Cluster feeding happens when a baby decides to breastfeed almost continuously for a span of time. The most common timing is 2-4 hours in the evening.
As you can imagine (or have already experienced), cluster feeding can be really exhausting and hard on a breastfeeding mom.
There are two things you need to know about cluster feeding that will hopefully help put your mind at ease right away:
- It’s very normal, especially during the first few months; and
- It’s NOT an indication that your milk supply is low or dropping.
So, how does a breastfeeding mom survive this phase? (Yes, it’s just a phase.)
Cluster Feeding Advice
Here are three tips for getting through cluster feeding with your hungry baby:
- Eat and drink a LOT beforehand. Once you begin to recognize when your baby usually starts cluster feeding, eat a good meal and drink a big glass of water before you sit down to breastfeed. You need a lot of calories and fluid because you’re about to pass a lot on to them.
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse, mom, friend, or whoever is around that you need help. If you need a snack, a book, the remote or more water, just ASK.
- Get creative. If you’re like many moms, your baby may decide they’re ready to eat right when you’re trying to make dinner. Find creative solutions to these dilemmas. For instance, one easy way to nurse and still have your hands free is to use a baby sling or wrap.
To learn more about breastfeeding and its benefits, check out our article: Breastfeeding 101
If you have unanswered questions or concerns about breastfeeding, cluster feeding, or any other postnatal issue, make an appointment with one of our experienced Florida obstetricians today at our Gainesville or Lake City women’s clinic.