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Thread: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    Hi,

    I am exasperated...my 4 week old daughter is exclusively breastfed but each night she goes through a very cranky, fussy period of about 4-5 hours where she wants to nurse continuously and she is VERY aggressive in her sucking. She acts very upset and can really do damage to my nipples - she also bangs her fists against my chest and flails about. I don't mind the long feeding time, but is there a way to get her to nurse more calmly so she doesn't do damage? Also, is there a way to boost milk production so that I will have more in the evenings? My supply is fine all day but at this witching hour it feels like my breasts are empty when she is at her hungriest...

    Please help!

    Thanks,
    FF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    Sounds like a growth spurt. Have you tried and swaddling? What positions are you nursing in? What time seems to be the most difficult? Have you considered feeding more frequently so baby is less hungry during the few hours she is fussy?
    Last edited by carpentergirl; February 1st, 2008 at 11:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    392

    Default Re: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    The fussiness in the evening and the cluster feeding are very normal behavior. You can read about fussy feedings here.

    Milk supply can be different during different times of the day. Make sure you get a good amount to eat for dinner. I think protein is really good but every person is different. Some people say that Oatmeal helps their supply. The most important thing is putting your LO to your breast as much as possible. This will help your body to know how much milk you need to make.

    I know you will get some good suggestions about trying to keep her calm. I am still pretty new at this myself. This forum has some GREAT moms who know all sorts of excellent techniques. I can, however, recommend a bath for you and baby. It worked GREAT for my boy. He calmed down a lot!

    You are doing GREAT mama. Don't get discouraged ... it gets so much easier!
    Becca SAHM to
    Veronica 10/31/05

    and Preston 10/28/07


    <--- me!
    (I love this smiley!)

    I finally got on Facebook! If anyone wants to be my
    friend.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    17

    Default Re: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    I am experience the exact same problem with my 6 wk old son. Every night he would eat from 5:30 to 9:30, and he's fussier than ever. He's been doing it for a week now and I thought he just wanted to suck after he's full. Usually he takes on the pacifier but won't fall asleep until I put him on the breast. I thought my milk supply is OK but I found out last night that he's fussy because he was hungry. Last night, I let my husband feed him bottle of BM, he ate 4.5 oz and still hungry. Again, I thought he just had the need to suck, so I gave him the pacifier. It quiet him down for a few minute, and then he cried again. I offered him my breast, and he ate but still very fussy. Another hour went by, my nipples were sore and I am exhausted. So I decided to give him another bottle of BM milk (I usually pumped between 1 -7 a.m. and leave extra in the fridge). He ate another 3 oz and fell right to sleep. I never thought a 6wk old infant would drink > 7oz of milk, but he did.

    My milk supply is very low in the evening (I only get ~ 3 oz when I pumped), and greatest in the morning (~8 oz). I'm not sure how to increase the evening milk supply either. I hope someone in this forum knows.

    First time mom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    392

    Default Re: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by nmorillo View Post
    I am experience the exact same problem with my 6 wk old son. Every night he would eat from 5:30 to 9:30, and he's fussier than ever. He's been doing it for a week now and I thought he just wanted to suck after he's full. Usually he takes on the pacifier but won't fall asleep until I put him on the breast. I thought my milk supply is OK but I found out last night that he's fussy because he was hungry. Last night, I let my husband feed him bottle of BM, he ate 4.5 oz and still hungry. Again, I thought he just had the need to suck, so I gave him the pacifier. It quiet him down for a few minute, and then he cried again. I offered him my breast, and he ate but still very fussy. Another hour went by, my nipples were sore and I am exhausted. So I decided to give him another bottle of BM milk (I usually pumped between 1 -7 a.m. and leave extra in the fridge). He ate another 3 oz and fell right to sleep. I never thought a 6wk old infant would drink > 7oz of milk, but he did.

    My milk supply is very low in the evening (I only get ~ 3 oz when I pumped), and greatest in the morning (~8 oz). I'm not sure how to increase the evening milk supply either. I hope someone in this forum knows.

    First time mom
    Please keep in mind that the amount you pump does not necessarily reflect the amount you are really giving your baby. He is much better at getting milk out than a pump.

    I know it is hard right now ... I've been through that just a few weeks ago, but giving bottles is very detrimental to your supply. Your LO is probably going through a growth spurt which is why he is trying to tell you to make more milk. You do not know if he is starving unless you look at the diaper output. Read this article about milk supply and this article about diaper output.

    It is so hard in the middle of a growth spurt...not only will it seem like you are a human pacifier...but the baby is also usually very fussy.

    Just keep up the hard work because it gets a lot easier. Lots of coming your way.
    Becca SAHM to
    Veronica 10/31/05

    and Preston 10/28/07


    <--- me!
    (I love this smiley!)

    I finally got on Facebook! If anyone wants to be my
    friend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,570

    Default Re: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by nmorillo View Post

    My milk supply is very low in the evening (I only get ~ 3 oz when I pumped), and greatest in the morning (~8 oz). I'm not sure how to increase the evening milk supply either. I hope someone in this forum knows.

    First time mom
    That's a lot IMO...I'm lucky if I get 3oz in the morning I agree w/ PP it's totally normal. My dd did the same thing and it could be she's gearing up for a longer sleep stretch (that's the plus side). I wouldn't get into the supplementing cycle...the more she's at the breast the more your body will be stimulated to make more milk. You are doing great and again MANY babies do this and sometimes reach points where they don't even want to nurse (just cry).


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Frustrated - Evening cluster feeding

    Thanks everyone...unfortunately I don't think it's a growth spurt b/c it's been going on for two or more weeks. Starting at about 4 or 5pm, she gets very frantic at the breast and seems not to be getting enough. I feed her continuously until 10pm or even later before she finally passes out. Last night my DH supplemented her with 1 1/2 oz. formula - believe me it is not my choice - but we were desperate and I was completely worn out mentally and physically.

    What I really need to know is, what can I do to increase milk supply in the evening? Today I tried pumping in the AM, I only got 1 oz (crappy manual pump) and she sucked it down in about 10 seconds and was still hungry...there must be a better way...

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