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Thread: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

  1. #21
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    I agree with sonogirl. First, we are not a monolithic community, we are a bunch of moms sharing what worked for us, and the reason you see things like cosleeping and sidelying suggested is because those are the techniques that worked for whoever suggested them. I don't think anyone is trying to shame you into doing things one way or another. Exhausted from nighttime awakenings, being a zombie at work, feeling depressed from lack of sleep - yes, been there, done that! I totally hear you on how hard it is! And you absolutely need to make your life work for you. If a particular suggestion doesn't work for you, just leave it! And if you have suggestions based on what worked for you, by all means share them!

    ETA: Just saw your most recent post - I think that's great that you've found a solution that has made things better.
    Yeah, again - it's not that I have any problem with the people here. People here have been EXTREMELY nice and highly supportive. It's not that at all. I've been very grateful for the moral support.

    It's just that there seems to be a very limited universe of solutions offered within the breastfeeding community (not just this forum) to the very complicated problem of sleeping/working/breastfeeding, and I think that's a shame. From reading various sources, it felt that there were two "camps" - the "sleep trainers" who push STTN, and the breastfeeders who push bedsharing. I just wish there were more creative/middle ground solutions offered, and that's partly what I'm trying to do, and hoping people don't get too mad at me for it

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    I think it's essentially a problem of incompatibility of the typical work culture and the typical needs of a woman who is mothering a baby. It's just hard to take care of a young child, which is a full-time, 24 hour job in and of itself, and then come to work in the morning and be a highly productive person as if you haven't spent the night up and down nursing, soothing etc. And if you throw breastfeeding into the mix, you have the challenge of maintaining supply while being physically apart from baby for a good portion of the day, which is not what our bodies are designed to do. I think the reason there aren't good solutions out there is because it IS a really complicated problem. And if you figure out some new solutions - all the better!

  3. #23
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    I think it's essentially a problem of incompatibility of the typical work culture and the typical needs of a woman who is mothering a baby. It's just hard to take care of a young child, which is a full-time, 24 hour job in and of itself, and then come to work in the morning and be a highly productive person as if you haven't spent the night up and down nursing, soothing etc. And if you throw breastfeeding into the mix, you have the challenge of maintaining supply while being physically apart from baby for a good portion of the day, which is not what our bodies are designed to do. I think the reason there aren't good solutions out there is because it IS a really complicated problem. And if you figure out some new solutions - all the better!
    No doubt... it's just that complicated problems require open-mindedness and are not particularly susceptible to one-size-fits all solutions. There are a couple things I think are going on here. First, the supply issue, which is definitely true for some/most women, but is certainly not insurmountable - the challenge is mainly in determining the appropriate method and frequency of night feeding if you want to also get some sleep and let your baby get some sleep. Second, the breastfeeding community while definitely not monolithic is probably overrepresented in terms of a parenting philosophy that is judgmental of sleep training. I think this too bad, because I don't want women to feel like they can't breastfeed or aren't welcome in the breastfeeding community just because they don't agree with that general parenting philosophy (and/or in my case, because their life is a complete disaster and they are becoming unhinged). I credit the sleep interventions we did - under the supervision of a lactation consultant - to improving my relationship with my daughter, my daughter's improved mood, AND our breastfeeding relationship improving, not to mention my productivity at work and relationships with other people! If we had not done this, I may well have stopped breastfeeding - I was actually in a medical situation that would have warranted medications that would have been at best disruptive to breastfeeding - because I was losing my dang mind. It would have been nice if I didn't feel like I had to get to the point of a medical issue before I was willing to take steps to address it.

    And I want to reiterate that the point is not to be negative about the people in this forum, who have been wonderful - I just think that voicing this perspective can encourage more people to breastfeed!

    But like I said before, the OP sounds like she's in a really good place with sleep - so my soapbox is probably misplaced here
    Last edited by @llli*xiaoshira; April 25th, 2014 at 10:49 AM.

  4. #24
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    I breastfeed through the night without co-sleeping. My baby sleeps in a crib right near my bed (I can reach in to take him out without me leaving my own bed) and he wakes up 2x in the night to eat. If he sleeps in my bed then I can't get a decent sleep because I'm always worrying that he'll get under my blanket and won't be able to breathe. However, after the last feed of the night - usually like 6am, I let him sleep in my bed since I'm not sleeping deeply after that. Co-sleeping the entire night just won't do for us.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    I have a colleague who is an exclusive pumper. She works full time and baby (who was a premie, is about 6 months but adjusted age of about 4 months) sleeps 12 hours every night. She pumps just once overnight. She has no supply issues, in fact she is giving milk to a friend of a friend who can't produce enough for her twins.

    I have another friend who could never make cosleeping work, she works full time and just gets up once or twice every night to nurse baby. He is almost a year and sometimes sleep through the night. They did some gentle sleep training - basically if he woke up and had just nursed not long before her partner went to him to put him back to sleep so that he wasn't always nursing to sleep.

    I share these stories because it is true, like a PP mentioned, there is no one-size-fits all solution to working and breastfeeding. I am sure some families manage to sleep train and exclusively breast feed. But it seems that the majority of this community has found, via experience, that night nursing is helpful, and cosleeping makes night nursing easier.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Right. We all find our individual solutions that fit for our own particular nursing dyad. I have a really large storage capacity so I could get away with less pumping than most moms. But if someone comes on here for advice about how often to pump, I don't advise them to do what I did, unless they sound like they have a similarly large storage capacity, because that is very likely to lead them to not get enough and have a drop in their supply. Similarly, on average after reading thousands of posts on this forum, and from personal experience, nighttime nursing is important for maintaining supply and even more so for a working mom trying to maintain supply during the day with a pump. Of course that does not mean every single mom wakes up at night to nurse her baby, I'm sure there are some that don't, and if an individual mom can make that work for her, and her supply is great and baby is gaining weight, great! But the goal of the forum is to try to help moms make breastfeeding work, and since frequent nursing, during the day and at night, usually helps achieve that, there's a bias towards suggesting that moms do nurse at night. (There are also moms who are philosophically opposed to sleep training - to me that is actually a somewhat separate issue.) And like avesnovuelan said, a lot of moms do find that cosleeping helps with nighttime nursing, though as rucchichio points out, cosleeping can mean different things to different people - in some cases it's bedsharing, in other cases it's simply having baby nearby on their own sleep surface. On the other hand, sleep training with the goal of having baby sleep a very long stretch at night - 10 or 11 or 12 hours (which actually to me is different from figuring out a way to nurse a couple times at night without bedsharing) - may be quite detrimental to ongoing nursing.
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; April 25th, 2014 at 02:40 PM.

  7. #27
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    But the goal of the forum is to try to help moms make breastfeeding work, and since frequent nursing, during the day and at night, usually helps achieve that, there's a bias towards suggesting that moms do nurse at night. (There are also moms who are philosophically opposed to sleep training - to me that is actually a somewhat separate issue.)
    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!"

  8. #28
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    But the goal of the forum is to try to help moms make breastfeeding work, and since frequent nursing, during the day and at night, usually helps achieve that, there's a bias towards suggesting that moms do nurse at night...sleep training with the goal of having baby sleep a very long stretch at night - 10 or 11 or 12 hours (which actually to me is different from figuring out a way to nurse a couple times at night without bedsharing) - may be quite detrimental to ongoing nursing.
    Yes, understood... Couple things though - and seriously I'm not trying to be difficult, just want to try my best to be understood on this one - 1) sleep training does not necessarily mean the goal of having baby sleep 12 hours/no night feeding - There are ways to sleep train and still keep night feedings, and we need NOT to make moms feel like the only two choices are zero night feeding or feeding all night long and 2) miserable/ possibly soon-to-be unemployed mom is MUCH more detrimental to ongoing nursing than night weaning. If the goal of the forum is really helping moms make breastfeeding work, then we have to look beyond our own choices to try to come up with solutions that help moms make breastfeeding work in their situations. And a nearly-uniform stance that sleep training is morally wrong and/or per se incompatible with breastfeeding is not advancing that goal.

    When I linked a friend to this thread (the one who ultimately persuaded me to do some form of sleep training after a month of misery and depression) she told me, you don't belong there, those aren't your people. That makes me sad, but she may be right - but for anyone reading this thread in the future, just know that it *is* possible to help your baby's sleep improve and continue to exclusively breastfeed, even when you have supply issues like me.
    Last edited by @llli*xiaoshira; April 25th, 2014 at 10:04 PM.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Xiaoshira I don't think it's anyone's intentions for this forum to be a place where you don't belong. The advice on a mother to mother forum is always going to be limited to the experiences of the mothers who post there... If mothers who have different takes/experiences don't post then how will people benefit from a range of point of views?

    Your experience of sleep training is just as valid and hopefully welcome as a person who has co-slept and a person using a crib next to the bed etc!

    What I will say is people here are responding to a person that only feeds once a night hence the concerns about supply and losing that one feed. That said there is a recent thread on this forum with an individual feeding lots at night that may well welcome/need your input on what worked for you!
    Last edited by @llli*bsua65; April 26th, 2014 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Typo

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Going back to work PLUS Sleep training

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*xiaoshira View Post
    Yes, understood... Couple things though - and seriously I'm not trying to be difficult, just want to try my best to be understood on this one - 1) sleep training does not necessarily mean the goal of having baby sleep 12 hours/no night feeding - There are ways to sleep train and still keep night feedings, and we need NOT to make moms feel like the only two choices are zero night feeding or feeding all night long and 2) miserable/ possibly soon-to-be unemployed mom is MUCH more detrimental to ongoing nursing than night weaning. If the goal of the forum is really helping moms make breastfeeding work, then we have to look beyond our own choices to try to come up with solutions that help moms make breastfeeding work in their situations. And a nearly-uniform stance that sleep training is morally wrong and/or per se incompatible with breastfeeding is not advancing that goal.

    When I linked a friend to this thread (the one who ultimately persuaded me to do some form of sleep training after a month of misery and depression) she told me, you don't belong there, those aren't your people. That makes me sad, but she may be right - but for anyone reading this thread in the future, just know that it *is* possible to help your baby's sleep improve and continue to exclusively breastfeed, even when you have supply issues like me.
    I think it's still important to respect the guidelines around sleep training if you choose to do it. In regards to it being compatible with successfully breastfeeding. Which is NOT to start until at least 6months of age. And FWIW I know PLENTY of woman who went back to work full time here before the year point who were able to make things work. I think the course of co-sleeping OFTEN come from working mothers who don't feel like getting up a bunch of times or listening to babies cry. However I also know that there are women who have worked out sleeping issues and crib sleeping. It usually does involve some form of CIO though. And that's an issue that everyone has to sort of take on individually. I couldn't do it. But sleep was the most important thing to me. I felt like I got the most with the baby sleeping right next to me at an age where not losing my supply was important to me. And when he was older and I was night weaning him having him sleep in a different space was important. All we can tell you is what we have done individually to be successful at it. And in terms of who "your people" are, I can't speak to that, but I do know that the women here are generally considerably more successful at actually hitting the year and beyond in terms of breastfeeding exclusively. Working or not. So I think that is important to think about. Are you at the year point yet? How important is it to get there? I feel like this place has always had women from all walks of life. And often we don't agree on much else. But if reaching the year point or father IS important to you, I mean having people who have walked to the path to your goal and beyond successfully speak about how they did it, is really the best support we can offer.

    Way too lazy for formula

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