3 Ways To Deal With Growth Spurts While Breastfeeding (BFBN: Guest Post)

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Handing growth spurts while breastfeeding can be a bit daunting at first. In this guest post, Natasha talks about 3 easy ways to handle growth spurts when breastfeeding.

3 ways to deal with growth spurts while breastfeeding

 

Growth spurts are a normal and necessary part of a baby’s life and development.  They may make a new mama a little crazy and wonder if her milk supply is too low or if something is wrong with her fussy baby, but really there’s no reason to worry!  All you need to do to recognize a growth spurt for what it is and then HANDLE IT like the mom boss you are.

3 Ways to Handle Growth Spurts While Breastfeeding:

(Useful post alert) Click here to read more about–> Recognizing and Handling Growth Spurts in Babies

1. Recognize what’s happening

The first thing you have to do when baby is having a growth spurt is RECOGNIZE that baby is having a growth spurt!  Otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy thinking something is wrong, like you don’t have enough milk supply to keep up with baby’s needs.

In reality, baby does need more milk during a growth spurt, but the more you nurse, the more milk you’ll make.  Breast milk production works on a supply and demand basis, so if baby needs more and is consistently emptying the breast, your body will know to make more milk.  It’s really amazing!

A few things you can do to help your body make more milk is eat lactation cookies, take a fenugreek supplement, drink mother’s milk tea, eat oatmeal, stay hydrated, and eat lots of good fats.

2. Settle in for a few days

Most growth spurts only last 3-6 days.  So just when you’re thinking you can’t do it anymore, remind yourself of this!  It’s only a couple days in the grand scheme of your nursing journey, and if you really want to nurse, a growth spurt definitely shouldn’t be the reason you give up on it.  Just power through!

There are several growth spurts that happen in the first year.  The ages you can expect growth spurts are: a few days after birth, 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 7-9 months.

Basically the first year of a baby’s life is spent growing A LOT.  Just think about how much a baby grows between birth and one year old.  A crazy amount of change and growth happens that first year!  No wonder they need to eat more sometimes.

 

3 ways to deal with growth spurts while breastfeeding

3. Nurse on demand

Once you recognize baby is going through a growth spurt and wrap your brain around it, the only thing left to do is feed your baby!  If baby seems hungry, feed her.  If baby is fussy, offer the boob.

Even babies that are on solid 3-hour schedules and take good naps and sleep well at night can be thrown off by a growth spurt.  Some babies will want to eat every 2.5 hours instead, or even every 2 hours.  Some babies might need a dreamfeed added back in the to schedule for a few days.

Everly would wake up in the middle of the night to eat during her growth spurts.  That was usually my first indication that she was experiencing a growth spurt.  I went with it because it was out of the norm for her and I was able to recognize it for what it probably was – a growth spurt!

The worst thing to do would be to stick to your schedule and sleeping training so rigidly that you don’t feed baby when baby is hungry.  This will just prolong the growth spurt and make naps and nighttime miserable.

Try not to stress about a growth spurt!  That definitely won’t help your milk supply.  Just settle in and enjoy the extra snuggles with your baby.  Babies don’t keep!

(Useful post alert) Click here to read more about–> Recognizing and Handling Growth Spurts in Babies

And here to read more about –> Baby and Toddler Schedules

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Natasha Combs

Natasha is a work-at-home lawyer and mama to 4 kids – Laurel, Bennett, Christopher, and Everly, with twin boys on the way. She blogs about foster care, adoption, IVF, pregnancy, and mamahood at Let’s Be Brave.

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