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Thread: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Default MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    My MIL is watching our son during the day while my husband and I are working. I drop him off at 7:30 and my husband picks him up at 4:45. I usually nurse LO anywhere from 60-90 minutes before I leave, usually from 5-6 and again from 6:30 until 7. I then provide my MIL with a 4 oz bottle of fresh milk (pumped from previous day) and 3 4oz of frozen milk plus 1 or 2 "snack" bags of 2oz frozen milk. In all, I am giving her 16-18 oz for a 9 hour day but she has been repeatedly complaining that I'm not giving her enough milk. It's my understanding that babies given breastmilk only need about 4 oz every three hours so I'm under the impression she is using the bottle as a way to pacify my LO since he won't accept a pacifier, but she's making me feel like I'm not feeding my son enough and should let her supplement with formula.

    I'm very frustrated and just need some support or advice on whether I should really try to give her more milk, or just encourage her to use other strategies to calm my son when he gets fussy - who, by the way, is a terrible napper! Most of the time, I think his crying/fussiness is just tiredness, not hunger, but I'm feeling a lot of pressure. I should also note that she is also watching her great niece, who just turned one and has always been given formula, her other granddaughter was also formula fed, and she gave formula to her own children and therefore has no experience with breastmilk and doesn't understand that breastfed babies don't need increasing amounts of milk.
    Last edited by @llli*rlkoh; April 22nd, 2011 at 11:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    His name was Cornball Wallace...
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    Oh BOY do I know the feeling Mama...
    and I've dealt with this before; it is NOT easy.
    You need to be firm with her however, and explain that there is absolutely NO formula to be used with him. If you want to, it would be ok to use the ultimatum that if she uses formula she will lose her privileges to see him because YOU know that you are providing him with enough milk to last for a day. You take care of him all day on the weekends right? At least some days I hope?? So you should know how much he eats in a day to know if she is being honest with you. Your husband can be there and can back you up. Don't take a tone or sound offensive, but there is no need to sugar coat it either. Say that you feel pressured and uncomfortable and that you feel you are doing what is best for your little one and she needs to accept your decision. YOU are the Mum, first and foremost.
    Proud wife to Paul , dedicated SAHM to our O.O. born 00:00:00 on 08 Nov 2010,

    Look for us in the upcoming September 2011 issue of LLLGB's magazine, "BREASTFEEDING MATTERS" as well as LLL's upcoming booklet on relactation!
    & A proud daughter to a LLLL may she RIP.
    Relactated from scratch after a complicated birth(BAD hospital)...
    Now relatched and & ing after 5 months of 100% EBM feeding
    Planning permanent lactation.
    A millionaires baby fed with commercial baby milk has a poorer diet than the poorest family's baby who is breastfed.-WHO, 1997
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    I'm so sorry you are having issues with MIL and your little one. I don't personally know about the average amount pumped during the day but this link contains a lot of info on just that ... including a calculator:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    As far as napping, I can give you/ your MIL tips for soothing because my LO is a pistol and it is real tough to get her to sleep:

    dim room and use an air filter for noise about 20-30 min before naptime
    hold LO while sitting on an exercise ball and bounce (this is how we nap, fyi)
    swaddling (yes still doing it at 16 months, sometimes, partly for the ritual)
    establish a pre-sleep routine. Ours is dimming lights, diaper change nurse and then singing the burrito song (we wrap her like a burrito). I kick the air down to super chilly so we can snuggle then we sit on the ball and mommy reads facebook and other boring pages without pictures, hands LO a teething chewer/toothbrush thing and bounces LO until she falls asleep. It usually takes about 20 minutes. I hold her for about an hour and a half on tough days, but on easier days I can lay her down without incident.

    The thing is that she knows the ritual and starts yawning and rubbing her eyes after it begins. but if I were to just scoop her up and skip to the end she would have a fit.


  4. #4
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    I really like to give this information http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html to caregivers. It is default for so many of them to give a bottle as a cure all. Which does not work and is not healthy. Many babies have a really high suck need. For a breastfed baby that is being given pumped milk in a bottle that need can not/should not be met through feeding. My DD really NEEDED her paci when she was being looked after by other people and was really small.

    For a 9 hour day I sent her with 9oz of milk and it worked fine for her. It wouldn't for all babies.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    My DH takes care of our LO 2x/wk and from about 4-6 months, I'd have to leave about 23 oz for a 9 hr day. Sometimes I would leave work early b/c it would run out. It got much easier once he started eating solids. Now I leave about 15 oz and he barely finishes 8. He likes it fresh I guess. Just try to work it out w/ MIL, it can be stressful to have a crying baby and not have food to give them. Just let her know how hard you work at pumping and see if there are other ways she can calm your LO. I don't miss those days of rushing home to feed DS.
    DS was born June - 2010
    and with lots of help and support from my hubby
    Ready to pump wean!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    How long has your MIL been watching your LO? I had the same issues when I went back to work. I left 12 ozs of milk for a 9 hour day with instructions to feed a 3 oz bottle every 2-3 hours. My LO was 12 weeks old. My MIL FF her kids and had a difficult time learning how to feed my baby. And there were times when she would want to give a bottle for soothing rather than for eating

    I printed out the kellymom article the PP have up there for you, and I had many conversations about how to feed a breastfed baby. What finally worked in the end? She felt more comfortable with my LO and could read her cues to understand a hungry cry vs a "hold me"' cry. So I think it may just take some time for your MIL to get to know your LO. Once she understands your LO better the amount per feeds will make more sense to her :-)

    Also, your LO may change the amount of milk they take from day to day. My DD is 6 months old and only took 6 ozs all day the last time my DH watched her. So be prepared for that to change too (along with everything else :-)
    I'm Melanie

    First time mom to my sweet baby girl born October 2010
    Still
    We full-time and love it!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*durhamgrrl View Post
    I really like to give this information http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html to caregivers. It is default for so many of them to give a bottle as a cure all. Which does not work and is not healthy. Many babies have a really high suck need. For a breastfed baby that is being given pumped milk in a bottle that need can not/should not be met through feeding. My DD really NEEDED her paci when she was being looked after by other people and was really small.

    For a 9 hour day I sent her with 9oz of milk and it worked fine for her. It wouldn't for all babies.
    THIS is good information. No way do you need to leave your LO with more than 16 oz a day, especially if you're nursing that much before you go. I too found it reallly helpful to print out links like the one from kellymom for DH and other caregivers. breastmilk is not like formula - you do not need to increase ounces as baby gets older. 1-1.5 ounces per hour you're away is adequate -- and if you're leaving more than that, then your caregiver is overfeeding!
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  8. #8
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*buttonbearsmama View Post
    My DH takes care of our LO 2x/wk and from about 4-6 months, I'd have to leave about 23 oz for a 9 hr day. Sometimes I would leave work early b/c it would run out. It got much easier once he started eating solids. Now I leave about 15 oz and he barely finishes 8. He likes it fresh I guess. Just try to work it out w/ MIL, it can be stressful to have a crying baby and not have food to give them. Just let her know how hard you work at pumping and see if there are other ways she can calm your LO. I don't miss those days of rushing home to feed DS.
    it can be stressful to have a crying baby and not know how to soothe when mama isn't around, but 2.5 ounces an hour is just too much milk for baby. Babies will eat out of a bottle til it's gone, but that does not mean that's how much baby needs to be satisfied.

    Young babies have a very real need to suck, but that doesn't mean they need to be drinking milk the whole time.

    My Mom and DH often thought my little guy needed more milk than what i left, but he really just needed comfort/suckling of another kind.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    I pumped my little heart out to get that much milk, luckily I only work a couple days per week. Since I wasn't around, I can't say he was just taking the bottle for comfort. He has never been a chubby baby, just taller than average, but lean. DH is really good with him and is well aware of how much work it is to pump so he definitely wasn't wasting it or offering it all the time. he had a set schedule of when to feed him; DS just wanted 5 oz bottles. DS just had an appetite. Now, I just pump to keep myself comfortable.
    DS was born June - 2010
    and with lots of help and support from my hubby
    Ready to pump wean!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    51

    Default Re: MIL (caregiver) wants more milk for LO

    Thanks for all your responses, it has been such an uphill battle breastfeeding in the first place and then to have someone always over your shoulder asking if he's really getting enough could drive any momma crazy.
    My MIL has only been watching LO for one week and she's having a hard time because he doesn't nap well. Thanks for the links to Kellymom - I have sent it over and explained, yet again, that breastfed babies shouldn't need more than what I am already providing. Since tomorrow is Easter and I'll have lots of time with the in-laws (yay) I'll go ahead an ask her to give him smaller, but more frequent bottles. Do you think moving to 5-6 3 oz bottles is best, or should I go down to 2.5 oz bottles? Last night I went out with my husband and LO after church and a 2 oz bottle in the car satisfied him well, and then I gave him short nursing sessions at church and the restaurant (another battle one - finally going public!).

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