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The Dangerous Game of the Feeding Interval Obsession
By Emma Pickett, IBCLC
“Some how, some where, new mothers got the message that the gap between when a baby stops a breastfeed and the time they start to need another one matters a very very great deal. 24 hours a day.”
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It seems to matter beyond all logic and reason. They see this magic number – 90 minutes, 2 hours, 3 hours – as a measure of something sacred.
And it’s crap.
There are mums sitting at home, relaxing and nesting with their gorgeous new baby. There’s a disk from a box set in the DVD player, a cup of tea on the go, a recent phone call with a friend. Breastfeeding is going well. Weight gain is fine. Baby is content. But when baby shows hunger cues after only 40 minutes instead of the hoped for 1hr 30 minutes, their heart sinks and they feel a sense something is fundamentally wrong. They aren’t ‘doing it right’. Their friend’s baby ‘goes longer’. Doubts creep in.
As adults, we grab a cup of tea, a glass of water, a sweet, a snack. We respond to our personal cues and we’re flexible depending on time of day, the temperature, our mood, our energy levels. Many go to bed with a glass of water or sip from a bottle throughout the day. I don’t know any adults that look at their watch and say, ‘Only 30 minutes till my next sip of water or mint! Not long now’. But yet we expect teeny growing babies to be governed by this artificial notion of time. See the rest of this informative article HERE.