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Thread: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

  1. #1
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    Default 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    x
    Last edited by @llli*thawingsnow; January 31st, 2018 at 09:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    Hi mama, I think you're doing great. I really knew barely anything about breastfeeding until I was nursing my third child. So you're way ahead of where I was with my first child!

    I don't think your baby sleeping a long stretch for a couple nights at age 11 months is a cause for concern (in a newborn, yes - but not at this point). Especially since you are nursing on demand (and frequently) the rest of the time. A long stretch at night without nursing is more problematic, in my opinion, for mothers working outside the home, because they are relying on the pump to maintain supply during daytime hours, which may not be as effective as nursing. Another problematic scenario would be a mother who is intentionally scheduling or spacing out feedings, in which case baby may not be nursing enough over 24 hours to meet his nutritional needs and maintain mom's supply, but that does not sound like it is at all the case with you. However, it is never wrong to nurse baby - perfectly fine to dream feed at night if you are feeling too full or simply if you are worried! Just as you cannot overfeed baby at the breast during the day, you also can't overfeed at night. If baby doesn't want to nurse, he won't - though most babies will instinctively nurse in their sleep.

    Yes, growth does slow as baby gets older. This is perfectly normal. That's why it's a growth curve rather than a growth line - rapid in the beginning, then slower. Also, this explains why baby's milk needs are fairly constant over the first year even though he is getting bigger. And, once he turns a year, solids will gradually start to provide more and more of his nutritional needs, with breastmilk becoming complementary. As this happens, supply will gradually drop. So, you are coming to the point where this will naturally start to occur. Again, all normal and fine. The beautiful thing with breastfeeding, though, is that you do not need to think about this if you are nursing on demand and offering frequently. Baby will drink what he needs, and your supply will match what he drinks. Again, the equation may be a bit different if there is pumping involved, so if you are reading posts from moms who are working and pumping, you may see more worry and concern about supply. Because in this case, you are trying to simulate baby's demand with the pump, which can be hard to do.

    Some mothers do find that baby sleeping longer stretches at night brings the return of menstruation. However, it's also possible that you would start menstruating at this time even without baby sleeping a long stretch at night. The time of return of menses is very variable from mother to mother, with the average of 14 months for mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding - again you are not so far off from that at this point. And yes, supply can dip in the days leading up to your period, but baby's natural response if that happens will be to nurse more frequently and/or longer to get your supply to meet his needs, so again, no need to worry!

    If you are prone to plugged ducts and mastitis, then yes, you do want to be careful about that. Go ahead and nurse baby at night if you are feeling too full, and if he won't nurse, you might want to try hand expression.

    Babies usually nurse the most when they are in bed with mom. If you are worried about baby not nursing at night that is certainly something you could try.

    ETA: I also think it is a very normal part of motherhood to look back and think, "I wish I had done that differently." You're doing great, don't be hard on yourself.
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; March 20th, 2015 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Add something

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    Excellent advice from the PP! I just want to reiterate that nursing on cue doesn't have to mean that you always wait for the baby's cue. You can offer to nurse whenever you want to, as well!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    I'm also facing a similar situation, though my baby is 4 months old. I try to nurse her as much as she would like during the day to make up for the nights.
    So far she has been sleeping longer stretches for about 3-4 weeks and she has kept it up (Anywhere from 6-9 hours). I too was/am concerned about my supply but if I go by her weight/output everything seems ok. When she first started doing this I was a bit engorged in the middle of the night, but now it seems my body has adjusted.

    You're doing a great job I too am learning so much about breastfeeding. The nursing mother/child relationship seems to be something that is always changing but in other ways always the same.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    x
    Last edited by @llli*thawingsnow; January 31st, 2018 at 09:30 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    Hmm, I think that's really interesting about the suppression of ovulation/menstruation helping endometriosis. It makes sense.

    I don't know the exact answer to your question about how many hours a breastfed 11 month old typically wakes at night. I'm sure there's a wide range. My impression from reading posts on these forums is that many babies that are bedsharing wake quite frequently to nurse, some want to nurse "all night long." Of course, there are also babies who sleep longer stretches (mine fell into that category) but I think their mothers tend to post less about that!

    Is your baby eating a lot of solids? In theory if baby has ramped up on solids quickly, maybe he is transitioning more rapidly to having a more solids-predominant diet and needing a bit less breast milk to get by.

    Until I got to the part about the endometriosis, I was thinking to myself that you were perhaps worrying about this too much. But, since you do want to delay menses as long as possible, my next thought was that perhaps bedsharing might be worth trying? Is there a reason you don't want to? Short of that, I'm sure it won't hurt to move the crib closer. Of course, there's no guarantee that baby will nurse more; perhaps he is a particularly sound sleeper. Or, as you mention, maybe this is a temporary phase; at around a year the one-year molars start coming in, and baby is heading to the big developmental milestone of walking, so that is often a time of more nighttime awakenings.

    In terms of 8 or 9 hours without feeding, if you think about it, many people DO sleep "train" their babies and their babies do actually sleep those long stretches, often at a much earlier age. In fact many pediatricians recommend this - which is really detrimental to breastfeeding, but, the point is, babies actually can get the nutrition they need over the remaining 16 hours of the day. The average milk intake of a baby is 24 ounces so if baby is drinking 3 or even 4 ounces every couple hours he can meet his needs. Again, this is not something a breastfeeding mother should force (ie a long stretch at night), in my opinion, since there is a risk of it impacting supply, but if baby is doing it on his own, it does suggest he is getting the milk he needs at other times.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    There's a big range of normal when it comes to infant sleep. Some babies sleep all the way through without waking, some wake a few times a night, some have a single longer stretch of sleep followed by frequent waking, and some wake frequently all night long.

    When your period does return, maybe talks I your doc about different forms of hormonal contraception? My understanding is that most of them work by convincing the body that it is a little bit pregnant and thereby stopping ovulation. I wonder if something like the Mirena IUD would be a good choice, as it can thin the uterine lining in addition to stopping ovulation.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 9 Hours of Sleep??, Supply, Dream Feeds

    http://www.birth-institute.com/alter...vaginal-steams

    IME this is an age where many babies are just a little bit disinterested in breastfeeding. My little one is also eleven months. He's exhibiting the same behaviors you describe, even while bed sharing. This was the age i began attending LLL meetings regularly as I was nervous about my oldest's sudden change in habits. I was told to just keep offering and he'd pick back up, which indeed was the case. After that I didn't see a chunk of sleep longer than 4 hours until he was almost two.

    My littlest sleeps from 8-7 approximately every night. If he naps poorly, he'll often go to bed earlier. I'd say he normally stirs in his sleep looking to nurse 2-3 times a night. That's a total guess though. I don't keep track.

    Some of my youngest's refusal to nurse right now seems to stem from a very basic form of independence. He's gotten very toddler like this week (he's walking! Signing for milk! ) and saying when and where he eats is the most control he has right now.

    I stumbled across the above article a few weeks ago. I'd had extremely painful periods for years before having my first child but zero issues since. The article made me wonder if I'd shed enough uterine lining after delivering the babies to eliminate my cramping. But i think you're totally onto something as I just saw lowered estrogen as a preventative measure for endometriosis. I have no advice on how to keep your cycle at bay though. I was nursing two kids this time and still had it come back at 7 weeks postpartum.

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