Questions about co-sleeping/breastfeeding. Need help

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I've started co-sleeping with my baby and hubby as I'm having more success breastfeeding my second baby (3 weeks old) than i had with my first born and am finding it easier to breastfeed while in bed. However i don't think its going as well as it could be, so have some questions...hoping i can get some advice on how to make it work better.



Is it ok to have bubs fall asleep at breast after a night feed without burping her? (i.e to keep her sleeping)



Should i unlatch bubs if she fell asleep on breast or just leave her to eventually detach herself?



I'm a bit concerned with baby's nose squashed against my breast to feed, and i try to hold my breast away from nose to let her breathe. Is this unnecessary or is it coz im not positioning her right, or my boobs are too big?



Is it a good idea to feed from one breast only at a time, esp during the night feeds?



I find it hard to fall asleep with baby in the side-lying breastfeeding position. My arm goes dead and i cant get comfortable coz i cant move, otherwise baby will wake. Any suggestions?



Sometimes she does a long sleep - about 4 hours straight - and i find that my breasts get engorged and i get all sweaty as i usually feed her 2-3hourly during the day. Will this go away with time or should i wake her up to feed more regularly during night?



I find that my breasts can leak at random during the day and night. Is this because its still the early days or is this just what happens with breastfeeding in general? If its something that goes hand in hand with breastfeeding, how do you cope with it? (Yes i know there are breast pads but i find these annoying - they can look funny through my shirt and they get unstuck when i bring down my bra cup to nurse) I'm hoping there are other ways to deal with it? Or could it be that i don't empty them properly at feeds? Or is it because sometimes i feed too often (at times i feed her every 1.5 hours if she is real unsettled) and i have too much milk?



gosh, it just all seems so hard, really need some encouragement to keep me going.

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Melissa - posted on 06/13/2010

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Here are my answers since I also co-sleep and breastfeed...

Is it ok to have bubs fall asleep at breast after a night feed without burping her? (i.e to keep her sleeping)
Although it's ideal to burp the baby to easy tummy discomfort, I admit that if my little guy falls asleep nursing... I just let me rest. When he was real small it sometimes made him very gassy, but as he's gotten older it doesn't bother him (he's 5 months, and it hasn't bothered him for probably about 3 months now). I also say that he often will wake up with a big burp lol! I don't think it's a major problem to be honest.


Should i unlatch bubs if she fell asleep on breast or just leave her to eventually detach herself?
I will also say that I generally just let my son detach himself when he's very asleep. Sometimes I'd detach him sooner if I was sore, but that was usually my only reason. He's never had any problems choking or anything on breastmilk. If anything, I have read that pacifiers are thought to help babies from falling into a super deep sleep and they help prevent SIDS, so I guess I figure that him pacifying himself on me while asleep may have the same effect - I have no evidence on this though... just that it has worked for us.

I'm a bit concerned with baby's nose squashed against my breast to feed, and i try to hold my breast away from nose to let her breathe. Is this unnecessary or is it coz im not positioning her right, or my boobs are too big?
I also have this problem! Babies can readjust themselves to a point, but to compensate, I admit that I roll one of the flat cloth diapers and place it under my son's cheek/ear area to keep his face pointed skywards. He's not a real wiggler, so this has worked well. It allows him to nurse, and it also makes enough room for his little nose to breath.

Is it a good idea to feed from one breast only at a time, esp during the night feeds?
I am very guilty of this. I do however rotate which breast is fed from every night... and in the morning if my son isn't interested in eating much, I will go pump the excess from the breast that is overly full in the morning. If nothing else, it allows me to store some up. I haven't had problems with blocked ducts during this... at least yet.

I find it hard to fall asleep with baby in the side-lying breastfeeding position. My arm goes dead and i cant get comfortable coz i cant move, otherwise baby will wake. Any suggestions?
I find that I put a pillow between my arm and head and then bend my arm up, tucking my hand under my head. This leaves a little pillow in my elbow space. If I have my kiddo sleeping on my arm at all, it will go completely numb over the night. Not fun. It's also possible to arrange things so you can sleep semi-on your back. I also at times prop pillows behind me so I can rest back on them for support. It makes it so much easier.

Sometimes she does a long sleep - about 4 hours straight - and i find that my breasts get engorged and i get all sweaty as i usually feed her 2-3hourly during the day. Will this go away with time or should i wake her up to feed more regularly during night?
This will go away in time. Your breasts are just used to feeding her more often. I used to have that all the time, but your body will eventually adjust for fewer night feedings.

I find that my breasts can leak at random during the day and night. Is this because its still the early days or is this just what happens with breastfeeding in general? If its something that goes hand in hand with breastfeeding, how do you cope with it? (Yes i know there are breast pads but i find these annoying - they can look funny through my shirt and they get unstuck when i bring down my bra cup to nurse) I'm hoping there are other ways to deal with it? Or could it be that i don't empty them properly at feeds? Or is it because sometimes i feed too often (at times i feed her every 1.5 hours if she is real unsettled) and i have too much milk?

To be honest... I think this just goes with breastfeeding. I still leak. I have to wear something in my bra (sometimes I'll have cloth diaper wipes - clean of course - and just fold them to cover me enough). I also have problems with them getting folded down and then having to readjust them. I think it also depends on how much you leak and how much protection you need.

Each nursing relationship is different, and sometimes it takes a little while to find what works for you. Just keep at it. Co-sleeping for me has been a blessing! I wouldn't sleep otherwise probably! Best of luck. I know most of these moms have said much the same as me, but every little bit helps.

Julia - posted on 06/14/2010

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Yay well done you! I'm co-sleeping wth my 5 1/2 week old, and loving it :) Also feeding in the night.... He even latches himself on when I'm alseep sometimes!
I dont put y arm round the baby (dead arm!)... my midwife showed me: put your arm above the babies head and fold it back at the elbow onto your pillow. Works a treat for us! Also, I sleep without bras and nighties.... was finding that even sleep bras were making my boobs kill... and when I feed I have a muslin cloth to put over my other boob to catch the squirts! I dont measure or time how long he feeds on which boob, deliberately. When he's hungry I feed him. if he's not hungry he just holds my nipple in his mouth a few seconds before spitting it out and falling asleep against it (very cute!). I dont know if any of that helps, but thought id share, just in case! x Good luck!

Lisbeth - posted on 06/12/2010

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all I have to add is for you to keep going it gets easier with time and pretty soon you and your baby will be bf pros. My little one is now 20 months and going strong with bf and co-sleeping.

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Dominique - posted on 06/13/2010

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when i started breastfeeding my son.. my mother actually told me it would be easier for me to feed him in the bed too because i was unable to really walk around and stuff... but its definetly ok. if she falls asleep after her feeding my son would do it all the time... and sometimes if it looks like her nose is getting buried just move her down a bit while she eating or slant her inward towards you so that she can get some air in...

then as for her sleeping 4hrs... be glad that means she is getting enough milk and is able to sleep well even tho she is not burbing she will afterwards when she gets up or is ready to burp.. my son use to fall asleep when i was trying to burp him. .. but once your breast gets use to how often you are feeding her they will relax more...if they do swell alot and it hurts just pump and freeze it ... so that it will re leave your breast from being so full.... it works better that way and it will help you store milk for if you every have to go out. ..

as for breast feeding pads... just get the cloth diapers and a plastic table cloth.. then make circles out of both and put them together and sew it.. .and that way you have your own washable breastfeeding pads to use... u can shape them in squares or circles and in anysize small or medium what ever feels comfortable for you... but its great that you still breastfeed if you notice with babies that are being formula feed they sleep more... do you find that she is up more and more alert? .... its a fact that they are healthier... and besides its cheaper than having to buy formula or wake up in the middle of the night just to make a bottle.. when all you have to do is pop it out an give her the breast.... lol.... i love it... it helps you bond more with your child as well ...

Lara - posted on 06/13/2010

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The mommies above had said all I was going to say! Find what works for you and you'll do fine.

I too (still) get worried about suffocating my newest baby when she nurses, even though she's 3 months old already and I know her nose is built to nurse and be squished against my breast. I love co-sleeping and nursing. It allows us to have her record 6-8 sleep stretches at night. *smile*

For the leaking at night, I recommend either a re-usable nursing pad or LilyPadz. I preferred the LilyPadz for the first 6 weeks simply to keep me feeling dry. Now that the let-down reflex has eased, I utilize a washable cotton nursing pad. Ultimately, find what works for you and keeps you comfortable. The let down does get better!

Best of luck and keep up your good work!

Maria - posted on 06/13/2010

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OK. Your breasts will stop getting engorged after a while once your body gets used to your feeding schedule. See www.askdrsears.com about co-sleeping. It is actually proven to be healthier for baby and SAFER when done CORRECTLY. As for positioning, the baby should be below your breast so that baby is looking up at you and the head is tilted bacl slightly. This will keep the nose clear and your arm more comfortable.

Cherrie - posted on 06/13/2010

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For breast pads check out Lanacare wool breast pads, they dont show much at all thrugh a bra and are very comfy. At night I sleep topless and throw a pre-fold diaper over the side that isn't being nursed on. For changing sides I lean over so one breast is under me and baby can reach the top breast. I generally sleep with my arm above baby's head both of us on our sides. If you are worried about breathing, pull your baby's butt, legs and lower torso in close to you, and that should free up the nose by changing the angle. I think that's everythin. Awesome job, sticking with it and doing what feels right even when it isn't easy. You go momma!

Amy-dawn - posted on 06/12/2010

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had to add of course how rude of me, You are doing great!!!!! its fantastic that you've come and asked these things.. i wish i had've when i was still needing alot of help =)

Amy-dawn - posted on 06/12/2010

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All the previous post say everything! lol we have some great mummies on here!
Its so good to see the support for this, i breastfeed and co sleep. i dont need to say much coz its already said..
my partner sleeps in another room and ppl are shocked at this and think we have problems or dont have feelings or whatever but it just works that way for us we are happy. me and my daughter get the whole bed and i get a better night sleep. he( my man) often shares with ur son just gone 3, and agrees that they are the better nights coz he doesnt have to get up to him.
theres something about sleeping with their parents that babies/kids love.
i love not having to even get out of bed to feed her, its awesome and a great benifit. Especially after only bottle feeding my first son.
Have to add i was shocked at 6weeks postp when i stopped leaking completely! After frequently leaking to the point that at night id sleep with a towel wrapped around me, would wake up thru the night and swap it with a clean dry one as it was soaked! it was a suprise but now at 16 weeks i rarely leak.

Good luck with everything =)

Angie - posted on 06/12/2010

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I think a lot of the answers to your questions really depend on you and your baby but I'll try to answer what I can.

With my oldest I had to burp her before she fell asleep or we would have both been covered in sour breastmilk 20 minutes later. I would unlatch her, kind of prop her up leaning over my stomach and burp her that way. But my youngest I never burped at night and we never had any problems.

Whether you unlatch her is up to you. I would normally try to unlatch my girls when I noticed them just kind of "chewing" on my nipple. Sometimes they were totally fine being unlatched but there were some nights where they really wanted to stay latched all night, I found those were usually around the growth spurt times.

Like someone else mentioned a babies anatomy is kind of designed perfectly to be right up against the breast so she really should have no problem breathing. With that said I would still try to keep a close check on her every few minutes which I'm sure you are anyway.

Whether you feed on one breast is your decision and kind of depends on your little ones needs. Both of my girls were well satisfied just taking 1 breast at each feeding so that's what we did. I would nurse them on one side for maybe the first 2 or 3 nightwakings and then after that I'd nurse them on the opposite side for the next 2 or 3 feedings. But generally that's how we did daytime feedings too. But keep in mind that some babies really do need to nurse from both sides to be satisfied. You'll learn what your little one needs as you both get into the swing of things.

It took me a while to get comfortable sidelying and honestly it wasn't until they were maybe 4 or 5 months where I could sleep completely comfortably. It was a bit better with my 2nd but still not great. I am going to order this thing with baby #3 I think http://www.bonnybabies.com/nursingnest.h...

If she is gaining weight well then I would let a sleeping baby sleep. If you get really uncomfortable and engorged you could just hand express a bit (just enough to relieve the discomfort).

The leaking is different for everyone. Some women just leak for a few weeks or months but some need breastpads the entire time they are nursing. I leaked with my first until about 3 months and never leaked with my second. Sometimes the supply regulating can help decrease the leaking but like I said some women just leak.
You're doing great!

Cassie - posted on 06/10/2010

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It is sooo good that you are asking questions and wanting to continue nursing. My daughter is almost 11 months old and we still co-sleep. My daughter used to fall asleep and still does when she nurses in the middle of the night. They will unlatch whenever they want. And depending on your daughter, if she can stay asleep and not be spitty the next time you nurse her, then I won't worry about burping her if she falls asleep while nursing.

I have rather large boobs myself and when my baby was little I always had to hold my breast a certain way or position her a certain way that why she could breath. I was always told that your baby will not suffucate, they will unlatch or move their head. But i always just felt safer, holding my breast so it wasn't squashed against her face.

And when it comes to just feeding from one breast, whatever works for you. If you do that though, make sure to have her nurse off the other one at the next feeding.

When it comes to nursing laying down....whatever position you can get her to eat. I used to do it where I was laying on my back and she was on her tummy or her side and she would nurse like that.

If your baby is willing to go 4 hours at night, I would let her. I had that problem....my daughter would go 6 hours at about 3 months old. I would be leaking everywhere by the time I woke her up to nurse. I have always been a worrier about my supply, so I would nurse her and then pump to empty my breasts. And then i would just freeze whatever I pumped out.

And yes as your daughter gets older, the leaking during the day should be less and less. Your body is still trying to regulate how much milk it needs to make for your baby. And the same goes for being engorged when she goes 4 hours. Your breast will eventually learn how much to make and shouldn't over produce. Shouldn't. But I do. I overproduce sooo much, that I actually donate breast milk to the hospital. I was the same way with breast pads, they sucked.

Feed your baby as much as she wants, whenever she wants. She is still very little. I would never worry about feeding her tooo much. Your body is doing what it was made to do, make milk to feed your baby. She will stop nursing when shes full. Plenty of babys will comfort nurse though, which is where they stay latched on but not really suck any milk out.

If your not having any supply problems, then don't worry. let her eat when she wants. Just as long as you don't supplement, your body will make what she tells it to make. Its all about supply and demand. She nurses and takes sooo much out, then your body makes more. Give it some time, and your body should regulate itself and hopefully you will make just enough that she needs. it may take your body another month or so to regulate it. If you ever have any questions or want to talk, feel free to email me. I know what its like to have tons of questions. Your doing the best thing possible for your little girl. Keep up the good work. Your doing a great!

Camille - posted on 06/10/2010

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It sounds to me like your doing a great job thus far. I wouldnt worry to much about burping. Breastfed babies dont take in as much air as bottle fed babies and wont always get the same intense gas. I cant ever remember burping at night. I also dont unlatch when she falls asleep (mostly because Im usually already asleep myself lol) so I would only do it if it makes it more comfortable for you. I was terrified that I was going to suffocate my baby with my gicantic boob lol! But dont stress about it. Baby wants to breath and they will use all the strength they have to move their head if they need to. Also I learned that breastfed babies noses actually turn up a little when they are babies to accomadate being squished up against your breast (I didnt believe it either, but Im not making this stuff up lol). I always and still do only feed on one breast at a time at night. If she woke she would nurse and then when she woke again and pop over to the other side of her and lay back down. As for sleeping positions I always did the side laying position with one arm at my side and the other under my head. I found this was the best for me when she was really little. As she got bigger she wouldnt wake as easy and if she nodded off before me I would stretch out and get comfy. Your milk should regulate itself. Your body will know how much baby needs. I wouldnt wake her. As for leaky breasts, I never had that problem, but I can tell you that it has nothing to do with not feeding enough or feeding too often. You should always just nurse on demand, especially when baby is that young. Some moms just produce more milk than others, and you may have a quicker letdown. I know it seems hard now, but trust me as baby gets bigger and you get into the groove and get the hang of things it will get much easier! Also as baby gets older and becomes more interested in the world around them they dont nurse as often as they do at the newborn stage. So when you feel like baby is camping out on the boob, know that it wont always be that way. Just keep up the good work and know that you are doing the best possible thing for your little bub!

Marabeth - posted on 06/10/2010

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it's great that you have so many questions, asking questions means you'll probably be more successful! :) i've successfully breastfed my 14 month old, she's my only child and we still co-sleep and breastfeed. i never burped her when she nursed laying down.. when she woke up in the morning and sat up a burp or a fart would usually come out lol. you don't have to unlatch her if you don't want to, if she stays asleep when you unlatch her i say go for it. but if she startles and wakes up like my daughter did i'd say just leave her on. you might find that she'll dislike ever having you unlatch later on though, i never had a problem with this. some mothers do. about the side-lying thing--when that would happen to me i would lay on my back with my arm wrapped around my daughter nursing. i would place one of our pretty firm pillows under her/my arm so she was higher up off the bed than me. so i was on my back and she was on her side, it's a lifesaver. you just have to make sure the pillow is firm and up really close to you.

about her breathing: a good test for this is sometime during the day when you are nursing her and she's asleep is to press your breast into her face a little and see if she moves her head away to breathe. if she is sensitive to it and you will know that she is capable of adjusting during sleep to get the air she needs. to be honest, she is more than likely able to move her head to get the air she needs even if she is asleep unless she is a super deep sleeper or premature or some other circumstance like that. i used to get really scared when i would wear my newborn in a wrap sling and nurse her how mushed her face was into my breast but you'd be surprised how well they can breathe even with their noses mostly covered! i was 'lucky' and my daughter woke very frequently to nurse and occasionally she'd sleep 5-6 hours and i'd wake up with giant rocks in my chest, lol. your body is producing hormones right now that trigger your breasts to make copious amounts of milk, buckets and buckets of the stuff. after about 1.5-3 months post-partum (usually right at 2 months) your hormones will shift and your breasts will only make what baby takes. that preliminary two months is just to sort of survey baby's needs. after this happens you won't have that uncomfortable engorgement unless you wean, cut nursing sessions or for some other reason spend an unordinarily long period away from your nursling. most babies left to self-wean will do so slowly which is a gentle to both mother and child. i would say don't wake her but i always follow that adage never wake a sleeping baby. unless they poop in their sleep. :) but if you're sleeping with her and you wake up in that situation again you could probably get her to nurse without waking her, really.. my daughter still startles to nurse and finishes a little snack without ever really seeming to wake up. :) i think until you develop your nursing relationship with your daughter a little further you should stick with the nursing one breast every 2-3 hours. if both are super engorged though it's probably okay to nurse off of both, chances are she's hungry enough to get hindmilk (the fattier stuff at the end of a nursing session) off of both anyway. or at least one. trust me, you can *never* feed too often and if you nurse one breast to the point where it's not so easy to manually express shooting sprays of milk you're doing the right thing. some women just leak a lot, my mom did. i don't. of course, i did until my breasts regulated at around 2 months. my mom leaked the whole time she nursed me and my brother though, i only leak if my baby is screaming at me (very rare!! and usually the boob is on its way out anyways lol)

breastfeeding is super hard for some stupid reason. but it's also simple in that all you have to do is let that baby nurse. just hold your daughter and put her to your breast whenever she asks and chances are you'll do fine! as long as she gets more than four wet diapers a day, seems generally content when she's awake and is gaining weight (even if it's super gradual) you are developing a great and hopefully long lasting nursing relationship. try to enjoy it as much as possible, i still nurse my 14 month old but nursing such an old baby is a different thing all together! i long to hold her like you get to hold yours right now, a newborn is precious. congratulations!

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