Does nursing really make you tired? - Mothering Forums

Does nursing really make you tired?

LeAnnie's Avatar LeAnnie (TS)
10:05 PM Liked: 11
#1 of 23
08-10-2006 | Posts: 536
Joined: Mar 2004
People are always telling moms that breastfeeding makes you tired. I rejected this notion nursing my dd#1. I thought it was something people said to discourage breastfeeding or give moms a reason to wean. Of course I was dog-tired and and it didn't really let up until she got down to nursing twice a day at age roughly 3 years.
Anyway, ds is 8 months and here I am again totally exhausted, hungry all the time, almost under weight. I still don't want to admit it has anything to do with nursing. What do y'all think? I mean parenting a baby itself is exhausting, independent of breastfeeding. Are non-breastfeeding mothers less tired? Do you get energy back when the baby finally weans? Or is it all related to that elusive mirage of sleeping through the night?
shoefairy3's Avatar shoefairy3
10:37 PM Liked: 10
#2 of 23
08-10-2006 | Posts: 1,322
Joined: Jun 2006
i dont know about the bf-ing per se makes me tired.....but it sure makes me hungry and thirsty
hellyaellen's Avatar hellyaellen
10:42 PM Liked: 5
#3 of 23
08-10-2006 | Posts: 3,244
Joined: Nov 2005
i would guess it depends on how much nursing you are doing, how much/what YOU are eating, etc.

i'm always tired but i'm working very inconsistent hours and i never get to bed at a reasonable hour

interesting q. i hear that a lot always kinda thought it was bs, but maybe not.
`guest`'s Avatar `guest`
10:44 PM Liked: 0
#4 of 23
08-10-2006 | Posts: 994
Joined: Nov 2001
It makes sense that it makes you tired; for one thing, the caloric intake recommended during nursing is higher than that for pregnancy. Your body is working hard supporting the little person, I think it really gets hard when they top 20 lbs or so. Add in sleep deprivation, and yeah, you are probably tired.
That didn't discourage me; I figured being a mom was going to be tiring for awhile. Life has its bumps and it's worth it.
hapi2help's Avatar hapi2help
10:58 PM Liked: 0
#5 of 23
08-10-2006 | Posts: 335
Joined: Mar 2006
Not tired.....HUNGRY!!!! Even after a year, huge appetite. I love to eat and keep losing weight so its a great fit. I BFing til he's 18!!!!!!
Annebach's Avatar Annebach
11:05 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 23
08-10-2006 | Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2006
You know, you might be low on vitamins and/or calories as a whole. There are some good teas out there, as well as multivitamins. Basically, the way it works is that your kid gets fed first, then you, as far as where the nutrients go, and it actually takes more calories to nurse than to be pregnant. So, you could be anemic, needing more calcium or vitamin B, or any number of other things. (Wacky cravings can also be a sign of your body needing something.)

Another factor could be when you nurse. I had my daughter in the bed with me, and while that saved me having to get up 6 times a night to nurse (when she was small, at least), it also meant that I didn't sleep as deeply. So, if nursing or parenting is causing you to sleep less or sleep less well, you might look into ways of easing that some.

And thirdly, nursing is the ultimate nurturing act, and you can end up getting "sucked dry," figuratively. Are you able to do things to take care of yourself (take a "me" break every so often to get a massage, read a book, have coffee with a friend, while your baby is being watched by someone else)? It makes SUCH a difference in how much energy you can provide for your kids.
rootzdawta's Avatar rootzdawta
02:07 AM Liked: 11
#7 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 3,472
Joined: May 2005
I certainly am worn out. I try to eat well but I don't get enough sleep as my son wakes up every 3-4 hrs. to nurse at night. I feel like if I could get two nights of 8 hrs. straight, I would feel better. I feel like I eat a lot but still always need to eat more. I am not as consistent with my supplements as I should be. I am going back to work in a few weeks and I really don't know where I am supposed to get the energy to do my job and still nurse. I think nursing is definitely a serious committment--more than I ever imagined but totally well worth it.
mothragirl's Avatar mothragirl
02:13 AM Liked: 11
#8 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 3,254
Joined: Sep 2005
i think being a mama makes you tired. biologically most women should be nursing or pregnant for our teens/20's/and slowing down in our 30's. nursing doesn't make me tired, but i'm really anal about my diet and i'm a SAHM so i gets lots of rest. are you taking vitamin/mineral supplements? you might be missing something in your diet.
Snowdrift's Avatar Snowdrift
02:19 AM Liked: 0
#9 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 3,959
Joined: Oct 2005
I don't handle extreme heat well in general, but the heat wave this summer, while, nursing, left me just exhausted!

But I'm more or less camping out in a new house, parenting mostly alone til DH's job transfers, and was prepping for finals.

Still, there was jsut an extreme edge to this exhaustion of the kind that i've only previously experienced when seriously ill and on a lot of nasty medications.

I think that the hydration challenge nursing in very hot weather presents can lead to extreme tirdeness, or even exhaustion if, like me this time around, you're overdoing it and not eating especially well.

In general, nursing does made me sleepy/drowsy.

When I was pg I was afraid to cosleep since I have such bad insomnia. But, like everyone on MDC assured me, nursing Ellie to sleep is also nursing me to sleep! I do sleep much better than I have ever before, or at least since I was four or five
BelgianSheepDog's Avatar BelgianSheepDog
02:24 AM Liked: 174
#10 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 6,878
Joined: Mar 2006
Dehydration will make you tired, and nursing uses a lot of fluids, so increasing fluids would be the first thing to try. It also uses what, 500-1000 calories per day, so if you're not eating as well as you could, that could do it. I've gone back to the 60-80 grams of protein per day my midwives recommended for the first and second trimester, that has realy helped.
mommaduck's Avatar mommaduck
02:43 AM Liked: 0
#11 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 1,080
Joined: Sep 2005
Depends on the person. For me, the combination of being borderline anemic and the relaxing hormones released during's like taking benedryl or drixoral. So I fall asleep if I don't keep up with my vitamins and H2O.
alegna's Avatar alegna
02:56 AM Liked: 144
#12 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 42,826
Joined: Jan 2003
Originally Posted by hapi2help
Not tired.....HUNGRY!!!! Even after a year, huge appetite. I love to eat and keep losing weight so its a great fit. I BFing til he's 18!!!!!!

Tired, not so much, but I can eat like a football player!

LeAnnie's Avatar LeAnnie (TS)
09:45 AM Liked: 11
#13 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 536
Joined: Mar 2004
I'm so glad to get all of this feedback. The nutrition/calories is probably an issue for me because my sweet little ds has anaphylactic cow milk and egg allergies so I can't have even a trace of either one. I don't really like to eat much meat, but have to to get protein along with legumes and grains. The diet restrictions probably do make me tired. I do go to bed pretty early but wake to nurse (co sleeping) approximately 3 times a night.
I do seem to always feel as if I took a Benadryl- a yukky feeling! I am usually a lark in the morning, but now am so groggy.
I'll have to focus on all those good things to energize me- exercise, some 'me' time, and a healthy dose of acceptance that mothering is just a tired time of life, with young kids anyway. Being in my 30's perhaps doesn't help. I had a lot more energy in my 20's.
Kolby's Mom's Avatar Kolby's Mom
09:48 AM Liked: 0
#14 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 30
Joined: Aug 2004
I don't know if I get tired necessarily, just very very relaxed. It's a nice relaxing feeling. I snuggle up to her sometimes in bed and just take it easy. I think the relaxed state helps your milk let down and comforts the baby, etc etc.
hubris's Avatar hubris
05:00 PM Liked: 11
#15 of 23
08-11-2006 | Posts: 5,282
Joined: Mar 2003
Tired and hungry here!!!

Parenting in general makes me tired, but I do get sleepy while breastfeeding. Mother nature's way of getting you to slow down!
Dez's Avatar Dez
04:30 AM Liked: 0
#16 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 165
Joined: May 2006
It makes me feel sleepy. NOt necessarily tired, but very sleepy and relaxed. and THIRSTY! LOL I'm tired because i don't go to bed on time! LOL
writermommy's Avatar writermommy
08:22 PM Liked: 0
#17 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 1,300
Joined: Jan 2005
I have felt sleepy nursing all four of my kids. OUr youngest is 2 weeks old. The other day dh called from work. After talking a few minutes he said, "you're breastfeeding aren't you?" I said I was and he said he could tell because I sounded drowsy. This only happens to me in the first few months and then stops. I always thought it was hormonal changes or the body's way of making sure I get enough rest in the early months.
sharon71's Avatar sharon71
08:57 PM Liked: 12
#18 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 364
Joined: May 2005
I wouldn't say it make me tire in the exhausted kind of way.It does relax me better than any sleep aid I've ever tried and usually mornings and evenings I'll doze off while nursing.
Boobs's Avatar Boobs
09:05 PM Liked: 12
#19 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 1,710
Joined: Apr 2004
I'm way tired. All the time. But I also think ds is nursing quite a bit more at 18 months than he did when he was an infant. Add that with saving his life alllllll daaaayyyyyy long and it's a lot of work!
Deir's Avatar Deir
09:36 PM Liked: 12
#20 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 1,277
Joined: Aug 2005
I really think it has more to do with what you might not be getting in your diet. I eat so much! I am definitely tired but that is because I am up so much at night and then non stop all day. I think it is another thing society says to discourage nursing.
momto l&a's Avatar momto l&a
09:59 PM Liked: 89
#21 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 13,100
Joined: Jul 2002
For me its how many times a night I get up not that I am nursing.

I have noticed the rare few times dd age 21 months sleeps through the night I feel like a brand new woman.
adoremybabe's Avatar adoremybabe
11:19 PM Liked: 17
#22 of 23
08-13-2006 | Posts: 2,184
Joined: Jun 2006
When ds was a newborn, I practically fell asleep nursing. I was soooo thirsty too! I actually miss that. It reminds me of my first days with ds.
CalebsMama05's Avatar CalebsMama05
02:19 AM Liked: 0
#23 of 23
08-14-2006 | Posts: 3,336
Joined: Nov 2005
i always feel a lil drowsy when i'm nursing. as soon as he's done eating and burping i perk right back up. those lovely nursing hormones I guess!
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