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Thread: How much EBM to feed my baby?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    10

    Default How much EBM to feed my baby?

    While I am working 2 days a week, my husband gives my baby expressed breast milk. I have read around different blogs and websites that normal intake for my 4 month old would be about 3.5-4oz at a time (considerably less then a formula-fed baby). So, my baby eats 3.5 oz about every 3 hours and seems content and happy. He also uses a size 1 nipple to help simulate breastfeeding. He doesn't appear hungry and is not fussy. He has also been gaining weight.

    The reason I am questioning how much to feed my baby is because I have several people that I know that are feeding their baby much more breastmilk by bottle.

    How much breastmilk should I be feeding my baby?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How much EBM to feed my baby?

    Generally you want bottles to be as much like breastfeeding as possible, so, normally that means baby is cue fed in pretty small amounts, and how much exactly would typically vary. So, 1-3 ounces or so, sometimes a little more, as often as baby wants.

    Generally you can get a good estimate of how many ounces your baby needs while you are gone by multiplying the number of hours of separation by 1.5. So, for an 8 hour separation, 12 ounces total is a reasonable estimate. However, this is very general. So you could also look at your baby’s nursing pattern when you are home, and try to more or less replicate that.

    Baby’s caregiver can give small bottles when baby cues, and keeps the feeding slow and controlled by baby. Here is how that is done: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    One thing that happens sometimes is that mom is back to work and does not want to nurse baby during the night. If a baby is overfed during the day, that MAY make baby sleep longer stretches at night. This allows a tired mom to get more rest, unfortunately, it also will harm milk production which harms breastfeeding duration. Night feedings are important in maintaining normal milk production especially when a mom is working and separated from baby during the day.

    This is more of an issue the more days/longer hours a mom works, of course.

    You can also try kellymom.com for her article on this subject, and her milk calculator: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    10

    Default Re: How much EBM to feed my baby?

    Thank you so much! I was starting to worry that I was starving my baby from what my friends feed their babies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,631

    Default Re: How much EBM to feed my baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jnew8 View Post
    The reason I am questioning how much to feed my baby is because I have several people that I know that are feeding their baby much more breastmilk by bottle.
    Remember that it's really easy and really common for babies to be overfed when they eat from the bottle. The bottle delivers a fast, constant flow of milk. There are no opportunities for baby to slow down her feeding and assess whether or not she's still hungry, and because the bottle delivers the same rapid flow of milk regardless of whether the baby is sucking eagerly for nutrition or lazily for comfort, it's easy for a baby to take in more milk than she needs or wants. Also, when a baby is fed from a bottle, the adult has a lot more control over what the baby eats. The adult can tip the bottle up to make the milk go down faster, and can put the bottle back in the baby's mouth in order to encourage him/her to finish it. This is why babies who are bottlefed can be overfed so easily, and why you don't want to judge your baby's intake based on the eating patterns of other bottle-feeding babies, no matter what is in their bottles.
    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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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: How much EBM to feed my baby?

    The other thing to keep in mind is that many caregivers are more familiar with formula-fed babies than they are with breastfed babies. My understanding is that formula-fed babies tend to eat less frequently but in greater amounts, especially as they get older, whereas the feeding pattern of a breastfed baby after the first month or so does not change much over the first year. So caregivers familiar with formula-fed babies assume breastfed babies should be fed the same way, and sometimes even pressure mamas to do so! I've known people who have had their daycare providers giving 22 oz of milk in an 8 or 9 hour day which is very difficult to keep up with, and as meg mentioned, will lead baby to nurse less when together with mom, further decreasing supply. Sounds like you and your husband are doing great!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    10

    Default Re: How much EBM to feed my baby?

    Thank you ladies! I always look to you for advice and encouragement. It baffles me how many breastfeeding moms are not well informed on bottle feeding and seem to have not done any research. I work in healthcare on a unit that has a lot of babies, and even us nurses don't know these things. We just are not taught the differences. Thank you!

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