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Thread: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

  1. #1
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    Question "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    Can someone explain this to me? I get that the quality of their sucking is what keeps milk from continuing to come, but what if you have OALD? I will still have letdowns even after LO has started just doing the fluttery comfort suck, if I so much as think of milk or the baby or warm liquids (I think my brain is hooked on making milk, haha!)

    Also, for curiousity's sake, what happens in an overfed (by bottle) baby?

    I'm not actually concerned about the health of my baby, just wondering, because that's how my mind works, I just want to know everything.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    That statement can be confusing but you're right it has to do with nipple flow. A baby has a high suck need and will keep doing the motion even after they are full, usually for comfort. With the breast they can alter their suck to get little to no milk. With a bottle the milk keeps coming and they end up eating more than they need.

    You ask about oversupply and that's something slightly different. The type of milk a baby gets is not as rich. Think about what it feels like to fill up on water as opposed to food. It won't last as long. Plus it can cause gas and discomfort for the baby.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    In addition to what was already beautifully said I'd add that there is a difference in choice as well. A breastfed baby controls how much they eat easily, they can move their head and stop nursing. They know when they have had enough. You don't need to moderate it, they are capable of doing so themselves. With bottle feeding there seem to be factors that complicate that, if you are holding the bottle into their mouth it may be harder for them to turn away from it. It may be that you keep putting it back into their mouth until it is gone. Also the constant drip of a bottle stimulates the suck reflex so they may just keep sucking on reflex. Furthermore I'd they then do get too much it may hurt the gut and then for comfort they cry to suck more.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    Also the sucking your child does during comfort sucking is quite different. It's not vigorous and consistent. So I don't think that the even someone who experiences multiple lets downs and pumps a bunch of milk during a pumping session is having a comparable experience. The stream of milk never actually stops...but you CAN and often DO get all the way down to 1-3 streams of milk.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    Also remember these two things:

    (1) If baby does get too much, such as with fast flow, he/she will spit up more
    (2) Breastmilk is entirely bio-available by baby's gut. The components of what is injested and not spit up will be used if needed. What is not needed comes out the other end.

    RE: (2) Formula is not bio-available. The gut processes it the same for each feed. The more baby drinks, the same it gets metabolised = weight gain if overfed.
    --
    MsheLLL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    Michelle you need to change your Screen Name. Your Entire Full name is showing.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    my baby will let milk trickle down her cheeks (and my breasts) when she's comfort nursing and milk is still coming out. it's really sweet...
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    What does "bio-available" mean? :-?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    I had O/S and OALD and I will say, my baby chubbed up like nobody's business, which is common for moms with ample/too-ample supplies. He was 24 lbs at 6 months and in the 90th percentiles for everything. But then he leaned out. Breastmilk, unlike formula, changes in composition over time. By six months, my supply had regulated, he was getting more mobile, and he started burning a lot of those calories. At a year, he was only 28 lbs so his growth had really plateaued and he was approaching more "average" percentiles. This is so common. It seems kind of magic, but it's clear to me that he was not being "overfed" as a newborn, but rather, this is just how it works for a lot of breastfed babies. They chub up early on then lean out as they get older.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "you can't overfeed at the breast"

    "Bio-available" is shorthand for easy to digest, easy to assimilate. Easy to digest is pretty self-explanatory, but easy to assimilate is less so. Basically, it means that the nutrients in breastmilk are just the right type to be used by the baby's body. Iron provides a good example of this: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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