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Tiredness while breastfeeding

It’s not unusual to feel exhausted when you first start breastfeeding – particularly when you’re having to deal with visitors as well as a new baby!

Here are some hints to help you get as much rest as you can.

In a maternity facility

If you are still in the maternity facility, you can:

  • limit your visitors
  • sleep when baby does
  • put the ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door.

A recent research study from England found that on average, new mothers were interrupted around 54 times in a 12 hour period on a postnatal ward.

The longest period of time a mother was alone for was a mere 15 minutes. Mothers said that they were exhausted, tried to sleep when baby slept but were interrupted, and had to try and fit breastfeeding establishment in around visitors.

Don’t be afraid to ask visitors to come later – it’s important that you get as much rest as you can.

At home

If you are at home, you can:

  • try and avoid entertaining lots of people until you are more used to breastfeeding and being a new mum
  • keep your baby close at night so you can go back to sleep again quickly after breastfeeds
  • take the phone off the hook when resting and put a ‘Mother and baby sleeping – thanks for calling – please leave a message and I will call you back when I can’ message on the front door with paper and a pen so friends can leave a message
  • ask for help around the house so you can concentrate on baby and establishing breastfeeding.

You need to eat well, rest when you can and ask for help when you need it. You’ll need as much support as possible from partners, family/wh?nau and friends.

If you don’t have support or are having difficulty getting help, talk to your lead maternity carer, Well Child health provider or GP.

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