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Breastfeeding and sleep deprived(13 Posts)
Gave birth to my lovely boy 3 weeks ago, got off to a rocky start feeding him as he had tongue tie which made bfing very painful, had it snipped last week but haven't noticed a difference, am still using nipple shields and it is STILL painful and still getting cracked and blistered nipples. So am finding feeding difficult. Am also bloody exhausted, he wants to feed constantly during the day so barely left the bed last week letting him feed on demand which I didn't mind but by the time dp comes home I'm exhausted and in a foul mood. I express milk and he does a feed before bed and 1 before he heads to work on the morning so I can try and catch up on sleep.. Only I never really get to sleep as I normally shower when he's doing the morning feed and eating my dinner when he does the evening feed.
Just wondering how people cope as I know I'm lucky to have him help with those 2 feeds and most women ebf for at least the first 6 weeks and were only 3 weeks in.
This morning in my sleep deprived state I was talking to my dp asking where dp was, not realising it was him I was talking to... (If that makes sense) it completely freaked us both out!
The newborn stages are hard and even if you FF there is no guarantee you would get any more sleep plenty of FF babies don't sleep great either
Try and hang in there your body will eventually adjust to lack of sleep , I'm two years in with no more than 3/4 hours of solid sleep in a row as my baby who is now a 2 year old toddler has never slept , it's become normal for me now , lack of sleep
Once your supply is established hopefully you will get into a better routine for sleeping this normally takes around 8 weeks
Am about 7 weeks on from where you are! Have you tried lanisohl (can never spell this!) also I go to a bf support group. It's fab as they look at your latch and check alls ok, while bringing you tea and cake! My first group I sobbed through practically as was so worn out- it will get better, honestly. I am now managing with a LOT less sleep thsn I ever thought possible!
The first few weeks are so hard, you get used to the lack of sleep though, I did the very same as you but really I wish I'd showered while baba was sleeping and slept while his daddy gave the expressed bottle, for the pain if u were willing to try I used lanolin after every feed and wore medela nipple shields to feed and I never had a problem with cracked skin or soreness, even just the lanolin should help you, it's tough at the start, everything is new, but I promise it gets easier
Have you got any lanisoh? & have you tried "airing" them between feeds to allow the nipples to heal.
I had to feed DS every 3 hours as he was on the small side in the beginning then he used to feed a lot. I used to go to bed at 7pm, then put my pregnancy pillow around me & Moses basket at side of bed. So could just grab DS, feed, put him down & back to sleep.
I'd get up in the morning when I felt ready to then go from there. It does get easier. Can you get out to a breastfeeding group?
These weeks will pass even though it doesn't feel like it now.
I'm a week and a half ahead of you and it does get better! We've had a tough start too (problems establishing feeding so in hospital for 3 nights, mastitis, thrush, possibly reflux!) but the sleep deprivation has definitely improved- not because baby is sleeping better but because I seem to have got used to sleeping in short bursts. Hang on in there- you're doing great!
Has anyone told you that the first growth spurt occurs around 3 weeks? I didn't know this first time around and I thought there was something wrong with my supply or something. He was constantly feeding or crying and it was so painful! There are lots more growth spurts but this is seared into my brain as by far the worst. If you are having a particularly bad week this could be why.
Do you have a baby monitor? Can you sleep when your husband is feeding and take a shower later when baby is napping? I take the monitor into the bathroom with my so I can see my little ones.
I know it's a bit ridiculous but can you have your dinner on the couch while feeding the baby? Or in bed even? I know he's only tiny and new (I have two the same age right now ) but they can also be delightfully portable at this age.
The most important thing (mentioned above) is lansinoh. This will fix your breasts within a couple of days! Just wash and apply after each feed. Seriously, I don't think I could have breastfed without that.
I've been told that week 3 is the most common time for women to stop breastfeeding. It is really hard. If you get through this you'll get through the rest of it too.
Don't be worried about expressing more for feeds if you need to. That can turn a 2 hour feed into a 20 minute feed. If you need to sleep you can do so knowing your son is getting all the nutrition he needs. And it will give your breasts a much needed break.
I breastfed for over 2 years and week 3 was definitely the hardest for me.
Well done you for going for it this far. I really feel for you as nothing properly prepares you for how devastatingly tired you can get in those first weeks
months and how that messes with your head. I used to cry and vow that, once out of the woods, I would set up a charity that specialised in relieving sleep deprived parents.
My advice to you is to let your need for sleep trump pretty much everything, while at the same time trying not to obsess about it. For instance, really DO try to sleep when your baby is sleeping. Be really clear with your DP that you must play the long game here, and that a few months of less cleaning, him spending quite a few evenings on his own while you have early nights, him sorting dinner out etc (because you have been sleeping as opposed to cooking during the afternoon) etc, will all be part of your temporary survival strategy. Just switch to baby time keeping and try to take one day and night at a time.
If you have other family, or close friends other than DP nearby, take them up on any offers of help, accept anyone who says "Just let me know if I can do something!" -they can. Let them take baby put for a walk round the block for an hour or so, sometimes you can catch a much needed nap more easily if you know you won't be woken up by your baby. As long as this person is someone who will comfort and soothe your baby lovingly if they get fretful, baby will most likely be fine.
Lansinoh, which has been previously mentioned, is wonderful and has given me so much comfort.
Wishing you relief and rest!
Thanks for all the supportive comments. I do try to sleep when he sleeps but he seems to fall asleep on me during/after a feed and then the second I put him down he wakes up and starts rooting. Most days are basically wake up an hour or so after dp bottle feeds with ebm as baby is hungry again, feed, he falls asleep, I let him sleep on me for maybe half an hour to make sure he's asleep, put him down either in hid bednest, carry cot or on the bed, I might have a couple of minutes to go to the loo or get a drink and then he's screaming.
I've been using lots of lansinoh, I'm not sure if it's doing anything but I'm too scared to see what'll happen without it! Nipples feel completely red raw today and this is with a nipple shield- even though his tt was snipped I can still feel his gum chomping on my nipple
Considering giving up on bfing as I'm convinced I'm doing it wrong and he's not getting enough from me anyway. Each day feels like an achievement but not sure I can do it for much longer
Try using a wee bit of Vaseline on nipples straight after feeding, really helped me with DS1. I think it just stops everything getting dried out. As far as being exhausted goes, I promise it will get better. Both my boys fed like absolute mad for the first while but my DS2 at 4 months is now feeding efficiently in 10-20 mins and to more of a schedule, something like 4-5 times a day and twice at night. I can remember in the early days feeling like my whole life was feeding the baby, over the course of the first year it gradually phases out until before you know it you're just feeding morning and bedtime. Hang in there, it's so worth it and it won't always be this hard
Ps for sleeping, have you tried swaddling? Worked wonders for us. Also think about getting a breast feeding peer supporter, your HV should be able to put you in touch with one. Sounds like you might have a problem with the latch and they might be able to really help. Good luck with it all. Tough times but they will get easier
I used to have a paracetamol when it was really painful. I was badly injured by the birth so had to take painkillers anyway, but timing that before feeds helped.
Hang in there one more week. I bet things will be better then. And you're right. Every day is an achievement!
Can you express for 24-48 hours to give your breasts a break and see how you feel? He might sleep longer too if he's getting 100ml in one go and not repeated little bits. I know people will say he needs to do that to get your supply up, but having just been through this with twins I can tell you the supply will react to regular pumping just as well. You can come back to breastfeeding in a few days. It's survival.
Do what you have to do to keep sane and keep your baby healthy. You're amazing to be dealing with this and still looking for help to solve these problems.
Do you have a local la leche group? If not they have a 24/7 helpline. If your still having pain something isn't right and they can asses his match for you and give you some tips whilst watching you feed. It's no unheard of for TT to grow back so it's deff worth looking at.
Your doing a fantastic job, don't feel like your no good at it. After all it's a new skill for both you and baby to learn
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