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Does breastfeeding drain you physically? of energy i mean?

(27 Posts)
Caz10 Sat 13-Sep-08 23:09:28

Obviously it is tiring esp in the early days when you are feeding when you really want to be sleeping!

But does it actually use up energy/resources in the same way that eg exercise would?

I'm not asking from a weight-loss point of view or anything, I'm just back at work and feeling exceptionally knackered, wondered if bf-ing would be a contributor?

TheNinkynork Sat 13-Sep-08 23:20:39

I lost weight initially but have gained since. DS feeds all night and I have been known to take a KitKat Chunky up to bed just to get me through blush

Don't tell my dentist but yes - I do feel drained and in need of a quick fix.

A banana would probably do just as well but I'm all about the excuses atm.

moondog Sat 13-Sep-08 23:21:53

I think it uses up about 500 calories a day.

Twinklemegan Sat 13-Sep-08 23:26:20

I was completely and utterly zonked out while I was breastfeeding. Zombified. It was terrible if I'm honest. I suspect I wasn't even managing to eat 500 calories a day, which was quite possibly a contributing factor.

gigglewitch Sat 13-Sep-08 23:28:51

i blamed it on the fact that bfing sort of had a knackering link with a small baby hmm

Twinklemegan Sat 13-Sep-08 23:34:30

No for me it was definitely the breastfeeding. Having always had problems with my hormones that make me unbelievably tired, I presumed that the hormones related to b/f were doing the same thing to me. But then I was in terrible pain the whole time which is also very draining in itself.

mawbroon Sat 13-Sep-08 23:42:13

I think in my case, it's more the three years without many full nights sleep that has made me so tired rather than the breastfeeding...

TheNinkynork Sat 13-Sep-08 23:42:21

Twinkle sad

zaphod Sat 13-Sep-08 23:48:25

Not in my experience. Broken nights made me tired, but having the babies in bed (after my PFB who was reared by the book) made all the difference.

pgwithnumber3 Sat 13-Sep-08 23:58:36

Oh yes, co-sleep, the only way to function when BF all night. You barely know you are feeding them and it is lovely. Never could understand people actually getting out of bed to feed their breastfed LO's!

Caz10 Sun 14-Sep-08 13:33:03

Interesting, I have been eating enough for about 10 people and am still losing weight at a frightning rate, maybe that is why I'm feeling tired?

But as you all so rightly say, the being up all night thing doesn't help either! dd 9mths so not exactly in newborn stage, but she has never slept any better than she did then. Co-sleeping is the only way I am managing just now.

Really want to feed until she self-weans but am curious as to whether I will feel better when she does.

PeppermintPatty Sun 14-Sep-08 13:35:53

Not in my experience either. But I ate a lot of cake / chocolate

milou2 Sun 14-Sep-08 13:55:14

I found taking extra iron helped me feel more human, though tiredness from being a mum should never be underestimated.

Getting more sleep while visiting relatives helped, eg after the meal I would feed the baby to sleep in mils bed, then have a good sleep there too.

TBH the effect of tiredness did really begin to kick in at 9/10 months, the adrenalin had been keeping me going until then. Demand sleep with menaces from any adult in sight!

theyoungvisiter Sun 14-Sep-08 13:58:53

If you aren't replacing the calories and nutrients that you are burning then you will feel more tired because you will have less energy to spare for yourself - that applies to anything, not just bfing.

But if you are eating well and not losing weight then no - I don't think (in my experience anyway) bfing is particularly tiring. It's the caring for a baby, getting up in the night etc that is knackering.

BouncingTurtle Sun 14-Sep-08 14:00:19

Caz - I'm tired too.. before you went back to work did you ever nap in the afternoon with dd? Because I used to nap sometimes with ds and I do find I get quite tired in the afternoon!

I suppose the lack of uninterrupted sleep won't help as well!

Don't forget you are probably doing more now you are working - i.e. fitting in a full day's work plus all the stuff such as housework/washing etc., that you would normally spread out during the day?

castille Sun 14-Sep-08 14:07:31

Around 9 months was for me the most exhausting part, and all three of mine were sleeping through by then so I can only imagine how knackered you must be.

They are taking a lot of milk at that age. Like you I was eating loads and losing weight rapidly - I have never been thinner than when my babies were between 8 and 12 months old. If you're hungry, eat. Lots of carbs, cheese, high fat, high calorie stuff!

And if you're desperate for more rest, you might need to try some kind of sleep training, if you can bear it...

Caz10 Sun 14-Sep-08 19:54:39

Thanks all!

I know I shouldn't complain, but I am eating literally ALL the time, as much as I can fit in and the weight is still coming off, I shopped for back-to-work clothes about 6weeks ago and now half the trousers don't fit.

You're right BT I am definitely missing the afternoon nap! I also used to join her for her morning one most days...blush...plus work is very busy...I guess it's not surprising I'm tired. Don't want to stop bf-ing, and it's unlikely doing so will magically return my energy isn't it?

Anna8888 Sun 14-Sep-08 19:56:35

I lost masses of weight while breastfeeding. So, yes, it uses up energy.

tassisssss Sun 14-Sep-08 19:57:13

dunno if it's down to BFing but i'm utterly knackered too

my dd is 14 weeks (i think!)

orangehead Sun 14-Sep-08 19:57:52

Yes I used to find it did. Also found if I tried my supply wasnt good, but if had a rest it would improve

whomovedmychocolate Sun 14-Sep-08 20:01:47

Caz10 - I'm finding that too but I'm feeding two - one eight weeks old and one 23 months old.

Dehydration is part of it though - try upping the amount of water you drink - you may find it helps.

neolara Sun 14-Sep-08 20:03:00

I used to find bf exhausting. I only realised quite how tiring it was when I began to cut down significantly on feeding when I introduced solids. Suddenly I felt like I had hugely more energy than before.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Sep-08 20:04:35

caz, you may have a thyroid problem, particularly in light of your weight loss.

please go and see your GP.

ChacunaSonGout Sun 14-Sep-08 20:12:08

caz 10 i am with you and infact feel so shattered that i started this thread

no one seemed to think it was the bf but i am convinced it is and a few of the answers on here seem to agree

i freel DRAINED by dinner time as if i have run a few miles and i have NEVER run a few miles!

what do you plan to do?

nowirehangers Sun 14-Sep-08 20:27:37

Of course it is knackering, I bf both dds for 13 months and the second time especially I was a zombie through out. Was v ill several times towards the end with dd2 and i'm sure my immune system was just worn out, I was also skeletally thin, I feel so much better since I stopped two months ago and I'm getting just the same pitiful amount of sleep as before and nothing else has changed. I'm all for bfing but I do think the real activists try to make out this isn't an issue. Perhaps for some people it isn't but if you're in the camp where the weight seems to drop off you I think it can be. Not saying you should stop unless you really want to but try to get naps etc at every opportunity and don't do any proper exercise until you stop.

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