”Getting Through Cluster-Feeding!” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
Every new mother who embarks on their breastfeeding journey gets a shock. They’ve spent nine months dreaming about relaxing on the sofa with their baby, and then they are faced with cluster-feeding. No one is immune to this. If someone that breastfed said this never happened, ignore them because they were probably so sleep deprived at that time that they can’t remember! LOL
The scary thing is that many new mothers aren’t aware of the cluster-feeding that awaits them with their demanding little newborn. Cluster-feeding is the practice of your newborn seemingly never off your breast. They are either eating or stimulating your milk supply ready for their next feed – and by the time you’ve finished a feed, they’re clamoring for another.
For a new mother, cluster-feeding is exhausting. The fear of getting touched out is genuine, with many new mothers feeling like they need to give up because their baby isn’t getting enough to eat. Please be assured that your child is doing the right thing biologically if they are cluster-feeding. It means that they are signalling your hormones to keep producing milk. However, it’s not always easy to cope with and it can be overwhelming. If you are worried about how your baby is feeding or worried they are not getting enough to eat, check with your pediatrician or a lactation specialist.
Let’s check out some tips to get through cluster-feeding in the early stages.
Tip 1: Accept That This Is Life For A While
It’s not an easy thing to accept, but cluster-feeds usually occur in the evening. Get to know your baby’s pattern, and you can be able to plan your day better. It may be tiring, but keep remembering that you are responding to their needs. It’s a good thing!
Tip 2: Drink, Drink, Drink
Breastfeeding mothers need to stay as hydrated as possible. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty, so keep a low table with drinks ready before you get settled. There are teas that you can buy to help your supply, too. The more you hydrate, the more comfortable you will feel while you feed your baby.
Tip 3: Eat!
Breastfeeding burns calories at a rapid rate, which will make you feel hungrier than usual. Grey’s Cowbell Lactation Treats will help your supply and give you a tasty snack while you feed, too. Try to stick to healthy options outside of lactation treats, as this will minimize any weight gain that you may want to avoid.
Tip 4: Be As Comfortable As Possible
Make a mini nest for yourself in an armchair or sofa with blankets and cushions. I still remember my upholstery, fluffy rocker/glider that I spent many late nights with my babies. You deserve to feed comfortably, especially since you will spend many tiring and sweet hours there. Keep the snacks and drinks within reach, and make sure that you have the TV remote and a phone charger close.
Tip 5: Don’t Do It Alone
Your partner isn’t going to be able to breastfeed, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Instead, they can bring you things you need while you are trapped under your hungry little one. Don’t be alone if you can help it as if you need something you’re stuck!
Tip 6: Don’t Wait For The Yell
Babies have hunger cues way before they start screeching. Recognize the signals of your baby, from fisting their mouth and getting agitated when bringing their knees to chest. Once you know them, you’ll be better able to see when to feed.
Being a new parent whether it’s your first child or third is overwhelming. Take at the very least 5 minutes a day to wash your face and make your bed. I don’t care if you use soap or just water. I don’t care if making your bed means just getting the covers/pillows somewhat put in place. You need at the very least 5 minutes a day to clear your head and accomplish something tangible. As a new or new again mom, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that raising a little tiny human is the biggest accomplishment you can achieve in life. Small “wins” of washing your face and making your bed can help you remember you are climbing that mountain of life with every single step you make.
Don’t give up momma! You got this!
PS I had severe postpartum depression with each of my pregnancies. I wish I wouldn’t have waited to get help. If you are struggling, please seek help. In the US 1 in 9 women will have postpartum depression with some states reporting 1 in 5. If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/