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Thread: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

  1. #1

    Default Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    I'm so confused, in all the material I've read about breastfeeding and all the health professionals so far have always said 'you cannot overfeed a breast fed baby, make sure you feed on demand etc'. I have been doing this so it was quite a shock today to be told by the visitor that my baby seems to be one of the 'extremely rare' breastfed babies who overfeed and I should try and hold off a little with the feeding.

    My baby is 5 and a half weeks old and went from 7.4 pounds at birth to 12.3 now (keeping in mind that I did feed her shortly before weighing although it won't make a huge different). At the last weigh-in they were so pleased with her weight gain (10.5) and saying how breastfeeding is obviously working and now she is on the 90th centile on the chart and is apparently eating too much somehow. I am so confused as to how this can happen when we are constantly told it can't. Surely they should say 'you can't overfeed a breastfed baby (except in extremely rare cases)' if it can happen. Does anyone have any tips on 'holding her off'? I have distracted her by dangling more stuff in front of her and given in and given her a dummy (which I didn't want to do) just so she would settle and sleep since she started crying a little but it hadn't been long since her last feed. I hate this feeling that when I was getting used to it all and both myself and baby were all content and getting into routine (except for the trapped wind problem she's had for a few days now) and now I have to relearn all her cues and what to do with her when she wakes up

    Sorry for the huge rant but posting on here before really helped me feel better as I got great helpful friendly advice so I was hoping I could get some more for this problem. Thanks in advance to anyone who reads this and replies xx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,955

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    What is with these health visitors?!!! I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a mom come here in a total panic because a HV has given her bad advice about breastfeeding. And yes, you got bad advice!

    Your baby is not overeating. She is just very young. It is normal for young breastfed babies to gain weight very quickly, as much as a pound a week. My husband did it when he was a young breastfed baby, and my second daughter also gained a pound a week for about a month and a half, going from 8 lbs at birth to 14 lbs at around 5-6 weeks.

    Breastfed babies don't always gain this fast, though. Right now your baby does nothing but eat, sleep, excrete, cry, and gain weight. But in just a couple of months she's going to start becoming more active- she'll be reaching, rolling, squirming, kicking, and then she'll be sitting and starting to crawl. All those activities are going to burn a lot of calories and your baby's weight gain is going to slow way down. She'll likely drop some percentiles on the charts, at which point the HVs may start telling you that your breastmilk is no longer enough for your baby- we've seen that happen, too!

    Stop worrying about "holding your baby off". Just feed her on demand, and remember that breastfed babies don't overeat. No matter how many times your HV tells you that your baby is some sort of miraculous exception to the rule!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    This is why I am so confused because I figured surely once she starts running about crawling etc she will slim down or at least balance out her weight gain? And you want to trust them because they are a health professional (and a really friendly lovely lady) but now that I think about it she said it in a 'maybe try and hold her off'...did she say maybe as in it doesn't matter what I do or to make it sound more polite like she isn't ordering me around with my child? Anyway I do worry that if I do hold her off it will affect her development because she only ever brought up a little milk after some feeds (a little more now she has a bit of a wind problem) so she clearly was eating because she wanted/needed it so if I hold her off she might not have all the energy she needs to grow and develop.

    Also if I'm totally honest, I'm no expert but logically speaking if I do 'hold her off' surely when I do get round to feeding her she will just have a massive feeding session all in one go and eat the same about rather than just eat that amount in smaller more frequent sittings? If I am hungry and I have to wait to eat for whatever reason I still eat the amount I was going to in the first place, if not more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,955

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    Perhaps- spacing out feedings is actually no guarantee that baby will take in more at a sitting. Baby tummies are the size they are, right? Some babies compensate for spaced-out feedings by taking in more milk, but that means they have to ignore their own satiation cues and eat until their tunny is distended. It's not a healthy eating pattern to set up for the future. Best to feed on demand!

    I'm looking at my fast- gaining baby right now. She'll be 2 in May. She's enormous, but only in height! She's actually skinny, weight-wise. Like can-count-her-ribs skinny.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    Somebody has to be in the 90th percentile, and it's you.

    I have a child who was in the 99+ plus for weight for the first 6 months of his life. He is tall and thin now. Nobody ever said he was overfeeding.

    Ignore and just keep on feeding on demand
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    2,476

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    All 3 of my girls have been in the 90th + percentile for weight at 1 month. Including my current 2 month old. We go for a check up next week and I'm sure she'll still be massive.

    You got bad advice. You are NOT one of those "extremely rare cases". If you were, I've got a whole house full of "extremely rare"!! You're doing fine. Keep feeding on demand and do what feels right to you. If "holding her off" feels wrong, upsets you, etc. then DON'T DO IT. It's okay to follow your gut Momma.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,419

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    Sooo- pediatrician say all is well but the 'health visitor" disagrees? Why does the health visitor's opinion override the doctor? Or am I missing something?

    You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby because a breastfed baby cannot be forced fed, while bottle fed babies are force fed as a matter of course. (because the way most babies are bottle fed they have no control over the flow.) So this is baloney. Your baby is just a fast gainer, which is hardly grounds for saying they are overfed. I suggest you call your local LLL fro support, nad, if you feel up to it, your local breastfeeding coalition, or whoever to complain. Telling mom to 'hold off' on feedings for a breastfed baby is truly terrible advice.

    Sorry for double post I can't figure out how to delete above post...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Salem, Ohio
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    My baby girl is 3 months now and she had her check up this past Friday. Because I seem to have OALD/OS I decided to ask our doc if she could be overfed, she was in 90% for weight 80% for head and 70% for height. My doc told me not to worry about it, that she is a healthy little girl. He also said that breastfed baby girls tend to run on the higher percents for weight.

    My little one is a chunky monkey, she has rolls everywhere anytime that somebody says something about it I respond with 'yes, she is definitely a healthy little baby'
    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    My 3mo is 98th percentile for weight. She was 7.15 at birth. Her pediatrician seemed pleased with her and never mentioned anything about her being overfed or overweight.

    I'm actually in awe that something I produce makes my baby so healthy and happy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
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    4,984

    Default Re: Overfeeding - I'm so confused

    Another mom of a big chunky breastfed baby here. He was in the 97th percentile at 6 months, but he's a pretty average three year old now. Nobody ever suggested I was overfeeding him, even when he was 24 lbs at 6 months!


    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.

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