Oh the dreaded growth spurts! They happen pretty frequently in the first year. Growth spurts are a normal part of baby's development but they can often leave breastfeeding mothers in a panic? Why? Because that sweet little baby has all of a sudden turned into a ravenous animal on a seemingly all you can eat frenzy!
It is during this time that many nursing mothers question their supply. I hear it so frequently at mom groups and on forums- "I think my supply isn't keeping up with baby! I just don't think I have enough milk! It seems like he is never satisfied!" While this might seem alarming, it is likely that baby is just growing through a normal growth spurt.
Babies are growing rapidly and their bodies do need more milk as they grow. Frequent nursing during a growth spurt is a good thing because it is telling your body to up its milk production. Don't limit baby's nursing during this time (even though they may nurse every hour and want to stay on the breast for extended periods of time).
While it may be difficult to deal with growth spurts, here are some tips for surviving:
- set up a nursing station on the couch: make sure you have water snacks, chargers, remote, maybe an iPad or Kindle
- Netflix and your DVR will become your best friends
- tell your significant other or family members that household chores will be their job for the next few days or up to a week
- Did I mention snacks and water? Many nursing moms feel more hungry themselves during baby's growth spurt so don't forget to nourish yourself!
Growth spurts come and go throughout the first few years but are most frequent in the first couple months. They will all pass and sometimes it is nice to use them as a reminder to slow down and just focus on baby- after all, they're only little for a short time :)