Author Topic: Cluster feeding help??  (Read 2119 times)

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Offline missyb

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Cluster feeding help??
« on: May 10, 2011, 22:54:45 PM »
I am sure this is possibly normal but i just don't know what the best way to deal with it is

Ds is 9days old and everything is going really well with the exception of the cluster feed in the evening.

During the day he is feeding roughly 3.5-4hrly.  I was waking him 3hrly but he was just way too sleepy and not having a decent feed and was more snacking. Once he is settled for the night he is going 4-5hrly.

During the evening with  the cluster feeds, he has a decent feed and then has his awake time which he is pretty much happy in his bouncer watching the world go by.  Then about an hour later he is hungry again.  So I start to feed and because he been awake for so long he goes straight to sleep and doesnít feed properly.  Then he gets lots of wind and just wants to suck (there is no suck/swallow happening).  That only results in him waking 20min later wanting to feed again to which he falls asleep and the cycle starts again.

Last night was the worst with it taking nearly 4hrs for him to get settled down for the night. 

I have tried giving him a dummy but he wonít take it and I donít really want to encourage that as we had big dummy issues with DS1.  I have really sore cracked nipples so donít want him using me as a dummy either as I can cope with the pain.

So how do I get him to have

A.  Go to sleep after the first feed so that he isnít sleepy for the next?
B. Have a decent feed at the second feed so that he settles easier?
c. How do I satisfy his sucking need if he wonít take a dummy and I canít cope with him using me as one.

On a side issue as well, is there anything I can do during the day to help boost the milk quality for this cluster feed time.  I am resting as much as I can when DS 1 goes for his nap and I am eating well and making sure I have lots of protein at lunch.  But is there anything else I can be doing??

I only BF DS1 for 6weeks as we had huge issues, this time it is seeming to be heaps better so would love to make the most of it if I can.

Offline Zefyra

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 23:25:22 PM »
hi,
I'm a newbie and not sure if this will help since I'm a first timer.  My dd is now 13 weeks, and fully bf except for the df which is EBM.

I got off to a very bad start from day 1, and cluster feeding and sore nipples was a nightmare (I also had flat nipples so I really was starting from scratch).  The best advice I can give is...express express express. I kept it up and also gave dd a small feed using a bottle to keep that habit up.  It's hard work as I also found my milk supply seemed low in the evenings.

Unfortunately..I didn't find a solution to the cluster feeding except to feed 2 hrly instead of 3.5-4 hrly (i had a baby who wanted to sleep more than feed!), my baby also would snooze for 20mins or so during the clusterfeeding then wake only to suckle ever so slowly. but it must have worked as now bf seems a whole lot easier..and supply is not an issue anymore.

All the midwives told me to 'wake baby to feed' except one, who gave me a great analogy; if someone woke me from a deep sleep and offered me a big breakfast, would I really feel like eating it straight away? maybe once i was fully awake and realised my hunger it might appeal to me..I used this to feed baby until I started on EASY and I found it worked better for me as dd actually took more. (it worked during the day..)

I've read alot about eating oats...so I eat porridge at least every other day.  In the first few weeks I used to express after at least 2-3 feeds.  I now express after morning feed, even if it's only 1oz or less, and again at night and use this for df.

Also, dont feel quilty if you really need a break, to give formula.  I know it might sound terrible but i think at around week 3 or 4, i was so exhausted from the cluster feeding that i just gave a bottle of formula to give my nipples a break. theres nothing wrong with it!

i perservered with giving dd a dummy as she used me as one instead! she still takes it but im trying to be careful and take it out as soon as she starts to fall asleep..to prevent addiction..

i hope this helps..and you're not alone...

Offline Vicku

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 12:45:47 PM »
Have a read through this :) http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html
Also would she suck your little finger for a while in the evening to settle and give your nipples a break? they do have a strong need to suck, some more than others.
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Offline missyb

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 00:46:30 AM »
Thanks for your replies.

We have had some success with the dummy, and he will now take it but I feel that we have almost taken one step forward 10 steps back as the last 2 night he has been awake for nearly 6 hours being fussy and what seems to be in pain with wind/gas.

He then is ending up completly OT and a difficult to settle.  He just is wide awake and won't close his eyes no matter what we do.

He is a nightmare to burp in the evenings but during the day is fine, so not sure how to get around it.

Also he is seeming to take a lot longer to have his feeds, he was starting to get ratehr efficent and a feed was taking about 45min in total but now they are back up to over an hour (both day and night) which isn't helping getting him settled again afterwards.

He is also still doing 4hrly during the day but has dropped back to 3hrly at night (previously 4-5hrly) so would I be better waking him 3hrly during the day again??  he is alot easier to wake for feeds now that he isn't so sleepy so it might work now??

I really want this to work this time, but am starting to feel that it isn't going to.

Offline Zefyra

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 15:52:01 PM »
Little J, don't give up! I felt the same, I'm sure many mums do-bf is exhausting but it does get easier I promise. The midwives in UK dont recommend gripe water but i started dd on it at 3 weeks, or try infacol.  I'd say feed more often in the day, that way your giving him most his feeds in the day which is what is supposed to happen so hopefully it will switch back.

Keep trying different methods of winding-if on the shoulder doesnt work, try the cycling legs movement, or stretching his arms and legs out while he's lying down, then lift him, he might burp on coming up.. I still burp dd inbetween feeds too.

Offline Vicku

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 20:29:36 PM »
Yes, I'd go for 3hrly feeds during the day in this case. A 4hr routine also means too long A times (or too long S times) for daytime. If he's taking 45 mins to an hr to feed that is really all the A he can handle at this age, just do a quick nappy change and put down to sleep, then wake at around the 3hr mark. Making sure those A times don't get too long during the day can help him not get so OT/OS in the evening and may help...
Definitely worth trying Infacol or similar and perhaps having a think of what your eating if there is anything that might be upsetting his tummy. They are so sensitive these first few months. I've got a sticky about mine and DD's experience of digestive issues when she was tiny, it's in CR&C... will find it for you.
Hang in there sweetie :-* The first few months of BF can be very hard, but once you get past that it gets sooo much easier and it is so worth it. (((hugs)))

Found the link :) Success story of treatment for digestive problems plus info on elimination diet

Vick
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 20:32:50 PM by Vicku »
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Offline missyb

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 23:33:46 PM »
thanks guys,

I had a big chat to my MW yesterday and she watched me feed, and she thinks I have a fast letdown which is just causing him to get more gas than he can cope with and by the end of the day he is just full like a balloon.  So I have started him on infacol and also feeding uphill and yesterday afternoon was heaps better.

He does seem to get a little frustrated with having to work a bit harder for the milk but he will get used to it.

 I also read on Kellymom that you can just feed off one side, but he seems to drain both sides at the mo, so not sure how satisfied he would be with just one side. Just not sure how one sided feeding works as it is just not advocated here.

Will see how we go

Offline Vicku

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Re: Cluster feeding help??
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 11:43:16 AM »
OALD can certainly cause excessive wond and discomfort, great that your midwife could watch you feed and picked up on it :)
Some babies do really well on single side feeding and others want both sides, it just varies and if you feel he needs both sides then by all means continue that. You could try burping once he's finished on the first side, then offering the same side again to make sure he takes enough hindmilk before switching sides. If you've been on KM and read about OALD you'll know all the tricks like expressing a little through the LD before putting baby on, feeding uphill like you mentioned etc. Hope it helps! Also the infacol does take quite a while to reach full effect so give it at least a week beore evaluating if it works.
"Very Proud Mummy Blessed with 3 Spirited Girls"
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I Breastfed DD1 9.5 months and DD2 21.5 months
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