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Thread: Gorging during cluster feeds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Gorging during cluster feeds

    My 8 week old cluster feeds sometimes and wants to nurse every hour until bedtime. Just now he was on the left breast and suddenly either spit up or vomited what looked like all the milk he had consumed....and he kept on going like it didn't even happen. Is he even hungry?? I then gave him the right breast and a few minutes in he did the same thing. He acted like he wanted to continue but I put him in his cradle swing and he's happy as can be. I'm sure he will get fussy in an hour and want to feed again. What is going on with this vomiting of milk? It seemed like more than just spit up.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    Do you have over production and/or forceful letdown? If so, this might be exacerbating the spit up.

    Assuming baby is not ill with a tummy virus, generally spit up-even lots of spit up- is not a concern. This could be happening because your baby loves to comfort nurse, which is normal, appropriate and healthy, and when that results in him getting too much at once, his body deals with it naturally and easily by vomiting it out. Breastmilk is so mild and so perfect for the infant that not only does this usually not hurt a baby, there are some who theorize that because spit up is so common/normal and usually does not bother baby in the least, it must have benefits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,607

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    with LLLMeg. Remember, one of the many things your baby is learning right now is how to recognize when his tummy is full and to stop eating when that happens. Occasional or even frequent overeating and throwing up is part of that learning process. Got to get it wrong so you can understand why you'd want to get it right. Right?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    He isn't sick and every feed after that was typical. Last of the cluster feeds was at 930 and then he went to bed. I always read that breastfed babies won't over eat because they know how much breast milk makes them full.

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    20,607

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*roeni View Post
    I always read that breastfed babies won't over eat because they know how much breast milk makes them full.
    True, to a certain extent (IMO). Babies are born never having used their mouth and stomach to eat. It takes them a while to learn how to recognize their satiation cues (e.g. tummy getting full) and to coordinate the feeling of being satiated with stopping nursing. It can be harder to coordinate these 2 things when mom has an abundant supply, because the baby's tummy can get full long before he's done with his inborn need to suck.

    Give your baby time and freedom to learn, and pretty soon he'll be a pro. He'll know when he's full and he'll know how to stop nursing or at least slow way down when he feels himself reaching the point of fullness.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    35

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    I've also been trying to increase my milk supply to build a big frozen bank. I have noticed I'm producing more milk this past week and I'm pumping after he finishes feeding. Could this affect how he takes in the milk? I have one month left of leave and in case my supply is affected when I return I want to be prepared with some frozen milk.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    First off, as far as overfeeding. What is really being said is that a baby can be overfed with bottles. This is because in most traditional ways of giving a baby a bottle, the baby has no control over the flow and consequently will take in much more than the baby needs. This may cause vomiting, it also may cause the baby to over eat on a regular basis which is linked possibly to the child being overweight at a particular age I think the study was on one-year-olds. Whether this leads to childhood obesity is still in question, but in general a child overeating at every meal and consequently getting way more calories than they need, is probably not very good for the child.

    Your child is not over eating. They are nursing and perhaps getting more milk then they wanted at that moment, and dealing with it by vomiting. It's really not a problem when it's breastmilk, and often babies whose mothers do you have higher production will gain very quickly in the early weeks and then that gain slows down more dramatically than in other babies who gain in a more gradual way. With breast-fed babies it all pretty much evens out in the end. What the study showed was that with bottle-fed babies, it does not.

    Yes pumping after every meal will increase your milk production. Besides possibly causing problems for you, Increasing your milk production beyond "enough" can cause your baby get more "foremilk" at each nursing session. Is this a problem? That depends.
    Some babies have difficulty digesting the higher amount of lactose that is found in "foremilk" if they get lots of it. Those babies may become gassy and uncomfortable. Also it is possible that the copious vomiting is being caused because you actually have given yourself overproduction and a lot of milk is coming very quickly from your breasts. This is known as forceful letdown. I naturally have overproduction and forceful letdown and some of my kids did this copious spitting pretty regularly. It's not really a problem, however I would not suggest inducing overproduction.

    Maybe you can explain more about your work situation – when you go back, how long your separations will be, who will be babies caregiver, how often you will be able to pump at work, and what kind of pump you will be using, and anything else that might be relevant. We can give you lots of ideas for keeping your milk production where it needs to be once you get back to work. Inducing overproduction is not typically needed and can cause issues in some cases. Besides issues for baby, a mother with overproduction is at higher risk for plugged ducts, engorgement and mastitis.

    Also it might help to know how often baby nurses. How
    Many times during each 24 hour period.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    35

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    I think I have a forceful letdown naturally as well because before I started to increase supply he would choke and cough at the breast a lot. I'm only pumping after a few morning feeds because he sometimes cluster feeds in the evening and I never have warning when we have nights like that. He stays pretty close to feeds every 2 hours except at night when he has a long 5-7 hour stretch followed by a 3-4hour. He's been pretty consistent with that. Cluster feed nights are every 1 hour to 45 mins.

    I work a long day (10 hours) so I will be away mob through Thursday from about 630 to 430 and with commutea but longer. I should be able to pump whenever I want to . I go back in 4 weeks. He will be in daycare...ugh. I'm hoping they will do that slow bottle feed method and not just hurry his feedings...guess I need to somehow bring this up with them. Currently I think my baby weighs 13 pounds and he was born at 8.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    ok, nursing frequency sounds entirely normal, except you are getting nice long stretches at night and that may go away, just FYI. It often does anyway, and especially when a mom is back at work.

    So are you building a freezer stash or trying to increase your actual milk production? For the freezer stash, assuming your body responds well to the pump, all you really "need" is enough for one day, the first day you are back at work. However, most moms like to have more of a cushion for emergencies, and you certainly have plenty of time to make good large freezer stash.

    For increasing milk production, well, as long as it is not causing issues, I guess it is not an issue. With such long work days you will have to be a bit careful about milk production going forward, so while I don't think anything more than a normal milk production is typically needed, it is possible your production will take a hit when you return to work (especially if baby does keep sleeping so long at night) So I would suggest do what feels right for you on that.

    Kellymom.com has an online calculator for figuring out how much milk you will need to leave for separations. (the rule of thumb is between one and one and a half ounces per hour of separation.) She also has an article on paced bottle feeding, which is what you are talking about. We have a good handout too, and there is a a youtube video I think is good. Sorry I don't have time to link those right now. This type of bottle feeding is very very important for many reasons, so I suggest definitely talk to your dcp about that, give them the information, and request that this is how they feed your baby. Your baby, your rules.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Gorging during cluster feeds

    Thanks...I actually saw the video link in another post about rooting and I saved that link.
    I am just trying to build a freezer stash so that I can be prepared for whatever the future brings...if I don't have milk one day I'd have some frozen to give him. Maybe I'm being paranoid but I just like to be prepared for anything I guess.

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