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Co-Sleeping While Engorged = NOT Working! Help?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We have been sleeping with our DD for over two years now.  She is still in the family bed with us and we just welcomed our DS last week.  The transition was going marvelously... for the first two days.  But my milk came in and now the little one seems to not be able to sleep because when we nurse lying down his face is completely covered by the breast.  If I am remembering correctly, our DD just slept through this, but he is constantly fidgeting, trying to find a more comfortable latch and neither of us gets any sleep.


Last night my DH had to take him out for a while so I could nurse our oldest (she needs to nurse about once in the middle of the night).  My DH told me that DS slept soundly for two hours while they were out, but of course, we weren't!  I am at a loss of what to do.  I have a nursing toddler (who nurses A LOT right before we put DS down for bed) and am still too engorged for him to be comfortable sleeping lying down.


I would console myself with the fact that it won't last long, but even with nursing on demand and through the night with DD, I was engorged for nearly two months after she was born.  We are in the middle of moving and cannot go two months without sleep.  What can I do to make this work??  Anyone have any experience with this?  Any suggestions?  I was thinking that perhaps investing in a cosleeper that raises him off the bed a little would help, but I'm not sure, and I didn't want to spend money on something that we wouldn't use and that wouldn't help.



post #2 of 8

Sorry to hear about your engorgement; that hurts. I had two 18 months apart and was tandem nursing too so I understand what a challenge it can be to meet both babies needs. I'm wondering about your bed. Is it big enough? You mentioned a co-sleeper. Might be a good idea. We also had a little bed on rollers under our bed that we would roll out at night. My husband made it and it was as simple wooden frame/box on wheels that we put a futon in. Or, put a couple of mattresses on the floor to get more room.


Here are a bunch on threads on engorgement.


I'm wondering if you're able to let the baby nurse for a long time to help empty your breasts? Does it help to manually express milk in the shower? KellyMom has some good tips on engorgement


Are you drinking enough water? Taking extra Vitamin C? With your move coming up, let's make sure you're taking care of you right now too! I know it's not easy.


It may be also that DD is nursing more right now because there is so much milk. It will get easier.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Peggy, thanks for the tips :)


I don't mind DD nursing so much - it's actually very helpful!  But yes, I have noticed she nurses longer now that I have more milk.  I am engorged, but I don't have too much soreness or discomfort because I can get her to nurse if the baby won't, and that alleviates the pressure.  But it still does not make the breast small enough for DS to be comfortable in the side-lying nursing position.


Our bed is plenty big enough.  We have a queen size bed with a twin set up next to it.  We also have a foam in-lay that covers the crack in between beds, making it one giant bed :)  Do you think that a co-sleeper that sits on the mattress would make it easier for DS to nurse while lying down?

post #4 of 8

My son couldn't get the side-lie thing for about a month. We co-slept, but when he woke up hungry, I just sat up in bed and fed him until he went back to sleep. I was able to sort of prop myself up with pillows and doze while he ate. Eventually, he got the hang of the side-lying feed. Good luck!

post #5 of 8

Yeah, I'm thinking now that it might just take more time. I don't think a co-sleeper would help with the lying down. I assume you've tried all kinds of positioning yourself in the bed, have DS in the crook of your arm with yourself on your side, supported from behind with pillows. I think Michelle's right that DS might just have to be a bit older, bigger before she can nurse lying down. 

post #6 of 8

Try nursing with your top breast while laying on your side. So, lay on left side and nurse with right breast. That's what I did with very large engorged breasts and a baby who couldn't latch. Somehow the elevation changed the angle enough to make it work, and the bottom breast supports the breast tissue of the nursing breast.

post #7 of 8

I am big-breasted, and my littles couldn't manage lying-down nursing for a month or two.  I just sat crosslegged in bed and nursed them sitting up until they were big enough to manage.  I also tandem nursed and the older nursling surely helped with engorgement.  Hang in--it will get easier soon.

post #8 of 8

I am also fairly busty on a smaller frame, and we couldn't nurse on our sides until she was 4 months or maybe a little more?

It's already getting hazy!  But it was a long time before we could do it, and until then, I would just wake up, sit up, nurse, and then once she was asleep again so was I... sometimes still sitting up.  Hang in there, and just keep trying to nurse without sitting up every week or so until your little adorableness can manage it.

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