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How much sleep does a nursing mother need?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
DP is always saying to me that I seem to be sleeping too much, because I like to nap with DD during the day sometimes and will often sleep for more than eight hours at night if DD sleeps in. I'm not really even sure how much more my sleep is interrupted than his (we cosleep, and I don't remember waking usually). I usually rationalize to myself that since I'm breastfeeding, I need more rest than the average person, but I don't actually know if that's true. Do I need more sleep, or might there be something wrong?
post #2 of 24
I think that sounds like a reasonable amount of sleep. Nursing takes a lot out of you. I certainly could use 8 hrs a night plus naps. Some lucky people just need less.
post #3 of 24
I'm constantly tired. Think about it -- it's like running 4 miles every day. EVERY DAY.
post #4 of 24
I've never noticed that I need more sleep when nursing :.
post #5 of 24
Without children, I didn't feel fully rested without 9 hours of sleep, which I rarely got.

Nursing makes me more tired, but so do my more active days.

Next time your husband doesn't believe nursing makes you tired, just explain that the baby is taking nutrition from your body, and sucking the energy right out of you through your breast.
post #6 of 24
My husband doesn't realize how many times I wake up each night to nurse even though we are all in the same bed. I may be getting 8 hours BUT my REM cycle is being interrupted so I feel more tired. If my husband told me I was sleeping too much I would offer to nudge him each time I woke at night, that should do it.

I am jealous of your day naps, I crave them now that I'm back to work.
post #7 of 24
Right now, I'd kill for 8+ hrs of sleep. Heck, I'd kill for 7 hrs in a 24 hr period. DS doesn't sleep. Barely naps and won't go to bed at night, then wakes every 1.5-2 hrs all night long. Even with side-lying nursing, I'm still not getting sleep. And I wake up sore from contorting myself 4 times or so a night to nurse him. I'm like a zombie and it's really wearing on me. But if I had a choice, I'd probably sleep 8 hrs at night plus naps. Kids take a lot out of you and breastfeeding only adds to that.
post #8 of 24
I agree with the comment about interrupted sleep - even if I don't really remember waking up to undo the tank top and latch the Fish on, I did wake up to do it.
Luckily, my husband understands how interrupted sleep can mess up your REM cycles. He wears an apnea machine, and the difference in his sleep is tremendous now that it's not being interrupted at night.
post #9 of 24
Tell your DP to bug off.

Regardless of whether he thinks you need less sleep - if you feel like you need it - take it. Its your body/time/baby/breasts/decision. Its your job to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your babe.
post #10 of 24
I agree with PP...nudge him awake every time you wake at night for 1 night lol. My DH didn't understand why I was so tired when I went to bed at 10PM and didn't wake up till 9:30AM. Well during that time the baby woke up 6 times for 30 minutes each time. I started waking him up EVERY feeding at night and said things like "I need to go get some water can you hold the baby?" or "I need to go pee, hold the baby!"

He hasn't said anything about me being so tired anymore
post #11 of 24
How much sleep does a nursing mother need?

As much as she wants.

:
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!

Yeah, I've tried explaining about the REM cycles being interrupted and he gets it except that when he asks me how many times I'm waking at night I have no clue! Sometimes it's obvious, I have bad nights, especially when I'm really touched out and DD is wanting to stay latched on all night... sometimes I'm up for hours. But generally it seems I'm sleeping well... oh well, he can't judge!
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancebaraka View Post
How much sleep does a nursing mother need?

As much as she wants.

:
Yeah that!
post #14 of 24
Need? Want? Get?? Totally different things.

Me? I probably NEED around 6 hours. I'd like 8 hours. I get? 6 or 7.

Luckily, I'm generally OK with this... as DH says though, I've "never slept" - which is to say that I just don't sleep much. Even before DS was born, I couldnt (usually) sleep for more than 8-10 hours TOPS. Even if I was up all night, partying, I'd sleep for 5-8 hours and be totally happy... but thast just me, and I realize I'm wierd. Everybodys different
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
I'm constantly tired. Think about it -- it's like running 4 miles every day. EVERY DAY.
What equation did you use to get this? No really, I'm totally curious where this comes from, I mean it makes sense, our bodies are always making milk. Not an easy feat.

I guess I just want the facts ma'am, when I tell DP this
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancebaraka View Post
How much sleep does a nursing mother need?

As much as she wants.

:


Now the only problem is putting that into practice!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
I'm constantly tired. Think about it -- it's like running 4 miles every day. EVERY DAY.
I never thought of it like that. I will have to tell DH . Plus it isn't exactly refreshing sleep to get woken up several times. If it isn't DS it is the cat or the 4 year old or DH snoring. I doubt I get more than two hours at a stretch.

OP I have hypersomnia at times as part of my depression issues and I was sleeping 14+ hours and still feeling exhausted. If you feel you have hypersomnia that is totally different than taking a nap during the day because you need a refresher. They have done productivity studies BTW that show adults who get a 15-20 minute nap during the work day are more productive than those who don't. So in a sense everyone should be getting more sleep.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by granola_mom View Post
Thanks everyone!

Yeah, I've tried explaining about the REM cycles being interrupted and he gets it except that when he asks me how many times I'm waking at night I have no clue! Sometimes it's obvious, I have bad nights, especially when I'm really touched out and DD is wanting to stay latched on all night... sometimes I'm up for hours. But generally it seems I'm sleeping well... oh well, he can't judge!
Of course you don't remember how many times you woke. Sleep deprivation screws with your memory.

I know I was awake round the clock for several days in the first week, but I can't really remember. I just have some vague impressions of cup feeding him in the bed.
post #19 of 24
I function on about 6 hours of sleep on weeknights, but I have to play catch up every few weeks on the weekend. DD is a pretty reliable sleeper, and I'm a good sleeper, so her night nursing doesn't really disrupt our resting very much. But even so, if I don't get extra rest on the weekends I crash and either get sick or absurdly emotional and angry.

good grief, I just noticed your sig and that your babe is just a couple months old. (edit: ok -- i think I was looking at someone else's sig. But even so.)

Of course you need extra sleep. You've been recovering from birth, you're dealing with the constant physical and mental demands of a newborn (edit: or a not-newborn), and you're most likely trying to maintain a semblance of a normal life including obtaining food, staying clean, etc.. OF COURSE YOU NEED A LOT OF SLEEP.
Is the question one of "you're sleeping so much, are you sure you're healthy?" or more like "you're sleeping too much, you lazy butt!" ? If he's worried that all your sleeping is a sign of depression, well, ok, it's good of him to be concerned. Otherwise... back off, buddy - you really don't want to go there.
post #20 of 24
make sure you eat healthy and possibly take a viatamin and some fish oil. you probably don't need the extra sleep just from bf alone, but also from the past pregnancy and birth. not sure how old your baby is, but as it gets older, you may require less sleep.
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