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Thread: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    NY
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    662

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    I would say, it is very possible that this could be PPA, and also very possible that it is not PPA, and is just the normal heightened emotional response of new motherhood. Either way, I think that a lot of the tips and tricks therapists utilize for PPA would be helpful in your situation, so if you are having debilitating issues with insomnia, that is an avenue I personally would investigate.

    I had pretty significant PPA in the early months after my daughter was born, and insomnia was a huge part of my experience. I used cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to stop the intrusive, scary thought process that was keeping me awake at night very, very successfully.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  2. #12

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Don't wait as long as I did to get help (9 months!). I have had lifelong insomnia and I more than get what you are going through. I know all the sleep health best-practices and cognitive therapy techniques, but they don't work for me in a self-help capacity. I would have thought the exhaustion of baby would finally wear me out, but it seems my body digs in even more and goes to war with sleep. I'm just now getting the help I need and I shudder now when I think of how long I let it go...I had major anxiety and was in denial that I could do things to make it better - go for walks, try to work out (what? In my exhausted state?), eat better, get therapy, etc. Where was the time for these things with a full-time job, caring for baby, pumping 3-4 times a day and keeping up basic chores? I finally have been diagnosed and given an anti-anxiety med that's been found to be safe with breastfeeding. Here's the cautionary part - I kept telling myself I would get sleep therapy when my daughter was more independent and I would have a little more time, in the meantime, I have been in two car accidents, minor, but both my fault. I finally had my first panic attack due to lack of sleep and post-partum depression recently. It was time to give up the control, the "plans", listen to my doctor about meds (and stop reading the internet scaremongers about prescriptions) and take action before I hurt myself, someone else or worse, my kiddo. I'm not saying you are anywhere near this, but I didn't think I was either until I sorta hit bottom. Lack of sleep for months at time is serious business. Take care of yourself!!!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    10

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Thank you to everyone who has shared their experience. I truly appreciate it. It makes me feel like I am not battling this alone. And that others have gone through it and made it through alive.

    Still breastfeeding and working with my doctors and husband for a solution.

    Hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Let us know how it goes, okay? We're all really hoping that you find a solution!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    10

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    I think a large part of my insomnia comes from the anticipation of having to wake up to feed her. Instead of waiting till she wakes up hungry, I've tried to feed her around midnight before I go to sleep. However, I lay in bed worrying whether or not I'll hear her if/when she wakes up for her next feeding (~5-6 am if I feed her at midnight). I can't relax enough to fall asleep. My husband keeps telling me not to worry and that he can give her pumped milk from a bottle if she wakes up so that I can sleep. However, I end up worrying that I need to get up to pump because I don't want my supply to go down.

    I don't understand why my sleep is getting worse as her sleep is getting better. The anxiety is driving me crazy. I also think the stress is decreasing my milk supply because when I pump now, I get barely 3 ounces total from both sides.

    I'm going to go back to work in 2 weeks and if the insomnia keeps going, I don't know how I'm going to survive.

    I've spoken with my doctors and they suggested Zoloft for PPD/PPA.

    What do you guys think?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Can you explain why you don't wait until baby wakes on her own to nurse her?

    Here is what I am thinking. A nursing mothers body responds to her infants need to nurse. A nursing mother is in tune with her baby in deep ways that are hard to describe. This is NORMAL. So when a baby is given a bottle or nursed at a time baby would not normally, causing some disruption in "normal" nursing patters (baby's normal, which will vary and probably be unpredictable) this might cause or at least increase anxiety in mom. Theoretically.

    So you have tried having baby in your room and it does not work? Because I totally get feeling anxious if baby is not in close proximity to you. Again, nature dictates that a mom needs to be with baby and baby needs to be with mom, perhaps especially at night this is a species survival mechanism.

    I would also not discount your feelings. It is NORMAL to feel anxious about an impending separation from baby, so the return to work is a time many moms have conflicting feelings. And if you are anything like me, many times, anxiety is worse when anticipating something than when it actually occurs.

    Maybe it would be more helpful if your husband offered to bring baby to you so you can nurse at night, rather than offering to give baby a bottle. The act of nursing brings on a sleep inducing/relaxation hormonal response in mother.

    I cannot tell you what medication might be best or even if you need a medication, but I can assure you that many medications are considered safe to take while nursing, and Zoloft is one that has been around for a long time. But you want to do your research on this family of meds to see if it feels appropriate for your situation. For more on meds and breastfeeding, I suggest contacting www.infantrisk.org

    IN my personal experience, insomnia is much worse when I can see a clock or if I am worrying about having to get up at a certain time. Universally, mothers have to get up frequently and/or unpredictably during the night to tend to their children, this is true for infants and older kids as well. My Co-Leader who has teenagers says she STILL only sleeps when they are sleeping. (home and safe.) So generally, we have the capacity of getting enough sleep in short snatches. In fact, if you study sleep patterns, all adults wake frequently over night, but the difference between the norm and insomnia is being able to easily and quickly get back to sleep. Non-insomniacs often do not even remember waking.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 1st, 2014 at 10:21 AM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    10

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Can you explain why you don't wait until baby wakes on her own to nurse her?

    Here is what I am thinking. A nursing mothers body responds to her infants need to nurse. A nursing mother is in tune with her baby in deep ways that are hard to describe. This is NORMAL. So when a baby is given a bottle or nursed at a time baby would not normally, causing some disruption in "normal" nursing patters (baby's normal, which will vary and probably be unpredictable) this might cause or at least increase anxiety in mom. Theoretically.

    So you have tried having baby in your room and it does not work? Because I totally get feeling anxious if baby is not in close proximity to you. Again, nature dictates that a mom needs to be with baby and baby needs to be with mom, perhaps especially at night this is a species survival mechanism.

    I would also not discount your feelings. It is NORMAL to feel anxious about an impending separation from baby, so the return to work is a time many moms have conflicting feelings. And if you are anything like me, many times, anxiety is worse when anticipating something than when it actually occurs.

    Maybe it would be more helpful if your husband offered to bring baby to you so you can nurse at night, rather than offering to give baby a bottle. The act of nursing brings on a sleep inducing/relaxation hormonal response in mother.

    I cannot tell you what medication might be best or even if you need a medication, but I can assure you that many medications are considered safe to take while nursing, and Zoloft is one that has been around for a long time. But you want to do your research on this family of meds to see if it feels appropriate for your situation. For more on meds and breastfeeding, I suggest contacting www.infantrisk.org

    IN my personal experience, insomnia is much worse when I can see a clock or if I am worrying about having to get up at a certain time. Universally, mothers have to get up frequently and/or unpredictably during the night to tend to their children, this is true for infants and older kids as well. My Co-Leader who has teenagers says she STILL only sleeps when they are sleeping. (home and safe.) So generally, we have the capacity of getting enough sleep in short snatches. In fact, if you study sleep patterns, all adults wake frequently over night, but the difference between the norm and insomnia is being able to easily and quickly get back to sleep. Non-insomniacs often do not even remember waking.
    About 3 weeks ago when I let her wake on her own, she would wake around 2-3 am and my husband would come get me to feed her (he was sleeping in her nursery and I was sleeping by myself undisturbed to help me sleep). After a few days, I started waking up at 2 am before she woke....then 1 am....then midnight. After I woke up, I wasn't able to fall back to sleep. I started to give her a dream feed around midnight because 1) I was already waking up around that time and 2) I thought that if I gave her a dream feed at midnight, I would get a more hours of consecutive sleep (hopefully midnight - 5 am).

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Do you typically get up at night to feed baby? Or have you tried nursing baby in bed with you, having baby brought to you if you prefer to not cosleep?

    To clarify, I think nursing baby whenever you wake up is probably fine. Again I would wonder if the waking is you being in tune with your baby. I don't know how deep you want to get into the research, but when nursing mothers and babies who were sleeping with their mothers were studied, if was found that mom and baby typically woke simultaneously. IN other words, even in sleep, mother and baby were connected. How this is affected with mom sleeping in another room I have no idea, because as far as I know that has not been studied. This is an area that has many mysteries. But we do know that a mother's body continues to respond to her infant even when separated (this is why a mom out on a date night may feel letdown when she usually does not, or, when a mother returns to work, she can pump milk, and why in both cases, mom may feel worried or anxious about her baby even if baby is with the safest most wonderful person they know. This is in part a hormonal response to the separation.) I thought you meant you were waking baby up to nurse her at midnight as some kind of scheduled feeding. That ALSO may be fine. I am just trying to think of things that may help you relax into the norm of having a young baby and the requisite frequent wakings, without the insomnia.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Hi, I found this thread and joined the site because I've had a similar experience and wondered how the original poster is doing now. If you could please let me know what worked for you I would be so appreciative! I've had insomnia a few nights per month since about four months postpartum. I tried antidepressents and ativan - all of which put me in the ER, almost killed me, made things so much worse, and I nearly lost my milk supply. I'm now a year postpartum and still going through what I believe is hormonal insomnia. Only difference is my son has always woken many times a night (12 on average) and I cosleep. We've tried other sleep arrangements but this is what works best for us. I don't see my son weaning anytime soon as he nurses the same as he did as a newborn and it's a sleep association for him. When I have the insomnia I cant fall asleep at all until early morning, have hot sweats on and off at night and then when I finally fall asleep my son wakes me up. It's so hard. I believe my insomnia is hormonal and linked to my body trying to have a period. I've been writing down when it happens for months now. In the months after my son was first born I had anxiety but no longer have that going on...just this incredibly frustrating insomnia. I'm already so sleep deprived that it's bad having this insomnia on top of that. I'm also wondering if I were to wean soon if my hormones would balance and insomnia would resolve? The other thing is I still have the rare high risk condition that I had in pregnancy which started at only five weeks pregnant (Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy) which is thought to be caused by hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy. My doctor thinks the reason I still have it is because I'm still breastfeeding. So I know my hormones are definitely still off. I wish there was a crystal ball I could look into that would tell me if all of my issues would resolve when I stop breastfeeding. I had originally hoped to nurse until 2 years old but just don't know if weaning soon would be better? Would love to hear opinions and what happened with the original poster. Thank you so much!!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Considering weaning at 3.5 months due to insomnia

    Hi! I'm not sure if my situation will help you but I am happy to share my experience.

    After I posted on the forum, I went to see my doctor. I was diagnosed with post-partum anxiety. It took a few days to accept the diagnosis but I had a good physician who broke it down to me that there was a problem, that I shouldn't dwell on it, that there are meds to help me. Most importantly, I needed to break the insomnia cycle. It was really bad - I was getting barely 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I was a total mess. My husband and I do not co-sleep. We sleep trained around 4 months. I started on low doses of Zoloft and and trazodone. I also had ativan as needed but never needed to take it. I was still and am still breastfeeding. All those things combined helped me get back to my normal self. I have not weaned yet and my 10 month old is still exclusively breastfed. I feel great and my LO is happy and healthy. I am off all meds.

    I am happy that I didn't give up on breastfeeding. At the time, my OB told me that weaning would probably not be the answer. I didn't believe her and really thought that weaning was the answer to my problems. Turns out that my OB was right and I was wrong.

    I don't know if this helps you but that's my story. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

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