It often seems as though your child is still hungry after you have just breastfed him. There may be several reasons for it. It is important that you know them so that you are sure that your baby is well-fed, not overfed, and is growing in a healthy manner.
The baby may seem hungry because he may not be getting enough milk from breastfeeding.
There is the likelihood that the milk supply is a little less in the evenings and so the baby’s hunger may not be satiated. This can be countered by more frequent breastfeeding in the evenings
Supplementing breast milk with formula food is the answer on both these occasions after you have consulted the pediatrician about the best brand, quantity to be fed, and the type of food.
Though the quantity of milk may seem sufficient, the baby may not be getting all the requisite nutrients from breast milk. Due to this, there may be no appreciable increase in the baby’s weight. It is important to consult a pediatrician or a lactation consultant for better breastfeeding tips to ensure the baby gets enough nutrition, from breast milk and maybe a little supplementation
When babies are tired and want to fall asleep they seek the solace of a feed as they have always fallen asleep while being breastfed. It is more of a need to sleep rather than a need to eat that prompts them to hanker for a feed. Tiredness also makes babies wriggle more, make faces, or cry a little. Learn to recognize these signs and differentiate them from hunger
A baby may appear to be hungry when he is actually thirsty. Once he is started on solid foods, the baby starts feeling thirst. It is important to help him drink small quantities of water after a solid supplementation so that he does not hanker for breast milk to quench his thirst. Liquid formula foods also make a baby thirsty.
Babies less than three months old, have a longing to suck for comfort; pain, fear, want of security, any emotion may trigger an impulse to suck. Again, this may be mistaken for hunger
Some babies intake only a little milk every time they are breastfed. As they grow older they would want more milk and so get into a habit of more frequent feeds in the small quantities they are accustomed to. However, this practice will tire the mother.
The baby learns his first reflex action when he is fed by his mother. By stroking the cheek, by the side of the mouth, the baby automatically turns towards the mother and opens his mouth for a feed. This reflex action is sometimes misconstrued as hunger by the mother
The child may be going through a period of a growth spurt. At this point, he may need more frequent feedings of longer durations. Frequent feeding stimulates an increase in the supply. There is also a certain restlessness that accompanies growth spurts, but that is resolved within a few days and feeding continues on a routine pattern.
It is important to be aware of these nine reasons for which the baby may “appear” hungry, even after breastfeeding. So the next time the baby cries after a feed you will know exactly what to do and would never make the mistake of over-feeding or under-feeding him. Pacifiers pumped breast milk and feeding the baby warm water are effective methods to keep the baby happy when he appears to be hungry but is actually not.
Babies appear to be hungry after breastfeeding for several reasons. It is important to identify the reason. If he is hungry, he should receive supplemental formula food, and if he is not, he should be pacified effectively, in a manner that he is neither overfed nor underfed.