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Thread: Breastfeeding and sanity

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    15

    Default Breastfeeding and sanity

    Hello, all!

    This is my first time posting, and I have to say that after searching and reading other posts, the level of respect and empathy is touching and reassuring for this first time mom.

    My son just turned five months yesterday. He has been EBF his entire life, with a few bottles here and there, and just started solids last week (which is going great). His 3rd month was actually the easiest, as he slept 'through the night' and I had some sleep as well. I ate great, I exercised, I lost some weight, I had a set schedule. Then his fourth month sleep regression/growth spurt came through like a tornado, and hit me like a f-ing ton of bricks. Depression and anxiety never rushed through me like it had those weeks, and diet/exercise be damned. I had literally hit a physical/emotional/spiritual wall.

    I have semi-recovered since then, but I swear our son goes through a growth spurt every week. Just last week, he learned how to roll from back to front, and started proto-crawling yesterday. According to one lactation consultant, he is a high needs baby, who needs mucho mommy and milk. These days, he wakes up every three hours, which I know is normal, from having read many response postings on this forum.

    My question is: with another growth spurt on its way (6 month?), how can I go back to any diet/exercise/whatever schedule and avoid having another major meltdown? This isn't the boring "I'm too lazy to exercise" - I love exercising. But I have to admit I am so scarred from that intense breakdown last month that took me WEEKS to recover from...

    I know that it sounds super lame to wonder whether I'm 'ready' for exercise (dude, I have like 40 pounds to lose). Just.... breastfeeding is so damn tiring. He eats a lot, during the day and night (which is good, I know, to keep my supply up).

    Anyway, I apologize for this semi-needlessly long post. I look forward to hearing from other mommies, and their experiences and infinite wisdom.

    Abby
    Last edited by @llli*abigailfeldman; November 1st, 2012 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,631

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Welcome to the forum and congrats on making it to 5 months with nursing! If you have made it this far, and made it through the 4 month terror stage, you can achieve any breastfeeding goal you want.

    Pre-baby, were you the kind of person who thrived on set schedules/routines? Did you get antsy when you missed your workout or the sheets didn't get changed on your preferred day? Were you happiest when you got into bed at more or less the same time every night? If you were that sort of person, then it's very understandable that the presence of a baby in your life has thrown you for a big loop. Babies love to throw monkey wrenches into our best laid plans. When my first baby was small, I found it extremely hard to constantly adjust my beloved schedule to fit her needs. With my second baby, I was a lot more laid back. So what if the sheets didn't get changed on Friday- no-one ever died from one-day-dirtier sheets! I had also learned some techniques for making my routine flex. I couldn't get to the gym, but I could tuck the baby into her sling and go for a vigrorous walk. I couldn't get her to sleep through the night, but I could co-sleep and turn the clock to the wall so I wasn't as tormented by all the wake-ups. I couldn't do a once-a-week huge cleaning of the house, but I could incorporate one major cleaning task into my day, so that the house stayed clean overall. I couldn't make some of my clothes fit, so I threw them out and bought new ones- because my day improved when I didn't feel self-disgust when I strained the buttons on a formerly favorite top.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Alexandria, VA
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    15

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    I love schedules. Interestingly, I've been extremely lax with many things that I was once strict with (you know, bathing/dishes/cooking...). I tried the co-sleeping a few times, but I just can't seem to fall asleep with him in the bed. I tried it again the other night (the fifth or so time), and it's just too distracting for whatever reason. A few weeks ago I tried co-sleeping with him in the bed in his room (a nice big futon), and got even less sleep...

    Maybe it's just a matter of starting small. Baby steps. ;-)

    Thank you so much for your response. And the rabbit in your picture looks a lot like our velveteen rex girl... our poor bunnies miss the company we once provided! *sigh*!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Central New York
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    124

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Oh Mama, I know it's tiring. I JUST posted about BFing and sanity last week. I actually had a minor meltdown while writing a post, and luckily everyone didn't just write me off as a nutter, but talked me back away from the "I want to give up" edge. So now I want to pass on their wisdom to you. Firstly, babies change CONSTANTLY. My DD is almost 9 months and she changes her "normal" every few days. I have never slept through the night - never once. She used to sleep 5-8 hour stretches when she was younger. Now I'm lucky if I get 4. REALLY lucky. Your little cutie sounds like he is growing and changing and that usually means more booby juice!! And yes, it is very tiring, but it is the BEST thing you can do to just give him a VIP pass to your milk. When he starts eating like mad, its saying to your body "Hey, I'm growing and I need more milk, so make it ASAP!!! Please "

    So my advice to you is to ditch the schedule. I know that is hard - I am a type A personality, I love lists and schedules and would love if I could fit my DD into a box and things would go the same way everyday so I could plan. But babies just don't really follow schedules. You may feel less stressed if you just let the idea of a schedule go and do what you can. Right now, I'm on Weight Watchers, which give me points for nursing. But if she is eating like a CRAZY baby, then I'm going to ditch it that day because she needs more milk and I need to eat more to make more. Then I'll just get back on again the next day or week. As for exercise, same kind of thing. Just do what you can - try being a bit more flexible in your mind, and hopefully you won't put diet/exercise up so high that if it doesn't work out, you have a meltdown again!

    This is such a short period of time in you and your baby's life - I would sincerely try to focus on feeding your amazing baby and a little less on scheduling in workouts, but you can do both if you put a little less pressure on yourself. I know getting back to the pre baby body is sometimes an all consuming thing, but I think you already know that your baby is #1 Keep your head up, Mama, you're doing great!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Do you do any baby wearing? Your baby might be old enough that you could nurse in an Ergo while walking or something.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  6. #6

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Did you know post partum depression and post partum anxiety can appear for about a year after birth? It sounds like you weathered a tough time well, but just be aware these overwhelming feelings could be related to that.

    If baby IN the bed does not work, what about in a sidecar co-sleeper or crib next to your bed?

    As far as exercise-I found that post motherhood, I get MORE exercise if I do not schedule it. My thing is walking and/or exercise 'videos.' And I found I need to simply DO IT if the opportunity presents itself. I gave up completely on hour long blocks and found short videos of 20-30 minutes. That and getting out the stroller or back carrier and walking at every opportunity worked pretty well. If baby needed to nurse, I stopped and nursed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Dallas, TX
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Be kind to yourself, mama. As soon as you get a rhythm down, they change it up on you anyway.

    on baby wearing if you haven't tried it yet. I also got really good at getting things done in 15 to 20 minute spurts. Like PP suggested, you could pop in a DVD, do light strength training, stretches or yoga in that time. Brisk walks are great. For cleaning, I try to focus on either one task per day or one room per day and that usually works for me.

    It is exhausting! But it seems like yesterday DD was 5 months. Can't believe how fast it goes, really.
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  8. #8
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Just in terms of the scheduling, I recommend Myfitnesspal.com. You punch in how much you weigh and it allows you to lose up to 2 lbs a weeks WITHOUT ANY exercise and then as you add in exercise it adjusts for that 2. But most people who begin to watch their food see an improvement without any exercise. It allows you to plan your food AND your exercise AND get credit for things like walking.
    And for being able to wrap your mind around exercise, I recommend Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. Which is made up of three different level 20 minute workouts. I feel like most people can wrap their mind around and make time for 30 minutes a day. Me and Robin do Jillian stuff pretty consistently and there are a few threads in the exercise portion of ATRT where you can post your monthly goals and then post what you do. It's nice to have others to keep you motivated and be accountable to.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    Thank you everyone!! You know, just hearing that EVERYTHING I'm going through is normal makes me feel tons better. It's when my brain says "you're the only one experiencing this, no one knows what you're going through..." that's when things go down the tubes.

    I've thought about going to a psychiatrist for postpartum depression/anxiety, but realized that I just need a community. Even if it's an online LLL community, it's better than feeling insufferably alone. Exercise has always helped with all that stuff, but I often feel like a big fat (ugh) failure for not going.... the hours literally slip by EVERY single day. My mom lives with us, so I'll just have to ask her to watch Matty for an hour... that's what we did before my meltdown.

    By the way!!!!!!!! Breastfeeding has kept my weight at exactly 187 for the past 5 weeks, and I've been eating way off track. I'm not condoning it, but BOY is it a hell of a perk. Which is why I'm sort of glad he loves mah milk.

    Thank you, ladies!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and sanity

    I required a major perspective change when it came to exercise.

    Pre-baby, any day that had less than 1 hour of exercise was considered a "rest day", so even if I ran for 45 minutes, it wasn't really exercise. I would see women briskly walking with friends and I would envy them, because I could never do that and be happy with myself.

    Post-baby I realized that there simply wasn't time for all of that, so I had to change my approach. I would only have 20-30 minutes at a time, so I had to make them count. No more long miles, only moderate to high intensity workouts. Sometimes that would mean walking with DS, so I would find the closest hill and bust my butt all the way to the top.

    I know that it is hard to get out there when you already feel tired, but the other perk of having only 20 minutes for a workout is that it is easy to convince yourself that you can do anything for only 20 minutes. Before you know it the workout is over and you feel so much better.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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