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Thread: How often and when...info overload...

  1. #1

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    Default How often and when...info overload...

    Hi all
    DH and I are expecting our first bub in March and we both feel very strongly about BF but we are getting a lot of conflicting information.
    My natural choice would be to feed bub when he wants it for as long as I'm able but I've been told that this can 'spoil' a baby, make it a demanding child etc. One midwife said every four hours and not in between, my step mother went so far a to say that there is no need to BF these days.

    Is there a straight answer?


  2. #2

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    When my girl was born, I didnt really consider not breastfeeding. I always just though that I was definately going to try my very best to breastfeed her. There are advantages to both breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

    When I was in the hospital, they suggested demand feeding, where you just feed bub whenever they want it. I think in the early days, 4 hours is a bit too long to leave between feeds and could affect your milk supply. Thats the impression I got anyway, because you need bub to be on the breast as their sucking helps stimunlate the milk and 4 hourly might not be enough. I was still breast feeding my daughter every two hours until she was about 8 months! She is still breastfeeding now, (she is 11 months) and I dont think this had made her spoilt or overly demanding. Most babies are demanding in some way or other anyway!

    I dont really think theres a straight answer, but there is loads of information out there (sometimes too much information!). As much as infant formulas are contunually improving, I personally dont think they could compare to breastmilk in terms of what they give your bub.

  3. #3

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    DH and I went through a similar confusing process when DD was born in September last year (our first child too!). Every person you talk to and every book you read will suggest something different .

    We decided that I would breastfeed if possible but were also open to bottlefeeding if breastfeeding didn't work. Luckily, DD and I were able to breastfeed and demand feeding has worked perfectly. DD is content because she feeds when she wants food and I think breastfeeding is just so easy/convenient.

    As for spoiling, they are innocent beings who need our love and attention and in my opinion there is no way you can overdo things. Just relax and enjoy the magical ride you have coming your way

  4. #4

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    Go with your instinct - you cannot spoil a baby by responding to their needs. IMO (only my opinion) you'd "spoil" a child by not responding to their needs - they'll think they don't matter.

  5. #5

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    Macca, I would definitely recommend joining the ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association) and enrolling in one of their classes too if possible. They will be able to give you heaps of GOOD advice. You have already received plenty of bad advice and will recieve a lot more before your parenting journey goes too much further.

    It is a fact that feeding your baby every 4 hours will stop you from producing enough milk. This is why so many women who had babies back when this was recommended as policy (and many MCHNs were trained then), ended up formula feeding very early on. Babies are designed to feed often, they have tiny stomachs, the size of their cute little fists. Bfing works on a supply/demand basis. The baby needs to feed often to stimulate your supply. You WILL NOT spoil a baby by feeding on demand.

    WRT to whether there is any benefit in bfing, well without re-igniting the whole debate, the answer is Yes. There is a lot of medical research which shows numerous health and development benefits to babies who are bfed. The recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is to exclusively bf for 6 months, then continue bfing as well as feeding solids until age 2 and beyond.

    There is lots of great information on the ABA website, and I do strongly recommend you join. They will be a huge help to you as you learn this new skill. I wish you the best of luck, bfing is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It can be really hard in the beginning so organise some support now and be aware that it does get much easier as they get a bit bigger. GL.

  6. #6

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    Hi Macca,
    I know what you mean by conflicting info. I was at the hosp for 5 days and every day the midwives might tell me different things. But at the same time, each baby is also different and their need changes along the way as they grow. As other suggests I found demand feeding works best. Trust your own feelings, you know whats best for your baby and in time you'll understand what your baby wants, whether his/her cry is hunger cry or tired cry.
    In the early days (or during growth spurt) your baby may even want to cluster feed and you may need to feed frequently.
    The most important thing is to not stress out about it, have a rest whenever you can and drink plenty of water.
    Dont worry you'll have a lot of support here in BB and you can also join ABA or call them, the counsellors are wonderful!
    Personally I dont think breastfeeding will turn a good baby to a spoiled baby, I cant understand why someone can even suggest that? We are giving our babies a good start in their life by providing them with nutrition and building up their immune system. Same thing with formula, feeding them when hungry is not spoiling them.

    Hugs hun and Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!
    Last edited by spring_ag; February 6th, 2008 at 12:57 PM.

  7. #7

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    Macca - I'm a little surprised that someone would suggest that there is no need to BF these days... just seems weird. I mean, I didn't BF, had LOTS of problems, and had lots of conflicting advice, so I FF from an early age with DS. Still unsure what to do with this next one, but thought I would give it a go, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. We fed DS every four hours, but that was enough for him, I think because formula fills them for longer because its not as easily digestable (someone please correct me if I am wrong.. ) as BM. So the every four hours worked there, except when he was going through a growth spurt, then every three hours was needed. I think just do whatever works for you and your baby. You will know what your baby needs, and what is best for him/her. And try not to stress out about the conflicting advice, because there will be LOTS of it!! Good luck :-)

  8. #8

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    Hi there

    You're right about the conflicting info out there and how confusing it is when you're pg, I well remember it! Conflicting advice is something that continues after you have a baby as well and everyone seems to want to tell you something...

    I would second and third what the other girls have said about the ABA. They often run bfing classes for pg women which can be a great preparation. I took one at my local hospital and it was probably the best thing I ever did. If you join the ABA I think they still offer a free book 'Breastfeeding... naturally' that has lots of balanced info on breastfeeding and I highly recommend. Your local library may even have a copy.

    Once you're armed with all of the info it is so much easier to cope with the things that might come your way once bub is here. Often we spend so much time preparing for the birth we don't think about the months and months with a baby afterwards! It's a bit like a wedding and a marriage I guess.

    All the best!

  9. #9

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    I read SO much info once I found out my DD had colic. I found I was feeding her so much more than I fed my son. So I wanted to find out if she would be spoilt and dependant, and it turns out that no baby under 12 months can be spoiled. They say it's worse for you to 'let her learn' because babies need to know that they're loved and secure- and can cause bigger problems later on if not attended to.

    That's just what I read! DD has settled now, and is now 5 months and doesn't feed anywhere as much as she used to

    Good luck!

  10. #10

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    I really wasn't that interested in feeding my first child. My husband encouraged me to give it a go and see how I felt.. and I did.. i lasted 3 months.. I have then gone on to feed my other 3 children and wanted to do it

    My opinion on breastfeeding especially in those first few weeks. feed often and when baby wants to be fed.. day or night.. As they get older you will know if they want to be fed or if they are just grizzly. My 2 yr old son was demand fed till he weaned himself at 21 months. He is not spoilt can be a brat though but has nothing to do with being demand fed..

    The best thing you can do for yourself, DH and baby is to get support. N offence but having people around you who are saying comments such as not to demand feed and no need to BF at all is not going to help you on those rough days and nights that will happen..

    Good Luck.. May you enjoy a long and enjoying breastfeeding relationship

  11. #11

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    I have never breastfeed but yeah i was told not to leave him anylonger then 2 hrs for feeds 4 hrs in bewteen was too long as they have to put on so much weight

  12. #12

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    Your instincts are great, demand feeding is the way to go with BF for all the reasons everyone else has listed. The cluster feeding info I found really useful, as I didn't understand at first what he wanted and turns out he liked to cluster feed between about 2 and 6pm. I then learned (after many silly bits of advice and downright dangerous info) to just whack him on the boob as soon as he looked unsettled or fussy. If he was still awake an hour after I'd finished feeding him (in the first 3 months) I'd just feed him again, things were so much easier when I just fed him more often, and I was more relaxed too.

  13. #13

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    Thanks very much for the great advice, it's good to hear similar stories from so many different people. I think I will take the advice many of your offered and join the ABA, they sound like a good source of information.
    Thanks again.

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