04-11-2010, 12:34 PM
I have a 9-day-old daughter who, at certain times of the day, can't seem to get enough to eat. In the late afternoon, she can go up to 4 hours without eating. I have to physically wake her in order to eat. But, usually earlier in the morning, she wants to eat almost every hour, on the hour. She is being fed expressed breastmilk occasionally supplemented by formula when I haven't had time to pump. She will take in 2-3 oz. during these frequent feedings. Is this normal? Has anyone else experience this with their child? I'm concerned about obesity. Thank you.
04-15-2010, 05:26 PM
This is normal. It can be a little wearing to have a baby eat so often, but you don't have to worry about obesity. (In fact, you want your baby to get plump her first year). Babies can self-regulate. She will eat only until she is full. If you really worry about obesity as your child grows, read the book "How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much" by Satter. The basic philosophy is: you offer healthy food and your child chooses how much to eat.
Do make sure that she isn't acting like she wants to eat because she is tired or her diaper is wet. But keep this in mind. It takes only 1.5 hours, more or less, for a baby to digest breast milk. She might truly be hungry after only an hour, she still has a tiny tummy.
Eating more in the AM is normal, in fact, women produce more milk in the morning than later in the day. It sounds like you are exclusively pumping. If it is because you have having latching issues, look into getting a lactation consultant (http://www.lllusa.org/ - le leche league may have a group near you, and WIC has consultants if you qualify for WIC). It is far easier (once you get the hang of it) to feed directly from the breast. If you plan to just keep pumping, then remember to do it faithfully every 2 hours for several weeks. A pump cannot establish your milk as well as a baby can - so it takes a little more work. My sister pumped exclusively for 6 months, every 2 hours, day and night. At the end of the 6 mo she started going 4 hours in the day and 6 hours at night, and noticed her supply really dwindle.
Your baby is going to go through a couple of growth spurts, around 3 weeks, then 3 months. You will want to pump either a little longer at each session or add a few more sessions for a day or two. This will increase your supply to match your baby's needs. After a day or two you can go back to your regular pumping and you should be getting more milk.
And just so you know, on average a baby will eat 2.5oz of breast milk for every pound they weigh in 24 hours. So if your baby is 8 pounds you will need to express 20 oz of milk for her to drink in one day, plus extra for unfinished bottles that have to be tossed. Take advantage of your current engorgement and pump a little extra that can be frozen for days you are stressed and don't get as much out as usual. Back to my sister, after just a few weeks, she was able to stop using the formula, keep up with her baby's demand, and have extra to store in the freezer. Hope you are able to do the same.
04-23-2010, 12:06 PM
Thank you for the response! Things have been getting better on the feeding front. She has settled into more of a routine and I'm able to pump more for her. I truly appreciate the insight.
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