Can You Overfeed a Breastfed Baby? What If This is No Longer Safe?

Babies just can’t get enough when it comes to mother’s milk. Sometimes I guess it is not only the milk but also because of the fact that drinking their mom’s milk is also at the same time enjoying the nice feeling of being close to her. To all moms out there, can you overfeed a breastfed baby?

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Have you ever asked yourselves about that? It is kind of funny actually since it seems to be mother’s milk never gets empty! If the answer is a YES or NO, let us find it out together!

I Am Breastfeeding. Can I really Overfeed My Baby?

All along, I have always been told that breastfeeding cannot possibly overfeed my babies. Trust to those words, and knowing that my milk is the best for my darlings, I never had a doubt that I won’t. Let us dig further into the facts that would support what I think is true.

Here are facts that breastfeeding mothers need to know:

 When babies feed, they are hungry.

Let us dwell on the fact that sucking mother’s milk alone is already hard labor for your baby. For your information, babies use an approximate 40 various facial muscles when breastfeeding.

So come to think about it, if babies are not hungry, thirsty, mom’s warmth, pain relief, sick, not bored or irritated, will they even desire it?

​ Breastfed babies, grow slow in the first few months

Compared to overfeeding, you are so far from being guilty. However, babies fed with formulas is exactly the opposite though.

 Babies have the instinct not to suck when they had enough

​After a while, nursing mothers would get used to the pattern of the baby’s feeding/sucking. So if you are breastfeeding, you will notice that there are times your baby would suck less after feeding for a few minutes, more so when they are falling asleep. Babies are so smart they know when they are finished!

 Breastmilk is a perfect food

Continuous breastfeeding means providing the nutrients, hormones, proteins and fats that your baby needs for her brain and physical development.

It could never be duplicated. Breastmilk does not give calories or fillers, just enough and perfect for a healthy growing baby, that is why there is no such thing as overfeeding when it comes to breastmilk.

​ Dr. Nicholas Stettler who spearheaded the study “Per La leche League” said, “The easiest way to prevent obesity to infants is to breastfeed them from birth till one year.”

If I am not overfeeding, why does my baby look overweight?

Here are the doubts again. I tell you, there are other factors that you should know why your baby seems to be so big in her early months. Then, you will not blame it all on your breastfeeding. Let us avoid confusion. Breathe and relax!

​Try to check on your family genes. Yeah, look at yourself and the rest of the clan. What you see, is what your baby would be. What size are you? Large size structures that run in the genes is the culprit, not the milk.

​You’ve got that abundance supply of milk! Bless you, a lot of mothers out there would be jealous! Think on how some would struggle just to have that overflowing goodness! As mothers, we tend to think that we are not giving what is needed especially you have that petite size in front. Of course, that is not true…supply and demand, remember?

​Health problems! However, moms, this is a very rare case. If the pediatrician suspects congestive heart failures, renal and other endocrine disorders, please you got to breastfed more. It will help make your baby strong to fight back!

What are the signs that my baby is full?

Alright, this should be easy for nursing moms to know especially if you breastfeeding frequently. Let us just discuss this to be sure. For all new moms, here it is!

  • Your baby is now chilling. Hands are open and relaxed
  • Your baby’s body is in lazy mode. Loose and relaxed.
  • He fell asleep peacefully, obviously.
  • Baby may have that satisfying “wet burp”. When you notice those yummy milk trickling down from her mouth.

Here is a video of a mom who says how to know if the baby is full.

Some tips

  • There is a growth chart for babies used by WHO meant for breastfed babies. Ensure that you use this standard chart to avoid confusion. You might use the others that are meant for breastfed and formula fed. There is a big difference. See below sample chart.
  • Do not put limit your baby with your milk. Your breast will give milk whenever needed, you will never run out. Be keen in knowing your baby’s hunger cues.
  • A breastfed baby feeds in an approximate 30 minutes, every 3 hours because their tummy is still tiny it can’t take too much. One more thing, breastmilk can easily be digested too!
  • Babies who are breastfed full time does not need any additional water or other liquids intakes. Breastmilk is just enough.
  • Do not force your baby to eat. Look for hunger cues. If there is one thing that needs to be blamed why children are obese aside from genetics, it would be you, mom!

Can you overfeed a breastfed baby? The answer is simply NO! We, mothers, are given the capability to give our little darlings the best nutrition that she or he can get in her first year in this world that is so crucial in their development. I can’t stop being amazed in the balance of nature itself. Milk is provided, whenever needed. Isn’t it perfectly awesome?

The best thing a mother can do, we, you, is to provide what our babies need, may it be milk, comfort or easing pain. Sometimes, it is just the need to be close. Anyways, that is what mothers do best!

Stacy Belk
 

My name is Stacy Belk, I am a nurse, midwife and mother of two children. I would like to share my experiences in taking care of children including activities to do together, recipes to cook, good products to buy and health protection to your family. Do a search now if you like, all you need is here.

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