Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Benefits of Cluster Feeding

So our evenings--starting as early as 4, and ending as late as midnight, but usually for a good 4-5 hour stretch . . . are basically an all-night eat-a-thon. Meaning that James David nurses for 5-15 mins, then takes a 5-15 min break, and then wants to nurse again. This seriously does last for at least 4 hours.

I will let him go on one boob for a total of 30-45 mins of EATING time, and then switch to the other one--but after several hours of this, they haven't had time to fill up again by the time it's "their turn" again.

So, by the end of it, I almost feel bad because my boobs are completely done--or at least, it feels that way--like there is no milk left in them. And yet when he pops off, there is still milk in his mouth--where is it even coming from???

Yet eventually the baby goes to sleep--typically, sometime between 9 and 12, and when he FINALLY and REALLY goes to sleep, then the benefits of all-evening cluster feeds start to shine through. Because that baby will sleep almost the whole night through!! Last night he slept from 11:30-4, ate, and then slept again from 4:30 to 8:45. Ahhh, the blissful wonder of (nearly) uninterrupted sleep.

There was ONE day (in the past week) that he didn't spend all evening eating. And that night he woke up every two hours on the dot, and it was SO SO much worse. For some reason one's body is not programmed to sleep in tiny chunks (unless one's body is 13 days old, that is).

So, all in all, no matter how sore my nips are by the end of it, or how deflated my boobs, I'll take the cluster feeds and sleeping at night over an every-two-hours-throughout-the-day-and-night sort of schedule. The sleep at night is totally worth being attached to an adorable baby all evening.

1 comment:

Ruby said...

Its crazy how your breasts just never empty even if they feel deflated. When your milk supply regulates, they nearly always feel that way and its freaky at first because you wonder if its a supply drop. Its not, just a return to "normal." The cluster feeds were super hard on me, it just seemed never ending on those evenings...thank god for NHL hockey playoffs at the time :) I just never imagined how much time I would spend with him latched on and it really use to bother me when DH was the super soother. It seemed like I couldnt do anything to help him calm down except latch him on...I learned that the babe just smells our milk and wants to nurse but dads are great at soothing in general because they dont smell like milk.

I remember cluster feeding majorly around Maxim's 3 month....he must have just sat on the boob for 4 hours that night. I thought it was over after the first 6 weeks but I was mistaken. However, those later cluster feeds are the growth spurts and much more manageable.

Hang in...it gets so much better I promise! Right around 2-3 months it was like nothing at all.

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