Cluster Feeding Is a Condition for Babies to Breastfeed Often

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Cluster feeding is a term to describe a baby’s habit of breastfeeding so often that it makes it difficult for the mother to do other activities. What exactly is the cause of this condition, and can it be treated? Come on, find out the answer here!

What is Cluster Feeding?

Cluster feeding is a condition in which the baby suckles a lot, or suckles more often with short intervals. Like every hour, or even every half hour. This makes it difficult for mothers to do other jobs, because of the demands of the little one to breastfeed that must be met.

This condition usually occurs at certain times, such as during the day, or only at night. Meanwhile, at other times, babies can last longer without breastfeeding.

Condition cluster feeding usually occurs in newborns or in the early days of breastfeeding. However, you don’t need to worry because this is normal behavior.

After all, this frequent breastfeeding habit is not a sign that your mother’s milk supply is lacking so that your little one gets hungry or thirsty easily. This is common and normal to occur in the first months of a baby’s life.

So, instead of being tired of responding to your baby’s requests or to meet your little one’s food needs, don’t even think about using formula milk, OK? Continue to breastfeed patiently and deal with fussiness in a calm manner – the baby may become fussy when he is hungry/thirst.

Related article: Colostrum: Content, Benefits, and Amounts Needed by Newborns

Symptoms or Signs of a Baby Having Cluster Feeding

cluster feeding

To find out if your baby has cluster feeding that is easy. This is the sign:

1. Happens at a certain time

Usually occurs in the afternoon or evening. However, each baby can be different.

2. Occurs Around the Third to Sixth Week After Birth

At this time the baby is experiencing a growth spurt phase (growth spurt). As a result, they may need more milk than usual. During this time, it is also important for you to make sure that your milk supply is sufficient to keep your baby full at each feeding.

Normal Feeding Cluster Sign

Citing site WebMD, cluster feeding will not worry if the baby has the following signs:

  • Babies gain weight naturally.
  • The process occurs in a limited time, such as 3-4 hours a day.
  • Babies urinate regularly – seen from the former diaper.
  • Occurs after birth when you have an adequate supply of breast milk.
  • Babies have short rest periods or sleep between feedings.
  • The baby suckles for a few minutes, then rests and feeds again.
  • And babies cry and fuss as long as they are not given milk.

If you are worried that your breast milk supply is not sufficient for your baby’s needs, talk to your pediatrician or lactation consultant about how to increase milk production.

Cluster Feeding Sign No Longer Normal

Cluster feeding be worrying if the baby shows the following signs:

  • Your little one is breastfeeding non-stop
  • Babies cry except when they are feeding and continue to show signs of hunger.
  • The baby may appear yellow (skin and whites of his eyes), lethargic (look tired and dull), or shake after a long period of non-stop feeding.
  • The baby doesn’t gain weight.
  • The diaper stays dry even after many feedings.

If your baby experiences any of the above, immediately take him to the pediatrician for further examination.

Causes of Cluster Feeding

The following are some of the reasons why your baby may experience cluster feeding:

1. Growth Spurt

Leigh Anne O’Connor, a lactation consultant based in New York says, “Many babies will experience cluster feeding when he is growth spurts.

When your little one experiences a growth spurt and needs more calories, while the baby’s only source of energy is breast milk, it’s no wonder he’s breastfeeding more often.

In the first month alone, growth spikes can occur every few days or even weeks. In this stage the baby feeds every 30 minutes to an hour.

Growth spurt It usually occurs when the baby is about 2 to 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. However, a baby’s growth spurt may not occur at the right time because every baby is different.

2. Baby Growth Leap

Babies also experience rapid growth and development changes in the first six months of life. When babies go through physical and psychological changes, they may need more nutrition than usual.

When your baby is going through all of these things, breastfeeding is what makes him feel calm and secure, and it’s also what makes him suckle more often.

3. Adaptation of the Mother’s Body in Producing Breast Milk

The more often the baby breastfeeds, the more breast milk will be produced. This also applies when you use a breast pump, the more often pumpingthen the milk that comes out will be more.

So you don’t have to worry about the supply of breast milk will be less as long as the baby has this conditionbecause the production of breast milk adjusts to the baby’s needs.

Related article: 5 Benefits of Diligently Breastfeeding Babies at Night, Mothers Must Know!

Things to Pay Attention to Mothers in Facing Cluster Feeding

cluster feeding

When a baby or toddler is going through this, the mother will definitely find it difficult to meet the demands of breastfeeding the baby. Therefore, you need to do the following things.

1. Reception

Usually only routinely occurs at certain times, such as at night or during the day. After knowing this routine schedule, you can accept it and adjust the daily schedule (adaptation) to the baby’s needs for breastfeeding, so that you no longer feel stressed because of a messy daily activity plan.

2. Stay Hydrated

Breastfeeding can make you thirsty and lose a lot of calories. To overcome this, always have drinking water ready before and after breastfeeding. During breastfeeding, it’s the same, you can prepare water near you so you can drink it anytime.

3. Make Yourself Comfortable

Feeling comfortable is very important for mothers during breastfeeding. Therefore, before facing a long duration of breastfeeding, prepare everything – such as a place, a definite position, preparing a snack/drink or turning on soft music – so that you can breastfeed comfortably, tirelessly, and happy.

4. Eat First

To make a baby full, you have to be full first, Mother. So before entering into the breastfeeding sessionmake sure your stomach is full.

5. Involve Husband

The long duration of breastfeeding will prevent you from doing what you want. Therefore, involve your husband in this. Ask him to accompany you to chat while breastfeeding, get a snack or drink or do something else.

6. Overcome a fussy baby

When your baby starts fussing, act quickly and offer your breast to feed him. Don’t wait for your baby to cry loudly before you feed him. You can also use a sling and take it outside while breastfeeding, to deal with fussiness.

7. Ignore Other Jobs

During breastfeeding, focus only on the baby, not while doing other work, such as calling, chatting, or cooking. Even though it is sometimes tiring, this is the right time for you to establish bonding with the little one.

This moment only occurs for a few moments (practically a maximum of 2 years) compared to the age of the child who is still very long. So, dedicate this time just for him.

Related article: 13 Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding for Mothers and Babies, Mothers Must Know

Think of the Benefits!

This condition can make you feel drained emotionally and physically. Studies show that many mothers experience frustration or fatigue because cluster feedingsome even lose faith in their ability to breastfeed.

More challenges from cluster feeding is a lack of sleep because the baby often suckles at night.

However, behind the fatigue that you may face while meeting your little one’s needs, it turns out that cluster feeding has many benefits, lo, Mother. Some of the advantages are:

  • Gives babies the nutrients they need to grow.
  • Help calm the baby.
  • Ensuring baby gets enough sleep after a satisfying feeding session.
  • Provides comfort, security, and reassurance that sustains baby’s emotional needs.
  • Increase your milk supply to match the baby’s needs.

Now, so don’t worry too much, let alone stress thinking about the high demand for breastfeeding or cluster feeding. Just face it with joy so that it benefits cluster feeding feel more!

Article updated by: Ester Sondang

Read also:

A Complete Explanation of Breast Milk: Formed Process, Types, Benefits, to Nutrient Contents

Drama-free at the beginning of breastfeeding, this is what you need to pay attention to

The Right Way and Time to Pump Breast Milk for Abundant Results, Breastfeeding Must Listen!

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