Cluster feeding is one of those things that most parents don’t hear about until they have a newborn and go through it themselves. Usually when the cluster feeding starts to happen the new mom is wondering what may be wrong. She may think the newborn isn’t getting enough milk or there is something wrong with him. Usually it ends up with mom in tears herself. Those hormones can be rough!
As a newborn care specialist it will be great to make sure your clients, especially those who breastfeed, know about cluster feeding and how it is a normal part of development. On top educating them on cluster feeding it is great to know how you can support them through it. Here are some tips!
- Explain to your clients when cluster feeding generally can happen. It usually happens within the first few days and continue off and on until 3-4 months old
- Inform them the cluster feedings can last a while. Sometimes it can last a few hours and sometimes it can feel like all day.
- Let them know it is normal and essential part of not only their newborns growth, but also their own milk supply.
- Help them set up an area where they can be comfortable during cluster feeding. It may be on the couch with Netflix ready to go, in their bed, or in a comfy rocking chair in the nursery. Wherever it may be help them set up basket with water, snacks, nipple cream, tissues, extra nursing pads, and anything else that may be necessary.
While cluster feeding is normal make sure to note if it seems to be excessive. If the newborn wants to cluster more often than not, isn’t gaining weight, and seems to have other concerning symptoms then recommend to your client that she talks to the pediatrician or an IBCLC. There could be underlying reasons including the baby not getting enough milk, or a tongue tie which hasn’t been diagnosed.