How often do newborns breast feed?

I'm due to have mr squiggly on may 30th, providing he can keep to his schedule :) But, I study with the Open University and am due to sit an exam on the 11th June.

I feel I'm facing a few senarios.

Firstly, he's overdue, like I hear so many first borns are. And I end up still pregnant for my exam, or worse, going into labour during my exam. (Which could be a blessing in disguise!) But I've spoke to them about this and know the procedure should this happen.

Secondly, he's born before the exam and I'm breast feeding at the time of the exam.

So here's my questions:

My exam is three hours long, if I feed him before the exam, will he be ok until I can feed him again in three hours time? Or will a new born require feeding more often?

And also, if three hours is too long a period, can I express milk so soon after his birth for my partner to feed him with? I've read that I shouldn't express for a few weeks to help my milk settle in. Is there any truth to that?

Thanks for any help, Rachael x

11 Replies

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  • Hiya

    Newborns normally breast feed on demand, or you can try to feed every three hours, for the first two weeks you are supposed to breast feed only so he will get used to the breast and for you to also get comfy.

    I will be doing demand breast feeding for two weeks, then I will begin to express my milk, obviously if all goes to plan, but I'm very open minded, that if at any point this routine or breast feeding doesn't work out I will switch to formula.

    Also to bear in mind, for the first four days or there abouts we will only produce colustrum which is sufficient as demand feeding, after this we begin to produce actual milk, this is when we can express and store milk in a freezer up to three months or in a bottle kept in the back of the fridge for 24 hours.

    Hope this help:)

  • Thanks for the reply. I'd never really given any thought to how often I'd feed him until my exam details came through this week and I realised how close together the two dates are! I always just assumed I'd feed him when he was hungry, but considering my partner will be on baby duty while I'm in the exam, it got me thinking about what if he's hungry while I'm in there. I can't exactly force him to eat before I go in, and tell him if he doesn't eat now then he won't get anymore for three hours!

    The midwife has given me some breast feeding info, and it was there I read that I shouldn't express until six weeks after birth(!), which wouldn't have been a problem originally. She also gave me info of a breast feeding workshop in a few weeks time in my area so I'll definetly be asking lots of questions there!

  • Hiya - from my experience...

    Baby will be fine during your 3 hour exam, assuming you can get back to baby fairly soon after that. Often when you are not there even the youngest babies forget a bit about being hungry (when they smell you and your milky boobies, it's like us smelling chocolate haha). Your partner may have to distract baby for a bit and baby might even cry for the last bit of time while your in there, but it'll be ok and will just have a 'grateful' feed when you come out. Can he be nearby so you can feed as soon as you finish?

    p.s. try not to think about baby too much during your exam coz it'll make your boobs go crazy! Pack bra with a couple of nipple pads.

    p.p.s you prob will be able to get a feed in shortly before the exam - booby fed babies rarely refuse a snack! Especially newborns!

  • Thanks for the reply. My partner always drives me to my exams so I can cram a little more revision in on the way. So baby can feed just before I go in, and literally as soon as I come out.

    It's good to hear from other peoples experiences that he'll be ok for that long. My mam went back to work pretty soon after having me and my sister so she said she doesn't really have any experience to share on this. But it's great that I can ask other mums on here for advice.

  • you can express straight away, which i did when my son was born prem. its really giving him a bottle before hes establised breast thats the main concern. Until you get him here you wont know really if he will even take to breast first of all ( my son refused breast after 2 wks, so expressed milk till he was 4 wks) best to get going for a few days with demand feeding then express a little for when you will be in exam then your partner can feed if he really wont settle.

    But dont panic about it just enjoy been mum. Baby will wait if he has to! and good luck for the exam.

  • I was worried about the bottle before he's used to the breast thing. I'm sure I've seen bottle teats which are designed to be used in conjunction with breast feeding, but for the life of me I can't find them now. Maybe I dreamt them up.

    Like you say, he might not want to be breast fed, and if that's the case then I won't really have a problem, as I won't be hiding all his food in the exam with me!

    I don't want to panic or worry over it, but I'm one of these people who like to be prepared, and I mean really prepared, for everything well in advance. (as a child I used to carry a small first aid kit, just plasters and antiseptic wipes, and an emergency sewing kit containing a needle, thread, buttons and safety pins with me everywhere! I was a bit of a strange kid really :) )

  • tommee tippee are good one they flex a bit like nipples but seriously you'll be fine. And if you can feed just before going in and if he wants once your out it'll be fine. i've got a weekend away booked when baby will be 8weeks old! (partner seriously didnt think about dates there!) now thats a real worry for me. Think i'll be stock piling the minute my milk comes in!

    Express a little just in case but i doubt your partner will need it or that he would take it anyway. its just in case hes that hungry! be prepeared but three hours isnt too long to wait for boob!

  • as well as Tommee Tippee, Philips Avent Natural, are really good also, we use a mixture of both of these.

  • ur milk should come in a couple of days after he or she is born, the colostrum is not alot but so rich, it's like gold top! and they only need a little so don't panic if u think they are not getting anything..I breast fed on demand, and sometimes it could be every hour they also use u like a comfort, but if u establish a good routine early on then great if not express, think u def have to go with the flow and see what happens, my second wouldn't take a bottle when I tried to wean off the breast, I found latex teats which she eventually took! but my first was fine on the normal silicone advent teats..my friends swore by the little contented baby book..it has allot of routine based stuff so if ur a routine type of person u skills give it a read, I tried, it wasn't for me, hope it all works out in the end I'm sure it will x

  • check on Amazon think they are the nuby or something sounding like that, think mothercare do them online xx

  • yes nuby do a flexible teat, (been given one by the mother in law as shes convinced i wont breast feed because she didnt!) and tommee tippee closer to nature are good too.

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