Sleeping through the night and breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 10 weeks old, and has always been a pretty good sleeper - however in the last few days he's gone from waking once per night to nurse to sleeping the whole way through from about 9 until 6:30am. I know, lucky right?!! However, I'm just concerned that he's too little to sleep this long without eating. He is exclusively breastfed and I do nurse on demand - but if it's true that breast milk is typically digested within 2 hours, doesn't that mean that he's effectively going hungry for 6 or 7 hours? He's gaining weight really well so far (he was 6 lb 15 oz and birth, and 12 lb 4 oz at 10 weeks), and I assume that he will simply wake me up if he's hungry, right? I know each baby is different, and I'm also aware that this pattern could change at any moment, but I'm just after a little reassurance - it's tough for me to take advantage of all the extra sleep hours when I wake up at 4am worrying about this! I actually woke him up to feed him at 4am today, and he was totally disinterested and fell right to sleep, lol.

 

Related to this is the issue of engorgement - after 8 hours or so without nursing, my breasts are quite engorged. The question is: to pump, or not to pump? I don't want to necessarily encourage my body to keep producing milk it doesn't need, but I also don't want these long night time stretches of sleep to negatively impact my milk supply. I have toyed with the idea of setting my alarm for 3am and pumping and freezing (so I have a stash to go back to work with), but sometimes it really hard to drag myself out of bed just for a pump! Any thoughts?


Catherine, DH and DS kid.gif Dylan Michael, born 9/23/10 
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Will you go back to work soon? I get up to pump too (although my 14 week old doesn't sleep through the night like your little guy!). I read that you need to pump/nurse 8x - 10x a day to keep up a good supply. I've found this to be very helpful information, when I went back to work. Since I only pump on my lunch break at work, I have to nurse/pump more in the nights and mornings before work to keep up my supply. I get up to pump at 12 or 1 am and my daughter usually wakes up to nurse around 3. If I'm really tired, I will forgo the pumping and just nurse when she is hungry. Sleep is more important than building your stash. If you're already hitting that 8x -10x a day number and you're not going back to work in the near future I wouldn't worry about getting up to pump. I've found I rarely dip into my stash, and my daughter is exclusively breastfed too.

 

If you go to bed later than your baby could you pump before you go to sleep? That might relieve some of the engorgement you feel at 6:30am.

 

Good luck!

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