Has your baby been on a great routine and suddenly wants to feed around the clock? Has your lo been sleeping through the night for weeks and is suddenly waking up ravenous?
**If yes then you could very well be dealing with a Growth Spurt
Growth spurts are most common around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less). They usually last from 2-5 daysl. The increased demand for the breast is usually the signal that Baby's growing body is in need of more food.
If you baby has been sleeping through the night or for long stretches (5-6 hours) and is suddenly waking after 2-3 hours or waking erratically throughout the night it is most likely a hunger issue. In BWSAYP, Tracey recommends "upping calories during the day rather than feeding in the night" to avoid any long term accidental parenting.
As a breastfeeding mother this can be tricky because it is not simply a matter of pouring more milk into a bottle. Instead you have to send a message to your body to manufacture more milk.
"For three days, you have to take steps to increase your milk supply. There are 2 ways to do this:"
1) Pump one hour after each feed. You may only get an ounce or two but you can store the extra breast milk and use it to top off you baby at her next feed. Do this for three days and by the third day your body will be producing the extra milk it requires for your baby.
2) At each feed, have your baby empty one breast and then put him on the other breast. When the second breast is emptied, switch back to the first breast. Although it will feel empty to you, the body always produces milk in response to a baby's suckling. After three days you will notice a boost in your milk production.
Growth Spurts can happen unexpectedly as the timings are not identical for every baby. Some breastfeeding mothers also choose not to pump and it is possible to ensure your baby's needs are met by just using some flexibility during those few days. Some BW mothers use an EAEASY structure so they are responding to their baby's hunger cues and allowing their baby to build up their supply. Those few days don't last long and your baby will return to their normal feeding pattern once things have settled down. If you are getting clear hungry signs from your baby during that time, don't try and stretch them to the next feed unhappily - they are doing you the service of building up your milk supply for the next few weeks and months! Mother Nature is very clever.
Unfortunately, many moms who may be breastfeeding for the first time mistakenly think that they just aren't producing enough milk to keep their infants adequately fed. They might start thinking that their bodies aren't making enough milk or that their milk supply is decreasing and many often give up at this point. The "let-down reflex" that stimulates the milk flow is very psychological. If a mother thinks that there may be problems, she could end up creating the very problem she's worried about.
Women's bodies are amazing things and it is important to realize that our milk production WILL increase to meet our babies needs as long as we give it the opportunity to do so.