Extending feeding times — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Extending feeding times

first time mom here. My preemie twins have been both bottle feeding (my milk) and breastfeeding. They have been feeding every 3 hrs & when I bottle feed them I pump at that time. We have no extended to it every 4 hrs. My question is should I be pumping every 4hrs now instead of 3 when they bottle feed? Will that lower my milk supply or not affect the amount I produce?

Re: Extending feeding times

  • The more you pump, the more you produce, because breastmilk is a supply and demand process. Most breastfed babies should eat on demand and not be scheduled, is there a reason for doing every 4 hrs.? Is this something that was okayd by a lactation consultant?
  • They are preemie babies so while they were in the NICU they were on a 3hr schedule & now that is what they are used to. We do a combination of my breast & expressed milk in a bottle with neosure to help them gain weight. I saw a lc while they were in the hospital & she said it's fine to keep them on a schedule once they came home. And honestly with 2 of them if they weren't on a schedule I'd loose my mind.
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  • Have you okayed the switch to 4 though? 2-3 hours in between feedings is pretty typical for breastfed babies clear up till they are mostly on solids. I don't think my daughter ever did a 4 hour stretch (aside from occassionally at night) until she was over a year old and on mostly solids with some cow's milk. Breastmilk digests more quickly than formula, so they generally need to eat more frequently cause their little tummeis can't hold enough to only eat every 4 hours all day long... I'd be concerned about 4 hour stretches regularly if they are still real young, particularly if preemies and you are concerned about them gaining enough weight. Please check with an LC/doctor about spacing that far apart.

    But yea, breastfeeding is supply and demand, though generally you pump less than the babies get so you may need to continue pumping more frequently. It just depends on how well you respond to a pump and how much you produce at a time.
    etayislove
  • Yes @Lalala2326 their nicu dr told me to stretch it to every 4 hrs & to not wake them anymore for feedings. I have been feeding thrm about every 3 1/2hrs during the day and 5hr stretches at night when my breastmilk is in a bottle mixed with neosure. The neosure fills them more so they can go longer. They seem to be doing well with the 3 1/2hr feeding from my breast during the day.
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