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Thread: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    I know that healthy babies know when they are hungry but I had to be very wary when taking that advice with my little one. He was jaundiced and, if I wasn't careful, would sometimes sleep up to six hours between feeds as a newborn. That's not cool when we were trying to get the bilirubin out of his system. Basically he was too exhausted to feed properly when he did get woken up so he would fall asleep in the middle of a feed.

    My midwife got grumpy at me for listening to advice that said "he will know when he is hungry" because it didn't apply in our situation.

    So yeah, babies who are healthy will know very well when they are hungry, how much to eat and so forth, but watch it if your dear child has jaundice or other ailments, as you may need to be waking them every 3 hours for their regular feed even if they'd sleep through it if left to their own devices.

  2. #22
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    Dec 2006
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    833

    Exclamation Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    The book you're talking about, "The Contented Little Baby Book" got a "skunk-salute" from a very respected and trusted breastfeeding website called kellymom. It is listed in this article, Books to avoid, with the warning that it has the potential to sabotage the breastfeeding relationship. I would find a better book, like how about "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears, I love that book and the information is modern, accurate, and breastfeeding-supportive.

    Virtually all women can make enough milk to feed their baby (or even twins or triplets and more), but there is a large variation in the amount of milk a woman's breasts can actually hold. Women with small storage capacities make milk quickly enough to have plenty of it, but their babies will need to nurse more frequently. I believe I fell into this category. It's not possible to tell from breast size (which is mostly controlled by fat stores and not the milk-making tissue) who has a big storage capacity and who doesn't. So that's why it can be dangerous to put babies on a schedule-- if a woman has a small storage capacity, not draining the breasts frequently enough will lead to a baby who isn't getting enough to eat and milk supply problems.

    Storage capacity: Another factor that affects milk production and breastfeeding management is mom’s milk storage capacity. Storage capacity is the amount of milk that the breast can store between feedings. This can vary widely from mom to mom and also between breasts for the same mom. Storage capacity is not determined by breast size, although breast size can certainly limit the amount of milk that can be stored. Moms with large or small storage capacities can produce plenty of milk for baby. A mother with a larger milk storage capacity may be able to go longer between feedings without impacting milk supply and baby's growth. A mother with a smaller storage capacity, however, will need to nurse baby more often to satisfy baby’s appetite and maintain milk supply since her breasts will become full (slowing production) more quickly.-- from How does milk production work?

    Here are a few more articles that talk about why it's best to feed babies when they indicate hunger, rather than by the clock.

    Cue Feeding: Wisdom and Science.
    Breast Babies and Schedules
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  3. #23

    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    Just popping in to say to Erin's (Lilahsmama) post. I'd strongly urge you to beware of ANY book that urges you to put your newborn on a feeding schedule. Schedules are highly detrimental to the nursing relationship in the very early weeks. La Leche League has a great list of books about managing your breastfeeding relationship. Many groups have a lending library so you can check them out.
    HTH and good luck!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  4. #24
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    Nov 2007
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    3

    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    thank you all for your invaluable advice and support!! i really was going round the bend a bit trying to work out the best approach to take...

    i wouldn't dream of letting my baby go hungry, regardless of how often she may need to feed, that goes without saying obviously - but i suppose my main doubt was with regard to how to avoid a pattern whereby baby "constantly" or very often demands the breast even though he/she is not hungry but wants it more as a 'soother'.

    it's natural for babies to want to be soothed by their mothers and i know i'll really enjoy being able to do that any time night or day -after all what could be more important that being the one person your baby turns to when they need some comforting- but for some reason i fear burning out early on from pure exhaustion if i'm constantly feeding, but to be honest i don't even know why i'm thinking about that now at such an early stage...

    well, i guess i'm worrying about nothing and i'll take it all in my stride when the time comes and as you all say, baby and i will get to know each other and we'll work out our own little "routine"... having said though, perhaps there is a way to comfort babies when they get a little older (maybe 2-3 months) other than putting them straight on the breast??

    thanks again!!!!
    Last edited by laveva; December 2nd, 2007 at 04:44 AM.

  5. #25
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    Quote Originally Posted by laveva View Post
    thank you all for your invaluable advice and support!! i really was going round the bend a bit trying to work out the best approach to take...

    i wouldn't dream of letting my baby go hungry, regardless of how often she may need to feed, that goes without saying obviously - but i suppose my main doubt was with regard to how to avoid a pattern whereby baby "constantly" or very often demands the breast even though he/she is not hungry but wants it more as a 'soother'.

    it's natural for babies to want to be soothed by their mothers and i know i'll really enjoy being able to do that any time night or day -after all what could be more important that being the one person your baby turns to when they need some comforting- but for some reason i fear burning out early on from pure exhaustion if i'm constantly feeding, but to be honest i don't even know why i'm thinking about that now at such an early stage...

    well, i guess i'm worrying about nothing and i'll take it all in my stride when the time comes and as you all say, baby and i will get to know each other and we'll work out our own little "routine"... having said though, perhaps there is a way to comfort babies when they get a little older (maybe 2-3 months) other than putting them straight on the breast??

    thanks again!!!!
    my LO is 4 months old and it's still the best way to comfort her.

    ~*Allee*~

    Damon 8/5/99 Heaven 7/24/01 Jasmine 7/20/07

  6. #26
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    May 2006
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    21,115

    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    Quote Originally Posted by laveva View Post
    having said though, perhaps there is a way to comfort babies when they get a little older (maybe 2-3 months) other than putting them straight on the breast??
    There are a thousand ways to comfort a baby without going straight to the breast. Rocking, wearing the baby in a sling, swinging in a swing, singing, going for a drive, running the dryer with baby in a basket on top, a soothing bath, interesting toys, baby massage, snuggling with Daddy, etc. But they won't all work for your individual baby, and the ones that work won't work all the time. Your baby will let you know when the breast is the only thing that s/he wants! Just stay flexible.

    And be confident that you will learn how to soothe your baby and don't let all the advice that is coming at you from books and relatives and even people on this forum () confuse you! No one knows a baby like his/her mama.

  7. #27
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Momma1 View Post

    And be confident that you will learn how to soothe your baby and don't let all the advice that is coming at you from books and relatives and even people on this forum () confuse you! No one knows a baby like his/her mama.
    True Dat!

  8. #28
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    Quote Originally Posted by laveva View Post
    hi there,

    this is my first time posting here so i'm a complete newbie! our little girl is due in 7 weeks and i'm really looking forward to breastfeeding her but i have a couple of questions...

    on one hand, i have heard that BF babies should be fed on demand but i have also read in Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby book that it's a good idea to try and get them into a routine as soon as possible, perhaps feeding them every 2.5 to 3 hours (although she does insist not to let them go hungry even if it means feeding earlier than planned...)

    i'd like to hear your views on this if you have experience with either of these methods...

    is it possible to set up some sort of a routine after a couple of weeks or should i just start to forget about this and BF my baby everytime she seems to need feeding and/or comforting?

    thanks!!
    we are in our fourth week. What we have found is that baby falls asleep while eating after 10 minutes or so. If we just let her sleep then she wants to eat every 1.5 hours (measured by the time between when feeding starts). If we keep her awake and get her to eat for 20-30 minutes instead then she will go 2.5-3 hours like clockwork. We are feeding on demand though. Also sometimes she just wants to eat constantly for 3-4 hours straight. 15 minutes on 5 minutes off.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    That's normal too, the 3-4 hours straight. When they hit growth spurts, they eat like crazy--and make us crazy in the process!!

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding on demand really necessary or are there are other options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy's Mommy View Post
    my LO is 4 months old and it's still the best way to comfort her.
    My LO is 17 MO and the same goes for her too!! It's also the EASIEST way... I'm very lazy so that's important to me!!

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
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