Can a breastfed baby overeat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-13-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering if my baby (5 weeks) might be stuffing herself too full. She uses the breast for comfort (to fall asleep, when she has gas, hiccups, etc.). She will not take a pacifier. She's a connoisseur. orngtongue.gif

 

In the beginning, she would sometimes suck then complain that milk was coming out. That's when we offered a pacifier, which she outright refused. She used to take my finger for comfort sucking, but does not want that any more. She no longer complains when milk comes out, but she spits up often and a lot. Much more than our son did when he was a baby.

 

When she's grumpy but I'm not sure if she's hungry, I try carrying her around in various positions first (she loves close contact) before feeding her. Sometimes it works, though she often ends up on the breast.

 

Luckily, my nipples are not hurting and I seem to have enough milk, but I am concerned about all the spitting up. She also has more gas pain and tummy rumblings than I remember from our first baby.

 

Could overeating be causing this (spitting up, tummy pain)? I didn't think babies overate, but maybe I'm offering the breast too quickly when she really wants something else?


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#2 of 8 Old 02-13-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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Don't worry, she won't overeat if you are breastfeeding on demand. Do you think you have some oversupply issues? That could be one reason she is gassy. Since she likes to comfort nurse and won't take a paci, she might be getting a little imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk. Some moms do block feeding to help with this .  Or maybe it's a food intolerance? You can check out Kellymom to see if these are the issues.

http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gassybaby.html

 

That being said, my guy spits up a ton as well and none of the things we've tried fixes it. But since he doesn't seem to mind (no gas or pain), I'm just impatiently waiting until it stops on its own. Until then, it's lots of laundry.


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#3 of 8 Old 02-13-2012, 01:16 PM
 
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Sounds like oversupply to me as well. A fast let down will uppset baby enough to unlatch even though they are hungry. You can try letting down into a cup orr towel first and also block feeding to correct imbalance. 

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#4 of 8 Old 02-14-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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Daughter spit up a lot in the first months.  She's nearing the 5 month mark and has just stopped spitting up reliably after every meal.  I would experience too-fast letdown on one side only, and I knew it, but she would spit up no matter which side she fed from.  She was since 6 weeks and remains a scheduled feeder, and when I suspected she was not draining one breast I would put her back to that side and pump the other side;  we never had any overly-green or frothy diapers so I do not think she ever wound up imbalanced with foremilk/hindmilk.  She did have gas from time to time.  I never avoided any foods.  I made sure to burp her for 5-10 minutes between each side, so she'd feed for 5-10 minutes and then burp for the same amount of time.  I also kept her upright as long as possible after feeding.  I made sure her diaper was loose around her waist, and if she was really squawking with gas, I'd lay her on her back and gently bring her knees to her chest, and alternate that with rubbing her belly.  She's growing out of the spitting up now.  I would say her gut has changed, as her diaper habits have changed and we are no longer seeing the loose, seedy textured poop;  now it's the same consistency every time, and has been for about a month, which is about the same amount of time that she hasn't been spitting up every feeding.  Now she only spits up if I'm on the way out with girlfriends and wearing a hand-wash or dry-clean dress.  Yep.  Good luck, and happy laundering!  winky.gif


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#5 of 8 Old 02-14-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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Oversupply or forceful let-down sounds possible. I'm not an expert, however, so maybe you could schedule a visit with a lactation consultant in your area. 

 

As far as "overeating" goes, everything I've ever read says a breastfed baby will not overeat. (However, I was also told an EBF baby cannot get constipated, which I found to be false. Beware of statements that deal in absolutes.) Even if it is possible, I would think it is VERY rare. If you are still worried that she might be overeating, I would consider two things...

 

1. How much weight is she gaining each week? Here is a link for average weekly weight gain, but keep in mind that these are averages. http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/weight-gain.html

 

2. Consider having your baby weighed on a medical scale before and after a feeding. Although this isn't considered 100% accurate, it will give you an approximation of how much your baby is taking in. You can do this in your doctor's office or at a lactation consultant's office. This helped ease my mind when I was worried that my baby was not getting enough.

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#6 of 8 Old 02-14-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

Daughter spit up a lot in the first months.  She's nearing the 5 month mark and has just stopped spitting up reliably after every meal.  I would experience too-fast letdown on one side only, and I knew it, but she would spit up no matter which side she fed from.  She was since 6 weeks and remains a scheduled feeder, and when I suspected she was not draining one breast I would put her back to that side and pump the other side;  we never had any overly-green or frothy diapers so I do not think she ever wound up imbalanced with foremilk/hindmilk.  She did have gas from time to time.  I never avoided any foods.  I made sure to burp her for 5-10 minutes between each side, so she'd feed for 5-10 minutes and then burp for the same amount of time.  I also kept her upright as long as possible after feeding.  I made sure her diaper was loose around her waist, and if she was really squawking with gas, I'd lay her on her back and gently bring her knees to her chest, and alternate that with rubbing her belly.  She's growing out of the spitting up now.  I would say her gut has changed, as her diaper habits have changed and we are no longer seeing the loose, seedy textured poop;  now it's the same consistency every time, and has been for about a month, which is about the same amount of time that she hasn't been spitting up every feeding.  Now she only spits up if I'm on the way out with girlfriends and wearing a hand-wash or dry-clean dress.  Yep.  Good luck, and happy laundering!  winky.gif


Yup. I only put my work shirt on immediately before leaving the house now.

 


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#7 of 8 Old 02-14-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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I think they can if they're using the breast for comfort and not nourishment.  My middle son had reflux and he would want to nurse when it was bothering him.  I didn't realize what was going on but he would get really fussy and suckle, then spew all over.  It got to where I kept a baby blanket draped on my main comforter so I could aim him at it when he started spewing.  Then just change baby blankets instead of having a spit-up comforter.

 

I also had over supply and a strong let-down that resulted in block-feeding for the first year or so.  It helped a ton.


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Mom to Elijah (6/05) and Moses (6/08) and baby Joshua, UBAC February 18, 2011!

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#8 of 8 Old 02-16-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andisunshine View Post

I think they can if they're using the breast for comfort and not nourishment.  My middle son had reflux and he would want to nurse when it was bothering him.  I didn't realize what was going on but he would get really fussy and suckle, then spew all over.  It got to where I kept a baby blanket draped on my main comforter so I could aim him at it when he started spewing.  Then just change baby blankets instead of having a spit-up comforter.

 

I also had over supply and a strong let-down that resulted in block-feeding for the first year or so.  It helped a ton.



Lots of good advice already, but I also thought maybe silent reflux could be the issue when I read your post.  Maybe do a bit of research on silent reflux and see if it rings any bells for you.

 


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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