Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: More milk or better milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    168

    Question More milk or better milk?

    I was noticing with bottles that they come in 4oz and 8oz sizes and it brought a question to mind. As my baby gets older (he is 3 months now) will my milk supply increase so that I'm churning out around 8oz per boob per feed? Or does the quantity always stay about the same, but each ounce has more calories? If it is the quantity that increases, can I continue to feed off just one breast per feed or does it become essential that he get the other breast too so that he gets more in quantity because one breast can't produce enough? Or, if the quantity and the quality stays the same, will I have to start feeding more frequently so that I can satisfy his needs? Did all that make sense???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: More milk or better milk?

    We never used the 8 oz. bottles for BM. DS always took about 3-5 ounces per feed, which we would give via multiple bottles, so that if he only took a few ounces, all that milk wouldn't be wasted.

    I used to go to a drop-in BFing clinic run by LCs, and when DS was 12 weeks, and they did the thing where they weigh the baby before and after, the target was 4 ounces per feed (and about 8-10 feeds in a 24 hour period). That works out to about 32 ounces of milk per day, which I think is sort of the "peak." BF babies' growth tends to be very fast the first six months, and then slow down. It slows even more once your baby starts eating complementary foods (solids). I really liked the LLL book "My Child Won't Eat" which goes into greater detail about some of this stuff. But one interesting point is that your baby's consumption doesn't just go up and up and up as he gets older. We would all be giants and weigh a ton if we kept up the growth rate we had the first six months.

    There is an additional point. Mammals tend to be of two types -- "cache" or "carry." Something like a bear, who leaves her babies in a den for a long time during the day while foraging, etc., would have a high volume of high-fat milk (a "cache" of milk). Something like a gorilla, who always has baby clinging to her fur and brings her everywhere is a "carry" -- lots of little feeds because baby is carried with her. Guess which pattern we resemble?


    So, depending on your baby's feeding style, he may have more or less feeds per day to get the milk he needs than some other baby, but it is rather unlikely that he is regularly getting 8 oz. feeds.

    The fat content of milk is always changing -- throughout the day, during a feed (foremilk v. hindmilk), throughout your baby's nursing career. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the fat content of milk is higher later in the day. I have found the fat content of my milk to be most linked to the weather. The other day, I pumped for the first time in a long time to help fix a clogged duct, and was shocked at how much like water my breastmilk looked. But it WAS over 90 degrees out! That is a case where my breasts were making a high-volume of lowfat milk to help keep baby hydrated.

    So, rereading your question, the "quality" and "quantity" of your milk is always changing, but, in general, at some point during the first year, your milk production will actually decrease from what you're making now.

    As for switching sides, I've just continued to read DS's signals. Sometimes he feeds from just one breast, sometimes both. Nowadays, he usually only does both breasts and/or multiple let-downs before naps and bedtime. (DS is 13 months)
    Last edited by hilde; July 3rd, 2006 at 10:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: More milk or better milk?

    hilde - thanks for this post! it was a fascinating read!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,447

    Default Re: More milk or better milk?

    I'm pretty sure 8oz bottles are for formula. Even if you can pump 8oz in a sitting, (Which I used to be able to do 1st thing in the morning) I would always put it into 2 separate bottles. My son has never eaten more than 5oz at a time. We all hate to waste the precious breastmilk! Because are milk is everchangeing to meet our childrens needs and the hindmilk is always so rich....whereas formula doesn't change. It is what it is. So they may need more to meet babys' growing changing needs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: More milk or better milk?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    this is kind of a neat link it talks about babies stomac and how much milk it holds.
    you'll get to know your baby.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •