I'm so fed up with seeing some of the rubbish that people with a vast number of followers spout about feeding your ba
by! There's a famous nanny who has an app (I'm not going to mention the name) who gives, frankly, dangerous advice about breastfeeding. I downloaded her "top sleep tips" document to have a read.... Here's what it says about feeding:
"Follow a Structured Feeding Schedule
The reason to space feeds out and not feed on demand is so babies don't snack. If a breastfed baby snacks then they only get the foremilk - not the fatty hind milk, which is what they need to thrive and develop. If a baby can spread their feeds out to 3 or 4 hourly, it allows them to rest properly in-between which is important for their health."
What makes me rage is this:
1. It's just plain wrong and goes against everything we know (from actual research) about the way breastfeeding works and the way babies feed.
2. Thousands of people have access to this misinformation.
3. The person giving this advice doesn't seem to have any breastfeeding qualifications...
4. There are no breastfeeding counsellors or lactation consultants listed in her team of "industry experts" who contribute to the (cr)app.
So, to clear a few things up...
The 'two types of milk' ('foremilk' and 'hindmilk') claim is incorrect. A baby's weight-gain depends on how much milk they
're getting, not simply the fat content in the last drops.
It's like running a hot tap: when you turn the tap on (start feeding) the water starts cold (lower fat content) but as it continues (as the feed progresses) the water gets gradually warmer & warmer (higher fat content).
If you turn the tap off & on again quite soon, the water will still be warm (higher fat milk will still be there at the start of the next feed).
Also, who says babies can't snack? Remember, babies are actual humans and, like all humans, they don't get hungry and thirsty on a schedule!
Have you ever thought to yourself "Ooh, I'm really thirsty but I can't even have a sip of water because I only had some half an hour ago"? Or ever had a stressful day and comforted yourself with a few drinks/ a whole pack of jaffa cakes/ a tub of ice cream in the evening?!
Babies' milk intake can vary from morning to evening/ day to night/ week to week and depends on so many factors - they might be having a growth spurt, be unwell, it could be a hot day, they need extra comfort.
When parents feed in response to their babies' cues rather than clock-watching it means they're not only meeting their baby's needs but also establishing and protecting their milk supply.
The moral of the story is, it can be hard enough to breastfeed without being bombarded with terrible advice that will actually make it even harder. If you have any worries about feeding please do seek support and information from a trained breastfeeding counsellor like me or a lactation consultant.