J.K. asks from Kalamazoo, MI on January 10, 2012
My little one is about 1 week old now. Breastfeeding is going well during the day until about 7 at night. Then he starts what I am told is cluster feeding, he goes back and forth from one breast to the other with no break, this goes on for hours. After about 3 or 4 hours of this, he starts latching on, then pulling away and screaming- Im guessing because there little to nothing in there and hes still hungry. The only way Ive found to calm him is to give him a little formula in a bottle, about 1 oz seems to do the trick, and then nursing him to sleep. I tried to pump enough during the day to give him a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime but I dont get much when I pump. When I was nursing my daughter, I ended up getting on reglan to increase my milk supply but I was hoping not to have to do that this time. Anyone have any ideas whats going on or what to do to help?
★.O. answers from Tampa on January 10, 2012
What will help is to stop 'topping him off' with formula. By having him NOT nurse when cluster feeding's sole purpose is to stimulate your body to produce more - you are simply sabotaging your own supply.
If you need something medical to make you feel more able to feed your child (which I'm sure you're doing just fine) is Fenugreek (enough per day to make you smell like maple syrup) combined with Blessed Thistle. Also, ensuring you are eating well, keeping hydrated and relaxed will greatly help too.
1 mom found this helpful
K.M. answers from Chicago on January 10, 2012
I think it's less of a hunger thing at night and more of a "soothing" thing. I would try to pump one side while he nurses the other, then offer the other breast (the one you pumped) he should drain it completly if the pump did not. Then the next time you feed swap, that should help increase supply and almost trick your body into thinking you are feeding twins all of a sudden. I would also try to give him a "soothie" pacifier after he has fed each time. My son used me as his pacifier and it caused lactation issues and I could never get him to accept a paci although he needed one. That is my suggestion to you.
Mom of 4 was thinking of Fenugreek it is an herb you can get at a vitamin store.
1 mom found this helpful
E.S. answers from Jacksonville on January 10, 2012
Pumping after each feeding during the day should increase your milk supply and give you milk to give him at night.
He could also be getting gassy at night. My son is 8 weeks and I don't notice the gas during the day, but at night he screams. We give him gripe water and he calms right down and goes to sleep.
T.L. answers from St. Louis on January 10, 2012
You can try the Mother's milk tea or there is something else, but I can't think of the name (it will make you smell like pancake syrup). Also, having a beer or glass of wine will increase your production greatly. This will also help you relax. I usually had a glass of wine right after nursing to allow anything to get out of my system before nursing again.
I also noticed a huge difference once I switched to a better pump. I used the Medela and loved it. It was quiet enough I could talk on the phone while pumping if necessary.
J. answers from Detroit on January 11, 2012
It may even be possible that you have a blocked duct/s. Find a lactation consultant. They weigh your baby before you nurse, you nurse the baby, then they way him afterwards to determine your output. This happened to me so maybe this is what is happening to you. Best of luck as I know first hand how frustrating and emotional feeding can be.
C.M. answers from Detroit on January 11, 2012
My #2 daughter was the same way. All she wanted to do ...what I thought anyway was eat. She really just needed to suck more. I found myself overflowing with milk after a couple of weeks BECAUSE she was "on" so frequently. Alot of milk is a good problem to have! Giving her a pacifier helped me. It doesn't sound like too much milk is your history. Make sure you are eating well, limited caffiene, plenty of water, rest and continue with your prenatal vitamins. You might even try a beer or a glass of wine right before nursing...maybe your milk isn't "letting down" One glass of either will not effect baby, but will help your body relax so your milk will let down. Your baby is only a week old...he has no clue, but sucking is his instinct, he will want to do that whether he is hungry or not. Your milk supply is not established until 5-6 weeks. Supplementing with formula will interfere with your milk supply, but so will a pacifier to a point. I would makes sure he nurses on both sides at least 5 minutes so you are empty...make sure he is burped well too, THEN give him a pacifier. Make sure to start nursing on the opposite side next feeding. I would stop the pumping, nothing stimulates milk making better than a hungry baby. Evening is usually a time when little ones are cranky anyway. Congrats on your sweetie! I hope this helps.
S.C. answers from Des Moines on January 12, 2012
La Leche League! You can find a meeting/leader near you at http://www.llli.org/webus.html
Also check out the leaky b@@B page on facebook!
AndI'm with the other's I'd stop the formula.....
D.M. answers from Denver on January 10, 2012
It's hard to know for sure, but it sounds like he's hungry. If the formula helps, then he is just hungry. I might try to give him the bottle earlier at night and see if it changes the cluster feedings. If so, it's just that he needs more food, and you can work w/ your dr to try to produce more. He may also be going through adjusting to getting his days/nights mixed up - that stage is always fun. BEST of luck!