How much sleep does a nursing mother need? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding > How much sleep does a nursing mother need?
granola_mom's Avatar granola_mom 10:07 PM 10-09-2007
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?

ledzepplon's Avatar ledzepplon 10:13 PM 10-09-2007
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.
MilkTrance's Avatar MilkTrance 10:49 PM 10-09-2007
I'm constantly tired. Think about it -- it's like running 4 miles every day. EVERY DAY.
springbabes's Avatar springbabes 11:37 PM 10-09-2007
I've never noticed that I need more sleep when nursing :.
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 11:39 PM 10-09-2007
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.
milkmamma's Avatar milkmamma 11:46 PM 10-09-2007
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.
Severine's Avatar Severine 12:12 AM 10-10-2007
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.
Bkwyrm's Avatar Bkwyrm 12:20 AM 10-10-2007
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.
VOBetz's Avatar VOBetz 02:23 AM 10-10-2007
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.
CanidFL's Avatar CanidFL 11:42 AM 10-10-2007
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
dancebaraka's Avatar dancebaraka 04:48 PM 10-10-2007
How much sleep does a nursing mother need?

As much as she wants.

:
granola_mom's Avatar granola_mom 06:45 PM 10-10-2007
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!
MotheringHeart's Avatar MotheringHeart 09:31 PM 10-10-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancebaraka View Post
How much sleep does a nursing mother need?

As much as she wants.

:
Yeah that!
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 11:33 PM 10-10-2007
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
Gumby's Avatar Gumby 02:08 AM 10-11-2007
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
ledzepplon's Avatar ledzepplon 02:11 AM 10-11-2007
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!
lyttlewon's Avatar lyttlewon 01:31 PM 10-11-2007
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.
Lady Lilya's Avatar Lady Lilya 08:09 PM 10-11-2007
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.
WNB's Avatar WNB 09:35 PM 10-11-2007
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.
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 02:22 AM 10-12-2007
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.
mommy2two babes's Avatar mommy2two babes 11:48 AM 10-12-2007
I don't think that that ammount of sleep sounds like alot but I just wanted to mention that pregnancy can throw you thyroid off. That can make you extra tired. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed ( she thought it was just normal and because she is tandem nursing)
Onemagicmummy's Avatar Onemagicmummy 11:51 AM 10-12-2007
i knoe ineed more sleep but its not gonna happen. right now i really need a nap but its not going to happen as i have my 3 week old asleep on my chest, my 3yr old nad 2 yr old watcing TV and i cant jsut leave em alone while i nap. its the same everyday. at night i go to bed at 10pm and am woken up between 3 and 8 times a night to feed/settle baby. i cosleep as its only way id get sleep other wise id be up and down loads more but i am awake from around 4am and find it hard to get back to sleep as baby does a fussy shuffle when she wont settle back to sleep no matter how much i nurse(i jsut twiged god im so stupid, i bet she wantes her diaper changed at that time Doh!! stupid mommy, must remember that for tomorrow morning)and i am up to start the day at 6.30am.
i hate mornings thats when baby does her fussy act(it better than evenings but gosh i have so much to do in a morning!!)
well seeing as i need sleep but cant have any im going to go make myself a cup of tea and see if i can wake myself up a bit.

my DH is great he understands buttheres not much he can do.

i heard somewhere tha the oxytocin can make breastfeeding mamas sleep deeper/different so that a 1hour nap to a BF mama is like a 2 hour nap to a non BF mama! made sense to me 5yrs ago but now i dunno

Kiz
timneh_mom's Avatar timneh_mom 01:43 PM 10-12-2007
I don't know how much sleep a nursing mother needs, but I can tell you that I sure am not getting it!
sunnygir1's Avatar sunnygir1 02:10 PM 10-12-2007
I agree with the general vein here, that you should sleep as much as you can if you are feeling tired.

My partner also doesn't even notice how much I'm up with the baby at night. Sometimes he thinks she slept through the night when she didn't, and other times he thinks she was up all night when it was only once -- he is likely to think that if she cries loudly enough to wake him. But he understands, with occasional reminders, that I am working hard and sleep deprived.

HOWEVER, a month or two ago when the seasons started shifting here, I was sleeping later and later and taking long naps whenever baby would let me get one. My mama thought I might be sleeping too much (she's an awesome supportive lay midwife), so I started getting up earlier in the morning. I felt better within days. I think if you are getting less than 7-8 hours total, then you should try to get more when you can.
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