Tell me about your cluster feeding experiences...

(17 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sun 13-Apr-14 22:44:44

I have a 3 week old, breast fed baby, who for the last few days has suddenly started cluster feeding. It is definitely worse at night but also happening throughout the day. I know cluster feeding is normal but I'm starting to get worried about the sudden change in my baby's feeding habits. He would normally feed for 20 minutes, be satisfied, wake up 3 hours later for his next feed and everything seemed fine.

Now he is on me constantly. I'm feeding now and apart from having a few breaks for winding, he has been feeding for 1 hour and 40 minutes with no sign of stopping. Why would a baby want to feed for so long unless he isn't getting enough milk to feel full? I don't understand.

And at what point are we supposed to switch breasts? For the first 90 minutes he was feeding from one breast but now I have swapped him onto the other. My nipples are so sore (one has a crack in it) because he feeds constantly. He is also bringing up lots of milk whenever he is sat up, which I'm assuming is down to the fact that he won't stop feeding, but I don't know for sure?! His latest poo was also green as opposed to his normal yellowy/brown ones. I don't know if it's related.

I'm going to ring the HV tomorrow because this behaviour is so out of character for him, but I was hoping someone on here could offer reassurance that it's normal?

nolongerbumpieorlumpie Mon 14-Apr-14 02:24:14

We meet again op!!

I had this. Do not fear, your lo is sorting out your supply. WK 3 is a massive growth spurt week. I felt I was feeding constantly and worried I was empty but fear not, babies, I have learnt are amazing!!

Make sure you switch sides but don't panic if he/she feeds for longer on one or not at all on both each feed.

Just know that babies will change their feeding habits out of the blue many times. We went from 5gr stretches at night at 6 weeks to three hourly to hourly to a random 7hr stretch all in 4 weeks. Have been feeding my lo now 11 weeks for 40mins on this feed after having a 6min feeding pattern for the last two weeks!!

Just try to relax which I know is hard but it'll help milk supply and baby. Suddenly you'll realise there's a pattern and then it'll change as your baby changes!

Have a look at kellymom.com its really helpful.

Goodluck and just enjoy these times. You don't get them back!

nolongerbumpieorlumpie Mon 14-Apr-14 02:28:25

Sorry, forgot to say, green po occasionally is normal in bf babies. The sicking will be his immature sfomach , wind and his little glutoness self! Try moving him carefully from feeding to upright, rub don't pat and keep it slow.

As for switching sides, there is no right answer, just when he takes a long break!

p s get some nipple cream and seek out a bf support group!

jellyandcake Mon 14-Apr-14 02:47:24

He's feeding like mad to tell your body it needs to produce more milk for his growth spurt. It's how they stimulate supply. After a feeding frenzy, he will probably have a really sleepy day or two which is when he does the actual growing.

Feeding the growth spurt is hideous and I remember thinking I would lose my mind. Am not looking forward to experiencing them again with my newborn but I know that this period will pass.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 14-Apr-14 08:31:26

Well the stimulation of his supply is working as my breasts have started leaking milk all the time - they haven't done that for a while.

He continued to be sick after all his night feeds and again this morning. I've left a message on the HV answer phone to get some advice as I don't know at what point I should contact the GP. I'm worried he's got reflux or something....

Forgettable Mon 14-Apr-14 08:39:40

My youngest fed constantly til 10 weeks literally every time he came off he cued for more

We just went with it

tiktok Mon 14-Apr-14 09:22:50

This is normal behaviour, writer smile

There's nothing 'out of character' about it.....babies do this from time to time and for some of them it's a phase that lasts a while.

I think you are also looking back and mis-remembering your baby's feeding pattern. You say he would 'normally' feed for 20 minutes every 3 hours. This does not tally with some of your previous posts though of course he may have done it that way for some of the time smile

Writerwannabe83 Mon 14-Apr-14 09:34:36

Spoke to my HV this morning who is worried some of his symptoms may be due to pyloric stenosis - worst case scenario. His behaviours/feeding/sickness has worsened over the last 24 hours so she advised I need to get him seen by the GP. I've got an appointment this afternoon.

tiktok Mon 14-Apr-14 10:27:08

Hope the GP reassures you, writer.

It doesn't sound like pyloric stenosis to me, but I am not a medic.

www.patient.co.uk/health/pyloric-stenosis

www.gosh.nhs.uk/medical-conditions/search-for-medical-conditions/pyloric-stenosis/pyloric-stenosis-information/

Writerwannabe83 Mon 14-Apr-14 10:56:00

The only thing that is concerning her is because of the force and volume of the vomits. The vomits will be large amounts and since last night they have become projectile. The milk comes flying out requiring a change of clothes for DS every time and we've also ran out of pillow cases because they get covered too.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 14-Apr-14 10:58:23

However there are also other factors that lean more towards reflux - so I'm going to assume it is that. Whatever it is, I just want it sorted. I hate seeing DS so distressed all the time sad

Writerwannabe83 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:45:12

We saw a Practice Nurse who went to get the GP to review and then the GP contacted the Paediatrician at the local hospital in order for them to see us today. So our afternoon was spent in A&E. The Consultant was really thorough and thinks DS probably just has a nasty tummy bug which should clear in a few days. He said if it were pyloric stenosis it would still be very early days and if DS doesn't improve over the next few days then we should go back and they'll do a scan of his stomach. Babies, they are such a worry!!

tiktok Mon 14-Apr-14 22:17:45

Writer, glad the docs can find nothing wrong.

I hope you will be able to stop worrying soon....nothing you have posted here sounds anything more than normal ups and downs of new baby feeding, sleeping, unsettledness, all of which can be puzzling and unpredictable, but none of which are actually clinically problematic.

Hope you have a good night smile

nolongerbumpieorlumpie Tue 15-Apr-14 00:14:19

I am glad you had a swift dealing today despite, I'm sure, more worry.

You do sound to be going through the same as we did in the early days. Babies do cause great anxiety and you are right to get RL advice but do try to relax a little as it sou DS like you are doing a great job!

also, tiktok is an amazing fount in knowledge and support, listen to her! She has made my bf experience smoother and happier!!

Writerwannabe83 Tue 15-Apr-14 02:00:50

Thanks both! smile

Ironically, today (well, yesterday now) is the best day we have had in quite a while. DS had been more settled and has only had one small vomit. The weird thing is that due to us either being at the GP Surgery or the hospital, this is the first day we haven't given any Infacol prior to feeds. Can Infacol make things worse digestion wise for some babies?

nolongerbumpieorlumpie Tue 15-Apr-14 04:24:31

Mm I am not a fan of infacol. IMHO it is way over used and full of chemicals that a baby can't digest. We use good old fashion gripe water and it works a treat! plus lo loves it!

Glad you had a good day, babies do sick up as their stomach and oesophagus are very undeveloped. Try moving him slowly from breast to chest and rub don't pat whilst winding! Most of all just try to relax says the most neurotic mother ever

tiktok Tue 15-Apr-14 07:21:33

Infacol is harmless. However the evidence for its effectiveness is nil. Yes it does have chemicals that are not digested and that's good! You don't want the baby to digest them. The main ingredient is supposed to work on the air in the stomach, not actually on the baby's system.

Of course Infacol may appear to work with some babies. But the research shows this is chance.

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