Breastfeeding and baby sleeping all night?

Jennifer - posted on 08/01/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My son is almost 3 months old and is sleeping 7-10 hours at a time at night. It is terrible trying to breastfeed! I wake up, soaked and I think my milk supply is not what it used to be because of it. I'm going back to work very soon and I don't know if I should start switching him to formula or jump through hoops to get my supply back up....

I always feel so bad when I think of stopping breastfeeding.

What would you do in this situation?

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Keela - posted on 08/01/2009

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I am BF my three month old who also sleeps through the night. I am single so my baby co sleeps. I sleep without a shirt or bra on and she latches on herself / or with little direction. We both get tons of sleep and I don't leak like I use to.

Gretchen - posted on 08/03/2009

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I am in the same boat -- going back to work in 2 weeks. My goal is to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months (at least), so I am working hard to make that happen. Here's my game plan -- maybe it will help you, too.

1. I pump right before bed at night (feed my daughter at 9, I pump at 11 or so) -- that way I stretch the time out before I'm engorged and leaking. What I pump I'm storing for while I'm at work.

2. I wake my daughter after she's slept 8-9 hours if she doesn't wake up herself (6am ish). She can pretty much eat half asleep and fall right back asleep. Then it's Mommy/baby cuddle time until her next feeding (9am). When I go back to work, we will still cuddle for a while, and then I'll get us out the door for work/daycare.

3. Pump at work. You have the legal right to take a break and pump. What I pump there will be for her to drink when I'm gone.

4. Feed her on my lunch break. I realize this wouldn't work for everyone, but I'll have the opportunity to drive to her day care and nurse her during my lunch break.

Breast milk is best and I want that connection with her! Hope you feel like you find a plan that works for you and your baby.

[deleted account]

Hi Jennifer! Whatever you do, I wish you much luck since it is such a personal decision. My baby is 2.5 months and is sleeping through the night as well. I talked to my pediatrician and a lactation consultant when it first started a couple weeks ago because I wasn't sure what to do to keep my milk supply going. What I am doing right now is pumping right before I go to bed and then waking up after 5-6 hours and pumping again. I use the pumped milk in a bottle for others to feed the baby during the day. My milk supply has stabilized and I am not waking up engorged or leaking... and after those first few weeks of not sleeping at all, 5-6 hours feels like heaven. Good luck to you -- I'm sure you'll find a solution that works for you.

[deleted account]

I would try to get him going on formula. Formula isn't the same, but close. If you EVER want a break, then I suggest it. Just remember when you start formula that it will be a 'shock' to his body and the pooping could slow down. He isn't 'constipated' until he is pooping hard like marble shaped poop. A lot of formula fed babies and breastfed actually will go up to a week without pooping. - I BF during the day and do formula at night so my little guy sleeps longer. I BF my daughter at night and never ever got any sleep so I am doing a formula bottle between 10 and 11, and he's sleeping til about 7. Plus, it gives ME and my nipples a break. And also, when you go to formula, read the cans. The difference between Target generic and Enfamil is 1 gram of water per 5 ounces of formula. The BIG difference is 11.89/can compared to 24.99/can. You do the math! Good Luck in whatever you decide!

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Stephanie - posted on 08/07/2009

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Try pumping off some milk before you go to bed so your not soaking the bed[this used to happen to me too]At least that way your keeping your supply up and you can use that milk for when you go back to work.Also try using the reusable breast pads in your nightime bra to protect your bed.Sometimes I use two layers.Breast milk is best for sure.I also do what Gretchen does and wake him up a little earlier to feed.Just keep the room dark and quiet and he will go back to sleep while you either snooze or get ready for work.If you have one that portable bring your pump to work and pack a lunch so you can eat lunch and pump at the same time.Remember to take in lots of fluids to help keep your supply up.Good luck

Amanda - posted on 08/06/2009

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I thought it was a big no no to mix formula powder and expressed breast milk in the same bottle???? I was always told if you are going to comp feed with formula to feed with the breast first and then top off with a little formula mixed with the correct specifications.

Jodi - posted on 08/04/2009

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If you start with one ounce formula mixed with couple ounces breast milk and then every couple of days up the amount of formula and reduce the amount of breast milk, his body will react better. It takes like two weeks of slowly switching but its way better for his digestion. I had to do this with my first and the pediatrician wanted me to do it gradually so no constipation problems.

Sandy - posted on 08/04/2009

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With my last child I breastfed for four months before I went back to work, I then opted to express for him and went to the doc who gave me a script for Egglanol .... this increases your milk supply so I would express enough for him to drink during the day. You only have to take it when you need more milk, expressing also stimulates milk flow but obviously you won't be expressing as often as you would be feeding hence the Egglanol. I intend doing the same with my new baby when I go back to work.

Susan - posted on 08/03/2009

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I agree with pumping after every feeding to increase your supply. If you do wake up in the night, pump then too. I also pump right before I go to bed and then give my daughter the bottle. I find that it relieves my engorgement enough to sleep all night with my daughter and I feel like I know how much milk she got before she went to sleep so that she will have a decent amount in her tummy to make it through the night. My daughter was in the NICU for the first few weeks due to complications and we were up every three hours for an hour to feed her, but now she sleeps all night and I guess my body has gotten used to it because I don't leak. Also your local La Leche League might have support meetings where you cold go get support or other local resources. People are happy to support breastfeeding women. I found the lactation consultants had a ton of tricks to help everything. Hope everything works out and I hope you can keep breastfeeding as much as possible!

Rebekah - posted on 08/03/2009

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Wow, I think I'd just be grateful he's sleeping that long! My son was 6 months old before he slept that long, and my daughter (9 weeks) has only slept 7 hours once.

Anyway, your breasts should stop being engorged after they realize that your son isn't waking in the night to eat. I'd continue to nurse and possibly pump, just a little, in the night if it would help relieve some pressure. As for daytime, pumping after your nurse should increase your milk supply.

Darci - posted on 08/01/2009

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Maybe you could pump the extra milk from the night to give during the day when you go back to work. If you have a great supply of milk at night, it might not take too long to pump enough for the day. I am a fan of breastfeeding, and I'd encourage you to do it as long as you can.

[deleted account]

It is a myth that giving formula will make a baby sleep longer at night. It can actually cause more problems to their tummy as it is harder to digest than formula. I would suggest getting up and pumping during the night if you are uncomfortable. But your supply will stabilize. Your body is made to follow your baby's cues and if they stop eating during the night, you will catch up and not be so engorged...or lose supply during the day. Just put the baby to breast/pump on a regular basis during waking hours. Good luck

Jennifer - posted on 08/01/2009

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Lisa,

We did the Target formula with my first boy. They sell the same formula at Walgreen's, Meijer, Walmart and Target. We compared all of the ingredients and they are exactly the same. That saved us a ton of money. We have been giving my little boy some supplementary formula at night and it seems to help him. I'm all about breastfeeding until it gets complicated.

Jennifer - posted on 08/01/2009

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Hi Jennifer...I am in teh exact situation you are in !I have a daughter that is almost 3 months as well. I also have to go back to work soon ( next week to be exact ). For me, I will continue to breastfeed for a feed in the morning and right before she goes to bed and in between it will be formula. I have started her on a little formula so she gets use to the taste. I put some of my pumped breast milk in with the formula and will slowly add more water and less milk.
Do what feels right for you and your baby. I love the bonding that comes with breast feeding so I will keep the morning and evening feed for as long as my milk will allow.
For me its the best of both worlds.....
Good luck back to work......

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