14 weeks old and eating like crazy...

Yvonne - posted on 03/25/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I recently returned to work and I am still breastfeeding and pumping. My daughter is eating like 7 ounces every feeding and I was not keeping up with her. I bought a hospital grade pump last night to try to build up my supply, I'm taking fenu greek and drinking water like crazy.

I never thought she be drinking so much at this age. Does 7 ounces seem like alot to any of you? One thing you should know is that she does sleep through the night. From about 9:30 to 5:30-6:00am then goes back to sleep until around 9;30 or 10:00.

Thanks...

Feeling like a bad mom :(

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Allison - posted on 03/25/2010

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7 oz os WAY to much and you are setting yourself up for supply problems.I'm sure your daughter's caregivers think she is hungry and she is "gulping" down the bottle, but I'm certain this is not the case. One problem with her eating so much at once is she gets used to feeling that full all the time - like eating a huge Holiday meal EVERY time you eat. Not good, and not good for future eating.

Here is some information that will help:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottl...
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkc...
http://www.mother-2-mother.com/pumping.h...

And also this, from Paula Yount, from a kellymom thread

"Remember, bottles can be "deceptive". To elaborate more on bottle feeding & issues such as "sucking it down quickly" or "crying for more", do know that bottles are notorious for this - it's how they work vs the fact baby is really starving, etc. (baby may be hungry, but sucking down the bottle is often more related to the mechanics of bottles than how hungry baby is).

This is part of the problem with d/c and bottles, sometimes they dont realize that they need to slow the feeding down so baby doesn't get used to the fast pace (causing problems with bfing), and also slowing down the bottle gives baby time to feel "full". (often with smaller amounts in the bottle than most think is needed).

While there are a few babies who may be the "exception to the rule" it may also be important to point out for newbies and lurkers, and those who may have been here a while but not seen this information, that bottle feeding isn't like bf (the "mechanics" of bottlefeeding are different than bf) - early on baby has no control of the bottle, and then they get used to taking in more than they need.... well, let me explain....

When babies are young, and we first intro the bottle, the bottle goes in the baby's mouth the mouth fills with milk, the baby is obligated to swallow and the action of swallowing initiates another suck. The suck again fills the mouth and the cycle repeats, giving an appearance of the baby "gulping the bottle down hungrily". Many times the baby fusses/cries after the bottle is taken away, leading caregivers or parents to assume that baby isn't "satisfied" with the amount of milk in the bottle. The problem isn't usually the volume of milk but rather the natural desire to "complete" the nursing cycle which at the breast, would include some comfort nursing. Comfort nursing is impossible with the bottle.

As time goes on and because the milk can be seen and measured, it is not unusual that babies are encouraged to feed beyond being full (to "satisfy" the baby). This then creates a situation where the infant is used to feeling over full meaning they then consume the higher volume without complaint, resulting in overfeeding that is only seen in bottle fed infants. Current/ongoing research seems to indicate this is one of the reasons that bottle fed infants are more likely to become obese - they lose their ability to regulate their appetite because they need to eat more as children/teens/adults to feel full.

One may not see the obesity issue arise at first - sometimes it takes years, but the implication is that (according to research) it starts with "overfeeding" in infancy.

So what IS paced bottle feeding? It is simply a method used to slow bottle feedings down. One can give the bottle to baby, let baby suck two or three times, then remove the bottle and talk to baby, giving baby a minute (kind of a "catch your breath" moment), then give the bottle back, allowing two to three sucks, removing bottle & talking to baby, giving baby a moment, and repeat until bottle is gone.

Because paced bottle feeding slows the feeding down for baby, it gives baby a chance to end the feeding when baby is feeling full, instead of "guzzling", "gulping" or "sucking down the bottle". This helps to reduce overeating/overfeeding, spitting up (and possibly gassiness too), and can reduce/minimize reflux symptoms. The best thing though is that paced bottle feeding makes the feeding more variable, more like breastfeeding, which reduces the risk of bottle preference. This often makes bf easier - or better - for a baby that might be developing a preference for the faster/easier flow of the bottle.

So if d/c or dh are not pacing the bottles, you might ask them to do so, and then after 3 or at most, 4 oz, offer the pacifier (if baby takes one) and cuddle/rock/walk, etc. (and use the tips in Dr Harvey Karp's book, Happiest Baby on the Block - they *do* work)."



Share this with your caregivers.

You may also want to encourage more nursing at night, too, to help baby get more milk directly from the source and help your supply. Dream feeds and/or co-sleeping are a good way to do that.

Good luck!

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Martha - posted on 03/25/2010

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Well eating every two hours is normal for a new born. So that isn't too bad. But 7 oz at one time is a lot. Does she get gassy? OR do you think it could just be a growth spurt? How long has she been doing this for? Also I forgot to say in the first post, DON'T feel like a bad mom! You aren't doing anything wrong at all! Just keep your head up, and like I said, look into the reverse cycling as well, it might take a little to get used to but it could be helpful!

Yvonne - posted on 03/25/2010

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She screams like crazy though if we give her less...she will drink the 7 ounces and then be happy. For instance, today she ate at 1;15 and it was just over 5 ounces at 3:30 she was screaming for 30 minutes (nothing would calm her) and she got a bottle with 3 ounces in it and she drank a little over half and fell sleep. that was the only that calmed her. If she isn't that hungry, then what else could be causing her to scream like that?

Martha - posted on 03/25/2010

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7oz seems like a whole lot. I would offer smaller bottles. Like give her 3oz and if she seems satisfied then leave it at that. The more you offer the more she'll drink. Know what i mean? There's a rule that I've heard from kellymom.com and other LCs, that babies really only need about 1-1.5 oz per hour you are gone. So if you're gone for about 8 hours and you nurse her right before you leave, she should need less than 8 hours of milk, make sense? Another you could look into is reverse cycling. It's helpful for a lot of working moms. Here's a link from kellymom about reverse cycling. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/revers...

Hope that helps!

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