Friday, October 12, 2012

How much to feed a breastfed baby?

Liam's bottles. We specifically wrote on them, Feed me slowly,
so that he wont' be overfed at daycare.
Recently, I had received a comment from one of the employees at daycare that I should supply larger portions of breast milk since he is getting older. I had heard her comments in the past about other mothers, how they bring so little, and so I expected it to come up sooner or later.

My little Liam gets 3oz every 2 hours. Studies suggest a breastfed baby to eat 1-1.5 ounces for every hour you are gone ( I have tried to stretch him 2.5-3 hours during the day but he just gets cranky and then is just a horrible cranky mess to deal with.

After the comment at daycare was made, I was left feeling frustrated and bothered. I was second guessing if I was giving him enough, feeding him too often. Later that night, I did some research, found some GREAT articles and by the end of the night, I was feeling much more confident. I came across this article, "Breast verses bottle: How much should baby take" by Nancy Mohrbacher. She cites some interesting scientific research on breast milk, including why a breastfed baby drinking a bottle may want more. She also states that breastfed babies milk intake doesn't increase between 1 & 6 months due to their growth rate slowing. I was so happy regarding the information I was reading that I took in the article for them the next day. Whether they actually read it or not, who knows. But at least I know that I tried.

I was also reading that there are studies stating that breast milk changes over time. This one article "Breastpumps and baby formula: Does the time of day matter?" states that breast milk's tryptophan levels increase at night, causing a breastfed baby to create more melatonin and feel sleepy. Nucleotide levels also change, increasing at night. 5’UMP--which has a calming effect--peaked in the middle of the night and 5’AMP, which makes people feel drowsy, was at its highest concentration in breast milk that was expressed in the early night-time.
My Freezer Stash!

All in all, I am pretty confident about how things are going with Liam, breastfeeding, working, pumping, and daycare. I am able to pump enough at work for the following day at daycare, and I am building a great freezer stash for times when I didn't pump enough (usually over the weekend). I usually use my "stash" on Mondays, replenishing it on Thursdays (I don't work fridays).
I am also pretty fascinated with it all. It is amazing how our body makes exactly what our baby needs. I am probably going to be talked about at daycare... at how I am starving my poor little boy. But I know better. If only some people weren't so ignorant. It's one thing to not know about something, and something entirely different to refuse to be educated. Maybe its the scientist in me, but if I wasn't teaching, I would probably go into research on breast milk, its properties and how it changes from month to month. But for now, I feel good knowing that every ounce I pump is an ounce of exceptional nutrition that my son is getting.