Considering giving up breastfeeding due to sleep issues - need honest input

(184 Posts)
tinierclanger Fri 06-Sep-13 09:27:25

DD is 4 months old now and has never really slept well. Until a few weeks ago she occasionally slept 4 hours at the beginning of the night, but now the best she does is 3. She will then wake every 1 or 2 hours and want feeding back to sleep. We spend some of the night cosleeping but not all.

I have no problems feeding her, she is fed entirely on demand in the day and feeds about every 2 hours, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. I don't want to stop but I am so drawn to the prospect of getting more sleep - some days I cope ok but others I am shattered and a horrible person to be around, affecting my relationship with DH and DS hmm

My fear though is that if I start FF she will wake just as often and then I will have bottles to deal with. In all honesty is this likely or is she more likely to sleep in proper stretches, rather than waking to nibble on me? Obviously the main incentive is that I could get DH to do one night a week and I could just sleep...

Remember, what you pump is not an indication of how much milk baby gets while BF. Some women do extended breastfeeding, but will never get more than an ounce when pumping, so please don't feel that 3oz is nothing!!

When you're giving up BF, you need to pump enough just to relieve the engorgement and pain, don't pump until you're 'empty' otherwise your body gets the idea that it needs to keep producing.

loveroflife Sat 07-Sep-13 23:16:12

thank you horry, that is so kind and has made me feel better as i pump away and get another measly 3oz...

loveroflife don't feel guilty! Expressed production is rarely the same as "live" production. You stopped at the right time for you and you never starved your baby.

thanks

loveroflife Sat 07-Sep-13 22:29:34

This thread is so timely! OP I have just decided this week to give up breastfeeding as ds is about to turn 5m. I am, like you, utterly exhausted from 3/4 feeds through the night and that is with co sleeping after the first wake.

I ff ds1 from 8 weeks and he conked out like a light after every feed and slept through from 4m. I have given ds2 a couple of bottles and he has gulped it down like a dehydrated plant and seems very satisfied after, he also, has slept well after the bottles.

I feel bad that I am 'giving up' before the 6m mark as I wanted to bf until then but I really can't cope. I have headaches when I'm driving, my weight is increasing as I crave carbs and sugar first thing because of the exhaustion. I'm short tempered, pissed off and not very nice to be around. It got to the point this week where I dreaded getting up to face the day which is just awful on ds1 who is a lively toddler and doesn't deserve this. I think those that CAN cope with little sleep sadly don't really understand how depressed one can feel when they are starved of it.

One idea you may want to consider would be to introduce a bottle say at bed and see how dc gets on and see if it makes any difference, if it does, go from there and see how many feeds you want to replace with formula or work out a plan for mix feeding.

One other point is that I went out for the afternoon and dh gave ds a bottle of formula. I went out at 1 and came home at 6 and pumped - my boobs were sore and leaking and I produced a whopping 3oz!! That's all I got over 5 hours - seems such a little amount! No wonder ds gulped down 6oz of formula, he was probably starving all the time wanting to feed every 2 hours as he wasn't getting enough from me which made me feel awful for silently cursing his crying.

Good luck OP - you've done so well as it is.

ab00 Sat 07-Sep-13 22:01:35

Op I just wanted to let you know you are not on your own. Ds2 is 5.5 months, we had an awful time to start with ad he had reflux so spent most nights holding him upright or feeding, for us to have a few improved Weeks of sleep after tt wad resolved at 14 weeks only to hit the 4 month sleep regression, teething, attempting to roll in sleep but getting stuck followed this week by a horrendous cold & more teething. Unfortunately ds is a complete bottle refuser or dh wound happily do a feed or 2 for me.
Sleep deprivation is awful & at times makes you feel desperate. It is hard beyond words. Some people say ff helps others say not. You just need to find the way that works best for you & your family, that you are comfortable with to maximise the rest you all get. Fingers crossed things start to improve very,very soon.

HaroldLloyd Sat 07-Sep-13 21:00:55

tinier good for you. I've heard someone else talk about that lady as well think she's going to get in touch with her too.

Good luck.

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 07-Sep-13 20:12:57

I can't read 6 pages but just wanted to say have you tried not Co-sleeping? Ds always settled faster Co-sleeping but woke up a lot more when next to the all you can eat milk buffet me.

Am just working my way through all these posts, but loved that I have been called 'the voice of reason!'

tinierclanger Sat 07-Sep-13 15:46:55

Have pmed you bigkidsdidit. Threads gone a bit crazy. I'll be tuning out posts that reference "whinging" as a bit lacking in empathy. grin

Rooners Sat 07-Sep-13 13:58:58

I often feel that doing what the baby wants actually works best for me too.

It's weird.

But then I don't have so many other pressures perhaps as other parents. I don't think our society is very well geared to the needs of really young children.

bigkidsdidit Sat 07-Sep-13 13:54:34

OP your thread's gone a bit mad. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions about Andrea Grace.

CoteDAzur Sat 07-Sep-13 13:46:19

No, Muslims don't get up in the middle of the night to pray.

HoleyGhost Sat 07-Sep-13 13:35:09

Nuns and monks have also been known to use other forms of mortification of the flesh - fasting, self-flagellation etc.

I sometimes wonder if the pressure on mothers to put our own needs last comes from a similar place.

K8Middleton Sat 07-Sep-13 13:30:57

Have you considered a cosleeping cot? They go next to the bed so baby has own space and you too. That would let you roll over afterwards?

I understand you can rent them from NCT? They also sell them but renting cheaper www.nctshop.co.uk

Sympathies about the sleep. It is a bastard isn't it?

They were the only religious example I could think of. I don't know if very observant Muslims have a night prayer except during Ramadan.

There was a report on the BBC fairly recently about having sleep in two lumps with sex and/or a snack inbetween and how that might be a healthier way to conduct oneself.

CoteDAzur Sat 07-Sep-13 13:09:14

Nuns and monks are not an entire culture and they do other irrational, unnatural, and pointless things like celibacy.

CoteDAzur Sat 07-Sep-13 13:08:26

Nuns and monks are not an entire culture and they do other irrational & arguably other unnatural & pointless things like celibacy.

Christian nuns and monks get up to pray in the night.

Sleep might not be a social construct, but "getting all your sleep in a particular day all in one go" is.

diege Sat 07-Sep-13 12:54:33

Genuine question for starlight. Baby no.6 due in 7 weeks, and will be returning to work 4 days a week in Feb (primarily financial reasons but would have been returning at some point anyway). I'll be starting my own thread on the pros/cons/is it even worth trying bf with dc6 but was curious as to where you 'sit' on the total LACK of flexibility for those returning to work to sleep during the day. I'm not trying to add controversy re: working out of the home but this is a very real issue for me and I imagine a great number of other women smile. I have been fortunate with my ff dcs to have them sleeping through the night by 12 weeks (mainly luck but also gf wink) but would like to give bf another go (successfully efb dd1 for 9 mths) smile.

Sunnysummer Sat 07-Sep-13 12:50:25

Seriously Starlight, if you were able to get 9 hours sleep in a 24 hour period that's great, but doesn't mean that everyone can do the same. 'Sleep when the baby sleeps' is certainly useful, but some of us have children who sleep fewer than even 9 hours, or others take so long to settle that a nap is ended before the mother can lie down herself. And getting someone else to care for the child while you catch up is not possible for people with partners with tricky schedules, no partners or family close by, and/or no ability to pay for outside help. How would you recommend these people go about getting sleep?

It sounds like you did a great job in a really tricky situation, and that is impressive. Wanting to help others with what you've learnt is great. But coming on here to berate other people currently going through their own really tricky situations without taking into account their individual circumstances is not helping others. What are you looking to achieve?

CaptainUndercrackers Sat 07-Sep-13 12:48:36

Sleep is NOT a cultural construct. It's a biological necessity.

CoteDAzur Sat 07-Sep-13 12:42:33

What point?

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 07-Sep-13 11:39:37

Anyone got anything to say about this point, or are personal attacks as an attempt of defence all you've got?

CoteDAzur Sat 07-Sep-13 12:36:29

In which cultures do everyone get up every night to pray? I'm curious.

SunnyIntervals Sat 07-Sep-13 12:36:23

It's all about how individual children and parents can cope best. Every parent knows their own child better than anyone else does.

Speaking for my family, we've chosen not to train and that has worked for us.

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