Newborn Frequently Feeding Breast and Bottle

NBB Question from Breeana: Hi, FTM to a 1 week old little boy. I’ve been breastfeeding him however, given him a bottle of breast milk a couple of times.
When I breast feed him he will feed for about 30-45 minutes then wants more an hour later. If I bottle feed him, he’s drinking approximately 120ml and settles for about 2-3 hours.  Is there anyway I can help encourage him to drink more via breast to only feed every 2-3 hours? If I exclusively feed via bottle and express, would my milk dry up?
He’s definitely latching correctly and I’ve got a good supply so I’m not sure why he’s so much more settled from a bottle rather then a boob.

Hi Breeana, Frequent feeding in the first 4 weeks is very common and is not necessarily anything to be concerned about if your baby is pooing at least 2 yellow poos daily and weeing through at least 5 nappies and they feel soaked and heavy each day, as well as gaining weight as expected. After about 1-2 months babies settle into their own routine.

In regards to your question: why does baby feed from the bottle of 120ml expressed breast milk (EBM) and sleep for 2-3 hours but only sleeps 1 hour after breastfeeds (BF). Is the 120ml of EBM what you express from one breast or both, or do you need to express twice to achieve this amount?

  • If you need to express twice to achieve this amount, that’s your answer as to why baby only sleeps for 1 hour, as your breast only make a certain amount at each feed. Baby is only getting half of 120ml at every feed so needs to BF more frequently to achieve a totoal of 120ml.
  • If you need to express off of both breasts to achieve 120ml make sure you’re feeding your baby off both breasts as well, to ensure he drains as much milk as possible.

Things which can help:

  • When you are breastfeeding try gently massaging your breasts to help further let downs of milk.
  • Always offer both sides and if you think baby is still hungry offer the first breast again, there will probably be another let down of milk there waiting and ready for him even if he’s already fed off of that side.
  • Make sure you change his nappy in the middle of a BF instead of at the beginning or end, this way he will wake up in the middle and be ready to go to the other breast for more milk.
  • Lastly get your attachment at the breast checked by a breastfeeding health professional to ensure baby has an effective latch and is able to drain the milk efficiently.

If you are worried that baby is too sleepy at the breast or is not having enough wet & dirty nappies it is important to get your baby checked and weighed as soon as possible. Your maternal child health nurse or lactation consultant is the best person to assist you with all things breastfeeding.

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