Some moments are inexpressible, and the birth of my son was one of them. I still remember that moment when I for the first time I held him in my arms. I had an IVF delivery and braved through a long, painful journey to ‘bring’ this little angel into my life. It was the moment of victory for me and, my motherhood! But least I knew that another challenge was waiting for me – lactation and the mother of all, night breastfeeding.
When the moon is still smiling, and your pillow is holding you tightly, your adorable little cherubs starts howling. Yes, it’s the feeding time! While the birth of a child brings immense happiness, the reality strikes hard when he/she cries at night, and you have to halfheartedly wake up to breastfeeding during night when all you want them to do is sleep. Those mothers who have cesarean deliveries might find breastfeeding newborn at night more difficult than climbing the Mt. Everest!
Being A Mom Is The Toughest Job On Earth
The reality of being on call 24 hours a day to feed your hungry infant is not an easy job. You had known about it all through the pregnancy, but nothing really prepares for it. Regardless of whether you have an IVF, cesarean or natural delivery, all babies act in the same way, especially when it comes to waking you up in the middle of the night.
While you can’t overlook your child’s hunger pangs, so to help you out, here are some ways to make your night breastfeeding little easier. But before I share those mantras, let me tell you why breastfeeding during night is the best thing-
Why Should You Not Miss Breastfeeding The Baby At Night?
Night nursing is important not only to satiate the hunger pangs of baby but also because your prolactin level (the hormone that promotes milk production) is significantly higher at night, particularly in the wee hours of the morning. Babies often look for milk at night because there is more milk during that time!
Tips On Breastfeeding At Night
Now, lets learn how to deal with ‘these’ smart babies for better night lactation without pressing the panic button:
- Hide the Clock
If possible, keep your clock out of your sight. I know you love your child immensely, but still, you are a human being. You might feel bad when you know that you’ve only slept for two hours since the last time your little one woke you up.
- Go With The Right Posture
Breastfeed at night by lying down as much as possible. Even if you are not able to sleep, at least, you can get some rest in a horizontal position. You can also opt for the ‘laid-back’ position in which you sit in a semi-reclining position on your bed, well supported by pillows and your baby is near to your chest and abdomen. The baby will either find the nipples and self-attached else you can help him/her to latch on.
- Choose Right Attire
Nightgowns that open down the front give easy access to your baby while keeping you warm and cozy during cool nights. There are some night breastfeeding bras available in the market. Make the right choice.
- Get Organised
Keep diapers, a bottle of water and even some snacks for yourself near your bed so that you don’t need to jump out from your bed frequently. My kindle was quite handy at this time. The number of books I read during night lactation phase surpasses any earlier book reading record set by me!
- Keep Dry
Do your breasts leak milk? Does your baby spit up after a feed? A towel underneath you and your baby can keep both of you dry and comfortable. Keep some folded towels near your bed, so that you can easily reach for the dry one without leaving your bed.
- Use Your Hands
Use breast compression to augment the flow of high-fat milk with each feed. While your baby is still latching, squeeze your breast between thumbs and fingers, but yes, right into the mouth.
- Nap Without Guilt
During the day, get as much sleep as possible, even if it means dirty dishes in the sink or a huge pile of clothes to wash. If you succeed in adjusting your sleeping schedule with that of your child, consider it as your big achievement. You can also ask your partner to take care of your baby on a weekend morning, while you catch up your sleep.
Night Breastfeeding Tips For Moms Of Twins & Triplets
So, you are the happy recipient of God’s one-plus-one free offer! You are the proud parents of twins. While having twins is more common in IVF, there have been instances of triplets in natural pregnancies as well. While happiness is double, so are the cuddles, there will also be double the cries. While the above tips applicable on twin breastfeeding as well, here are some additional night nursing tips for mothers having twin babies.
1) Consider using a nursing pillow which is specially designed for twins, or you can use the two regular pillows or rolled-up towels to hold babies
2) Alternate each twin with each breast to strike a perfect balance of milk. It is also good for your child who doesn’t need to be in the same position during feeding
3) Stay cool and relaxed as it will make a difference to your milk production
4) If you have triplets, nurse two at a time and the third one afterward. Don’t forget to switch which baby will get solo sucking time
5) Start by feeding one baby at a time who also has to learn the technique of latching on correctly. Further, you also have to understand the nursing pattern of your baby and need both hands to hold your baby. Once both the babies mastered in nursing, start feeding them simultaneously. However, don’t wait too long to start feeding concurrently. If you wait too long, they might get used to your undivided attention and hesitant to share it with their twin sibling.
6) One twin might wake you up at night, while the other may sleep through the night. If both the babies are doing good, don’t wake up both to feed at the same time.
Your Baby Is Colic? Fret Not; These Ideas Will Help You Sail Through The Night Breastfeeding
Do you know, babies also face problems like constipation and gas? The colic problem should go away by the time your baby turns four months old, till then try the following tips to give both of you some relief-
1) Try to find a comfortable position to feed a colicky baby
2) Have frequent rounds of small feeding
3) Rub baby’s tummy to push out gas while he/she is still latching on
4) A colicky or any baby for that matter should not be made for a too long to feed. It will otherwise cause a baby to gulp down milk and inhale air
5) Burp your baby frequently
A Mother Understands What A Child Doesn’t Say
It is the new experience for you and your baby. As your little angel grows, his nighttime needs will also change, and that 1 a.m. or 4 a.m. feeding will become less frequent. One day, you will wake up with overflowing breasts and realise that your child hasn’t woke you up all night! Until then, keep working on differing strategies. Remember, tips that work for you might not be useful for another lady. So, devise your strategy and make amendments as per your baby’s schedule.
Hopefully, now you will enjoy your night breastfeeding and sleep tight Mamas!
This breastfeeding awareness campaign is supported by Medela.Tags: best tips on breastfeed night breastfeeding sleep and breastfeeding tips on night nursing