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Thread: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    19

    Default Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    Hi ladies,

    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    Can you have a flash light or small lamp in your bed/bedroom? I use one and it helps me make sure my babies latch on at the right place.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    Hi Sara

    when I dealt with sleep deprivation in the early months what helped me the most was when my husband would take baby and play with, change, and/or comfort baby part of the night (or during the day if he was home) while I slept. In my experience it was amazing what putting together a 4 hour stretch at night or a 1-2 hour nap during the day would do for feeling more rested. It would not have to be every day or night either. Typically there is no reason to give a baby a bottle for the occasional longer stretch so mommy can sleep. Just nurse baby before and after.

    As far as how long this will go on, I have no firm answer for you there. Every baby is different. But typically it DOES get better as far as nursing frequency reducing, usually by 3 months of age if not earlier. But you can expect baby will still wake to nurse at night for many more months. Just not ALL night.

    If you do want to try a bottle, I suggest be mindful of what to do to avoid pitfalls. Breastfeeding gets undermined by pumping and bottles for various reasons and if you are mindful of what can happen you can avoid many of the issues. Personally I don’t think "rest' bottles are really as helpful as touted by many but ymmv.

    1) Don't be concerned if you are not able to pump very much. Normal/average pump output for a mom who is nursing full time is .5-2 ounces per pump session. Pump output is not a reliable indicator of milk production.
    2) Don't let baby be overfed. You will want baby somewhat hungry and eager to nurse when you wake up. So keep bottles small and have your husband use paced bottle feeding techniques (Sometimes helpful for avoiding nipple and flow confusion and bottle preference as well) and a slow flow nipple. Don't let your confidence be undermined by someone saying something like 'baby was really hungry and they guzzled the bottle.' Most likely, if a baby 'guzzles' a bottle, baby was fed the bottle improperly.
    3) Keep bottles for 'emergency use' only. Turning bottles into a daily routine can be problematic and lead to more, less necessary bottles. Watch out for the ‘snowball effect’ of pumping and bottles leading to more pumping and bottles.
    4) If your milk production is at all in question, or if you get full while napping, you will want to pump for each time and around each time a supplemental bottle is given. This means, if you pump milk on Monday night for baby to be given on Tuesday afternoon, you may also need to pump sometime Tuesday afternoon, if that makes sense. This is one reason why mom getting 'rest' bottles sometimes results in little gain of rest.
    5) Babies do not "prefer' bottles. If you are finding baby is having a hard time nursing after being bottle fed (and this issue can take time to develop) just stop the bottles.
    6) Don’t be concerned about not having milk if you have just pumped. Even if you have just pumped, you can always nurse your baby.

    You might also consider baby being cup fed rather than bottle fed.

    Have you worked on weaning off the shields? Any progress there? Or tried side lying nursing with the shields? It can be done in some cases.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 27th, 2013 at 09:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    Paced bottle feeding: Information sheet: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs (Don’t worry about what she says about time between feeds- typically, best to cue feed whether nursing or bottles.)

    Cup feeding at the breastfeeding clinic, shows the mom with breasts exposed: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...lips&Itemid=13


    Have you tried breast compressions? Some say helps with nursing frequency. I have no idea how they would work when using sheilds.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    I know just how you're feeling. How many times in the past six weeks have I been sitting on the floor crying and saying "I am just am so tired." Many many times. And until my baby was gaining good weight, I felt like anytime she gave any indication that she was hungry I needed to take that opportunity to breast-feed. Two days ago the lactation consultant said that if I had fed her for an hour and baby is no longer actively sucking and swallowing, she gave me "permission" to use a pacifier for 20 minutes. She said that that would actually trick my body into thinking the next feeding was a new one which would release more prolactin and lead to a new let down.

    Something else the lactation consultant had me doing ended up helping quite a bit with both milk supply and getting a bit of rest. Every day she had me do what she called a power pump. The power pump was 10 minutes of pumping with a hospital grade pump, 10 minutes off, 10 minutes of pumping, 10 minutes off, 10 minutes of pumping. This resulted, for me, in about 3 ounces of breast milk. While I was doing the power pump, my husband would be feeding yesterday's breast milk. While the power pump takes about an hour, baby is getting 3 ounces of breast milk, which makes her nice and sleepy. She would then sleep for two hours. Two blissful hours.
    I think you'd want to be careful of using this to get baby to sleep very long. My understanding is that for a newborn you wouldn't want more than one four hour stretch per day, including nursing time. So you might be lucky and get one three hour sleep. But maybe only a two hour sleep. And even a one hour sleep sounds like more than you're getting right now. I don't think you'd want to try this with any oversupply issues -- and probably wouldn't even if you have a normal supply. The point from the lactation consultant perspective was to increase my supply dramatically. The extra little bit of satiation was an added bonus. Another benefit is that after sleeping two hours baby wakes up hungry and eats even better the next time at the breast. And my boobs have had a good two hours to restock.
    It stands to reason that you get the same results by breast-feeding and then supplementing with expressed breastmilk.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post

    Have you tried breast compressions? Some say helps with nursing frequency. I have no idea how they would work when using sheilds.
    If you can figure out breast compressions with the shields, you might find what I found which is that baby eats much more efficiently. So maybe she's done in 50 minutes and is quite content, which then gives me an hour and a half of no breast-feeding. That's assuming she's breast-feeding every 2 and a half hours or so.

    Also remember that sleep deprivation is a technique they use to make prisoners crack. It's no wonder you're feeling like you're going crazy. It sounds like it's imperative that you get a little sleep, even if that means a bottle today. My Doula said breast-feeding is like contractions... take it one at a time. I'm not a professional, I'm not even an experienced mom, but it seems one bottle no matter how you do it isn't going to mess things up and if it means you don't lose your mind, that's the win!

    Also, I'm not sure if someone has already entered this for you, but my IBCLC said if I want to pump to pump for about 10 minutes after I breast-feed.
    Last edited by @llli*jessicanewmom; December 28th, 2013 at 12:49 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Columbus, OH
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    159

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    One other thing: can you enlist your husband to take care of everything tonight? I mean everything so that you get to just sleep for maybe two or three hours? I think one block of sleep might do you wonders. Just a thought.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,465

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    At 7 weeks I would feel comfortable introducing one bottle a day. And I did. At 5 weeks actually. And after dinner I got two hours of freedom becaue of that bottle. Use it to take a 2hour nap.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*krystine View Post
    Can you have a flash light or small lamp in your bed/bedroom? I use one and it helps me make sure my babies latch on at the right place.
    Good idea. Thank you.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    The thing about nursing, giving the baby to my husband so I can sleep and nursing again when baby gets hungry... I tried that many times... and it usually doesn't work... My husband is very loving but the second I hand her off she starts fussing and usually that fuss turns into a cry. It's almost like she is saying "oh no, now I wont be able to nurse". When I hear her cry its impossible for me to sleep. She loves to cluster nurse... so she doesnt go long without wanting the breast. I wish it would work!
    She does not want the bottle. She might take one from my husband, but not from me.

    I have flat nipples so I dont see how I would be able to nurse without the shield... Even a lactation consultant confirmed my flat nipples... she did not recommend the shield but could see there was a problem with my nipples. She squeezed my breast very hard in order to form something for baby to latch onto but it didnt work...

    Since I am using the nipple shield I get less stimulation and this in combination with the cluster feeding causes big problems... In the early morning hours after hours of almost nonstop cluster feedings I run dry... Last night I had absolutely nothing coming out. When I have plenty of milk and the baby is done nursing the shield will have milk in it... Last night the nipple was dry after some of the nursing attempts. As she was hysterically crying from hunger I tried a bottle but she refused to take it. I am sure you can imagine the devestation, we were both crying! It took hours to get a small trickle again. If there is anyway I can increase my supply other than pumping please let me know. Thanks for all your help!


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Hi Sara

    when I dealt with sleep deprivation in the early months what helped me the most was when my husband would take baby and play with, change, and/or comfort baby part of the night (or during the day if he was home) while I slept. In my experience it was amazing what putting together a 4 hour stretch at night or a 1-2 hour nap during the day would do for feeling more rested. It would not have to be every day or night either. Typically there is no reason to give a baby a bottle for the occasional longer stretch so mommy can sleep. Just nurse baby before and after.

    As far as how long this will go on, I have no firm answer for you there. Every baby is different. But typically it DOES get better as far as nursing frequency reducing, usually by 3 months of age if not earlier. But you can expect baby will still wake to nurse at night for many more months. Just not ALL night.

    If you do want to try a bottle, I suggest be mindful of what to do to avoid pitfalls. Breastfeeding gets undermined by pumping and bottles for various reasons and if you are mindful of what can happen you can avoid many of the issues. Personally I don’t think "rest' bottles are really as helpful as touted by many but ymmv.

    1) Don't be concerned if you are not able to pump very much. Normal/average pump output for a mom who is nursing full time is .5-2 ounces per pump session. Pump output is not a reliable indicator of milk production.
    2) Don't let baby be overfed. You will want baby somewhat hungry and eager to nurse when you wake up. So keep bottles small and have your husband use paced bottle feeding techniques (Sometimes helpful for avoiding nipple and flow confusion and bottle preference as well) and a slow flow nipple. Don't let your confidence be undermined by someone saying something like 'baby was really hungry and they guzzled the bottle.' Most likely, if a baby 'guzzles' a bottle, baby was fed the bottle improperly.
    3) Keep bottles for 'emergency use' only. Turning bottles into a daily routine can be problematic and lead to more, less necessary bottles. Watch out for the ‘snowball effect’ of pumping and bottles leading to more pumping and bottles.
    4) If your milk production is at all in question, or if you get full while napping, you will want to pump for each time and around each time a supplemental bottle is given. This means, if you pump milk on Monday night for baby to be given on Tuesday afternoon, you may also need to pump sometime Tuesday afternoon, if that makes sense. This is one reason why mom getting 'rest' bottles sometimes results in little gain of rest.
    5) Babies do not "prefer' bottles. If you are finding baby is having a hard time nursing after being bottle fed (and this issue can take time to develop) just stop the bottles.
    6) Don’t be concerned about not having milk if you have just pumped. Even if you have just pumped, you can always nurse your baby.

    You might also consider baby being cup fed rather than bottle fed.

    Have you worked on weaning off the shields? Any progress there? Or tried side lying nursing with the shields? It can be done in some cases.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Sleep Deprivation - Need Advice - Please Help

    Yes, last night I did breast compressions to the point it was hurting... I was massaging and kneading intensely as my baby was hungry and refusing a bottle... didn't make a difference... Very devestating and frustrating situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Paced bottle feeding: Information sheet: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs (Don’t worry about what she says about time between feeds- typically, best to cue feed whether nursing or bottles.)

    Cup feeding at the breastfeeding clinic, shows the mom with breasts exposed: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...lips&Itemid=13


    Have you tried breast compressions? Some say helps with nursing frequency. I have no idea how they would work when using sheilds.

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