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My Ngala • View topic - Feeding times

Feeding times

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Feeding times

Postby Lisa71 » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 3:03 pm

Hi I have a 3 months old who is feeding ever 2 hours during the day which has been this way since birth. At night she sleeps long hours now and seems to last for hours before another feed. I have tried to stretch out her feed time to every 3/4 hours during the day, but with no luck as she gets upset if i leave it longer than 2 hours. She is on the breast and also takes formula. I have had no trouble with her swapping from one to the other for the past 6 weeks since doing both, but now all of a sudden she becomes upset on my breast after just a few minutes. I heat a bottle up and she then continues to feed fine. Is she telling me she prefers the formula??? When she wakes during the night she has no trouble on the breast. Just sometimes throughout the day.
Lisa71
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 14 Jul, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Feeding times

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 4:42 pm

Hi Lisa71

Thank you for your post. Research does support feeding on a baby's hunger cues (or "on demand") to be the best way to support a baby's weight gain and growth, and also for preserving a mother's milk supply. Breastfeeding every 2 hours is very normal for a baby this age, and is likely to be quite important for her and your milk supply particularly if she is going for a lengthy period overnight without feeding. Some young breastfed babies will feed up to 12 times in 24 hours, and at three months of age most mothers find that they need to breastfeed at least 6 - 8 times in 24 hours in order to stimulate their breasts enough to keep meeting their babies milk needs. Breastmilk is highly digestible and clears the stomach quite quickly, which means that a baby may be hungry after a few hours and may be upset if the feedings are stretched out beyond when she begins to show hunger cues. Some parents find that if they begin to reduce the number of feedings and feed on a schedule rather than in response to their baby's hunger cues the baby's weight gains may begin to falter. This is quite a common occurrence around 4 months of age.

Breastmilk supply is strongly governed by the principle of supply and demand. This means that the body reacts according to the amount of stimulation the mother's breasts are given, or moreso how frequently milk is drained from the breasts. If the breasts are given less stimulation the body will get the message that less milk production is required, and accordingly the mother's milk supply will begin to reduce. Many mother's do find that offering foods or fluids (such as formula) will result in their milk supply beginning to reduce and sometimes this can result in the baby weaning before the mother wishes. There are some circumstances in which formula feeding may be necessary, but in general if a mother wishes to breastfeed and preserve her milk supply it is best to avoid or limit the use of formula if it is not necessary in order to avoid a down-regulation of her milk production. Often mothers will still have an oversupply of milk in the initial 6 - 12 weeks after birth and therefore the mother may not notice a dwindling of milk supply at this time. If the breasts are not given enough stimulation by frequent drainage, however, it is very common for mothers to find that after 6 - 12 weeks their baby may begin to become fussy at the breast or they may begin to notice that their milk supply is no longer matching their baby's needs.

With the history you have described, your baby fussing at the breast and seeming to prefer the faster flow of a bottle is an indicator that your supply (and the speed of your milk flow) may have reduced recently and your baby is becoming frustrated at the breast. It is common for babies to be more tolerant of a slower milk flow during the night when they are drowsy. The good news is that usually milk supply is recoverable, and very often with several days to a week or increased breastfeeding a mother will notice her milk supply can rapidly increase to the point of meeting her baby's milk needs again. Feeding every 4 hours is not likely to be enough stimulation for your milk supply, particularly when your baby is having a lengthy period overnight without feeding. Returning to 2 hourly feeds or feeding on your baby's cues will be a great way of beginning to re-stimulate your milk supply. Offering both breasts at each feed will help to stimulate your milk supply. If your baby becomes fussy at the breast you can try swapping her between each breast several times, swapping each time she begins to fuss. This is called "switch feeding" and offering a new side often will trigger another letdown of milk that will satisfy the baby's desire for a faster flow. Feeding as frequently as possible and draining the breasts often is the most helpful way of increasing a milk supply. Some mothers find that increased skin to skin contact with their baby will help to boost their breastfeeding hormones and supply. Taking the baby to bed and spending several days in bed focusing on bonding, skin to skin contact and frequent feeding can also be helpful. Working towards reducing the amount of formula that is being given to the baby will also be helpful, as the formula will decrease the baby's appetite for breastmilk and will result in the baby giving less stimulation to the mother's breasts. The breasts take about 20 - 30 minutes to produce enough to provide a "top up" feed so if you feel your baby is still hungry after a breastfeed you may like to wait for 20 - 30 minutes and then offer another feed on both breasts. It is helpful to pace your baby when feeding her via a bottle as babies will often consume more than they need when feeding via bottle due to the fast flow of the milk. Sitting the baby more upright, tipping the milk till it just touches her lips rather than pouring into her mouth, using a slow flow or newborn teat and giving the baby breaks during the feed can help to pace a baby's intake on the bottle.

Night time feeds are excellent at increasing milk production, both because it reduces the number of hours which the baby will go without stimulating the breasts, and also because breastfeeding hormones typically peak between midnight and dawn. Some mothers find that giving a "dream feed" at around 10 or 11pm (picking the baby up and feeding her without waking her) can be an excellent way at helping their milk supply to increase. There are medications that can be used to help increase milk production (this would need to be discussed with a General Practitioner), but as mentioned feeding more frequently is the best way of increasing milk production. Expressing can also help to increase milk supply, although it is often not as effective as feeding the baby directly at the breast if you have the opportunity. You might like to consider expressing between feeds or once or twice overnight whilst trying to boost your supply, for instance if your baby is asleep and you do not wish to wake her. Expressing volume can not be used as an indicator of your supply at all as it is very common for women to not get much of a let down reflex in response to pumping (meaning they may not get much of a flow of milk) but usually the baby is more effective at draining the breast. Similarly, breast sensation (such as feeling hard or soft / empty or full) is not a reliable indicator of milk supply as it is common for women to no longer feel full and to have soft breasts all or most of the time once the baby passes about 6 weeks of age. No longer feeling a milk let down and no longer leaking milk are also normal occurrences as the baby gets older (and many women with a plentiful milk supply will never leak or feel the milk letdown even in the early weeks).

You may find some of the following links helpful:

Low milk supply:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... mum/supply

Is my baby getting enough milk:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo ... nough-milk

Substances that increase milk supply:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo ... ase-supply

Breast refusal (Ideas for coping when your baby is fussing at the breast):

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/refusal.html

How to wean off formula supplements:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo ... upplements

Pacing bottle feeds (scroll down to this part of the article):

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/caregivers.html

You may find it helpful to discuss your situation with the Australian Breastfeeding Association helpline if you would like some more support or information regarding boosting your milk supply. They can be contacted on 1800 686 268. You may like to consider hiring a private lactation consultant to assist you. Details of lactation consultants can be found here: http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3432

I hope this information is helpful. As previously mentioned, usually with several days to a week or increased feeding it is possible to boost your milk supply back to the level at which it is satisfying your baby and meeting her needs for milk. Best wishes.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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Re: Feeding times

Postby Lisa71 » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 6:57 pm

:D thank you for your quick reply. The information you have provided is very helpful. I will also check out the links you provided. Once again thank you very much :D
Lisa71
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 14 Jul, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Feeding times

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 10:46 pm

You are very welcome Lisa71. I am glad that the information provided is helpful. Thank you for your feedback.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
User avatar
NgalaOnline
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue 07 Dec, 2010 8:42 am


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