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Thread: Question about cluster nursing...Help!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Question about cluster nursing...Help!!!

    Hi everyone
    I just want to say Thank God for this site, it makes me really feel not so alone and like I can ask anything, without being judged!!!


    Okay...cluster nursing! It seems like Ben's on the breast constantly from 5pm until he goes down for bed around 9 or 9:30pm. I fear he's not getting enough to eat because all of his hunger signs are on over drive in that time. Sucking on his hands, rootin around and of course fussiness. So many times I've caved in fed him either pumped breastmilk or formula....which since we're still working on achieving a good latch(still can't get that boy to open wide), it seems like the bottle at night is just another set back....but I don't know what to do!!! No one ever told me that breastfeeding would test my patience and insanity like this!!! He nurses on one side during the day for about 20-30 minutes, and rarely goes to the other side...Usually drifts off to sleep. But at night he can do 10-20 minutes on both sides and want right back on 2 seconds later. How fast does the milk supply comeback after a feeding?? I feel like at night he's sucking and sucking at nothing because of how hungry he still seems. Please send some words of wisdom and encouragement my way. I need to know straight forward what I need to do to make this work....I don't want to give up, this being my last child....I really want to make things work!!
    Michelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Question about cluster nursing...Help!!!

    Take it from me...dont watch the clock. It sounds like he may not be emptying the breast fully. So he's not getting the fat and calorie rich hindmilk, just the foremilk, which digests faster and is not as filling.Cluster feeding is totally normal.My little guy does it almost every evening. It seems like he eats less during the day, so he makes up for it at night I was switching him to the other side after 20 minutes because someone told me it takes that long to empty the breast. Well he wasn't emptying it in 20 minutes...so he was only getting foremilk...and then I would switch side and he would get foremilk from the that side. All this foremilk and no hindmilk quickly led to him having very bad gas, colicky behaviour, and once his poop turned green, that was the tip off to what was happening. Now I let him stay on one side as long as he wants. Also, my DS likes to nurse for comfort and your might too. If he is gassy or has a belly ache, he will root for my breast and just suckle himself to sleep. All of this means A LOT of time breastfeeding. It is NORMAL...dont give him a bottle because it will worsen your latch problem.You have to resign yourself to the idea that you will be breastfeeding constantly if thats what he wants. You wont run out of milk. The flow may slow down but as long as you are breastfeeding, tou will keep producing more milk. That is why it is so important to nurse whenever your LO wants to...because that is how you two will regulate your supply and perfect the latch. My LO is 4 weeks pld and you know what? He still doesn't open wide enough either most of the time. But we are getting better at it as time goes by. Give yourself time...but really truly...they DO want to feed around the clock sometimes...it doesn't mean he isn't getting anything. Count his wet and dirty diapers to ease your mind and of course, if he's gaining weight you have nothing to worry about. My son is my last child too and the ONLY one I have not given up with...but it's taken a will of steel! Just tell yourself you are NOT giving up...and nurse nurse nurse and then nurse some more!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Question about cluster nursing...Help!!!

    Your breasts are constantly making milk. Ben is NOT sucking and sucking at nothing -- rather, he's sucking and sucking at the one thing that soothes him when he is wound up and fussy ... your breast!

    Evening fussiness and cluster feeding is totally normal in young babies. Provided his diaper output is good every day and his weight gain is good over time, then there is no valid reason to think that you aren't making enough milk for Ben. It's the self-doubt and the supplemental bottles (whether they have EBM or formula in them) that can start you down the slippery slope that leads to a true low-milk-supply problem. So hold firm, keep nursing (even if it is nonstop for hours on end), and resist the urge to give him those evening bottles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Question about cluster nursing...Help!!!

    My daughter, Abbey, was a huge cluster feeder. Every night, she would start in at around 5pm, and not quit till around 9pm. I also have a 6 year old son, and that was hard. My husband was working a ton of hours at this time, so it was just me. I tried to resist it for 3-4 days till I realized what was happening. Then, dinner was done early, my son was on the couch next to me, and he and I would do things that would keep him happy, and her at the breast happy. Thank goodness it didn't last forever. Hang in there, becasue it does get better.

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