I turn to you because I have read many of your responses and they are so helpful and simply outstanding.
I am extremely sleep deprived and need advice on how I can continue to breastfeed and still get a little bit of sleep. I never expected to get alot of sleep but I am not even getting any short naps. I hope daily for a couple of 20 minute naps (which rarely happens).
My 7 week old baby loves three things tremendously: cluster feeding, cat napping and being held which I know are completely normal and I will continue to provide these things to her, but they prevent me from getting any sleep. I seriously need some sleep to be able to keep things together and also for my other daughters sake.
My baby loves to catnap at the breast and when I put her away she wakes up within a few minutes. The only time she naps longer is in the late afternoon and early evening when I have to tend to my other child, cook, tidy etc (we have no help) but even then I cannot expect her to sleep long and deep enough for me to also get some sleep.
Late evening until late morning my baby keeps my up and clusterfeeds for hours and hours, come 5-6am the desperation grows and I feel like I am going to loose my mind. I don't get even a short break until late morning. This happens every day/night.
I have to use a nipple shield due to flat nipples and do not see how I would be able to breastfeed in the dark lying down as the shield wouldn't stay in place.
Can I expect this pattern to change soon? When might things get better for me?
Would it make sense to pump a bottle of breastmilk and have her dad feed her once a day while I nap? (I would nurse all other times). Or would that mess up my milk production and put me at risk for plugged ducts etc? I would consider pumping 1 bottle a day and nurse on demand. When would I need to pump in order to make that happen? Right before a feeding or right after? I want to make sure I have plenty of milk for when my baby is hungry.
I've had every obstacle against me so far (c-section due to breech - milk came late, flat nipples, 11 days in hospital, several mastitis infections etc etc), but I am very patient and want to keep going. But I do need your advice. I have not met my breastfeeding goal yet and deeply want to continue.
Thank you in advance!