Baby second night cluster feeding

Second Night Syndrome - Harbour City Doulas

You’re freshly home from the hospital with your two-day-old baby. You’re sore, tired, and a little overwhelmed, but so in love! You’re feeling pretty confident about this transition because last night, when your baby was only 16 hours old, went great. You had a couple of feeds that went okay and, mostly, your baby snoozed in their bassinet.

Evening approaches and something shifts. Your baby has been nursing around the clock, and your cries as soon as you put him down. It seems like he’s starving, even though you’ve fed him three times in a row. Is he getting enough? You haven’t slept yet, and you’re starting to wonder what’s happening. It wasn’t like this last night! What is going wrong?!

Nothing! It’s Second Night Syndrome, and it’s totally common. Many babies have a pretty rough time on their second night of life. Now that the birth hormones are starting to wear off (for both of you), your baby has “woken up” and realized that they are most definitely NOT in Kansas anymore. Everything that is comforting and familiar to your baby- including the snug security of the womb, the steady beat of your heart, and the dark, watery world that was their home- has disappeared and your baby might be feeling a little homesick. Here’s what you might be experiencing:

  • a ton of cluster feeding. What does that mean? Basically, it’s when your baby wants to start another feed as soon as the last one has finished, or soon afterwards. They may act like they are starving even though you just fed them 10 minutes ago. This behaviour may continue for several hours or even all night. You may only get a small break in between them, but it’s super normal! This is how your baby helps bring your milk in.
  • baby falls asleep as soon as you begin a nursing session.
  • baby may doze peacefully in your arms or on your chest, but the moment you put the down, they wake up and start the whole fussing and feeding cycle all over again.
  • you may be feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, confused, and frustrated. At only two days postpartum, your body is undergoing massive healing and your hormones are all over the place, making you even less able to cope with the stress of the second night.

“Second night syndrome” is a perfectly normal response to being born, and most babies experience a bit of fussiness on their second night of life. It doesn’t mean that anything is wrong or that your baby is starving. It can feel overwhelming, but there ARE some things you can do to help survive the second night!

1. Anticipate it. The second night syndrome does not discriminate, and many parents don’t know what’s happening or why. They may feel confused and concerned with the sudden change in their baby’s mood. If you expect it and understand what’s happening on your baby’s second night, you’ll be better able to meet your baby’s needs- and your own- during it!

2. Re-create the womb. Remember the journey that your baby just made! They’re used to being in a place that is warm, cozy, dark, wet, and secure- and now they’re in a big, bright, cold world. This has got to be scary for such a tiny person! You can help your baby by re-creating the sensations of the womb wherever possible. Try swaddling your baby, keeping the lights dark, and using white noise to soothe your baby.

3. Cuddle your baby. You can never do enough skin-to-skin contact! Not only does this help your baby figure out breastfeeding, but it helps calm them, too. Do lots of skin-to-skin and hold your baby close. It’s SO normal for your baby to refuse to sleep in their bassinet, and you’re NOT spoiling them or creating bad habits. Trade off baby-holding responsibilities with your partner so you can both nap.

4. Say no to visitors. Consider limiting- or declining altogether- visits for the first day or so. Since baby is most sleepy during the first 24 hours, it’s best to sleep and rest as much as possible during this time to prepare for the second night.

5. Your baby isn’t starving! Unless you’re really struggling with breastfeeding, chances are your baby isn’t starving- even if they’re acting like it. Remember that nursing is about so much more than just milk! To your baby, breastfeeding is the safest place they can be. Let your baby feed as much as they want during the second night- it will help to bring in your milk boost your supply!

Second Night Syndrome can feel hard and overwhelming, but with the right tools, you can get through it just fine. Our postpartum doulas can help you come up with a plan to get through the second night before your baby ever arrives- and they can be with you, in your home and by your side, throughout it so that you don’t have to face it alone. Want to learn more about how you can have a postpartum filled with healing, bonding, and yes, sleep? Get in touch today to learn how we can support you!

Baby's Second Night •

by Jan Barger, RN, MA, IBCLC, FILCA. Reprinted with permission from the author.

Image courtesy of kit4na / CC BY-2.0

You’ve made it through your first 24 hours as a new mom.   Maybe you have other children, but you are a new mom all over again… and now it’s your baby’s second night.

All of a sudden, your little one discovers that he’s no longer back in the warmth and comfort – though a bit crowded – womb where he has spent the last 9 months – and it is SCARY out here!  He isn’t hearing your familiar heartbeat, the swooshing of the placental arteries, the soothing sound of your lungs or the comforting gurgling of your intestines.  Instead, he’s in a crib, swaddled, in a diaper, a tee-shirt, a hat and a blanket.  All sorts of people have been handling him, and he’s not yet become accustomed to the new noises, lights, sounds and smells.  He has found one thing though, and that’s his voice… and you find that each time you take him off the breast where he comfortably drifted off to sleep, and put him in the bassinet – he protests, loudly!


In fact, each time you put him back on the breast he nurses for a little bit and then goes to sleep.   As you take him off and put him back to bed – he cries again… and starts rooting around, looking for you.  This goes on – seemingly for hours.  A lot of moms are convinced it is because their milk isn’t “in” yet, and the baby is starving.  However, it isn’t that, but the baby’s sudden awakening to the fact that the most comforting and comfortable place for him to be is at the breast.  It’s the closest to “home” he can get.  It seems that this is pretty universal among babies – lactation consultants all over the world have noticed the same thing.

So, what do you do?  When he drifts off to sleep at the breast after a good feed, break the suction and take your nipple gently out of his mouth.  Don’t move him except to gently slide him into an upright neutral position with his head to the side.  Don’t try and burp him – just snuggle with him until he falls into a deep sleep where he won’t be disturbed by being moved.  Babies go into a light sleep state (REM) first, and then cycle in and out of REM and deep sleep about every ½ hour or so. If he starts to root and act as though he wants to go back to breast, that’s fine… this is his way of settling and comforting.   During deep sleep, the baby’s breathing is very quiet and regular, and there is no movement beneath his eyelids.

Another helpful hint… his hands were his best friends in utero… he could suck on his thumb or his fingers anytime he was the slightest bit disturbed or uncomfortable.  And all of a sudden he’s had them taken away from him and someone has put mittens on him!  He has no way of soothing himself with those mittens on.  Babies need to touch – to feel – and even his touch on your breast will increase your oxytocin levels which will help boost your milk supply!  So take the mittens off and loosen his blanket so he can get to his hands.  He might scratch himself, but it will heal very rapidly – after all, he had fingernails when he was inside you, and no one put mittens on him then!

By the way – this might happen every once in a while at home too, particularly if you’ve changed his environment such as going to the doctor’s, to church, to the mall, or to the grandparents!  Don’t let it throw you – sometimes babies just need some extra snuggling at the breast, because for the baby, the breast is “home.

Copyright © by Jan Barger, RN, MA, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Education Consultants

No portion of this text may be copied or reproduced in any manner, electronically or otherwise, without the express written permission of the author ([email protected]).

Jan Barger is a mom of three, and proud Grammie of three and one due in 2017. She has been in private practice as a lactation consultant, worked for many years for a pediatric practice in the Chicago ‘burbs as their lactation consultant, has a background in all aspects of maternal-child health nursing, and currently teaches with Lactation Education Consultants – an organization that provides education for those aspiring to become IBCLCs. Jan is a past president of ILCA, was on the IBLCE board and exam committee, and is a co-author of Clinical Experience in Lactation: A Blueprint for Internship, and Clinical Instruction in Lactation: Teaching the Next Generation. She lives in Wheaton IL with husband Bob and loves to travel and read.

Breastfeeding in the first month: what to expect

Not sure how to establish lactation and increase milk production? If you need help, support, or just want to know what to expect, read our first month breastfeeding advice

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The first weeks of breastfeeding are a very stressful period. If at times you feel like you can't handle it, know that you are not alone. Feeding your baby all day long is completely natural and helps produce breast milk, but can be quite tiring at times. Be patient, think about yourself and remember: after the first month, when milk production stabilizes, it will become easier. nine0003

How often should a baby be breastfed?

Babies are born with a small stomach that grows rapidly with increasing milk production: in the first week it is no larger than an apricot, and after two weeks it is already the size of a large chicken egg. 1.2 Let the child eat as much as he wants and when he wants. This will help him quickly regain the weight lost after birth and grow and develop further.

“Be prepared to feed every two to three hours throughout the day. At night, the intervals between feedings can be longer: three to four or even five hours, says Cathy Garbin, a recognized international expert on breastfeeding. Some eat quickly and are satiated in 15 minutes, while others take an entire hour to feed. Do not compare your breastfeeding regimen with that of other mothers - it is very likely that there will be nothing in common between them. nine0003

At each feed, give your baby a full meal from one breast and then offer a second one, but don't worry if the baby doesn't take it. When the baby is full, he lets go of his chest and at the same time looks relaxed and satisfied - so much so that he can immediately fall asleep. The next time you feed, start on the other breast. You can monitor the order of the mammary glands during feeding using a special application.

Why does the child always ask for a breast?

The first month is usually the hardest time to breastfeed. But do not think that because the baby is constantly hungry and asks for a breast almost every 45 minutes, then you do not have enough milk. nine0003

In the first month, the baby needs to eat frequently to start and stimulate the mother's milk production. It lays the foundation for a stable milk supply in the future. 3

In addition, we must not forget that the child needs almost constant contact with the mother. The bright light and noise of the surrounding world at first frighten the baby, and only by clinging to his mother, he can calm down.

Sarah, mother of three from the UK, confirms: “Crying is not always a sign of hunger. Sometimes my kids just wanted me to be around and begged for breasts to calm them down. Use a sling. Place the cradle next to the bed. Don't look at the clock. Take advantage of every opportunity to relax. Forget about cleaning. Let those around you take care of you. And not three days, but six weeks at least! Hug your baby, enjoy the comfort - and trust your body. " nine0003

Do I need to feed my baby on a schedule?

Your baby is still too young for a strict daily routine, so
forget about breastfeeding schedules and focus on his needs.

“Volumes have been written about how to feed a baby on a schedule, but babies don't read or understand books,” Cathy says. - All children are different. Some people can eat on a schedule, but most can't. Most often, over time, the child develops his own schedule.

Some mothers report that their babies are fine with scheduled feedings, but they are most likely just the few babies who would eat every four hours anyway. Adults rarely eat and drink the same foods at the same time of day - so why do we expect this from toddlers?

Offer your baby the breast at the first sign of hunger. Crying is already the last stage, so be attentive to early signs: the baby licks his lips, opens his mouth, sucks his fist, turns his head with his mouth open - looking for the breast. nine0013 4

What is a "milk flush"?

At the beginning of each feed, a hungry baby actively sucks on the nipple,
thereby stimulating the milk flow reflex - the movement of milk through the milk ducts. 5

“Nipple stimulation triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin,” explains Cathy. “Oxytocin is distributed throughout the body and causes the muscles around the milk glands to contract and the milk ducts to dilate. This stimulates the flow of milk. nine0003

If the flushing reflex fails, milk will not come out. This is a hormonal response, and under stress it may not work at all or work poorly. Therefore, it is so important that you feel comfortable and calm when feeding.

“Studies show that each mother has a different rhythm of hot flashes during one feeding,” Katie continues, “Oxytocin is a short-acting hormone, it breaks down in just 30-40 seconds after formation. Milk begins to flow, the baby eats, the effect of oxytocin ends, but then a new rush of milk occurs, the baby continues to suck on the breast, and this process is repeated cyclically. That is why, during feeding, the child periodically stops and rests - this is how nature intended. nine0003

The flow of milk may be accompanied by a strong sensation of movement or tingling in the chest, although 21% of mothers, according to surveys, do not feel anything at all. 5 Cathy explains: “Many women only feel the first rush of milk. If you do not feel hot flashes, do not worry: since the child eats normally, most likely, you simply do not understand that they are.

How do you know if a baby is getting enough milk?

Since it is impossible to track how much milk a baby eats while breastfeeding, mothers sometimes worry that the baby is malnourished. Trust your child and your body. nine0003

After a rush of milk, the baby usually begins to suckle more slowly. Some mothers clearly hear how the baby swallows, others do not notice it. But one way or another, the child himself will show when he is full - just watch carefully. Many babies make two or three approaches to the breast at one feeding. 6

“When a child has had enough, it is noticeable almost immediately: a kind of “milk intoxication” sets in. The baby is relaxed and makes it clear with his whole body that he is completely full, says Katie, “Diapers are another great way to assess whether the baby is getting enough milk. During this period, a breastfed baby should have at least five wet diapers a day and at least two portions of soft yellow stool, and often more.” nine0003

From one month until weaning at six months of age, a baby's stool (if exclusively breastfed) should look the same every day: yellow, grainy, loose, and watery.

When is the child's birth weight restored?

Most newborns lose weight in the first few days of life. This is normal and should not be cause for concern. As a rule, weight is reduced by 5-7%, although some may lose up to 10%. One way or another, by 10–14 days, almost all newborns regain their birth weight. In the first three to four months, the minimum expected weight gain is an average of 150 grams per week. But one week the child may gain weight faster and the next slower, so it is necessary that the attending physician monitor the health and growth of the baby constantly. nine0013 7.8

At the slightest doubt or signs of dehydration, such as
dark urine, no stool for more than 24 hours, retraction of the fontanel (soft spot on the head), yellowing of the skin, drowsiness, lethargy, lack of appetite (ability to four to six hours without feeding), you should immediately consult a doctor. 7

What is "cluster feeding"?

When a baby asks to breastfeed very often for several hours, this is called cluster feeding. nine0013 6 The peak often occurs in the evening between 18:00 and 22:00, just when many babies are especially restless and need close contact with their mother. Most often, mothers complain about this in the period from two to nine weeks after childbirth. This is perfectly normal and common behavior as long as the baby is otherwise healthy, eating well, gaining weight normally, and appears content throughout the day. 9

Cluster feeding can be caused by a sharp jump in the development of the body - during this period the baby especially needs love, comfort and a sense of security. The growing brain of a child is so excited that it can be difficult for him to turn off, or it just scares the baby. nine0013 9 If a child is overworked, it is often difficult for him or her to calm down on his own, and adult help is needed. And breastfeeding is the best way to calm the baby, because breast milk is not only food, but also pain reliever and a source of happiness hormones. 10

“Nobody told me about cluster feeding, so for the first 10 days I just went crazy with worry - I was sure that my milk was not enough for the baby,” recalls Camille, a mother from Australia, “It was a very difficult period . I was advised to pump and supplement until I finally contacted the Australian Breastfeeding Association. There they explained to me what was happening: it turned out that it was not about milk at all. nine0003

Remember, this is temporary. Try to prepare dinner for yourself in the afternoon, when the baby is fast asleep, so that in the evening, when he begins to often breastfeed, you have the opportunity to quickly warm up the food and have a snack. If you are not alone, arrange to carry and rock the baby in turns so that you have the opportunity to rest. If you have no one to turn to for help and you feel that your strength is leaving you, put the baby in the crib and rest for a few minutes, and then pick it up again. nine0003

Ask your partner, family and friends to help you with household chores, cooking and caring for older children if you have any. If possible, hire an au pair. Get as much rest as possible, eat well and drink plenty of water.

“My daughter slept a lot during the day, but from 23:00 to 5:00 the cluster feeding period began, which was very tiring,” recalls Jenal, a mother from the USA, “My husband tried his best to make life easier for me - washed, cleaned, cooked, changed diapers, let me sleep at every opportunity and never tired of assuring me that we were doing well.” nine0003

If you are concerned about the frequency of breastfeeding, it is worth contacting a specialist. “Check with a lactation consultant or doctor to see if this is indicative of any problems,” recommends Cathy. “Resist the temptation to supplement your baby with formula (unless recommended by your doctor) until you find the cause. It may not be a matter of limited milk production at all - it may be that the child is inefficiently sucking it.

When will breastfeeding become easier? nine0011

This early stage is very special and does not last long. Although sometimes it seems that there will be no end to it, rest assured: it will get easier soon! By the end of the first month, breast milk production will stabilize, and the baby will become stronger and learn to suckle better. 2.3 Any problems with latch on by this time will most likely be resolved and the body will be able to produce milk more efficiently so inflammation and leakage of milk will begin to subside.

“The first four to six weeks are the hardest, but then things start to get better,” Cathy assures. It just needs to be experienced!” nine0003

The longer breastfeeding continues, the more benefits it brings, from saving on formula and improving sleep quality 11–13 to boosting your baby's immune system 14 and reducing your risk of certain cancers. 15

“When you feel like you're pushing yourself, try to go from feed to feed and day to day,” says Hannah, a UK mom. “I was sure I wouldn’t make it to eight weeks. And now I have been breastfeeding for almost 17 weeks, and I dare say it is very easy.” nine0003

Read the resource Breastfeeding Beyond the First Month: What to Expect


1 Naveed M et al. An autopsy study of relationship between perinatal stomach capacity and birth weight. Indian J Gastroenterol .1992;11(4):156-158. - Navid M. et al., Association between prenatal gastric volume and birth weight. Autopsy. Indian J Gastroenterol. 1992;11(4):156-158.

2 Neville MC et al. Studies in human lactation: milk volumes in lactating women during the onset of lactation and full lactation . Am J Clinl Nutr . 1988;48(6):1375-1386. at the beginning and at the peak of lactation." Am F Clean Nutr. 1988;48(6):1375-1386.

3 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. J Obstet , Gynecol , & Neonatal Nurs . 2012;41(1):114-121. - Kent J.S. et al., "Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production". J Obstet Ginecol Neoneutal Nurs. 2012;41(1):114-121. nine0129

4 Australian Breastfeeding Feeding cues ; 2017 Sep [ cited 2018 Feb ]. - Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Feed Ready Signals; September 2017 [cited February 2018]

5 Kent JC et al. Response of breasts to different stimulation patterns of an electric breast pump. J Human Lact . 2003;19(2):179-186. - Kent J.S. et al., Breast Response to Different Types of Electric Breast Pump Stimulation. J Human Lact (Journal of the International Association of Lactation Consultants). 2003;19(2):179-186.

6) Kent JC et al . Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics. 2006;117(3): e 387-395. - Kent J.S. et al., "Amount and frequency of breastfeeding and fat content of breast milk during the day." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 2006;117(3):e387-95.

7 Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding: A guide for the medical profession. 7th ed. Maryland Heights MO, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. 1128 p . - Lawrence R.A., Lawrence R.M., "Breastfeeding: A guide for healthcare professionals." Seventh edition. Publisher Maryland Heights , Missouri, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. P. 1128.

8 World Health Organization. [Internet]. Child growth standards; 2018 [cited 2018 Feb] - World Health Organization. [Internet]. Child Growth Standards 2018 [cited February 2018]. nine0129

9 Australian Breastfeeding Association . [ Internet ]. Cluster feeding and fussing babies ; - Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Cluster Feeding and Screaming Babies; December 2017 [cited February 2018]. nine0129

10 Moberg KU, Prime DK. Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding. Infant . 2013;9(6):201-206.- Moberg K, Prime DK, "Oxytocin effects on mother and child during breastfeeding". Infant. 2013;9(6):201-206.

11 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services [Internet]. Surgeon General Breastfeeding factsheet; 2011 Jan 20 [cited 2017 Feb] - Department of Health and Human Services [Internet], "Breastfeeding Facts from the Chief Medical Officer", Jan 20, 2011 [cited Feb 2017]

12 Kendall-Tackett K et al. The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. clinical lactation. 2011;1;2(2):22-26. - Kendall-Tuckett, K. et al., "Influence of feeding pattern on sleep duration, maternal well-being and the development of postpartum depression." Clinical Lactation. 2011;2(2):22-26.

13 Brown A, Harries V. Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: Association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight. Breast Med . 2015;10(5):246-252. - Brown A., Harris W., "Night feedings and infant sleep in the first year of life and their association with feeding frequency, daytime supplementation, and infant weight." Brest Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2015;10(5):246-252.

14 Hassiotou F et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl immunology. 2013;2(4). - Hassiot F. et al., "Infectious diseases of the mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte reaction in breast milk." nine0129 Clean Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4):e3.

15 Li DP et al. Breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 40 epidemiological studies. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev . 2014;15(12):4829-4837. - Lee D.P. et al., Breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 40 epidemiological studies. Asia Pas J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(12):4829-4837.

The child began to breastfeed more often. This is fine?

This is the period in a baby's life when he begins to breastfeed more often. For example, if yesterday your child ate an average of once every two hours, and today he requires a breast every half an hour or an hour, we are talking about cluster or group feeding. This is a temporary change in the feeding regime, however, parents are unlikely to be happy with such changes and may think that they are doing something wrong. We hasten to reassure you: cluster feeding is normal. nine0003

This usually happens within the first 28 days of a baby's life. As David Hill, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says, the first "attack" of cluster feeding usually occurs on the 10-12th day of life, and then repeats in the region of three months. But in general, cluster feedings are typical for the entire first half of a baby's life.

Most often, cluster feedings occur in the late afternoon, when the child is tired of external stimuli and wants to calm down and fall asleep. Cluster feedings often accompany growth and developmental spurts. Sometimes they can last all day. nine0003

The first weeks and months of a baby's life are a difficult time for him, because he is constantly growing and developing, accepting new conditions of life outside the womb, adapting to the outside world. To do this, he needs not only to get food regularly, but also to calm down, because this big world is such a complicated thing.

Sucking and being at the mother's breast is a natural need for the baby, so he uses cluster feedings not only to eat, but also to get close contact with the mother. So don't get mad at him, he really needs it. And do not listen to those who say that "that way he will make a dummy out of you." Won't. Listen to yourself and the child, you are doing everything right. nine0003

The good news is that there is evidence that this behavior of the child precedes a longer sleep (we are talking about four to five hours). Why, it's a whole chasm of uninterrupted sleep when you have a newborn!

Yes, indeed, cluster feedings can exhaust a mother. But, as the same Hill says, they are important for her, especially if they occur at the initial stage of motherhood. The fact is that by frequent application, the baby stimulates the production of milk, thus helping the mother to quickly establish full lactation. nine0003

Of course, the baby needs maternal care and warmth, skin-to-skin contact, but you should not forget about yourself during this exhausting period of group feeding! More precisely, it is strictly forbidden, otherwise you risk bringing yourself to emotional exhaustion. Here's what can be done.

Do not blame yourself and the child. He is all right, all babies have such days, and you are doing everything right - offering him what he needs most of all now.

Do not forget to drink and eat , because your body is now intensively establishing lactation, which means it consumes a large amount of energy. Eat well and don't limit yourself to kuro-buckwheat.

Sleep between feeds . Facebook and Instagram can wait. Especially if cluster feedings caught you at night, and the baby wakes up every hour. Yes, it will seem to you that it is easier not to sleep at all than to spend time on short sleep sessions, but this is not so.

Connect partner . Yes, you may think that this is rather pointless, because he does not have breasts with milk. But he can carry the baby in his arms while you drink tea or spend time in the shower - during this period it is important to give yourself a little respite.

Don't listen to the "experts" . You will definitely be advised to put the child down and "let him scream" or do something else so that "God forbid, spoil him." But you shouldn't do that. We now know more about children and their needs than ever before. So: cluster feedings will not spoil your baby. He really needs them. In any case, more than senseless motion sickness, attempts to distract and hiss are more necessary. nine0003

It is believed that one episode of grouped feedings should not exceed two days, and the application itself should not exceed an hour. If the baby “hangs” on the chest for an hour and this has been happening for two days, you need to contact a lactation consultant or a pediatrician you trust.

We asked Daria Utkina, a doula and mother-and-child care consultant, to talk about cluster feeding.

Not all babies go through this period, but most do. It seems to me that knowing in itself that this is a physiological norm, and not an epic fail in becoming a milk fairy, already gives a lot of peace of mind. Often women worry that the reason for cluster feedings is the notorious “not enough milk”, although the child has just enough of everything. nine0003

Speaking of support, it's very cool when there are people nearby who also know that cluster feeding is a variant of the norm and you don't have to fight with it. Because even a confident and informed mother will be disturbed by the constant background anxiety of relatives. And if this is the first baby and everything is still completely new, then any comments on the topic “something is not working out for you”, “something is wrong with the child” will fall into the most vulnerable point.

Evening time can also be planned in advance, taking into account the baby hanging on the chest. Arrange with a partner to come to the beginning of vigils, call a postpartum doula or a friend / mother / anyone to be around. nine0003

On the contrary, it helps some women to break the stereotype about crazy evenings at home, pack the baby in a sling where he can feed non-stop, and go out into the world.

Well, adjust expectations all the time. Cluster feedings become a problem when the idea sits in your head that a baby usually eats at least once an hour, or even every three hours. And when everything happens differently, it makes you reconsider your ideas not only about babies, but also about your life with them.

Many of my clients find it helpful to remind themselves of "one thing a day." Especially for those who are accustomed to work tirelessly and assumed that while the baby was sleeping and eating, it would be possible to continue almost in the same rhythm.

Plus, sometimes it happens that cluster feedings are just situations where a child for some reason (inefficient attachment, a short bridle, for example) has to be on the breast all the time to get the right amount of milk. In this case, it would be good to call a consultant on breastfeeding and find out what is the reason. nine0003

During cluster feedings, the mother has a huge responsibility, and she can feel overwhelmed, exhausted and disappointed. Obviously, dads can't offer to help feed their baby, but there are some important ways they can help moms.

Get up with your mother. This is really important, she will not feel so lonely if the partner tries to cheer her up during feeding (and at the same time not fall asleep next to her).

Bathe, walk, entertain the child (and also his brothers and sisters). Cluster feeding will be much easier for mom if she can focus only on this.

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