Q: Can you overfeed an infant with breastmilk? Why or why not?
A: One of the best things about breastfeeding is that moms can’t see how much her baby is drinking. Because of this, the baby is able to regulate intake according to his appetite. The milk comes from the breast in layers. At first the baby gets thin nutritious foremilk, then the “whole milk” for a few minutes and then the dessert or the creamy milk. The creamy milk is a sign to the baby that the meal is finishing, and most babies end the feeding. Generally, babies do not overfeed when breastfeeding, because they are actively in control of the feeding. They stop when they are done. Moms don’t continue to try and get them to take a little more, trusting the wisdom of the baby. Sometimes mothers worry that they will overfeed their babies because their babies seem to want to eat so often. It is normal for breastfeeding babies to eat often, as breastmilk is quickly absorbed.
By Ann Calandro
BSN, RNC, IBCLC Lactation Consultant