Breastfeeding During Night: A Quick Guide

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Important Tips for Breastfeeding During Night

Breastfeeding at night has many amazing benefits. Most interesting is baby gains weight and mommy loses as during night your body is consuming what you had during day time. During exclusive breastfeeding time, your baby needs frequent feeding during night also. Starting from birth as baby grows the breastfeeding frequency will reduce. It is very tiring for any mother to take care of baby 24 hrs. Especially at night after a exhausting day you don’t want to wake up but you have to.
If you have got your baby sleeping right next to you, then it becomes easier and comfortable for you to feed him. Within few days you will be aware of the timings of your baby of waking up during night. Co sleeping with your baby makes breastfeeding easier and you won’t have to get out of bed for feeding. Feeding can be given for longer time without disturbing the sleep of you and your baby.
However there are some precautions to be taken while sleeping with your baby. Your baby should be safe in your bed
These night time feedings are very important. During breastfeeding at night your body tends to produce more prolactin i.e. the hormone that produces milk, so night feeding is very much important. Mothers also do vary in the amount of milk they can store in their breasts, so if you don’t feed your baby during night time then you may even leak.
Following are the points to be considered to feed the baby during night time:

GET ORGANISED BEFOREHAND:
You should keep the bottle of water, diapers and all the necessary things which are being used during night near your bed, so that you don’t have to leave your child and go to take all these things and you do not have to disturb your sleep and it will be much convenient for you.

EASY CLOTHING DURING NIGHT:
Night wear should be of front opening as it would be easier to feed milk to your baby. Otherwise pulling up and down every time can ruin your sleep and can disturb your baby too. Some mothers do wear nursing bra at night but this can cause risk of mastitis and plugged ducts in your breasts, so be careful.

TAKE A COMFORTABLE POSITION:
First thing after delivering the baby is to learn to breastfeed lying down. Even if you are not able to sleep at least you will be able to catch some rest while lying on the bed.
Lie down on the bed; grab some pillow to support your head & neck. A pillow between your knees makes you comfortable as well. Place the baby so that it is lying on its side and its nose is on the level with your nipple. Support your baby with firm pillow in case your breasts are of small size. Bring the baby close to you and help the baby to latch on by stroking his upper lip if it doesn’t happen right away.

You can change side either by holding the baby firmly against you and roll over. ”Laid Back” breastfeeding position is also worth a try, when you are in reclining position in your bed with help of pillows.
I found this helpful method of changing sides at KellyMom Website:

STAY CLOSE TO YOUR BABY:
Consider sleeping on same bed with your baby next to you. Its very very easy to breastfeed a new born if sleeping very close. In case you fall in deep sleep and worried if you sleep over baby’s hand etc. then keep a pillow between you and baby. But I think if you share bed from day1 which is actually encouraged by many doctors, then you get used to a safe distance. You hear baby’s feed request very quickly and can avoid crankiness.
You don’t have to get off the bed so you get better sleep and rest.
Only worry with this way is that most of mothers tend to sleep and forget. It may be uncomfortable if baby too falls asleep and latch off which will lead to leakage. And then changing clothes is irritating. Anyway changing once in while is better than getting up 3-4 times a night. Isn’t it?

EASY CLEAN UPS:
You should keep some towels near you during night. Sometimes your baby would spit up or your breasts would leak milk during night. So to avoid spoiling your baby’s sleep due to wetness, you can dry up the things immediately and sleep comfortably.

KEEP THE LIGHTS OFF:
When your baby wakes you up at night you avoid switching on the lights to encourage him to go to back to sleep. In case you need see if that baby is holding on the nipple correctly, dim light or mobile light would be helpful.

IS BABY WAKING UP FREQUENTLY?
If you notice that your baby is waking up very frequently during night, then this means that he is not able to get the sufficient amount of milk to fill his stomach in one feeding. This could be happening because of you n baby falling asleep during feeding time. So wake up baby with gentle touch and finish one feeding session properly. Or it could be due to bad latch in sleepy mood in such case you can compress your breast with your fingers and thumb and place it right inside his mouth. This will also increase the amount of milk during each feeding.

HIDE THE CLOCK:
Turn your clock away from bed so that you can’t see what time it is. It’s a natural tendency to get worried seeing the clock at night and realizing that you have had less sleep.

REST AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE:
It is very much important to rest during the day. Make it as much as you can to stay fresh. You can take rest when your little one is sleeping, but if you have more than 1 child then it is a bit difficult. May be your partner can help you with this problem by taking care of your children for some time so that you can take a nap whenever possible during the day.

As the time passes and baby grows, you will notice that your baby will not at all wake up during night for milk and this would help you to take a complete rest and there will be no more night time waking ups for you. But until then take enough rest with your baby and feed him during night which is good for you and your baby too.

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Sapana

Software professional - now work at home mom

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