Our three-week-old baby suddenly wants to nurse all the time. Does that mean I don’t have enough milk?
Yes, but don’t worry–your body will soon make more. More-frequent requests to nurse usually mean that your baby is going through a growth spurt. These occur around ten days to three weeks, six weeks, and three months of age. Think of these as “frequency days” when babies want and need to nurse “all the time” because they are growing very quickly. After a day or two of “marathon nursing,” your body will begin to make more milk, and baby will need to feed less often. It’s the supply and demand principle of milk production at work–only the demand part comes first, followed by the increase in supply.
When baby steps up his feedings, you need to cut back on your other commitments, at least for a few days. Just settle in and nurse your baby and don’t worry about the housework or other commitments. Trying to do too much will quickly lead to exhaustion, and being exhausted will interfere with your body’s ability to make more milk. Give yourself the opportunity to let biology work for you. (See Increasing Your Milk Supply” for suggestions.) The more often your baby nurses, the higher the level of milk-making hormones in your body. These will help you to relax during these potentially stressful days.
A baby is a baby for a very short time, so take advantage of this time to enjoy holding and nursing your baby. No one’s life or growth is going to be affected if the housework doesn’t get done.