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During growth spurts, babies will nurse more frequently and for longer periods of time, and may be fussier than normal. It can be exhausting and sometimes painful for a nursing mother to go through, but it is temporary. Babies may also exhibit this same type of behavior when going through developmental milestones, or mental leaps.
When do growth spurts occur?
In the first 12 months, growth spurts will occur at approximately 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months.
How long will the growth spurt last?
Growth spurts typically last a couple days to a week.
Is baby getting enough milk?
When your baby is nursing at all hours a day and fussing more than usual, it can be worrisome that they may not be getting enough milk. However, the frequent nursing will naturally stimulate your milk production. It is recommended not to supplement with formula or pumped milk, but to continue to offer the breast so that your milk production is boosted to meet the baby's needs. If you are exclusively pumping, add extra pumping sessions to boost supply for baby's increased intake.
How can I prepare?
The first two growth spurts can be particularly difficult, as you may be experiencing sore nipples and are still establishing your breastfeeding relationship. Keep the lanolin handy and maybe some cool, soothing gel packs. Make sure to take care of yourself, stay hydrated and have lots of healthy snack options available.