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Sleep-deprived mum needs help re. breast-feeding at night

(85 Posts)
Frenchfamille Tue 19-Feb-13 20:30:31

The twins are here - they are delightful but I am shattered. The good news is breast-feeding is going well. They are 4 weeks old today, and I know I shouldn't be expecting too much, but after a long delivery I feel as though I haven't slept since they arrived.

In the day they are not sleeping for long spells. I have put them together in a big old fashioned pram which is in the lounge - really for ease but perhaps I should be putting them in their cot(s) upstairs?

Day-time sleeping for me seems hard as one is awake, the other sleeps etc. I have 3 other children, at school mostly (not on wednesdays - we live in France).

At night-time they have been in the cot in our room, and I try to do a feed last thing with them both but neither then seem to settle brilliantly so we've ended up with latched on to me, the other being held by husband, in an attempt to get some kind of sleep.

Despite having done this 3 times before, I feel completely out my depth with the sleep thing. Any advice very welcome. At 4 weeks should I let them cry, perhaps put them in their room, and not be feeding what seems every other hour (or sometimes every hour if one then wakes up the other)? I am obviously snatching sleep as I wake up with one latched on, or off, so I've obviously nodded off.

Everyone in France is telling me to switch to bottles - honestly, it really is something that every health professional has suggested! But will this achieve anything - they still need to sleep! And I have established good breastfeeding so think this is not the option.

Sorry to waffle and sound negative about no sleep. We adore our girls (our eldest are all boys so it's quite different!) but I really do need to sleep soon....

thereistheball Tue 05-Mar-13 06:37:12

Hear hear. I hope the help works out and you start to feel better soon. Good luck with reprising bf.

Frenchfamille Tue 05-Mar-13 21:23:17

Thank you both of you.

Booboostoo Tue 05-Mar-13 22:33:51

Just read your thread, you've been having such a tough time of it! I Hope you are feeling a bit better.

I don't have any experience with twins, but I am also in France and can sympathise with a lot of the problems you are having. I put up with an awful doc for DD for the first 16 months and then gave up and found a different one - best thing I could have done. I have to drive 30 minutes to get to the good doc but having a supportive, knowledgeable doctor is really important. If you have any choice locally to you, just change doctors, don't put up with the rubbish.

Some French docs are supportive of bf, although they are few and far between. As far as I know many antibiotics are fine for bf, and a better informed doc may be able to help you more effectively in the future.

The only way I have survived DD's poor sleep is by co-sleeping. It allows you to get a lot more rest than getting up to pick the baby, bf and then replace in the cot, and it works for us although I appreciate it's not everyone's cup of tea.

rednellie Wed 06-Mar-13 01:16:12

Just rushing on to wish you good luck with re-starting feeding and hope you start feeling even better soon.

I always used the bfn website when working out if a drug's safe to use - my gp uses the same one!

But anyway sending all my best wishes.

Frenchfamille Thu 07-Mar-13 19:46:42

Hi boo - nice to meet another 'frenchie'. And thanks rednellie for good wishes. I've been back to doctor 2 more times but apparently the infection is almost gone, but the perforation will take a good while to mend which is hard as it's like being under water permanently. However, the good news is (and there is good news!) no more antibiotics and I started refeeding having religiously pumped for 5 days and girls seem to have started back on OK. THey are a bit unsettled but could well be that they are a little underweather as now the whole family, all 5 of us minus twins have had the flu.

Big wobble today when husband had to go back to UK on work which was just not possible to miss but Dad come up out and lots of lovely friends doing a cooking rota for me which is lovely. Like posh meals on wheels.

So apart from being deaf, knackered and getting over all the illnesses, there is a dim light at the end of a tunnel!

Just taking hour by hour and got some help from ADMR (french social services) who sent a lovely nursery nurse to help for a few hours and is carrying on this weekly.

So if anyone else ever has to stop bf for a bit, I did 5 days and just pumped and pumped and it seems to have worked.

Now it's the 2nd week of school hols and just a big pile of DVDs to watch and boxes of cakes to eat that friends have made. A bit of sleep would be good but I'm not going to ask for too much at the moment!

rednellie Thu 07-Mar-13 22:57:03

Yey for you French, I think you've done amazingly well and here's hoping everyone gets better soon. This time of year sucks on the health front, especially with children. What did my mother tell me? Babies get 10 colds in the first year....

Frenchfamille Fri 08-Mar-13 11:32:59

Let's hope that our flu virus counts as 5 at least then!

Bfeeding continuing pretty well by all accounts. Today's goal, to get out of pyjamas.....

Twinmumoffive Fri 15-Mar-13 15:28:58

I am also a twin mum of 5! My two are 14 months and I'm still breastfeeding. It's was soooo hard in the early months and I nearly gave up several times, but it can be done! I now have one sleeping through and 1 who still demand feeds through the night, which is becoming problematic haha...I hope things have improved for you. My OH works abroad for 6-8 weeks at a time and home for 2, so I really relate to how hard it is to manage on your own. Good luck! X

Nancy54 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:52:19

How are things going french?

Frenchfamille Tue 19-Mar-13 20:20:21

Hi twinmumoffive - sounds like you have done really well. Our twins are 8 weeks now. All going OK but lots of flu things and infections making life a bit hard at times, to say the least. Nancy54 - left with a deaf ear which should resolve in 4 weeks (!) and a cold. My Dad came over to help when my husband was in UK on work and we couldn't have done it without him. All of us are not en forme after this virus but now I don't feel bad for still being in pjs at midday! Whilst it feels as though the girls have been here forever, it's still early days. I am glad I persevered with all the feeding and pumping, which has enabled me to continue with bf. One twin sleeps about 5 hours in her cot, the other ends up in bed with us.... but too tired to worry about that at the moment, just getting some sleep is good. Hope everyone OK out there.

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