Does breastfeeding make you tired?

(18 Posts)
sambo303 Wed 24-Jun-09 09:09:04

Hi

My mother told me last week that bfing makes you tired which is why I am tired all the time. Is this true? My ds is 9.5MO and a bad sleeper, has slept through 3 nights only (last week) so I thought that was the reason.

My sister also has a 9MO and she's gone back to work and dropped 2 bf feeds and she says she feels a lot less tired. So maybe it is true..?

crokky Wed 24-Jun-09 09:13:26

I think it can do.

I bf my DS for 12-13m and it made me extremely tired (he was also a bad sleeper)

Then I bf DD for 12m and it didn't make me as tired - she did feed less than DS and even though I had TWO bad sleepers to deal with, I was still less tired.

I would carry on bf until 12m and then start cutting a lot of feeds out/give up entirely - this worked for me.

I have a friend who is bf her 20 month old and sleep and tiredness have not improved since he was 12m so it doesn't seem to improve with age.

abdnhiker Wed 24-Jun-09 09:13:55

breastfeeding makes me hungry, and I do think it takes something out of me, but I think it's more than balanced by listening to my husband clean the kitchen every evening while I sit and relax and feed my 12 month old to sleep. IMO it's the sleep deprivation, and especially the accumulated sleep deprivation, that really takes a lot out of you when you have a young kid. At about 11 months for both my DSs, I've had a burst of energy that corresponded with more regular sleep patterns from them even though I was still BFing.

warthog Wed 24-Jun-09 09:22:54

i think it makes me more tired. normally i need 8 hours sleep but when i'm breastfeeding, i probably need another 30 mins to an hour. of course i never get that!

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 24-Jun-09 09:25:33

I think BF may well make you tired but anyone would be knackered having been up in the night at least 3 times for the last 9.5 months. It's probably a combo TBH.

CherryChoc Wed 24-Jun-09 09:26:38

It makes me sleepy, when I do it, I quite often feel I want to doze off, it's exactly like that post-sex sleepy feeling, so I think it's to do with the hormones produced.

I think breastfeeding can make you more susceptible to anaemia, which can make you feel tired, you could try eating more iron or taking a supplement.

peppapighastakenovermylife Wed 24-Jun-09 09:26:56

Did your mum breastfeed Sambo?

Im not sure on this one - I would say it is mainly the sleep deprivation that many mums get. I know I certainly have friends who formula feed who are exhausted too! I have days of feeling exhausted but thats because I have been up half the night...other days I am fine.

BF does make me slightly tired I think as I am not very good with hormones - same as pregnancy, the pill etc has an effect I think breastfeeding might a little bit. Nothing huge though.

Has your sisters baby started sleeping better now at 9 months? Does she find being at work easier than being at home? I would think it was probably coincidence.

ino Wed 24-Jun-09 09:30:40

It does make you feel sleepy while you are doing it - which is quite nice in a way. But I never found it made me tired in a longer term way.

ShowOfHands Wed 24-Jun-09 09:36:33

Not really. It produces that happy, relaxing hormone that makes you feel sleepy while it's happening and just afterwards, but it's not fatigue. I think it's important to eat a good diet when you have a baby but especially if you're bfing. Bugger all to do with milk quality which people often mistakenly believe, but it does help you feel better.

I think sleep deprivation and the fact that it takes a year for your hormones to resettle are more to blame.

primigravida Wed 24-Jun-09 09:43:14

My MIL is always telling me I'll be less tired when I stop breast-feeding but I don't think breast-feeding makes me tired, it's the broken sleep that's a killer. When ds sleeps through I'm a lot less tired than when he wakes up lots at night. My friends who formula feed are/were just as tired so I don't think it makes a difference. You could end up tired if you're still feeding at night and have to faff around with bottles. I hope you ds starts sleeping to, my ds started sleeping a lot better around ten months and only wakes up at nights now when he's got a cold or teething. I find being at uni less tiring than running around after or carrying ds and am more tired on the days I'm at home with him so that might be the reason why your sister is less tired now.

sambo303 Wed 24-Jun-09 10:26:14

primi its interesting your mil says the same. I thought at the time it was a generational thing as my mum always did exactly as told by her dr ie feed the baby 10 mins max each side, only feed every 3 hours etc, the old advice. And wean early - she was told to start giving my sister food at 2 weeks (!). That was 1969. I think faith in bf was low in her day so maybe that's it. Plus my sister loves work and does not love being at home with a baby so maybe with her brain working again, she feels a lot better?? Anyhoo, I am sure it's the constant waking in the night that's tiring, I;ve never felt tired immediately following bf.

I've always thought my mum was a non judgemental non advice giving just let her make her own mistakes kind of mother - but I did feel she was subtly saying, are you still bfing?? Quite disappointing.

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 24-Jun-09 10:33:08

Oh my parents started with the comments about DD when she was about 10mo or something, which I was surprised about I expected better from them.

I found it useful to point out that to switch before 12 months makes no sense whatsoever as you have to buy all the formula faff around making feeds up blah blah and that it was miles easier to BF. In the end I carried on longer than 12 months but it got them off by back til my baby was a year IYSWIM.

Worzsel Wed 24-Jun-09 10:38:48

I find breastfeeding a lot less tiring than bottle feeding actually. I was knackered with DD, who was FF but although i am getting hardly any sleep with DS ( 6 months ebf ) i actually feel fairly mentally alert but i am starting to feel the strain physicially.

I think the hormones are responsible for keeping BF mummies going, there is no way getting up every 2 hours for months on end is managable any other way.

notcitrus Wed 24-Jun-09 10:41:57

I felt a lot less tired once A was 6.5mo and eating lots and feeding less - even though he started sleeping worse. Until then I seemed to be spending every waking minute either doing baby stuff or having to eat to stop myself feeling faint.
A few friends had the same experience. A is now 9.5mo and feeding 3-4 times a day and while I'm tired from disrupted sleep, I don;t feel drained any more.

belgo Wed 24-Jun-09 10:43:53

Bfing itself doesn't make me tired. But what is does do is make me realise that I am tired when I have been previously rushing around trying to get everything done, not getting enough sleep, and living on adrenaline. Then I would sit down and breastfeed, and the hormones of that would negate the effect of the adrenaline, and I would feel tired.

If I am getting enough sleep and generally keeping on top of everything, I don't feel tired when bfing at all. I just feel relaxed and happy.

PinkTulips Wed 24-Jun-09 10:50:06

i've been preg or bf-ing for 5 years now and i have tines where i'n more tired than others irrespective of bf-ing.

ds2 is my best sleeper yet and i'm definitely alot less tired with him than i ever was with dd or ds1, however he's third of 3 kids under 5 so my days are hectic and i find the lack of chances to just sit down and relax quite draining, doesn't make much differance howmuch i feed

Renwein Wed 24-Jun-09 14:15:34

I feel tired when I'm actually feeding. I think it's the oxytocin so I can be feeling OK, then sit down and start feeding and a wave of exhaustion comes over me. The theory is that the oxytocin helps you to go back to sleep after night feeds but I find it just makes me really tired when I'm trying to settle DS in his cot after night feeds... I agree with others, though, that it's the overall sleep deprivation that's the problem.

MrsTittleMouse Wed 24-Jun-09 14:17:54

I think it does add to the tiredness. I often find that I get drowsy when I'm feeding. But then there is such a high background isn't there, when you have a baby?

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