Added: Maya Avilla - Date: 13.02.2022 07:21 - Views: 28608 - Clicks: 5874
Somehow, somewhere, new mothers got the message that the gap between when a baby stops a breastfeed and the time they start to need another one matters a very very great deal. It seems to matter beyond all logic and reason. They see this magic — 90 minutes, 2 hours, 3 hours — as a measure of something sacred. There are mums sitting at home, relaxing and nesting with their gorgeous new baby. Breastfeeding is going well. Weight gain is fine. Baby is content. But when baby shows hunger cues after only 40 minutes instead of the hoped for 1 hr 30 minutes, their heart sinks and they feel a sense something is fundamentally wrong.
Doubts creep in. As adults, we grab a cup of tea, a glass of water, a sweet, a snack. Many go to bed with a glass of water or sip from a bottle throughout the day.
But yet we expect teeny growing babies to be governed by this artificial notion of time. Where do these ideas come from? They seem to come from a fundamental misunderstanding of the science of breastfeeding and breastmilk production. Often they come from midth century ideas based around the norms of formula-feeding and pseudo-science. So what is normal?
Well, how long have you got? A newborn should feed a minimum of times in 24 hours. That means some might be going every 3 hours and others will be feeding more frequently than 2 hourly. Some babies may feed every 10 minutes every hour. Some may feed for 10 minutes every 2 hours.
Some may feed for 40 minutes every 2 hours. For periods in the day, a younger baby will often cluster feed and not be happy away from the breast for any longer than a few minutes at a time. This natural cluster feeding may dominate an evening. The only thing that seems to settle him is the breast. And soon their patterns will change again.
Some babies will start to longer intervals in the day as the months go by. But not all will. One of the most popular babycare books which I better not name gives a strong direction that while frequent feeding might be occasionally acceptable during growth spurts, this holy cow of the interval between feeds matters greatly. This same writer believes a woman can measure her milk supply by doing a yield test and using a pump to extract milk which apparently will be the equivalent amount to what her baby extracts during a feed using an entirely different process. And I know from having spent time on the message boards associated with this writer, many mothers will end up supplementing with formula to try and reach these magic s of minutes.
Babies are no longer being exclusively breastfed and parents are not following Department of Health recommendations because of incorrect information in a baby care book. There are parents who choose to use formula for a whole host of complex reasons.
Some do so happily and some do so miserably. But to do so, merely because you have read a lie in a book, seems tragic to me. Our knowledge about breasts has been transformed over the last 20 years. We used to think most women had a pretty similar of milk ducts but the ultrasound research revealed there were less than ly thought and the range was big. One woman had 4 ducts at the nipple. One had When a baby feeds, some milk is manufactured during the feed itself and some is taken from milk that has been stored in the breasts between feeds.
Breast size is obviously not just about glandular tissue. The range in breast storage capacity was huge. One mother was able to store about 2. Another woman stored more than 20oz. Women with a smaller breast storage capacity had a healthy milk production over a 24 hr period and their babies had good weight gain. But their babies might need to feed more frequently to access this healthy milk production.
Her baby may continue to feed 2 hourly or even more frequently for a few months during the day, cluster feed at certain points and perhaps continue to wake a couple of times hungry at night. When breasts are fuller, milk production slows.
When breasts are emptier, we make more milk. When babies feed more frequently and from emptier breasts, they receive milk with a higher fat content. Frequent feeding has value. She might become distressed that her baby still wants to feed 2 hourly. And in doing so, her breasts spend longer at Need female for late night breast play storage capacity and their milk production slows and her breasts receive the al to decrease milk supply. So in her attempt to Need female for late night breast play between feeds as the advice she is reading suggests she does, she may actually be decreasing her overall milk production in 24 hours and be doing some actual harm.
So what should we suggest to this mum who never seems to be able to stretch her baby to longer intervals in the ways that her friends seem able? Thankfully she knew not to try and impose some routine early on and therefore her milk supply is at its maximum capacity. It is possible she is one of the mothers who has a minimal breast storage capacity and she will need to feed more in 24 hours to maximise the volume of milk her baby receives.
And there might be nothing she can do about that. What happens next is about acceptance and support and attitude. She has to keep that up for ideally around 6 months if her baby is going to get the full benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. She might need greater support with feeding outside the home — perhaps learning how to feed in a sling or experiment with different positions for different environments. She may benefit from support on safe bed-sharing practices. And it is just a matter of months.
After solids have been established, patterns will change. We have jars of pickle in our fridge ificantly older than that. We may even have toothbrushes that are around that long. That if they leave him to cry for 15 minutes, magically he will take more milk and life will change. No smart phone app can measure all the complexities of our relationship with our baby and all the things that responsive feeding can do. You are trying to count and measure love.
My children under 6 months never went longer than 2 hours between feeds in the day and not much longer at night. My red record book records me feeding at 3 months every 90 minutes or so. So I learnt to feed while babywearing. I went to friendly groups and friendly places and met up with people at home. I read about safe co-sleeping practices which I know beyond a shadow of a doubt saved my bacon. I just trusted my body.
I trusted my baby and we worked as a beautiful team. I sat at home on the sofa and fed relatively frequently, enjoyed my box sets and my healthy and not-so-healthy snacks and that was OK. Guest blog: Breastfeeding - The dangerous obsession with the infant feeding interval. Emma Pickett.
Get the latest news and research updates from Baby Friendly up today. This guest blog from breastfeeding counsellor Emma Pickett discusses the dangers of promoting a strict feeding schedule at the expense of responsive, flexible infant feeding. They come from popular baby care books and relatives and peers. Is this a mother with a supply problem? No, it is not. But the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding will be. Why should a watch or clock tell me how to be a mother?
Sources Anatomy of the lactating human breast redefined with ultrasound imaging. The magic and long-term milk production. B Cox, R. A Owens, Peter E. Find out more Support for parents. Responsive Feeding Infosheet. Guest blog: "Is this normal? Call to Action on infant feeding in the UK. Other Organisations and Resources .Need female for late night breast play
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