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Thread: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    3

    Default Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    Hello! I am a single mother and this is my first child. I live alone, just me and my 2 and 1/2 week old daughter. My mother stayed with my for the first week, but she is a school teacher and had to return to work. I have some family and friends here in VA, which is why I moved back here to have my baby. I am finding that I am losing patience during breastfeeding. I find myself constantly checking the clock. That overwhelming good feeling I had when breastfeeding in the beginning is being overshadowed by exhaustion and anxiety. I am seeing a counselor right not to ensure I am not suffering from post pardum. I am sad a lot and very lonely. I don't have the energy to search for a job, but I will not be able to support myself and the baby come November if I don't find something. I want to keep breastfeeding because I know it's so much better for my baby...but I see how easy formula is. I don't want to just take the easy route, but with no one helping me with feedings (a father giving her breastmilk through a bottle at night would be awesome) I feel like I will give up soon. I am producing enough milk and she is gaining weight nicely. Sometimes I feel like I can't stand the way it feels when she is eating. And with her eating every 2-3 hours... I am not sleeping for longer that 2 hours at a time! I don't want to feel like this anymore. Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    Aww, mama. You are really doing a great job - it is SO HARD caring for a newborn, even when you have a lot of support! I can feel your exhaustion and loneliness through your words. I think you are very, very wise to seek support through a counselor - you do want to make sure your emotions are not getting too overwhelming. Please just take it day by day. Really, just take it feeding by feeding. You can do this. There are other people in your same situation.

    Can you attend a LLL meeting in your area? A new Mom's group - where you can bring your baby? Just being around other people will help you. If anything, keep active on these forums and seek out the support you need.

    I'm sure others will chime in with supportive words and advice. I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you and hoping things look up soon. Please hang in there and take good care.

    Are you co-sleeping with your baby? Or at least room-sharing? That may be a way to get more rest...
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    Hang in there. My son is a week old and I am alone as well so I know how you feel. It sounds like you are doing a great job mommy. Make sure are taking care of yourself too. Sleep whenever your little one sleeps if you can and be susure you are eating right and drinking lots of water to help keep your energy levels up. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    If you want to keep from clock watching, try to set up 1 or two nursing stations where you live. Perhaps one on a couch by the TV, with someplace for snacks and drinks. You can make your second in your bed with a table to hold books or magazines...anything to give you something to look at instead of the clock. Little babies do take longer to eat, and you will feel much better if you have something else to stimulate your brain while nursing. A lot of people here co sleep and can give you great advice on how to do it safely.

    Hang in there. Take it day by day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,420

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    Newborn Babies are exhausting. Who is going to get up with your baby and make the bottle, feed your baby, comfort your baby, and then wash everything? Yes breastfeeding is, in some cases, a little more time consuming in the very early weeks then formula feeding, but breastfeeding quickly becomes easier and easier while bottle feeding, whether pumping your own milk or using formula, is never any easier.
    There are government programs and private charities esp. for mothers with low incomes. Find out what is availble to you and make sure you are taking advantage of them. You moved to be close to your family & friends-but they may not know what to do that will help. Ask your family for help-not in feeding your baby, but in taking care of YOU during this difficult time. This could be as simple as taking you out for coffee, bringing over a meal, cleaning your bathroom or just hanging out with you and chatting! I bet there are those who would like to help. Ask!

    Feeling overwhlemed and emotional is often normal in the newborn period. It's a hormonally intense time, besides being exhausting and scary, for ALL new moms. But you are wise to stay on top of your feelings and seek professional help as needed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    I was prepared to give you the standard pep talk about how it will get easier and formula is expensive and more labor intensive...but then I read that you are not liking the feeling of BF and that had me worried, at 2x in my nursing life did I feel this way and they were both hormonal/ depression related and I needed professional help. When will you speak to the counselor?
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ann Arbor MI
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    Oh poor Mama, I wish I was near you to hold your baby and let you sleep. I know about lonliness. I am married but I rarely pump, so I had no relief from night time feelings. I was finally introduced to sleep sharing, or co-sleeping. I lay her next to me and nurse her side laying. She feeds from both sides, then she's out! I am able to sneak away (I usually feel guilty lol) and get a few hours of me time. Then I'm ready for bed, I crawl back in, usually waking her lightly, we change a diaper, cuddle then lay back down. I slept, she slept and it became routine. My hubby is fine with it because there is rest being had. It made it easier for nursing vacations. Maybe you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Set yourself up, shower really good, dry your hair, get your favorite snacks, set up the chargers (phone, iPad, iPod whatever) get a book, movies and the best Jammie's you own. And camp in! It saved our nursing relationship. I wasn't resenting my decision and gave me time to reflect on my decision to breastfeed. It's been 4 months now and I couldn't feel more proud of myself. We still have camp ins. We lay in bed all day, nursing, sleeping, I read to her, sing to her. She babbles so much now and it's always mamamamama.....she almost never cries and I attribute everything to the beautiful advice of these beautiful women to nurse vacay. Try it. Remember why you decided to nurse in the first place and the bond your building with you LO. The love and nourishment she is getting from you that she can't get from formula. Plus with formula you have to get out of your warm bed, mix it, wash the bottles and etc. I own ONE bottle. One that's it. I didn't even purchase that bottle until she was about 6-8 weeks old. Take a deep breath mama. I know its so hard, I'm sending you *hugs* and hoping you can find that peace you need. You'll be okay, and soon she is going to sleep longer, more sound and youll get the relief you need. Good luck, you'll be in my thoughts tonight.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    It is an amazing feeling to get up after a hard night of BF to all the warm responses and advice. We had a rough one last night. Not sure if she isn't getting enough milk or is maybe going through a growth spurt, but she was up every 2 hours to eat!!! Just 2 days ago she wasn't waking up until 3 1/2 - 4 hours between feedings. I feel like we are taking a step back from I hoped would become sleepful nights!!! Any advice on that?

    I am seeing a Dr. every wednesday. She wanted to medicate after our first visit but I want to talk it out. I researched anti depressants and BFing and it seems there are some safe ones out there...I just want to think I can talk this out and not have to take medicine to feel better! I'm tired of the sadness over shadowing the happiness I feel about having a daughter!

    Also, it isn't every time I feed her that I feel uncomfortable and distant...just sometimes. But even feeling that way once is enough to make me concerned

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    2 1/2 weeks was when my baby blues really kicked in, but they went away not long after. You'll have to find out if it's a temporary thing or really depression. I would cry all the time for no reason, and then as much as I wanted visitors I would dread their coming over. I was so overwhelmed as a new mom (and I'm 36!!) that I kept saying that I couldn't imagine being a single mother. My extreme respect goes out to you -- when everyone says being a mom is the hardest job in the world, I think being a single mom is truly that! Is there any way you can take the baby to go stay with your mom, or is she too far away? Even if she works, you'll have her there part of the time. I do think that eventually BF will seem the easier route for you, even though it doesn't right now. At some point I realized that I was lucky to never have to think about running out in the middle of the night to buy formula, even though BF took its toll. Sleep is necessary, so I hope you can find a friend or someone to help while you get a nap in here or there. My husband and I were sleep-deprived, and we even took turns taking naps! I hope you can get some help to keep yourself healthy.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is exhausting! Need to sleep!

    Mama, if things don't improve for you soon, emotionally, you might want to consider taking the medication. I also want you to know that everything your baby is doing is normal. It is normal for your baby to wake up every two hours to eat - and for that to continue for many months more. Are you cosleeping? Are you napping during the day when your baby naps? Do you have a baby carrier that you can carry the baby in while you get some things done around the house? My heart goes out to you. It must be very hard to be on your own with an infant, especially the first time you become a mother. It was hard for me and I have my husbands help. I didn't do bottles at night however - side-laying nursing while cosleeping was a lifesaver!!
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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