My oldest daughter is five years old. The youngest is only two weeks old. Both times I gave birth in the same hospital, at the same doctor. After giving birth, I was very surprised at how much the attitude towards breastfeeding of medical staff changed in five years.
When I gave birth to my eldest daughter, nurses very actively promoted breastfeeding on demand. They advised to put the child to the chest after each squeak and even practice sleeping together for more frequent attachments.
After my second birth, my attitude towards breastfeeding was completely different. Both the doctor and the nurses were told to feed every three hours and by all means feed the mixture. In the following days, no one even asked about lactation, but everyone actively asked how much the baby eats the mixture for one feeding.
After trying the first week to feed the crumb by the hour, we still switched to feeding on demand. I will not argue that it is this kind of feeding that is correct, I will simply describe the advantages and disadvantages I have noticed of one and the other type.
Feeding by the hour
The merits. This type of feeding is convenient for women. After all, knowing in advance how much the next feeding will take place, it is easier to plan your day. In the intervals between feedings, you can do household chores without fear that you will not be able to carry out what has been done to the end.
In addition, you can go on personal business (for example, in a shop or a hairdresser), leaving the baby with her husband or grandmother, without fear that the child will miss you at the most inopportune moment. On this for me, all the advantages of feeding by the clock end.
Disadvantages. When breastfeeding a baby, we cannot determine the amount of milk that he received for one feeding. Therefore, it can vary. Having received less milk than usual, the child will be hungry earlier.
I have one friend who feeds strictly on the clock. Honestly, I feel sorry for the screaming baby from hunger, who isn’t attached to the breast just because there are 20 minutes left until the scheduled feeding.
In addition, in the first days of life, the child is still quite weak, and instead of milk he receives only a few drops of colostrum. To observe the interval between feedings at three o’clock I consider it a mockery of a child.
Everyone knows that breastfeeding is not only the process of eating, but also establishing close emotional contact between the child and the mother. During feeding, the baby feels warm and relaxes the mother. So why limit this pleasant state?
Feeding on demand
The merits. Honestly, for me, tactile sensations play a huge role in breastfeeding. Feeding my daughter, I try to enjoy these beautiful moments. After all, children grow up so fast! I try to capture in memory every moment of infancy of my beloved baby.
I do not know any mother who feeds a baby on demand who would have problems with the breast. So moms do not need breast pumps, because sucking milk is the task of the child. Such troubles as lactostasis, they are much less common. I think this is a huge plus compared to feeding by the hour.
In addition, the problem of the amount of milk is solved by itself. After all, everyone knows: the more the baby sucks, the more milk the mother will have. Thus, the baby will never suffer from a lack of milk.
Disadvantages. Disadvantages of this type of feeding are also available. For example, a woman’s physical attachment to a child. Agree, it is not always in our hands. After all, it is sometimes necessary to leave the house. The mother who feeds on demand almost always has to take the baby with him, since he can get hungry at any moment.
Children feeding by the hour often sleep at night for 6-8 hours. If you feed on demand, this can only dream of. As a rule, every 2-4 hours a baby wakes up with the goal of getting a fresh portion of mother’s milk, which is not always pleasing. After all, a good rest is simply necessary for mom. What is the use of a sleepy, exhausted and angry mother and wife?
Carefully weighing all the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of breastfeeding, I chose to feed on demand. How did you feed your little ones?