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Thread: Can you over feed a breast fed baby?

  1. #1

    Default Can you over feed a breast fed baby?

    My LO is 4 1/2 months and seems to be on the breast constantly. I am currently feeding on demand and when she eats she doesn't stay on for more than 5-7 minutes before she falls asleep or gets distracted. I'm concerned that she may be eating when bored or just fussy. I don't want to set up bad eating habits.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Can you over feed a breast fed baby?

    Nope. Not at all. In fact, breast fed babies are linked to lower obesity rates later in life! They are allowed to develop a sense of feeling full and stopping themselves from over eating. Whereas bottle fed babies are often 'encouraged' to 'finish this last bit', beyond that full feeling.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutr...eeding_r2p.pdf
    http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvjanfebmar07p2.html
    http://www.inhabitots.com/breastfeed...e-irish-study/

    So please continue to feed on demand and build GOOD eating habits!
    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!!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,930

    Default Re: Can you over feed a breast fed baby?

    Feeding on demand encourages good eating habits, as the PP stated. Yes, babies often nurse when they are cranky or bored or tired rather than simply hungry- but that's okay. When a breastfed baby is not hungry, she will suck in a way that delivers comfort, but not much milk. Moms need to trust their babies to nurse in a way that meets their needs. Overthinking breastfeeding and baby behavior, and trying to impose changes- that just makes mom and baby frustrated and miserable.

    Frequent feeding is normal throughout a baby's first year. Many babies feed every 1-2 hours- and that can seem excessive when you compare it to the relatively infrequent meals given to formula-fed babies. Anyone who assures you that breastfed babies "should" go 3 or 4 hours between nursing sessions is basing their opinion on the eating habits of formula-fed babies. But it's breastfeeding (i..e. frequent feeding) that is the biological norm!

    A lot of moms get concerned about overeating when their babies zoom up to the top of the weight charts. This is another thing that's normal with breastfed babies- they tend to gain weight rapidly during infancy and then "lean out" during their second six months, as they begin to devote increasing amounts of calories to motion (reaching, rolling, crawling, etc.).
    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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