One of the things I see most often in new mom’s groups is someone worried about their milk supply or their newborn because all of a sudden they just won’t stop eating. They seemed to be eating “normally” and then all of a sudden you feel like you can’t do anything without your baby attached to your breast. The newborn eats then falls asleep, and after a few minutes just when you think you can put him down, he wakes up again and wants to eat. This normally happens in the evenings.
In many cases, if this is only happening once per day for a period of 2-3 hours, this is normal and necessary! This is what is called cluster feeding. Please help pass that information along. At certain points in the baby’s growth and development cluster feeding is something not only is needed for the baby but also for your milk supply. The most common times for cluster feedings are shortly after birth while your milk is starting to come in, then at 3 weeks old, 6 weeks old, and at different growth spurt periods up until around 6 months of age.
Make yourself a comfy spot on the couch with plenty of water and snacks and binge-watch the show you have been wanting to catch up on. If you have a partner, make sure they understand and can help be your set of hands when you can’t be with other tasks, especially if you have another child. If you’re by yourself then give yourself plenty of grace. This time is temporary. Call some family and friends if you have them to come help if you need to.
I think it is important to note that sometimes insufficient milk transfer can appear like cluster feeding and it’s important to make sure your baby is getting enough milk. Your baby should be gaining well, having adequate output (See Kellymom for more info on adequate output) and your baby should be content after a large majority of the daytime feedings. As always, it is great to have an IBCLC you can call to ask questions when you are unsure. You want to be able to rule out other issues if this seems to be happening ongoing throughout the whole day. If you are unable to find an IBCLC in your area or would like a consult ASAP, I would be happy to see you virtually!