Considering giving up breastfeeding due to sleep issues - need honest input

(184 Posts)
tinierclanger Fri 06-Sep-13 09:27:25

DD is 4 months old now and has never really slept well. Until a few weeks ago she occasionally slept 4 hours at the beginning of the night, but now the best she does is 3. She will then wake every 1 or 2 hours and want feeding back to sleep. We spend some of the night cosleeping but not all.

I have no problems feeding her, she is fed entirely on demand in the day and feeds about every 2 hours, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. I don't want to stop but I am so drawn to the prospect of getting more sleep - some days I cope ok but others I am shattered and a horrible person to be around, affecting my relationship with DH and DS hmm

My fear though is that if I start FF she will wake just as often and then I will have bottles to deal with. In all honesty is this likely or is she more likely to sleep in proper stretches, rather than waking to nibble on me? Obviously the main incentive is that I could get DH to do one night a week and I could just sleep...

tinierclanger Sat 07-Sep-13 15:46:55

Have pmed you bigkidsdidit. Threads gone a bit crazy. I'll be tuning out posts that reference "whinging" as a bit lacking in empathy. grin

Am just working my way through all these posts, but loved that I have been called 'the voice of reason!'

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 07-Sep-13 20:12:57

I can't read 6 pages but just wanted to say have you tried not Co-sleeping? Ds always settled faster Co-sleeping but woke up a lot more when next to the all you can eat milk buffet me.

HaroldLloyd Sat 07-Sep-13 21:00:55

tinier good for you. I've heard someone else talk about that lady as well think she's going to get in touch with her too.

Good luck.

ab00 Sat 07-Sep-13 22:01:35

Op I just wanted to let you know you are not on your own. Ds2 is 5.5 months, we had an awful time to start with ad he had reflux so spent most nights holding him upright or feeding, for us to have a few improved Weeks of sleep after tt wad resolved at 14 weeks only to hit the 4 month sleep regression, teething, attempting to roll in sleep but getting stuck followed this week by a horrendous cold & more teething. Unfortunately ds is a complete bottle refuser or dh wound happily do a feed or 2 for me.
Sleep deprivation is awful & at times makes you feel desperate. It is hard beyond words. Some people say ff helps others say not. You just need to find the way that works best for you & your family, that you are comfortable with to maximise the rest you all get. Fingers crossed things start to improve very,very soon.

loveroflife Sat 07-Sep-13 22:29:34

This thread is so timely! OP I have just decided this week to give up breastfeeding as ds is about to turn 5m. I am, like you, utterly exhausted from 3/4 feeds through the night and that is with co sleeping after the first wake.

I ff ds1 from 8 weeks and he conked out like a light after every feed and slept through from 4m. I have given ds2 a couple of bottles and he has gulped it down like a dehydrated plant and seems very satisfied after, he also, has slept well after the bottles.

I feel bad that I am 'giving up' before the 6m mark as I wanted to bf until then but I really can't cope. I have headaches when I'm driving, my weight is increasing as I crave carbs and sugar first thing because of the exhaustion. I'm short tempered, pissed off and not very nice to be around. It got to the point this week where I dreaded getting up to face the day which is just awful on ds1 who is a lively toddler and doesn't deserve this. I think those that CAN cope with little sleep sadly don't really understand how depressed one can feel when they are starved of it.

One idea you may want to consider would be to introduce a bottle say at bed and see how dc gets on and see if it makes any difference, if it does, go from there and see how many feeds you want to replace with formula or work out a plan for mix feeding.

One other point is that I went out for the afternoon and dh gave ds a bottle of formula. I went out at 1 and came home at 6 and pumped - my boobs were sore and leaking and I produced a whopping 3oz!! That's all I got over 5 hours - seems such a little amount! No wonder ds gulped down 6oz of formula, he was probably starving all the time wanting to feed every 2 hours as he wasn't getting enough from me which made me feel awful for silently cursing his crying.

Good luck OP - you've done so well as it is.

loveroflife don't feel guilty! Expressed production is rarely the same as "live" production. You stopped at the right time for you and you never starved your baby.

thanks

loveroflife Sat 07-Sep-13 23:16:12

thank you horry, that is so kind and has made me feel better as i pump away and get another measly 3oz...

Remember, what you pump is not an indication of how much milk baby gets while BF. Some women do extended breastfeeding, but will never get more than an ounce when pumping, so please don't feel that 3oz is nothing!!

When you're giving up BF, you need to pump enough just to relieve the engorgement and pain, don't pump until you're 'empty' otherwise your body gets the idea that it needs to keep producing.

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