Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? 9 Ways to Conquer Tiredness
Does breastfeeding make you tired? What’s the link between fatigue and breastfeeding? How can I cope with breastfeeding fatigue?
Breastfeeding is one of the most incredible encounters for a new mother. You can form a special bond by breastfeeding but may find yourself more tired than before.
Breastfeeding makes moms tired for a variety of reasons. You might feel sleep-deprived if you wake up at night to feed your baby.
But if you are breastfeeding, you may find yourself even sleepier than you were before your baby came along.
This isn’t necessarily an issue, but it can be something that requires some extra attention and patience on your part.
Also, the physical demands of breastfeeding take a lot out of a new mom. It’s not uncommon to feel tired or run down, and many moms notice a drop in energy when they begin breastfeeding.
The hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding can induce a feeling of calm, relaxation, and even drowsiness.
In addition, you burn extra calories when breastfeeding, which can leave you feeling weak or tired if you’re not eating enough healthy foods.
There’s no denying that caring for an infant 24 hours a day will take its toll on even the most seasoned of parents.
If breastfeeding is your chosen method, there’s no reason to feel guilty about feeling tired when you’re caring for your child.
Ensure that you get plenty of sleep and remember the adage “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
So keep reading to get answers to the question “Does breastfeeding make you tired?” and how you can overcome breastfeeding tiredness.
Why Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? 6 Reasons
Below are some causes that may help you better understand why breastfeeding makes you tired:
You Are Not Eating Properly
Breastfeeding moms need extra calories. But these calories should come from healthy foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, etc., and not from junk food, unhealthy and processed products.
You can feel sluggish if you consume a lot of sugar and fat because they provide insufficient nutrition and promote weight gain and sluggishness.
You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial, and your body needs at least 5 to 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep to function correctly.
However, you may not find this possible during the first few months after your baby’s birth, as you may need to wake up nightly to feed, change, or comfort your crying baby. Sleep disturbances may result in extreme fatigue.
You Are Reacting to Your Lactating Hormones
After childbirth, two hormones, oxytocin, and prolactin play crucial roles during nursing to improve the motherhood experience. However, they are one of the reasons breastfeeding makes you tired more than usual.
Oxytocin is an essential hormone that aids in releasing breast milk (or letdown) and the recovery of your uterus after pregnancy and childbirth.
Additionally, it has an emotional effect, and that’s why it’s called the “love hormone.”
This hormone promotes a strong bond between you and your child when you’re nursing. This hormone’s ability to lower your stress levels and make you feel more relaxed can also result in sleepiness.
In contrast, prolactin is responsible for making breast milk and maintaining your milk supply. Furthermore, it also promotes relaxation and calmness, causing drowsiness, particularly when combined with postpartum fatigue.
Does breastfeeding make you tired in this case? In this case, it may not cause tiredness directly. While breastfeeding, some underlying factors can cause you to feel exhausted.
New moms are more prone to breast problems such as mastitis and breast engorgement than experienced moms. These breast infections or discomfort can also cause postpartum fatigue.
Symptoms of these conditions may include pain, fever, breast tenderness, etc., and may leave you very tired.
If you find yourself in such a health situation, you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Issues Related to the Thyroid
If you wonder why breastfeeding makes you tired, it could be caused by high thyroid hormone levels.
Hyperthyroidism can develop after childbirth if your thyroid levels are adversely affected. This condition may lead to insomnia, thus resulting in fatigue.
If you experience extreme tiredness and fatigue, then anemia may also be the cause.
Yes, if you had lost blood during childbirth, then you are most likely to be susceptible to anemia.
Adding iron supplements to your diet can help you overcome any iron deficiency that you may have.
How Long Does Breastfeeding Tiredness Last?
Now that you know that breastfeeding makes you tired directly and indirectly, how long does it last. I understand that the feeling is so annoying, especially you are a first-time parent.
Breastfeeding and tiredness are linked and affect nursing mothers in several ways.
Asides from breastfeeding, mothers undergo postpartum fatigue, which also affects fathers.
Regarding breastfeeding fatigue, nursing mothers only are affected. In the first few months postpartum, breastfeeding mothers often experience extreme tiredness than usual.
But breastfeeding tiredness may improve from 6 months and above, especially for exclusively nursing mothers.
In general, once you start bottle feeding or your child begins eating other food, your tiredness may improve.
In addition, you may feel better once you and your child establish a daily routine. This includes feeding time and diaper change.
Fortunately, you may stop feeling tired while breastfeeding with time. But the time frame varies from one woman to another.
With increasing age, your baby’s sleep schedule will become more regular, and you’ll be able to sleep through the night again as well.
Nonetheless, if you feel abnormally exhausted after your routine has normalized, you should consult your doctor. They can examine you for any conditions contributing to your fatigue.
Chronic Fatigue from Breastfeeding
While some levels of exhaustion during breastfeeding are normal, chronic fatigue is another matter altogether. Chronic fatigue typically lasts for at least six months.
So, if you still experience extreme tiredness and fatigue after six months postpartum, don’t hesitate to call your chatting with your doctor.
They can screen you for any underlying conditions that might be causing your fatigue and offer advice for coping with your exhaustion.
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? 9 Ways to Conquer Breastfeeding Tiredness
In order to overcome tiredness while breastfeeding, you can effectively use the remedies listed below:
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? Try to Exercise
Exercise can help you overcome tiredness, but how? When you exercise, endorphins are released, boosting your energy levels.
In addition, exercise increases the amount of oxygen in your blood. However, before you start exercising, speak with your doctor to ensure your safety. Your body should recover from childbirth before you begin exercising.
Strolling or walking even for a short distance can boost your energy levels, clear your head, and improve your mood.
Afraid to leave your baby alone? You can put your little one in a stroller and stroll walk within your environment.
Eat Healthy Foods and Snacks
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential while breastfeeding. Getting extra calories will be necessary but don’t use junk foods for them. Also, consuming a well-balanced, healthy diet can help keep your body feeling healthy and energetic.
Incorporate more protein-rich foods and snacks into your diet since they boost energy levels. Foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits, green vegetables, and whole grains, are also beneficial for the body. So, include them in your regular diet.
Furthermore, avoid skipping meals to prevent you from burning energy and feeling exhausted. Also, cut down on your caffeine and sweets intake.
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? Drink Plenty of Water
Water makes up a large portion of breast milk. Therefore, to make breast milk, you need a lot of water. In other words, if you do not drink enough water, you may become dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause fatigue and lethargy. Thus, you should drink plenty of water or other fluids like fruit juices, milk, soup, etc., to keep your body hydrated.
If you are breastfeeding, you need to be aware of how much fluid you lose.
Drinking enough water can keep you hydrated and help you stay alert. Take plenty of water and refrain from taking caffeine, which can dehydrate you.
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? Get Adequate Sleep
With a newborn, finding time to sleep can be a challenge, despite the fact it’s a no-brainer.
Experts advise sleeping when the baby sleeps, which is superb advice. You should prioritize your sleep after your baby; do the chores afterward.
Rest as much as you can. Make sure you go to bed as soon as your baby settles in at night. You may also want to go to bed early and let your partner take care of the baby in the evening.
Also, nap when your little one does during the day or close your eyes while putting your feet up.
When nursing your baby, lie on your side to enable you to relax during feedings. If you get drowsy while breastfeeding, just ensure you are in a position where your baby can’t fall.
While consuming adequate nutrition is a necessity, certain foods are specifically designed to combat fatigue.
Some of these foods include bananas, green tea, yogurt, and oatmeal. They contain the needed nutrients that assist in managing or eradicating tiredness and fatigue.
Ensure to continue taking your prenatal vitamins or other supplements containing the needed vitamins and minerals amounts while breastfeeding.
But ensure to consult your medical adviser before taking any supplements.
Seek Assistance from Family and Friends
Even though you’re the one with the milk-making skills, your partner should also participate in some responsibility.
Try using breast pumps to collect and store breast milk during the day. Your partner can later assist you with late-night feedings.
Alternatively, you can ask your family or friends to help you out with specific tasks, like running errands, cooking, watching your other children, or even looking after the baby while you lay down for a while.
Hire a Nanny or Night Nurse
If you live far from your family and friends, you can hire a night nurse, experienced nanny, or postpartum doula to lift the burden off you.
Get someone who has experience in baby care or is already a mother. This person can help out with house chores like cooking, errands, cleaning, etc.
As a result, you will have an extended period to rest. A night nurse may step in for you at night and care for your little one when you get enough sleep.
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired- Take It Easy on Yourself
You shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re worn out while breastfeeding.
Just spending time with your baby is an incredible accomplishment. Give yourself some slack, and you’ll realize that you’re making a tremendous difference.
You are more likely to burn out if you push yourself to feel normal.
Make sure to spend some time meditating, breathing, and congratulating yourself for doing a fantastic job each day.
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? When to Consult Your Doctor
Despite all your efforts to control and cure breastfeeding fatigue, if you continue to experience difficulties with getting past it, I recommend that you seek medical treatment.
The problem may be linked to an underlying medical condition or a nutritional deficiency.
Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired: Final Thoughts
As a new mother, you might feel overwhelmed with your new responsibilities after your child’s birth. Don’t worry! It is perfectly okay to feel tired.
Be gentle with yourself. It is just a matter of time, and you will overcome this breastfeeding tiredness.
However, if you are constantly feeling too exhausted and low on energy, see your doctor.
Your physician will first check for any underlying medical conditions before guiding you on better ways to manage to feel tired while breastfeeding.
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I have other similar postpartum and breastfeeding blog posts that you may find helpful in your new journey.
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