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Thread: Surge in eating - how to catch up?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2

    Question Surge in eating - how to catch up?

    Hi - My 3mo. old was eating 6 oz/meal until about a week ago. For the past week he is eating 8oz/meal, 4-5 times/day. I don't think it's a growth spurt - he's doing it consistently still after 7 days. I pump 3x/day (he eats 3x/day while I'm at work) -- and I pump long enough for a second let-down. And when at home, I pump after each feeding. So I'm trying to stimulate my body to produce more by pumping all I can get, but see no results after several days. What else can/should I be trying?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Surge in eating - how to catch up?

    Quote Originally Posted by mom2boys
    Hi - My 3mo. old was eating 6 oz/meal until about a week ago. For the past week he is eating 8oz/meal, 4-5 times/day. I don't think it's a growth spurt - he's doing it consistently still after 7 days. I pump 3x/day (he eats 3x/day while I'm at work) -- and I pump long enough for a second let-down. And when at home, I pump after each feeding. So I'm trying to stimulate my body to produce more by pumping all I can get, but see no results after several days. What else can/should I be trying?

    Thanks!
    Wow, your son really is eating a lot!
    Most babies need about 1 oz of milk for each hour that they are away from their mothers.
    How long are you away, including travel time?
    Woudl you consider pumping at home, first thing in the morning, and at night, before going to sleep, to get the extra milk? The more often you remove milk from your breasts, the more you will make

    It is possible that your caregivers are interpreting his fussiness as hunger.
    Do they hold him for EVERY feeding?
    Do they hold him BETWEEN feedings?
    Would they consider holding him in a sling (that you provided) so that they could attend to other matters too while soothing him?
    Some babies (most, actually!) like to be held a lot!

    Hope this helps!

    LLLnormaR
    Moderator

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2

    Question Re: Surge in eating - how to catch up?

    Thanks for the reply. I am gone from home from 5:30am - 4pm. My son eats (typically) at about 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, and then a top-off "snack" around 8pm before bed. So since I am gone for the 6, 10, and 2 feedings, I pump at those times during work hours. And I do pump long enough for a second let-down.

    I don't pump after the 6pm feeding, because I need to top him off again just before bed (helps him get through the night, even though it's not a full feeding).

    I thought, too, that maybe we were overfeeding him. But given that we aren't feeding him every hour or two, but really just when it's been about 4 hours (a consistent feeding schedule), I wasn't so sure. Also - caretaker is Dad, who tells me that the 8-oz. bottles I provide are sucked down without stopping... so it doesn't feel like a long, drawn-out feeding that is 'unwanted' by our son.

    He is 3 mos. 1 week old... I think we'll probably end up giving him small amounts of rice cereal in 3 weeks when he hits the 4-month mark. In the meantime, I'm pumping just about every chance I can, and I'm not really seeing my milk production increase, even after a week.

    This may just be "the way it is" -- he does unfortunately get a bit of formula to fill the gap (just started that in the past week due to the heavy eating surge), but at least it's still the vast majority breast milk. But before giving up hope of getting back to all breast milk, I at least wanted to ask this forum and see what tips people have.

    To your questions about holding him, he does get held quite a bit, but probably not as much as he or we would like. Dad is home with him, but also has 2-yr-old brother to juggle. But I think since he is at home, he probably is held as much or more than an average baby. Also, he's really not prone to "fussing" just for fussing's sake... he's generaly pretty content, and only really fusses when tired, hungry, or dirty/wet. (thankfully!)

    Thanks for any more advice you have!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Surge in eating - how to catch up?

    Is there anyway that you might be able to "tweak" his schedule so that he nurses directly before you leave the house each morning? Maybe if he could nurse at 5:20 a.m. instead of eating a 8 oz. bottle at 6 a.m. then you could pump enough for him throughout the day for the next day's feedings?

    What kind of pump are you using? If you aren't using a high quality double electric pump then this could be impacting your ability to build your supply. Sometimes even just using an old pump can affect it.

    You mentioned that you may start giving your son some rice cereal when he turns 4 months old. I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but the AAP and every other major health organization recently changed their recommendation on when solid foods should be introduced. The new recommendation is exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of life (as opposed to the old recommendation which was the suggestion of introducing solids betwee 4 and 6 months of age). I understand that you may want to introduce the rice cereal in hopes of baby not consuming so much breastmilk while you are away from him. Keep in mind that iron-fortified rice cereal can interfere with baby's body's ability to absorb the iron in your breastmilk and that early introduction of solid foods increases the chance of allergies and other things -- this isn't a LLL source but it has good information -- Why Delay Solids?

    And finally, have you explored the option of fenugreek or other herbs to help increase milk production?

    I hope this helps!
    Last edited by LLLCarol; April 4th, 2006 at 11:32 AM.

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