Breastfeed or express breastmilk at night???

Pamela - posted on 08/24/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hi ladies, I really need some advice please. I'm breastfeeding but I also express to freeze. My son is 4 weeks old. A week ago, we started giving him expressed breast milk at night, 3am and he would sleep till 7am, allowing my husband and I to sleep. Prior to that, he was cluster feeding which made me very tired.

My question- he seems to need more expressed milk now. At 4 weeks old he's having 6oz of expressed breast milk in one feed. Isn't this too much? Am I allowing him to over feed? He's putting on a lot of weight also. Is this a normal quantity. Also, I've been reading about growth spurts and I'm worried that if he's having this much at 4weeks, will it increase and will I be able to meet the demand when that happens by expressing.

Also, I'm worried that as I give him expressed BM at night instead of breastfeeding, does that mean my supply at night has gone down? Is this a bad idea because his appetite will inevitably increase? Should I go bk to breastfeeding at night even though I am super exhausted and my husband won't be able to help? I am so confused. I won't to so the best by me and my baby.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks


View replies by

Cassidy - posted on 01/17/2015




Hi Pamela,
I still wake up in the middle of the night for my baby and she's almost a year old. I'm just used to it by now. You're tired and you're it sounds like you're doing great. I'm not a Dr. so I can't comment on the weight gain, but concerning the breastfeeding at night, your supply WILL go down if you don't feed him when he wants it. However, if you're pumping extra during the day that can make up for your lost night sessions, then you're definitely expressing enough to cover your bases.

My daughters would throw up if they ate too much. It sounds like you just have a hungry boy. Check with your pediatrician to make sure and check to make sure kiddo is eating enough during the day.


Lori - posted on 08/24/2014




A few things to think about…..

An exclusively breastfed baby will take an average of 25 oz per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 month. During growth spurts baby will take more, but when growth spurt is finished, baby goes back to his/her average. That 25 oz is just an average. Some babies take more, others take less…. but the thing to think about is that a breast fed baby eats about the same number of oz for 5 months straight. As baby grows, your milk changes to meet your babies needs. In contrast, a formula fed baby will need to eat more and more formula as he grows.

A baby will not over feed at the breast, but you CAN overfeed when giving a bottle. Doesn't matter if it's expressed milk or formula, it is possible to over feed.

And as for sleep: My recommendation would be to go back to nursing rather than feeding a bottle. I know how exhausting it is. I exclusively nursed both my girls, and was up with them every single time they woke. The closer your baby is to you at night the easier it will be for you to feed baby quickly, and go back to sleep. If you co-sleep (this can be done safely), you may not even need to wake all the way up to feed baby and go back to sleep. Studies show that breastfeeding moms actually get more sleep than bottle feeding moms. Hmmm, makes you think……

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