My grandmother and my mother quit breastfeeding their babies when they were newborns because they weren’t “producing enough milk”. I was lucky enough to purchase a book (the right book) on breastfeeding before I had my children.
Babies go through growth spurts. These growth spurts will continue on through their teenage years. During a baby’s first year the most common times to expect these growth spurts are when your baby is around 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months of age. Some people will say around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months of age. If these “additional ages” are true I don’t think they are as noticeable as the previous four.
During a growth spurt your baby will want to be fed frequently. Sometimes you will feel like you just finished feeding him and then he wants to eat again. You may start to worry that you aren’t producing enough breast milk and you will be right. Temporarily, you aren’t producing enough milk but this is normal and not a cause for alarm. Frequent feedings will boost your milk supply.
A lot of new moms don’t realize that their baby determines how much milk is needed and produced. When your baby starts going through a growth spurt she will want to be fed more frequently. This increase in feedings is what signals the mother’s body to increase her milk supply.
On average, a growth spurt will last about 2 – 3 days. Sometimes it can last as long as a week.
What should you do during a growth spurt?
- Don’t panic
- Don’t supplement with formula (or water)
- Clear your schedule and feed your baby as often as she needs
- Eat and drink enough
- DON’T GIVE UP!
If you supplement your baby with formula your body won’t get the message to increase your breast milk supply. The extra/frequent feedings are what signals your body to produce more milk.
Always seek the advice of your pediatrician or a lactation consultant if you have any questions or concerns.