A fussy baby can be stressful for any mommy, and a fussy baby who wants to stop and start feeding over and over can also be exhausting. This is very normal, and is called cluster feeding.

What is cluster feeding

Cluster feeding is when your baby “bunch feeds”, or wants to nurse multiple times close together. This behavior is most common in the afternoon and is generally indicative of a growth spurt (but is sometimes a sign of an upset stomach — baby may not know that this does not mean he or she is hungry). Cluster feeding is often accompanied by your child becoming very fussy, then feeding, pulling away, and then fussing some more. This can cause mommies to be confused, or damage self-esteem — but this behavior is completely normal. Cluster feeding is sometimes, but not always, followed by your child sleeping for a longer period of time than usual. This is not due to anything you are doing wrong, which is a common misconception.

Does this mean my milk supply is low?

Cluster feeding IS NOT a sign of low milk supply! Cluster feeding is just nature’s way of increasing your milk supply to meet a growing child’s demands. It can be easy to doubt yourself when your child is cluster feeding, but your baby is just doing what he or she needs to increase your milk supply. This is a very natural and normal process, although it can be very stressful, it will not last forever.

The worst thing you can do during a growth spurt or period when your milk supply is increasing is to supplement with formula.

How to keep a steady breast milk supply

You can assist this process and your milk production in various ways — there are certain foods you can eat to help increase milk production such as lactation cookies, whole grains, especially oatmeal, etc. You should also be sure to get enough rest, eat enough calories a day to compensate for the 500-800 burned a day by breastfeeding, avoid stress, and if you are on hormonal birth control, consult your doctor about its effect on lactation as some studies show hormonal birth control can have adverse effects on breast milk production. Pumping after breastfeeding is also a great way to help increase milk production- your body will naturally respond to supply and demand.

Power pumping

Power pumping is almost parallel to cluster feeding and women who pump exclusively commonly use this method to increase their milk supply. Breast pumps can be a great asset to breastfeeding mothers but can be costly. Under the Affordable Care Act, however, breast pumps can be covered up to 100% by your health insurance company.

Breast pumps through insurance

Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you quickly and easily find out if your insurance policy covers a pump. Simply submit your information through our Qualify Through Insurance form and let our Breastpump Specialists take care of the rest. Your dedicated Specialist will work directly with your insurance company and healthcare provider to determine your coverage and will contact you within 3-5 business days to discuss your pump options and shipment date.

No insurance? No problem. Aeroflow Breastpumps strives to also provide the best breast pumps and supplies to your family at the lowest prices. If you have additional questions about cluster feeding or breast pumps through insurance, call us at 844-867-9890. We look forward to assisting you!

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.