Newborn feeding

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Newborn feeding

Postby Jess1234 » Wed 24 Apr, 2013 10:26 am

Just wondering how often a newborn baby should be breastfed? My 2.5 week old seems to struggle a lot with wind/reflux/positing.. I'm wondering whether spacing out his feeds will help him get his wind up?? It seems that whenever I feed him I keep him upright for at least 25 mins and he will fall asleep but when I put him down he immediately starts grunting and fidgeting again, often throwing up. After some grunting I will get him up and he may or may not burp, is this just because he is still so new? I'm confused as they say you can't over feed a breastfed baby (he is stacking on the weight) but could he be feeding to soothe a sore tummy??
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Re: Newborn feeding

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 29 Apr, 2013 8:37 pm

Hi Jess1234

Thank you for your post. Usually it is best to breastfeed babies on demand and not delay their feeds. This is because breastfeeding on demand has been shown to be the optimal way of allowing babies to meet their nutritional and growth needs. Breastmilk production is governed by the principle of supply and demand, meaning that the more milk that is drained from the breasts the more milk is produced. Spacing out feeds can mean that the breasts do not receive enough stimulation to generate an optimal milk production. Research has shown that most women need to breastfeed at least 8 times in 24 hours during the first eight weeks or so to give their breasts sufficient stimulation to calibrate their milk production at a high level that will continue to meet their baby's needs as their baby grows. Many breastfed newborns need 8 - 12 breastfeeds in a 24 hour period.

Very occasionally, there may be some babies for whom very frequent feeding could contribute to abdominal discomfort. This is rare and it is best not to begin delaying feeds unless you are given clear indications from your baby that this is required. It is very common for newborn babies to have periods of unsettled behaviour, gassiness and the appearance of abdominal pain. These behaviours are common with most newborn babies, both breastfed and bottle fed. The gastrointestinal system of a newborn is very immature and the baby is beginning to develop production of digestive enzymes, so it is very normal for babies to be very windy and have some abdominal discomforts as they get used to the process of digestion. These abdominal discomforts seem to often peak around 6 weeks and then improve. Positing is a very normal baby behaviour related to the short length of a baby's oesophogus, and usually is not a cause for concern. Very occasionally, if a mother has a large oversupply of milk, feeding from both breasts in a short period of time can result in the baby getting an overload of lactose that is contained in the foremilk and this can result in an unsettled baby. Typically these babies will show other signs such as green frothy poos, an abundance of soaked nappies, booming weight gains, and their mothers will often have difficulties with oversupply of milk such as excessive breast leaking and continued engorgement. In these babies it is sometimes helpful to "block feed' which means feeding only from one breast for a period such as 3 or 4 hours. It is ok to feed the baby as many times as required in this time period, but keeping the feeds to one breast only for each block allows the breast to be well drained and the baby to get milk containing more fat and less lactose. Maternal diet does not affect the content of lactose in a mother's breastmilk. If you feel this may apply to your baby you may like to read the following link or contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association for more help and advice: ... oad-babies
Occasionally, unsettled behaviour when laying flat after a feed could indicate that a baby is suffering gastrooesophageal reflux. Due to the common and normal unsettled behaviours shown by newborn babies however it is best not to arrive at the conclusion too early that a baby is suffering reflux, as this behaviour can also be quite normal. Reflux usually presents with other symptoms too such as frequent very distressed behaviour, high pitched screaming, stiffening movement of the body, back arching and often refusal to feed. If you are concerned that this may apply to your baby you may like to discuss this with your GP or ask for a referral to a paediatrician.

I hope that this information is helpful.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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