Here’s How Breastfeeding Mamas Can Cope with Sleep Deprivation
Being a new mama is hard as it is. And when your baby cries all the time and won’t sleep, motherhood might seem impossible.
For breastfeeding moms, feeding on demand means you are on-call 24 hours a day as your hungry baby might need to nurse anytime. This can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if you are still recovering from childbirth and adjusting to your new life as a mom.
Getting some shut-eye is essential not just for your sanity, but for your health and safety as well. Here’s how you can ensure that your sleep struggles don’t last forever.
1. Nap when possible.
Ever heard of the advice “sleep when your baby sleeps”? While this is easier said than done, it works for some. Having a good power nap can instantly relax and recharge a tired, sleepy mama.
2. Nurse on your side.
The side-lying position is ideal for those who want to breastfeed while also being able to put their head down and relax. For a more comfortable feeding session, use a breastfeeding pillow and wear comfy nursing clothes. Even if you don’t get to sleep as you need to stay awake while feeding your baby, lying down and just resting is better than nothing.
3. Consider pumping breast milk.
This way, you don’t need to be awake during all the nighttime feedings—you can have someone give your expressed breast milk to the baby. That’s more time for you to stay in slumber mode! Just make sure you have a reliable breast pump.
The reasons for buying a breast pump could be different for every mom. While some would like to supplement direct latching with pumping, some moms prefer to breast pump solely. Whatever the case may be, here are things to know about breast pumping.
4. Keep your baby close.
When the baby is nearby, you can easily pick him or her up when it’s feeding time. A bedside baby bed or portable crib in your room helps save you trips back and forth to the nursery—that’s less time awake and more time to sleep!
5. Ask someone to watch the baby while you catch some sleep.
It’s okay to ask for help, mama. With all the demands of infant care, you need to get some rest yourself. And you can only do this if you enlist the help of your partner or another caring adult to take care of the baby while you enjoy a much-needed date with your bed.