Breastfeeding and exhaustion.

Jane - posted on 07/27/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am currently breastfeeding my 9 month old son. He is a brilliant feeder, and feeds long and often and is growing beautifully. My concern lays with my own energy levels. I am constantly exhausted, to the point of dizzy spells, headaches and sometimes blackouts. I suffer from low blood pressure, but have had it checked recently and it is at a reasonable level, my iron levels etc have all come back good. I have had full blood works done and everything has come back at a respectable level. I also seem to be picking up every bug there is atm, like my immune system is low or something.

My son feeds on average about 2 hourly thru the daytime, with a 4 hour then 6 hour gap between feeds overnight. He will NOT take a bottle of any description, have tried several brands of teat, (gets rather expensive) and have tried several formulas as well as expressed milk (first choice) He will not try a pacifier either, gets very offended. i have tried about 5 types of those also.

Could breastfeeding be contributing to my energy levels being so low?

Experiences? thoughts?

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Emma - posted on 07/28/2010

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Breast feeding can make you feel exhausted! I think at 9 months for both my kids, was the hardest time. They are still nursing most of the time and just playing around with food. It does get easier as they start eating more solid food. I found that this is the time to really nurture yourself. I am a big fan of almond butter and would eat it right out the jar. your body needs lots of protein and fat to keep in top operating order. Hopefully you have a good daily vitamin to help get all nutrients and minerals. My biggest tip, if possible, is a little YOU time, with no one nursing. A yoga class or just taking a walk can boost your immune system and frame of mind.

Jane - posted on 07/28/2010

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thanks. he will sip from a cup, the avent flexible spout ones, but not enough to supp a feed. Hubby doesn;t do cooking, he burns everything LOL! I also have a difficult 4yo whom i am having behavioural issues with. We are currently involved in a local program for assessing his odd behaviours and how to best manage his outbursts. Aspergus syndrome is suspected.
So rest is far and few between. Hubby is a baker, so he has odd hours, ranging from 2am starts to late shifts that start at 12 and sometimes dont end until 10pm. So when he is home he is often too tired to help out much or simply needs to be asleep ready for the next shift.

Hannah - posted on 07/28/2010

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Well done for being organised enough to get to the dr's to get your iron levels checked, at least you can rule that out.

My experience has been similar to yours, I would get ill nearly all the time, felt really tired, however it did get better as my baby grew older, slept better and fed less often.

I do believe breatfeeding is very physically draining, and it is hard to make sure you eat as well as you should, but looking back I think my lack of sleep and self care was more to blame for feeling tired and getting ill.

It will improve, sorry I have nothing to suggest other than waiting for baby to grow a bit older, and try to eat well, if you have someone else prepared to cook evening meals for you then that is what I found most helpful!

Oh, and my baby has never touched a bottle either, but somehow we have suvived that too. Try a sippy cup x

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