What is Cluster Feeding?

If your baby is fussing in the evening, wanting to feed more frequently (almost continuously) for a few hours, know that this is completely normal and expected behaviour. It does not mean that you do not have enough milk. Your pēpi is cluster feeding.

 

Cluster feeding can be exhausting and seemingly constant but it is a common occurrence, especially in the early weeks of breastfeeding. It helps to build a good supply as your breasts will be emptied more frequently, plus your pēpi may also be needing more comfort at the end of a long day. Many parents find that their baby seems to ‘fill up’ after a cluster feeding session, resulting in a longer stretch of sleep at night. They usually aren’t sleeping through the night at this age but the extended rest after hours of breastfeeding is often welcome nonetheless!

We’re going to repeat ourselves here, so bear with us: the most important thing to know about cluster feeding is that it is not a reflection of low milk supply. Unless your baby is not putting on weight or having enough wet and dirty nappies, in all likelihood, your baby will be getting enough milk.

If you’re concerned about your baby’s cluster feeding or are worried about your milk supply, speak to your LMC or Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse, or book in to see a lactation consultant for advice.