Nov 112012

“You’re feeding her too often. You don’t want to get her in the habit of snacking, you’ll regret it later on.” – Pediatric Nurse to mother of a week old newborn, who was not waking to eat, and was not feeding well.

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 November 11, 2012  breastfeeding, newborn, pediatrician  Add comments

  18 Responses to ““…You Don’t Want Her To Get In The Habit Of Snacking, You’ll Regret It Later On.””

  1. Listening fail! In what world will less feedings help too few feedings??

  2. My mom’s point when she said pretty much the same thing was that if you fed the baby every half hour or whatnot, he’d never get *really* hungry and therefore would never have a good long feeding.


    I have no clue if that’s true. Regardless, I fed the baby when he was hungry and slowly he did space out his feedings and all was well. A baby who’s having trouble gaining might need more hindmilk rather than lots of foremilk…but that’s not what this nurse is saying. She’s acting like Mom is going to come downstairs in the middle of the night and find the two week old baby raiding the fridge.

    It’s not about establishing bad habits — it’s about getting the baby adequate nutrition, and yes, you need to wake up some babies to feed, and some babies need a bit extra help. But this nurse is effectively saying, “Your baby who isn’t feeding often enough should be fed even less often.”

    Some doctors or nurses seem to have a script. It’s a shame one of their script options is, “I don’t really know. How about I call the Lactation Consultant or the local La Leche League leaders?”

  3. Hi!
    My daughter was born in July and everything seemed great when we left the hospital. I nursed my son until he was 2 without any problems at all so everyone assumed I knew what I was doing (even me). However, after a couple of days it got bad. She would only feed for a few minutes before falling asleep and after sleeping for 5 hours it was really hard to wake her up. It could take up to 45 minutes of stripping her, wiping her with cold wipes, and even running her feet under cold water to wake her enough to feed. During the day I was constantly bringing her to breast but she would suckle for a little while then sleep. At a week I called the pediatrician’s office and told the nurse all this. Her response was what you saw. I was stupid and listened. Thank goodness we had a visit from a home health nurse at 10 days old (to check on me) and she weighed the baby and we found she was more than half a pound below birth weight. I had other issues with my breastfeeding-useless pediatrician’s office but eventually sought out a medical breastfeeding specialist. She was so sleepy and underweight we had to supplement with formula and donated bm while I pumped and nursed to increase my supply. It took about a month and a half, but eventually I got her completely back in the breast and now she is 4 months and thriving on exclusive breastfeeding.
    There were a couple of things that went wrong, but this idiot was a big part of the whole disaster. I did speaks to my regular nurse practitioner at the practice and reported the story. She was astonished and promised she would deal with it.

    • I”m glad to hear things are going well now and that you reported her.

    • My 2nd baby did the same thing. She was Jaundice and that is usually what causes lethargic sleepy nursers like that. I unfortunately didn’t know how to breastfeed, nor was educated enough to work through everything I needed to, to keep breastfeeding. But I learned why she was like that and everything so when it happened again with my 5th baby I knew what to do and he was able to get BM for at least 9 months.

      (I have a super long history of BF problems. I won’t go into them now.)

    • My second baby was like this. Come to find out, I was taking pain medications after a rough delivery and they were passing right to him and keeping him KTFO all the time. He would rarely if ever wake up. I never attributed it to the pain meds. After all, the hospital gave them to me, the hospital said they were safe for breastfeeding (as did my OB) so why think THEY were the problem :( The pharmacist clued me in when I went for a refill… stopped taking them, he started to wake up and actually nurse. :/ I felt really dumb. :( I have a ton of blame but I also blame the hospital/OB who gave me the meds and didn’t warn me. It was actually the first time in my life I was on pain meds. I had no idea ;( It was also the first child I was breastfeeding. BC (depo) was given to me before even leaving the hospital with #1 and I had almost no milk and absolutely no support :(

  4. Habit of snacking? Doesn’t everyone snack?! Are we all doing it wrong? *shakes head*

  5. Yeah, I’d really hate to get my kids into the habit of eating when they’re hungry…

  6. isnt the 1st rule of eating healthy to have 6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones?

  7. Let me guess: the nurse was thinking about the terrible threat of the ROLLING TIDE OF FAT, even when faced with a baby who was having trouble waking up enough to eat.

    You got a little neurosis on your ethics there, Nurse. You might want to get that looked at.

  8. OP, I feel your pain cause I went through the same thing with DS. I think I would have smacked a ped who said this to me. It was bad enough that mine told me to put DS on skim milk at a year old because of the “american diet” (he was in the 23% for weight at the time). I swear peds are so worried about childhood obesity that they think EVERY child is going to end up fat!

    • The substitute doc we saw for my older daughter’s 2-year well-check told me to put her on skim milk immediately. She is at the 10th percentile for weight and drinks very little cow’s milk anyway. I’ll stick to non-homogenized whole, thanks.

  9. My mother’s policy was ‘open fridge’ in that we could help ourselves to food as often as we wanted. Of her three children, I am probable the heaviest at 135 lbs (and 10 weeks pregnant!) so ummm yah not sure what the nurses problem is… heaven forbid the children develops the notion that food is readily available and therefor it isn’t necessary to cram your face because you need not worry about going hungry.

  10. So the mother says that her problem is that she can’t wake the baby long enough for the baby to eat and the nurse’s response is that the baby shouldn’t be “snacking” anyway? Did I get that right? If so, that’s about as dumb as it gets! Does this nurse really think that one week old babies snack?! No, they eat when they’re hungry! Big difference!

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