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Old 07-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #1
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Cluster feeding in newborn

Hi...

I had a question about cluster feeding and supply. My baby is nearly two weeks old, and cluster feeds like I've never seen! lol She will nurse and empty both breasts completely, seem content, and then anywhere from ten to thirty minutes later, she's fussing to nurse again. Since I'm nursing on demand, I let her nurse as much as she wants. 9 out of 10 times, she'll want to nurse a third time within a very short amount of time. Then she might have an alert period for a few minutes, then she's out like a light, sleeping from 2-3 hours.

Anyway, this pattern of cluster feeding causes my milk to let down every hour to hour and a half. So while she's sleeping, and until the next time she's ready to eat (and cluster feed!) my milk will let down at least once...sometimes two or three times.

I try to pump when this happens, mostly out of comfort and to add to my freezer stock...but I'm wondering how my supply (and her feeding patterns) will regulate in the end.

Every time my milk lets down and she's asleep and I don't pump, I feel guilty, like it might hurt my supply to have my milk there with no baby or pump to remove it.

Anyone else experience this in the beginning...and how did it work out?



As a side note...my oldest daughter, Emma, is seven and I most certainly starved my poor baby when I was breastfeeding her. I let nurses and doctors influence how often I let her nurse, and had her on a feeding schedule rather than nurse her on demand. Her pediatrician insisted that I never feed her more often than 2 hours, and she really encouraged me to try to feed every 3 hours. So when newborn Emma wanted to cluster feed like this baby does, I'd deny her that because she had just eaten and it wasn't time! We went through a long period of fussiness and "colic." Many times I'd be holding her, and she's be screaming "like she was hungry" but she couldn't be hungry, because I'd just fed her! I wish I had listened to my instincts more in those days!

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Old 07-17-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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I dont know how it works itself out but my 11 day old son cluster feeds like that. I hate the overly full feeling I get when he sleeps for a bit. I just pump to comfort if I get really engorged at this point, if I do not when he wakes up I am too full for him to latch!
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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My son went through periods of doing that when he was tiny- it generally preceded a growth spurt, and then it evened itself out. I didn't pump the extra milk, for the most part, but I have a great supply and I'm a horrible pumper, so take that with a grain of salt
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: Cluster feeding in newborn

My daughter did this (she's now 13 weeks). I never pumped, even if I started leaking. I figure baby will regulate the supply, and that can't happen if I keep pumping. (Unless you intend to pump that much as a rule.) The only time I would consider pumping in your situation is if you are so engorged that baby can't latch. I had to do that a few times with my son, but never with my daughter. Personally, I'd just leave it be and nurse when baby wants to and not worry about the in between (unless you have a supply problem or something). Your body will figure it out, just keep nursing on demand. You two will figure it out!
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:45 PM   #5
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Re: Cluster feeding in newborn

Thanks everyone!! Before I got my pump (I got it a few days ago) I even resorted to waking her up to nurse because I was so full! lol

My husband said it was funny how much we needed each other.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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It will regulate. 2 weeks is a very common age for cluster feeding and a big growth spurt. If you can go without pumping it will help bring supply down. But keep it up! As tough as on demand nursing is its so worth it and it will get easier. Ds is almost 1 and still nurses 6-8 times a day and is so healthy. With my dd i also tried scheduling and ended up having to supplement and losing supply. Still wish it had been different....dumb pediatricians....
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #7
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Re: Cluster feeding in newborn

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslaRose View Post
My husband said it was funny how much we needed each other.
That is soooo sweet

My dd is 7 weeks and her cluster feeding sounds just like your experience! It drove me nuts... Know one tells you how hard bf is, I just wanted to give her a bottle because I thought my boobs were not good enough. Luckily my sister talked me out of it!
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #8
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Re: Cluster feeding in newborn

DD1 did that at around 2-3 weeks, growth spurt! Again around 6-7 weeks, and AGAIN around 12 weeks. She ate off of both sides, and sometimes went an hour then ate both sides again. At 9 months, I think she might have gone through one last week, almost every 1-2 hours she wanted to eat! You can't change the past, as long as your dd1 is healthy now, you did the best then with what you had.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:23 AM   #9
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I have a 6 day old who cluster feeds. She will nurse for like a half an hour and nod off for like 15 mins then nurse again for like 20 mins then take a break shortly then nurse again for another 20-30 minutes...then sleep for a few hours...

It's normal.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:59 AM   #10
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Re: Cluster feeding in newborn

DS cluster feeds at night before bed. We also feed on demand so there are nights when I feel like a 24-hour buffet, but it's definitely easier after growth spurts.
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