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Insomnia after weaning

(14 Posts)
skyR Sun 12-Nov-17 15:10:19


I've recently switched from breastfeeding to formula feeding my 5 month old. If was a fairly quick wean as my baby was refusing the breast.

Since then my sleep has got progressively worse. Some nights I don't sleep at all. I find I drop off for maybe 5 minutes, then wake with heart pounding and sometimes hot and dizzy. I don't feel particularly anxious, its like my body has gone to sleep but my brain's sill awake! It's such a shame as I'm lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps through the night!

I've tried all the standard suggestions (cut out caffeine, more exercise, no screens before bed etc) but none of it seems to help!

Has anyone else been through this or does anyone have any suggestions on what else I could try?

Thanks in advance!

MrsBriteSide Sun 12-Nov-17 16:49:38

I also sort of suffer with this after stopppng breastfeeding so I wonder if it’s a hormone thing. It’s not to the extent that you describe but since weaning DD off the boob I’ve been suffering night sweats again (had them for weeks after the birth). Frustratingly I’ve also been awake for ages while DD is asleep. I’m blaming this on stress around buying a new house. It’s almost as if I’ve become so accustomed to waking up to breastfeed that now she’s only waking up once in the night I still wake up regardless! I’m hoping it all settles down soon. So I’m there in spirit with you! I try to just focus on my breathing and let any thoughts drift away. This helps me get back to sleep. Good luck.

Butimstillhungry Tue 14-Nov-17 11:26:16

I had this with both of my babies, but it was worse with DS2. It started when he started sleeping through at 10 weeks (so frustrating to have a good sleeper but not be able to sleep yourself).

I do think it's a hormone thing and will get better with time, but I think the thing that helped me was taking a magnesium supplement. Although it could have just be coincidental that things started to improve then.

It took a couple of months to see real improvement and it did make me very anxious during that time. But he's now 11 months and I'm very much back to my usual good sleeping.

I really feel for you; insomnia is a horrible thing. But it will get better and you will sleep normally again.

skyR Tue 14-Nov-17 13:31:38


Thanks for the advice!

crazycatlady5 Tue 14-Nov-17 14:15:36

I had this a few years ago and I do believe it could be linked to hormones as I hadn’t had children but it happened shortly after I stopped taking the pill (had been taking it about 10 years) so I think my body went nuts! Exactly as you say, I’d have nights of NO sleep and every time I was about to drop off I’d get palpitations and adrenaline pulsing through me. It was very unpleasant so I really feel for you. Keep an eye on it and talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.

mama0got0moves Sat 18-Nov-17 20:37:48

I've had similar symptoms since I had my baby 5 months ago. I had a blood test and found out I have an overactive thyroid. It's very common after having a child and usually settles itself but worth getting checked out as it can swing the other way and that can be more serious I think.

skyR Wed 22-Nov-17 07:58:48

Mama0got0moves, did you have daytime symptoms with your thyroid or just the night ones?


mama0got0moves Wed 22-Nov-17 21:22:41

Throughout day and night. Sweats mainly at night but also a lot of anxiety as I was worrying a lot. I was finding it really hard to sleep but initially put this down to my mind being on overdrive. I was treated for post natal anxiety/depression first and put on an antidepressant. Saw a huge improvement in my sleep and anxiety symptoms but not the sweating. That's when I had the blood test and they found my thyroid was out of whack. It's a weird one because the symptoms for overactive thyroid are very similar to the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Are you feeling any better skyR?

skyR Thu 23-Nov-17 08:28:57


Thanks for the advice.

Unfortunately things have become worse, frequently not sleeping at all so had a few days of sleeping tablets which worked brilliantly. But then the problem seemed even worse when I came off them. I have no idea what to do for the best! I wasn't feeling anxious initially but today I'm feeling really low and worrying about over using the sleeping tablets. It doesn't feel like normal insomnia where you're just awake; it's the fact I fall asleep for a couple of minutes then wake up again that makes me think maybe there's something else physical going on. So easy to drive yourself a bit mad thinking about it!

Changerazelea Fri 24-Nov-17 22:10:59

Worth going back to dr and asking if you are suitable for a very low dose (10mg) of amytriptiline. I had this problem after have DC2 days and days of no sleep almost lost it! Dr prescribed this drug which has worked wonders for me very light sedative effect and I’ve not had any side effects much better than the sleeping tablets in my opinion. It is specifically used for sleep problems apparently as well as being an antidepressant in higher doses.

Worst of my sleep problems are behaving me now (DC is 5months now) I hope it passes for you. Good luck.

skyR Wed 29-Nov-17 10:52:20

Hi Changerazelea

Do you mind if I ask if you're still on Amytriptiline or is it something you can come off?


Force12 Wed 29-Nov-17 19:30:02

I had terrible insomnia after my daughter was born. For me, it was a symptom of post natal anxiety and depression. I was prescribed anti depressants which helped with the anxiety, mood and the sleeping.
It is worth talking to your GP about. There is an online (American) resource called postpartum progress which I found to be really helpful in explaining the symptoms of PND, poor sleep is a symptom, which is not always recognised by health professionals.
It took me a long time to get the right diagnosis and treatment, but once I did I started to sleep normally again.

Force12 Wed 29-Nov-17 19:37:40

It's a horrible thing to go through and I really feel for you. Feel free to PM me flowers

drspouse Wed 29-Nov-17 21:51:20

I am an adoptive parent so no hormonal explanation but with both my DC when they were young enough to need a night feed I found it SO difficult to go back to sleep. I put it down to unaccustomed waking followed by getting into a bad habit and some anxiety. Of course post adoption depression is a "thing" too.

It carried on for a bit after no more night feeds and I did have to get some help from the GP in the end, but I also found breaking the habit with melatonin (acquired on a holiday - but I think OTC sleep aids might have done the trick too) helped.

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