Home Babies needs Breastfed babies have unique needs — Anne Eglash | Letters to the Editor

Breastfed babies have unique needs — Anne Eglash | Letters to the Editor

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The August 20 column on advice for parents dealt with infant feeding frequency. As a breastfeeding physician at the UW Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic, I’d like to elaborate on this article.

Some of the information only pertained to formula-fed infants, not breastfed infants. Breastfed infants should be fed according to their feeding cues as suggested. The biggest difference between breastfed and breastfed infants is that they shouldn’t drink eight ounces at a time after six months of age. Breastfed infants typically drink 3-5 ounces per feeding, even after six months of age, as it’s normal for breastfeeding parents to produce about 3-5 ounces every three hours.

Infants of mothers with a high milk supply may drink more at a time, but this should not be expected. Additionally, it is important to understand that bowel movements and urination do not determine adequate weight gain, but rather provide reassurance that the infant is well hydrated. Only a weight check can verify the infant’s adequate weight gain. Whenever a nursing parent is concerned about the infant’s intake, the infant should be seen for weight control, rather than relying on stools and wet diapers for reassurance.