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Thread: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    so I'm not sure if I can post this question on this forum as it's not exclusively about breast feeding - If I can't someone let me know and I"ll delete it - totally understand.

    I suffer from anxiety and it seems to be getting worse - I can't sleep as she still feeds quite a lot and during the day she seems to be feeding more as well - so when she does sleep I'm doing house work quickly and when I go to lay down she wakes up!

    At night I need to wake up to pump as I"m engorged and then lay awake till she feeds as i can't sleep.

    Trouble is is I keep my anxiety so internalized (as my partner doesn't understand it and I don't want to be seen as weak) that every now and then it finds a way out and if I do sleep I wake up in a full blown panic attack.

    I think breast feeding also takes it out of me as it's a constant and i worry about supply - but I don't care about that I love BF her and have no intention of giving up - Im just wondering if anyone has any information that i could use to help me with my anxiety.

    I get really dizzy as well and have become a bit of a hypocondriac, taking my BP at home which lately has been low but I think that's because I"m so exhausted.

    Is there something natural I can take whilst BF'ding as I don't want my anxiety to affect her - I should say panic attacks more so than anxiety - will go see the DR when my new insurance kicks in ... but just would love some help with managing this as I don't want to be an incompetent Mum!

    Thanks... sorry if this question is not right for this forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    Sleep when the baby sleeps. Newborns are exhausting, and housework can wait. Slings/carriers are a life saver. You can get some work done around the house and keep the baby happy at the same time.

    Your baby is having sufficient wet diapers in a 24 hour period, correct? And you re getting engorged at night. Thus, you have no reason to worry about your milk supply. If you can, try not to pump while your baby sleeps. That just perpetuates the engorgement and is ruining valuable sleep time. If the engorgement is too painful, then pump (or preferably hand express) only enough to keep you comfortable.

    Is there some kind of free clinic you can go to for help until your insurance kicks in? It sounds like you might need medication, and there are plenty of BF friendly options. Putting my baby in the sling and going for short walks outside everyday helped me clear my head when he was tiny (and still does). A little fresh air and exercise may help you sleep better too. But nothing will replace medication when it is necessary.

    Newborns are exhausting, BF or not. Try to find a doctor, counselor, therapist, etc. to help you with the anxiety. You shouldn't have to feel this way.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    Hi mama, I think you really need to speak with you partner about helping with housework. Why can't he help? Also you are not weak but need to understand that this is normal baby routine stuff and you can ask for help.

    Also why are you pumping? If it's to relieve engorgement then pumping simply signals your body to make more milk....
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    I do pump as I'm engorged but only slightly but i also pump to increase supply as well so I can stock up on some milk just in case we need it... you're right house work can wait and maybe you're right maybe I do need medication I have just avoided it this long - I've had panic attacks for 12 years that i figured I could get over it on my own. .. it's frustrating as I am aware of my anxiety being exasperated by my own mind but yet when I am exhausted I just can't control it as well I would like ... I"m trying not to be to hard on myself but it is frustrating - her wet diapers are good - 7 to 8 a day and substantial poop - so I gather she is fine - I just worry to much... cripes.
    Thanks for your comments x

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    Stop pumping. Pumping is stressful. Diaper output is great. I have read your other posts and see absolutely no reason to think you have a supply problem. How much milk have you already stored? If you keep socking away milk, then you have the stress of cycling through a stash that is bigger than you need. I had to throw away milk because I stored too much and couldn't use it all in time without feeding a bunch of unnecessary bottles. And I was hospitalized for several days in there, so a big chunk of the stash was used - and still I couldn't get through it all.

    You can always start pumping again once you are feeling better. Right now all you should worry about is taking care of yourself and your baby!

    Find a doctor (free clinic if necessary). He/she can best determine if you need meds. If so, you may well be told you need to pump and dump. That is often not the case. You can call infantrisk at (806)-352-2519, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm central time, to assess the risks of any medication and be advised on alternatives if necessary.

    Try to minimize the work you have to do (I mean bare minimum) right now and find some help. You can do this!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    Thanks!!! I don't have much milk store, only 24oz ... but I guess sleeping is way more important now.
    Thank you also for the number! x

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    24 ounces is a lot if you are not going back to a job. Even if you are, 24 ounces is more than sufficient.

    Take care of yourself first. Sleep is critical right now. You can always resume pumping later on when things get easier (and they will!) should you feel the need.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Anxiety and Breastfeeding - exhaustion

    Your supply is fine.

    You don't need a lot of milk in the freezer. If you are going to be home, it's honestly easier to take baby with you just about everywhere (the only place I don't is the hair dresser) for the first 6 months. After that, you can duck out for an hour or two and leave a sippy cup and some finger foods if baby likes them, and then nurse on demand.

    Housework...it will wait. Seriously, I didn't get to clean for just about a year because of exclusively pumping. As long as you have clothes and dishes and some food, it's OK. I find putting baby in a sling useful, and once they can play with a few toys, I put them with some toys and clean for 5-10 minutes then pick up baby. Worked well when I had one kid not so much now...the big boys make messes faster than I can clean.

    Your partner needs to help. You both contributed to making a baby. You both need to contribute to care. Your job is feeding the baby. You therefore need help with everything else.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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