25 Feb

Breastfeeding and Your Sleep – How do you rest when baby needs you all the time?

The early days after birth seem like a haze to most moms simply because they don’t get enough rest. With a newborn baby needing food, comfort, changing every two hours, a new mom often suffers from lack of sleep and adequate rest. After all, she has so much on her mind apart from just caring for the baby. Her own needs such as eating, bathing and household needs get tended to once the baby naps, leaving the mom no time to rest or recuperate after delivery.

One advice we hear often is “Sleep when the baby sleeps”. Quite frankly, if it were that easy, all moms would always be happy and never complain of lack of sleep. A combination of euphoria and nervous energy make it hard for moms to relax quickly and fall asleep, often leaving them awake and anxious. Having said that, there are some moms who also function along with their baby’s routine and manage to get adequate rest.

So what does one do when caring and being needed constantly start to overwhelm you?

Start with just lying down on the bed, even if you don’t Keep all distractions away such as looking at your phone, watching television etc. Simply resting for 30 minutes can make a huge difference in your energy levels.
Keep baby close to you and try side lying position for feedings. This position automatically gets you relaxed, and relaxes your baby as Once your body releases all the built up tension, your milk flows better from the breasts too.
Eat snacks or meals when you’re breastfeeding so that you can you have one less thing to do and some extra time to
Pump some milk and have your partner, friend or family take over one feeding to give you some extra snooze
Avoid a lot of caffeine Having too much caffeine can result in a lower milk supply, an irritable baby, and lesser sleep for you.

Babies who are breastfed exclusively often tend to settle into a routine by 2 months of age. Keeping the baby close or in the same bed helps you breastfeed the baby once they show early hunger cues. This helps in keeping the baby calm and in-turn lowers your stress levels. Statistics and studies show that moms who exclusively breastfed and co-slept with the baby generally got more sleep.

Also, remind yourself that sleepless nights don’t continue forever, but until they do, you shouldn’t lose your sanity over it. Your well-being is as important as the baby so try these tips to maximize your sleep.
Rachita Duggal

Advanced Certified Lactation Professional

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