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Thread: Not possible to over feed?

  1. #1
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    Default Not possible to over feed?

    Hi guys,
    I know that they say that you can not over feed a breast fed baby? I recently had a good friend of mine who is a PA for our peds office tell me that a mom was not nursing her baby every hour and half anymore bc he was gaining too much weight? So my question is, can they be over fed?? Thanks! Brittan

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Not possible to over feed?

    The time that babies spend eating differ a lot between babies. My son would eat at least every two hours probably the first 6 months, sometimes every hour, after that the longest he could go was 3 and now he's after a year old and still eating constantly he won't go any longer than that and he has to be extremely distracted for that to happen, so he nurse anywhere from 7-9 times a day. He does loves his solids and he does let me know when he had enough, I can force him to eat or nurse unless he wants to, so I think that's very hard to over feed a baby just by nursing. Everyone have a different metabolism and that include babies, some have to eat very often others not so much, and although it might influence on weight and size that's not always the case. My baby is almost 13 months, eats a lot, nurses a lot, and he isn't chunky baby at all.

    I don't really have an answer to the question, I'm just trying to find some logic to this.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Not possible to over feed?

    Well, the theory of supply and demand in successful breastfeeding is pretty solidly established, I think. A nursing baby will take only the amount of milk he wants, and I think the baby is the best judge of his own feelings of hunger and satiety, because he hasn't learned to consider any other factors in his eating (no social pressures b/c no real social awareness in infancy, KWIM?)

    The baby you mentioned is "gaining too much weight." Too much for what? Too much for his own health, or too much according to a chart of norms and averages?

    Some exclusively breastfed babies do become immensely FAT on their momma's milk. (I've read that this might be what happens when an oversupply mom has a baby whose gut can handle all the extra lactase in her abundant foremilk -- baby guzzles lots of milk to get to the more satisfying hindmilk, and digests the more sugary foremilk without any problem, which makes baby very fat and happy!) I've not seen any evidence that this poses any health risks to the baby at any point in his life span. I remember reading a discussion on an e-mail list on this topic some months ago, and many of the posters chimed in with stories about their breastfed babies who got very fat very quickly and then basically stopped gaining while they grew taller for several years, and ended up as normal-weight adults.

    Babies of hunter/gatherers in the Kalahari desert have been observed to nurse on average once every 15 minutes. That is probably the closest thing to a biological norm for our species that we can identify. So why shouldn't a baby nurse every 1.5 hours if he wants to?

    --Rebecca

  4. #4

    Default Re: Not possible to over feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    The baby you mentioned is "gaining too much weight." Too much for what? Too much for his own health, or too much according to a chart of norms and averages?
    This was my question too. Those growth charts are usually based on formula fed babies, and they tend to follow a different growth pattern than breastfed babies. Breastfed babies often take off like a rocket weight-wise and then level off around 6 or 8 months, esp when they become mobile.

    We had a mom coming to our group for a while with a baby who weighed thirty-three pounds at 8 months! He was the chunkiest little monkey I'd ever seen, but he was pulling up on things and getting around just fine. I ran into her a few months ago, and at 2 years of age, he weighed almost exactly the same weight, but he was much taller. It seems he just gained ALL of his weight for the first 2-3 years right off the bat!

    A normal, healthy newborn/infant is a good self-regulator. They know when they need to eat and are best left to their own devices in that department!
    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!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Not possible to over feed?

    thank you ladies, BC this is not my patient I do not know too much. I also learned that she was giving him bottles of ebm BC she could not keep up with his nursing demands? Could that matter, like maybe if he was nursing for the comfort that would be one thing but nursing from a bottle he would be getting a lot more, well what I mean is that sometimes a baby will nurse for a while and then keep on nursing but not much is really coming out, they stay on for the comfort, what about with the bottle, they drink till it is gone and then they cry BC there is nothing coming out so they get another one?? Confusing, I know....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Not possible to over feed?

    I think the bottles do make a difference. I recall recently in another thread someone asked if it was possible to overfeed ebm from a bottle, and the response was that yes, it was possible. I believe the difference is that a baby often comfort nurses without actually taking much milk. With a bottle, however, the milk flows much more easily so they will keep taking milk even though they may no longer be hungry.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Not possible to over feed?

    yes there is a difference with bottles. with bottles, each suck iniates another swallow so they are forced to basically drink or drown. sorry, that sounds a little harsh, i don't mean it to. it just means one must be careful how much put in a bottle and watch the signs of fullness in a baby, like limp arms, sleeping, sucking pattern changing to a flutter suck for instance.

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