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By Jo-Anne Lawless, HCA, LC

Jo-Anne LawlessQ. I had heard that it is not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby. At my baby's 4 month appointment the pediatrician seemed alarmed that my child was 17 lbs and began grilling me on her eating habits. She is exclusively breastfed and eats on demand (about 6 times per day). My baby was over 9 lbs at birth, so is it so alarming that she continues to be in the higher growth percentiles? Am I somehow overfeeding her?

A. Breastfed babies all grow at their own rate. My own daughter was born at 11 pounds and is now a very beautiful, normal~sized 2 year old. My 9 pound baby son was in the 90th percentile for a good part of his first year, and now that he's 16, he's skinny as a rail. I am just 5'3 and of medium build. If you had records of this, you might find that you or your husband (if you were nursed) grew at this rate.

You cannot over feed your baby~she won't take any more than she needs. Some healthcare professionals are used to bottlefed babies, and are alarmed by the variations in growth of breastfed wee ones. The growth charts are just a guideline, and one originally based on the growth of bottlefed babies.

You need not worry at all. You have a healthy child who is flourishing on your milk. Reassure your doctor that you are confident that everything is fine, and carry on!!

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