When You Are Sleep Deprived and Exclusively Breastfeeding
This isn't one of the many posts that you can find on the benefits of breastfeeding. You know where to find those if that's what you want. When you are breastfeeding... and breastfeeding... all night long. When you have been doing it not only a few days, or a few weeks. But you are months into it. Sure, it has gotten easier and there have been times baby has let you slept 4 hours in a row. But... it's still.... hard.... when.... you... aren't sleeping.
Here is a secret that many may not have told you: It is okay for you to want to exclusively breastfeed, and also want a sufficient amount of healthy sleep.
Being the only one who can feed baby comes with a great deal of responsibility. It can feel like the best privilege ever given, and also one with many burdens.
As postpartum doulas, we help to facilitate and establish healthy sleep patterns and routines early on for all members of the family. A lot of time this healthy sleep is able to be done with exclusively breastfeeding. And sometimes... it is not.
When we try everything to facilitate great sleep for everyone, and the mother feels like it comes down to either not exclusively breastfeeding or continuing to exclusively breastfeed with hopes of better sleep coming soon (which it may!)... as postpartum doulas we really try to help the family find an solution that works for everyone. And sometimes this solution involves a bottle of pumped milk or formula in the middle of the night.
We all want is best for our children. Every single one of us. Often times, what is best for our children is a healthy, rested, nourished and supported mother. What it takes to accomplish this is different for every family. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes it is mother pumping during the day so she can rest at night. Sometimes it takes a bottle of formula once a night so that mother can peacefully rest knowing baby is being nourished and cared for while she is getting some much deserved sleep.
If you are sleep deprived and exclusively breastfeeding, and need some emotional support or information to put a new plan in place, give us a call. Your postpartum doula is attuned to your family's unique needs and will never force a routine or schedule or regimen that you are not comfortable with. Your comfort, rest, and peace of mind are of the highest priority to your doulas. Our office number is 720-675-8343 and we truly look forward to hearing from you.