought in for me, plus substantial snacks. And I was losing weight pretty rapidly at that point too.

I don't eat nearly that much now (20 weeks) -- just a normal sort of amount. I'm not sure when the appetite tailed off, because it's only seeing your post and thinking about it that's made me realise how hungry I was in the early stages and am not now.

My iron levels were on the low side after the birth so maybe there was a connection there?

chipmonkey Mon 20-Jun-05 02:12:32

Actually, kama makes a good point about overactive thyroid. I find that I don't have to eat any extra and ds is almost 6 months old.

alux Mon 20-Jun-05 03:49:12

I have always been skinny irregardless of how much I eat (sorry!). I didn't put on extra body fat during pg either so no stored fat to burn off. When I worked outdoors, I ate 4 times a day. Not lately, but I have never tested anaemic. Never had my thyroid tested but have always had a hearty appetite. (I never miss a full meal, normally) Just genetic from paternal grandmother I believe. (Just had a bowl of weetabix at 3.30 am)

I give 1 formula at night as I am bloody knackered - physically and mentally - by the time I get to a late night feed. I resent b/f at that time and just want to get things over with. DD can be hard work (even at her age) when letdown takes a while. There have been times at night when I don't even express as I am so exhausted. Though sometimes I b/f instead of express if I feel up to it. I am alone during the week as DH works away. I think that have no support network during the week would play a major role in discontinuing b/f for me. I mostly enjoy b/f but finding the practicalities a strain without help with just food prep for myself and caring properly for dd. So I cannot envision going back to work f/t and b/f exclusively either. (all family live abroad or too far away to help.) It was for a work colleague with who I am close. (we've only discussed this in context since my dd is here.)

pixiefish Mon 20-Jun-05 08:10:38

alux- i ate like billy-o for a while whilst initially bfing. i remember the hunger you talk about. that hunger will disappear ad will get back to normal soon honestly. at least you're eating sensibly- I scoffed chocolate and have yet to lose the weight (but i'm still bfing so that's my excuse

Kelly1978 Mon 20-Jun-05 08:22:54

Hi alux, I also ate ravenously for a good coupel fo months. I'm back to three meals a day now, instead of four and sometimes food at night too. I still eat huge portions, went out to Nandos yesterday and despite the fact it was lethally spicy I ate mine and dp's leftovers. I felt like a pig tbh! I also found the weight dropped off at first, and I'm pretty much my normal size now. I give quite a few top up feeds now, but cos I have two I'm still feedign more than the average single needs, so I am still pretty hungry. Whoever said bfeeding was cheaper was most def wrong!! I find I spend far more on extra food for me than I would on formula.

It is really hard to bfeed exclusivly without support, I couldn't do it, as I would need to spend so much time bfeeding I would never be able to do anything else. Mine have 3 x 6 oz bottles ebm daily each, and a couple of formula feeds, eve and morn. i just look at it as I do the best I can and every little helps.

CarolinaMoon Mon 20-Jun-05 09:06:53

I stopped needing to eat like a horse after the first couple of months I think, but then I had put on a scary amount of weight while pg so had that to burn off. Bf is supposed to burn 500 cals a day but it seems like your body thinks it ought to have plenty of supplies on board just in case . Hopefully it should calm down soon for you. Otherwise, it prob is worth getting it checked out, just in case.

The other thing I found I was doing was eating to boost my energy levels when what I should have done was just have a rest. Can you try e.g. doing one or two feeds a day lying down in bed with your dd? She will prob be nice and calm and you will get to put your feet up for a bit.

alux Mon 20-Jun-05 09:18:49

can't stand b/f lying down. I find it uncomfortable - tiny tits. I do it if I am desperate to lie down. Like I said, I always had a kick-ass metabolism so don't think I have a problem with thyroid. When I am on hols, my appetite decreases likewise, when I go back to work it goes up too.

aloha Mon 20-Jun-05 09:41:17

Still think it is worth getting it checked out. You have nothing to lose.
I have to admit to being quite envious - I am exclusively breastfeeding, eating quite little and not losing an ounce.

alux Tue 21-Jun-05 08:46:21

you see aloha, i wish that was me.

milward Tue 21-Jun-05 08:59:32

Alux - I always put on loads in preg - about 25 kilos. This just gets used up with bf. Last time at six weeks I was just 2 kilos over my start weight of about 57 kilos. I suppose it could be that if you didn't gain the flab to use up you would have to eat to keep up with the calories you could have been carrying around. Everyone is different so I'd say go with it -eat when you're hungry and eat well. Perhaps have a blood test with your doc to put your mind at rest that you're not lacking in something.

Ruthiebaby Tue 21-Jun-05 10:03:07

I went through a really ravenous stage at 2 to 3 months - DS is now 4 and a half months and my appetite has gone down a bit.

I've noticed that a lot of girls here have said this - I wonder why this is.

I'm trying to lose weight now my appetite has decreased a little but it's quite hard...think I'm going to have to wait until I've stopped breast feeding. (hmm...any excuse eh..bring on the chocolate cake !!!)

alux Thu 23-Jun-05 16:24:45

it seems like my appetite is dropping off - just when i was getting fed up of non stop eating. 4 times a day is manageable.

CarolinaMoon Thu 23-Jun-05 18:10:03

glad to hear it Alux - how's everything else going?

alux Thu 23-Jun-05 21:24:30

we seem to be getting along these last few days. She was very fretful the past 2/3 wks when feeding and like any new mum I was panicking. I think now it is her sinuses. She can't clear her nose v. well. the doc says that it is its shape and will only give saline drops. So now I regularly torture her with it and haul out her big bogies when they come within reach.

But it means she feeds peacefully.

alux Thu 23-Jun-05 21:26:11

I am also thinking of dropping the feed before her long nap and giving formula so that I can be freed up to have some mummy time and I can leave dh to babysit for longer periods of time. I am having a hard time actually doing it though.

aloha Thu 23-Jun-05 21:27:52

Alux, I'd bet anything you wouldn't wish it was you if you used to be a size 12 and you are now 13 stone and a size 16. I absolutely HATE it.

alux Thu 23-Jun-05 21:38:13

Aloha: ahh, well, mother nature wants you to b/f.

aloha Thu 23-Jun-05 22:25:57

She's a bitch, isn't she?

mears Mon 04-Jul-05 10:03:37

How's it going Alux? Just came across this thread. The only thing I would add is that if you formula fed exclusively, you would still be knackered and you would have a whole load of preparation of milk and bottles to do on top of everything else. Don't be fooled into thinking breastfeeding is exhausting. Looking after a baby/toddler/child is exhausting - I was completely knackered even when I had stopped feeding.

Try not to worry about what you are eating - just do it. I am extremely jealous of your ability to eat and stay slim. I exclusively fed and hardly lost a thing. I didn't do much esle though. Something tells me you are an 'on the go' type person?

alux Tue 05-Jul-05 16:26:32

still going mears, i am however giving up the 11 am feed. i hope to mix feed for a while. i am pumping the 11 am feed and storing it - i know that the supply will diminish naturally w/o dd's stimulation. dd is 11 wks now. its an emotional decision and plan to write an analysis of my b/f experience soon and share it here.

i am afraid of it affecting supply for other feeds plus dd's schedule is a bit willy nilly in the morning ith her feeding at 2.30 am then atb5 and six too but uninterested till 9 ish.

my appetite seems to have dropped to a more seemly 4 meals a day. dd put on 1 kilo in 4 wks so a massive growth spurt of hers must have been resp for my appetite. still apt to be scarfing weetabix at 4 am

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