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14th January 2012 04:15 AM #1
New research indicates breastfed babies may cry more - what do you think?
I've just been reading this news article into some new breastfeeding research: have a look here.
Personally I found the headline of the article 'Breastfed babies are more cranky and cry more' unrepresentative of what the article then goes on to discuss. I guess they are just trying to grab the readers' attention but headlines like this can give new parents negative views about breastfeeding.
The research shows that some mums stop breastfeeding because they believe their babies are crying too much because they are not getting enough milk. Whereas (this study indicates) formula fed babies 'may appear more content, but research suggested that these infants may be over nourished and gain weight too quickly'.
What's your opinion on this research and the way it is being reported? In my experience, formula fed babies can sometimes sleep for longer periods of time than breastfed babies. I understand breast milk is gentler on a babies stomach so is digested quicker than formula milk. Therefore, the fact that a breastfed baby may wake more often than a formula fed baby and cry to be fed is not a bad thing: it is natural. I have also known mums who have stopped exclusively breastfeeding because they were worried they were not producing enough milk for their baby or concerned that their baby was not getting full. However, I don't agree with all the findings of this research (and the news article) as my experience has been that breastfed babies are more content than formula fed babies, particularly if they are fed an demand. What do you think?
14th January 2012 11:17 AM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
I saw something about this the other day and it really isn't at all indicative of my experience either. I remember being next to a mum in the hospital one time whose baby was constantly crying day in and day out and I got reprimanded for my husband for saying she was "obviously a formula feeder" .. Now, I may have been wrong. Baby could have been breastfed 100% and had some sort of issue, but in my experience formula feeding babies are always crying for a bottle, which takes forever to prepare and makes them more fussy. Then afterwards they need to burp, more crying.
Whereas my little one just rolls over and gets a boob at night, formula babies wake up wailing for a bottle and cry until mum has time to get it. My own ff baby was lactose intolerant and it took forever to find a formula that didn't upset her stomach. She was always gassy, always spitting up, always crying. =(
Maybe it is the way some mums are breastfeeding? I would imagine if you were not feeding on demand, your little EBFer would be a handful or if they had some sort of undiagnosed GI problem. My babes hardly ever cry but they do have a boob in their mouth a lot (lol). They are also held a lot, carried, cosleep. If anything, I think it may be related to different parenting types, rather than feeding methods. The researchers aren't looking at the whole picture, in other words.
I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Once when my mum was sitting in a waiting room with my baby a woman walked up to her and said "that baby is so quiet and well behaved, she must be breastfed"
Last edited by mom2many; 14th January 2012 at 11:20 AM.
15th January 2012 09:21 AM #3
What a title for a media article "Breastfed babies 'are more cranky and cry more" - it is designed to stimulate outrage but also has the potential to turn women off breastfeeding. I can't comment on the actual research paper they are quoting as I don't have a copy to read. I find it always interesting to read the actual paper, how it was done and the relevance of the findings (often research is quite poorly done making the findings doubtful).
I will make one comment though. Formula feed babies often go longer between feeds for a number of reasons - one of which is the casein content of formula milk. Casein is one of the proteins in milk and cows milk formula has a very different composition to human milk. Casein is much higher in formula than breastmilk. I found this quote on caseins:
"Opiates hide inside casein, the main dairy protein. As casein molecules are digested, they break apart to release tiny opiate molecules, called casomorphins. One of these compounds has about one-tenth the opiate strength of morphine." by danmahony.com/bigfood2.htm
Basically opiates contribute to formula feed babies sleeping longer than nature intended.
16th January 2012 02:54 PM #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
I did see something about this, and I do think the title is worded to catch someone's attention. I also dislike when the media states things in a way that could make it seem negative towards breastfeeding. I have also read that the higher content of whey in breast milk makes it easier to digest, which is better for the baby. I did read quite a few responses to this article. In one, the writer pointed out that we have no way of knowing how often the babies were being breastfed, similar to what mom2many said. She mentioned that breastfed babies need to eat more often and if the mother was trying to put the baby on a schedule and was not breastfeeding as often as she should, then the baby may have needed to breastfeed more and was cranky because he or she did need to eat. There is also the point that many breastfed babies use breastfeeding for comfort, as well. I enjoyed reading everyone's responses to this article here, and I think you all made excellent points. Aussiemidwife--that is very interesting, thank you for sharing that information.
16th January 2012 03:48 PM #5
Very insightful information on how opiates contribute to formula fed babies sleeping longer than breastfed babies. I knew that it takes longer for formula to be digested than breast milk and so it makes complete sense that breastfed babies would cry more often, simply because their little tummies need to be filled more often, but that "crying" isn't going to be for a prolonged amount of time if mum is responsive to her bub.
My lactation consultant taught me that when baby cries, pick her up and "pop her in the mouth". What she weant was that each time baby cries, put her to the breast. Now, obviously there will be times when baby cries because she is wet or dirty or tired or maybe she just wants to be held close. But feeding on demand and putting baby to the breast often worked very well for me and my babies.
As for mums stopping breastfeeding early because they're concerned that they don't have enough milk... I'd encourage every breastfeeding mum to nurse as often and for as long as baby wants to nurse because sometimes babies need to stimulate more milk production. So even if baby isn't getting "enough" milk one day, if baby nurses often during a 24 hour period, milk production should go up due to demand and there should be more milk the next day.
If mum truly doesn't produce as much milk as is needed, there are some herbs you can take and things you can do to increase milk supply.
Last edited by 5Homebirths4Kate; 16th January 2012 at 03:52 PM.
19th January 2012 07:22 PM #6
This made me giggle mom2many - being reprimanded by your husband for saying the crying baby was obviously formula fed! My husband has also had to reprimand me at times for similar comments!
19th January 2012 07:26 PM #7
Thank you for your comments on the above. Very interesting about the significance of opiates aussiemidwife. Thank you for the information - just what us breastfeeding mums need I think. Sometimes I feel the information we are given is 'dumbed down' but I want to be making fully informed choices with all the facts about breastfeeding and formula feeding available.
10th October 2013 06:34 PM #8
That is absurd , why the hell breastfeed babies will cry more, infact they are stronger.
19th October 2013 04:55 AM #9
Yes robthomas I think it was just an attention-seeking headline in the press release; whereas the research itself really only shows an unfortunate lack of information about the way babies breastfed (the frequency, duration etc). Another reason for better breastfeeding knowledge to help support new parents.