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Old 11-18-2007, 12:28 PM   #1
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Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

So I'm trying to figure out what's normal for pumping and feeding a newborn since in my other post I wrote about how my 3 week old seemed to not be getting enough from me. I have been trying to do more than just once on each side, especially if he unlatches sooner than 10 minutes and that seems to be helping. Usually in the mornings I've been pumping after he eats and getting 4 ounces, which seemed like a lot AFTER a feeding and thus an indicator to me that he was not getting enough. But this morning after I had him go twice on each side I only was able to pump 1.5 ounces. So that was a good sign. And we went to church where I gave him a bottle I pumped and he drank about 3.5 ounces of it. This was in place of a nursing session and so I pumped when I got home and pumped about 3 ounces. So does this sound normal to you mamas? How much should he be eating/should I be making per feeding session? Thanks for the help!

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Old 11-18-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

My first question: is your baby gaining weight? If he is then you really don't need to worry about how much you are pumping after he is done. At 3 weeks your body is still adjusting to what your baby needs. From midnight to noon you will have significantly more milk than the other 12 hours of the day. By pumping you are actually creating a higher need for milk than your baby probably needs. If you have the opportunity go visit a lactation consultant. They can weigh your baby before he eats and then after to see how much he is actually eating. This will give you an idea of how well he is eating and if you have a reason to be concerned.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:02 PM   #3
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

He wasn't gaining enough weight, and I had to start supplementing an extra ounce after each feeding. Now, I am hoping to pump to give him a bottle for an occasional feeding while we are out. So I am wondering how much to have in the bottle.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:03 PM   #4
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

I agree with Erica. Your body is the ultimate supply and demand responder. When baby has a growth spurt your baby will nurse more, your body will make more. Your body continues to make milk as your baby takes it from your breast. If you pump you, you could pump nearly indefinitely. The milk would come out slowly and you would get sore, but you would continue to make milk.

Trust me, your baby looks awesome.

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Old 11-18-2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

The amount of ounces your baby needs would depend on how much he weighs, but I would imagine at 3 weeks he wouldn't need more than 3 ounces at a feeding. Even at 20lbs a baby's stomach doesn't have the capacity to hold more than 4 ounces at a time. Feeding a baby more than that is overfeeding them and is unnecessary.
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:12 PM   #6
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

I don't know about the ounces thing. I do know that even if a baby isn't hungry they will often take a bottle if there is something in it because of the sucking on a bottle thing (not sure but just what I've heard a lot). If your baby is gaining weight I would say there should be no reason you should have to pump to make sure your baby gets more.
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:46 PM   #7
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

According to the stuff the LC gave me when I had my LO. . .

"Over a 24 hour period the baby will usually eat about 2.5 oz for each pound that he weighs up to a total of 32 oz. For example, a 12 pound baby will need a total of about 30 oz of milk in 24 hours. This number should be divided by the amount of feedings the baby usually has per day. If a 12 pound baby eats 8-10 times per day, he would need 3-4 oz per bottle."

The material also says to wait to pump for a month to get your milk supply steady - too much pumping = too much milk = more pumping = more milk and then you're on an endless cycle!

I have a friend who only pumps and gives her baby BM in a bottle because her baby had a lazy latch and wasn't getting enough and wasn't gaining weight. This is double work because you have to pump a then still feed the baby, but it seems to work for her.

Good luck - I agree, your baby looks great! But I think it was your baby who was having jaundice trouble and you want that bilirubin out so the more food, the better!
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: Where can I find good guidelines for how many ounces a newborn should eat?

Ooops, I forgot to say that I have usually freeze my milk in an ice cube tray - they're typically an oz per slot. After they're frozen you can put them in a ziploc bag and then no matter how much your baby is eating, you can just pull out that number of cubes and be set.

I switched to this way of storing because my LO was eating 4 oz bottles, so that's what I was storing, then he grew and was eating 6 oz so I had to thaw 8 oz of which he needed 6 so I basically wasted 2. You all know that BM is like liquid gold!
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