Did your baby cluster feed?
Many babies who are breastfed 'cluster feed' at a certain time of day. This is when the baby feeds more frequently during this time period i.e. clusters their feeds together. For some babies this can look more like one really long extended feed throughout most of the evening (the evening is the most likely time for a baby to cluster feed) whereas other babies may be on and off the breast frequently in this time period.
Did/ does your baby cluster feed? What has been your experience of cluster feeding?
It is important to remember that cluster feeding is normal. Breastmilk flow can be slower in the evening and this is one possible reason why many babies will cluster feed in the evenings. Another reason is to stock up on milk for a longer sleep following the cluster feeding (although this doesn't always happen). Lactation consultants and breastfeeding charities/helplines recommend that you go with the cluster feeding and follow your baby's lead; letting your baby feed at the breast as frequently as he/she wants (this is assuming you have got a good latch which can be checked by a midwife, at a breastfeeding support group or by a lactation consultant).
Allowing your baby to feed in this way will help to settle your baby and will also maintain a healthy breastmilk supply for you (as breastmilk is produced on a supply and demand basis). It will also comfort your baby and give you bonding time with your baby.
I personally found that cluster feedings became easier once I accepted that they were normal and to be expected. Then I could relax and enjoy the extra time my baby spent at the breast. I also found my husband to be a great help during this time; getting me food and drink and being there to have a chat to during those long, special feeds.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences of cluster feeding.