Cluster feeding is when your baby suddenly wants to feed more frequently over a specific period of time. It can feel like they want to feed almost constantly or that they are having a lot of feeds very close together. It's natural and a totally normal part of breastfeeding but can be exhausting for you.
Why does cluster feeding happen?
It is thought thought that babies cluster feed when they are experiencing a growth spurt. As breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis the more a baby demands milk from you the more your supply will increase to accommodate their growing needs. The cluster feed phase won't last forever though as your body will increase your natural supply for baby.
When does cluster feeding happen?
It typically happens in the evening but in reality can happen at any time of day or night and is more common during the initial phase a breastfeeding journey.
Remember it doesn't last forever
Adding in endless breastfeeds when you've just given birth and are already getting to grips with life with a newborn is a challenge but the cluster feeds won't last forever. Keep that mindset of just getting through. Get your partner up to speed on cluster feeding, they can help with jobs around the house while you're literally stuck feeding and can make sure you're well stocked with refreshments while you feed.
Cluster feeding is a normal part of a baby's feeding routine. Talk to your nurse, midwife or doctor if your baby:
- Is not gaining weight
- Is not producing wet and dirty nappies
- Is not settling after they have finished feeding