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Old 08-18-2008, 08:45 AM   #1
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Question Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

My daughter was just born on Tuesday- so I realize that it takes awhile to get things going... and I am actually doing better right off the bat than I ever did with Hayden- who was a constant struggle the entire time I bf'ed him.

Basically with him, he had a horrible latch when he was born and I had to pump because he was tearing me up. Only, I didn't know what I was doing and pumped all the time and way too much just to relieve the pressure- which got me in the habit of making way too much milk. I had a freezer full when I tried to cut back and got mastitis. Without support and having no idea what to do- I stopped using that breast and fed him solely on the other side until the infection cleared and then I was "dried up" on the right side and not making enough for him with just the left. I ended up supplementing and then going to formula full time after I had exhausted all of my other options.

Now I have my trusty "Nursing Mothers Companion" and I refuse to pump at all for at least a week or two until I am sure I have my supply on the right track. Besides- I selfishly love being the one that "has" to feed her every time.

The problem is that I am getting NO sleep at all. I have tried every possible position, and the only one that really works well for both baby and I is the football hold (I am kinda "busty" ) so that means I am getting up to feed her every 2-3 hours all night. I am totally exhausted!

It's not enough to make me want to pump yet, but it is getting to that point- just so Dan can get up with her one night instead of me.

HELP! When does this tough period get easier?

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Old 08-18-2008, 08:54 AM   #2
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

Have you tried laying down on the bed and feeding her that way? That is the only way I got any sleep at all the first month! I basically took over the bed to give DD and I enough room and we co-sleep. Its not as much now since she does pretty well in her crib, but when she wakes up to eat now even at 4 months I just bring her into bed with me, pull up my shirt and go back to sleep. I love it.

A tip to doing this well is to have the baby kind of at an angle so that her feet are practically squished against your belly but her head further away and just close enough to be latched on correctly. I was busty when I had my first DD (have since had a reduction) and was still able to do this very easily. Practice a few times and I think it will be a big help to you and getting sleep!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:00 AM   #3
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

Very quickly, mama. This too shall pass, and quickly. And you'll miss nursing a newborn, and forget about the sleep you lost.

Keep trying the side-lying position. I'm very busty, too, and with DS #2 I think he was about 2 weeks old before we could do side-lying. But once we perfected that, it was easier for me to fall back asleep after nursing him. DH would bring him to me (at least until he left for Iraq when he was 3 weeks old), I'd nurse him in the sidelying position, and fall right back asleep. It's almost like if you don't sit up to nurse, your body doesn't realize that you even woke up. So keep trying side-lying. Also, I don't know how you feel about co-sleeping, but it is something to consider. We're a co-sleeping family and I got plenty of sleep once I felt comfortable with DS in my bed.

ETA: QueenKat, you beat me to it!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

It does get easier. The first six weeks is rough. (i am not sure I would start pumping much before then). With my third I was able to sleep while nursing on the couch (but that was the first time I felt "in tune" enough to make sure she was safe.) So much of being successful is focusing on your well being. Rest when you can. Housework will get done. And remember the most important thing for the baby is to have a happy momma. Good luck Momma. I hope it goes well for you.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

The one thing that I have loved about being so busty is that laying down and nursing is sooooo much easier than I would imagine it would be if I were smaller. I co-slept with my son, and, honestly, it was my saving grace. I think I would have died from exhaustion otherwise. It took about a month or so, but once we got the hang of laying down and nursing, we never looked back for night feedings.

Have you tried this position? Is it possible for you to co-sleep? Is it possible for your husband to help out with the older ones so that you can sneak a nap in there too?

Good luck with finding what works!!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

hi,,,we have 5 LO's and all ours seemed to be most hungry at night every 2-3 hours as well,,,,,so i guess,,you are not alone when feeding all night,,,,my DD is 5 weeks now and been last 2 nights sleeping between 10-30 and 2-30 so I sleep as soon as she does. it will get easier and as for PP's you will for sure miss nuring a newborn,,,the cute suckling noises and lil strecthes only a newborn can make,,time goes too quick,my DD is 6 weeks already by end of this week where does time go,,,so hugs mama,,,,,,nap when you can and try sidelying BF it sure helps to be able to get some sleep.

hang in there,,,,
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

I completely agree with pp, sidelying is the solution to sleep! My dh would get up with ds, change his diaper, and bring him to me. I would get him latched and fade away.

I remember the totally exhausted feeling. I would be awake in the middle of the night thinking about all the people who were sleeping. I was jealous! It will be over soon.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

augh I just wrote a long answer and lost it ugh,.... anyways, about 6 weeks it will be a piece of cake!! stick with it mama!!! I know the first few weeks are exhausting. If you need help with anything PM me, I am nursing my daughter exclusively (almost 5 months! no formula yay!!) and pumped for a couple months for stash, so I can help with BFing and pumping, and supply issues.....

as everyone else said, sidelying and cosleeping are great ways to make it easier. I am reluctant to cosleep when my husband is around, but he's been on vaca for over a month now and she has slept with me every night of it, and it is so easy. (our bed is not big enough for the 3 of us, but when he comes back we have agreed on a king bed )
cosleeping CAN BE safe as long as, you/husband are not super deep sleepers, you have a firm mattress/ not a pillowy one or a waterbed, you keep pillows and blankets etc away from where they can cover baby's face, and you protect the baby from being able to roll off (I have her crib on one side against the bed and the other side against the wall)
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

Another side lying co-sleeper-I actually started getting decent sleep about 6 weeks into it or so. However, it was no walk in the park for me...it can be rough going for some of us for the first few months, but the pain/chapping will go away and you will find a sleep system that works for you. I haven't slept more than 3 or 4 hours at a stretch in 10 months, myself, but I'm ok with that. When all is said and done I know this is a short little period in his life and that One day I will sleep again. One of the things that helped me through the rough patches was remembering that BFing chemicals fight to prevent or ease PPD naturally and that eventually my sleep cycles would accommodate a rested feeling. It did take a few months, but I feel like I toughed out one of the least natural at the beginning, eventually most natural challenges of my life (if that makes sense). Whatever ends up happening, though, be easy on yourself! And don't place unrealistic expectations on yourself, either. This is just my experience.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:19 AM   #10
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Re: Breastfeeding: Does it ever get easier?

also you are ont he right track not pumping yet, I did try in the first week and it hurt hurt hurt and tore my nips up. I started again at about 5-6 weeks and it was so much better. that said, I had to learn HOW to pump (IE how to get milk LOL) which was stressful. but it did not hurt! I pumped til she was 3 months and stashed nearly all of it. (she has had 6 bottles at 5 months!) good luck.... and congratulations!
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