Patented Q & A Database
My son will be 1 month old on the 19th of May. He was 8 lbs 1 oz at birth and weighs a little over 9 lbs now. He was in NICU for 2 days at birth because I had developed a fever during labor (which ended in a c-section). He was given bottles from the time he was born, which hampered our breast feeding efforts. Although I am still pumping on a daily basis (getting about 5-6oz daily), he is on formula for the most part. The nurses had him eating 2+ oz a feeding by the time he was 4 days old. (way too much I feel).
Now he is eating (or at least looking for) 5-6 oz per feeding every 4 hours or so with the exception of the middle of the night where he will stretch it out to 6 hours. So basically he is eating 6-7 feedings per day.
The pediatrician said he should not eat more than 32oz of formula in a 24 hour period. I am afraid that we will surpass that within the next month or two. This is our first child. I am looking for advice on how much he should be eating, and how to curb his appetite somewhat. Do I give him water here and there to tide him over or do I start cereal early? (these were suggestions by many older family members.)
Thank you in advance for your help.
No, don't start cereal -- your son is too young. Thanks for your question and it's normal for first-time nursing moms to have questions like this. While I'm not a nutritionist, my experience and education has taught me that at this age, your son is eating the proper amount. If a baby eats too much, he usually throws up the excess. Feeding every 4 hours is normal because breast milk metabolizes quicker than formula.
To help you in this admirable quest, you may enjoy reading my "Wonders of Mother's Milk" article at http://www.vegetarianbaby.com/articles/wondermilk.shtml and "Tricks of the Trade" on breastfeeding in public at http://www.breastfeed.com/articles/issues-for-mom/tricks-of-the-trade-4999/.
Posted On 2008-05-08 11:59:26
Dear One: I am sending you breath as you heal from the trauma of the early days of your little one's life. I am also sending you breath to find your confidence that you can listen exquisitely to your baby. Listen with your inner ear, your inner tempo and your instincts. Take a day to feed your baby when he is hungry, snuggle him with lavender oil on his feet and parent him to sleep with your lullabyes. Make him as enraptured as he was in your womb when his needs were being met NOT by a clock or by ounces, but by instinct. Do not give him water or cereal, give him a mom confident in her love of him who can tune OUT the voices of the tribe and tune INTO him. Good for you for writing in and I hope you write again shortly. namaste and deep peace.
Posted On 2007-09-13 09:15:32
To start - You do not need to (or should you) give him water or cereal at this age.
You stated that you are pumping 5-6 ounces per day. I assume that you are also breastfeeding your baby and you are pumping after you breastfeed. From your comments, I believe that your milk supply is low because you are giving formula supplements and you're not breastfeeding (or pumping) enough. To have enough breastmilk for your baby, your breasts need to "know" how much your baby needs for him at a specific age.
I suggest that you do two things:
1. Breastfeed whenever your baby seems hungry.
2. Gradually decrease the amount of formula that you give each day.
1. Breastfeed more often.
Your breasts are always producing milk. The amount of breastmilk is regulated by supply and demand -- The more milk that your baby takes from your breasts; the more milk that you make for him. (More milk out equals more milk made.)
New babies normally feed between 6 to 18 times per day. They breastfeed more often when they need more milk. Also, babies feed more often if they are preterm and easily fall asleep at the breast or when the amount of breastmilk is limited by the mother's milk supply. Typically, a baby takes about 66% of the available milk by feeding at either one or both breasts. So if your baby comes back to a breast more often, milk is still available for him. In addition, having frequent feedings is a more efficient way to make more milk than having infrequent feedings. Pumping after a feeding is another way of telling the breasts to make more milk.
2. Give less formula. To decrease the amount of formula that you are giving, first calculate how many ounces that you give in a 24-hour period. Then plan on decreasing that amount by 1-2 ounces each day. This means that you get to choose when you give more ore less of the formula supplementation. Do not worry about the amount of breastmilk supplements that you give as that is considered within the amount of milk that your breasts are making at this time. As your baby increases the number of feedings at the breast, you can choose to supplement with a smaller amount of formula at each feeding or you can only give formula at some of the feedings. (Remember, that your breasts have a "24-hour clock" and if you skip feedings or give a lot of formula at certain times, then the breasts won't know how much to make at those times.) Gradually your breasts will make more milk as your baby continues getting enough milk.
If you are not feeding your baby at the breast, then you need to get help from a lactation specialist. Also if you have problems with making more milk, talk to a lactation specialist or your doctor about possible causes of inadequate milk supply or about medication or herbals to help with breastmilk production.
Our book -- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler - has a chapter on breastfeeding. It and other books about breastfeeding may help you learn more about breastfeeding and how to solve breastfeeding problems such as this one.
Posted On 2007-05-21 16:03:44