Breastfeeding = Fatigue?
Breastfeeding and fatigue go hand in hand, but so does being a new mama. I’ve been breastfeeding since my daughter was just minutes old. She latched on immediately, despite my fear that we wouldn’t have a strong bond after my emergency C-section. To rewind, I had this “perfect” birth plan including music selection, dim lights, ice chips…and it all came crashing down when a failed epidural + the baby heart dropping every time I pushed = emergency C-section.
Whether your planning to breastfeed or planning everything to go smoothly. Things don’t always go as expected, be prepared for anything during and after childbirth. Due to my failed epidural, I had to get knocked out. Yep. I ended up with general anesthesia. Everything I read said that natural vaginal birth was the best thing ever and that if you elected for a C-section, you were a horrible bourgeoisie woman. In all honesty, the wimp in me fantasized about avoiding the pain and for that reason, I figured a C-section wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But, in the end the fighter in me optioned for organic and hoped for vaginal delivery because of the numerous benefits for both baby and mama. Anyway, that didn’t happen. The cord was wrapped around her torso and strangely, my doctor said that I had a shorter than average umbilical cord. Whatever that means?
So, I wake up sounding like a horse because I had a tube down my throat during general anesthesia. And I’ve got this little screaming baby in my arms. I was disoriented and in total brain fog. But, my daughter immediately latched on and fed. I was so worried that we wouldn’t bond immediately. I’ve heard stories where babies don’t latch and eventually only take to a bottle. I wanted to bond with my little girl more than anything and the very thing I asked for I got ten fold as we’ve been inseparable since. But, it can honestly be draining. I know a woman who said she could only breastfeed for 6 weeks until she had to give her child the bottle. She just couldn’t hack the baby constantly being on her.
Hey, every person is different. I used to have a skewed opinion until I experienced what it was like to have a little human suckling on you night and day. It’s fantastic, it’s sweet, it’s bonding time…yes…it’s all of that. BUT…it can take a lot out of you too. Breastfeeding means a little human is sucking from you. While some may say that breastfeeding mama’s can actually lose weight breastfeeding. Moms can equally gain weight while breastfeeding and even feel more exhausted.
Let’s Get Real
You can be 100% organic, pro-breastfeeding, vaginal birth proponents and at the end of the day we might all have something in common. We are BRAND NEW mommies and daddies regardless of our age, attempting to ensure that our little humans are taken care of. Breastfeeding is exhausting. It’s beneficial for the baby, but it can be tiring.
Things You Can Do:
- Join La Leche League for breastfeeding tips and moral support.
- Do something good for yourself. Like spend at least 2 hours a day doing something you enjoy.
- Don’t forget to get out and walk or exercise.
- Continue taking your vitamins especially if your breastfeeding.
- It’s okay to have coffee in moderation.
- Give yourself some “me” time by allowing a baby sitter watch your little one every now and then. I know what it’s like to be totally attached to your little one.
- Make sure you have someone to talk to and have moral support especially during postpartum recovery.
- Don’t discount social media for support. There are some great mom groups on Facebook and mom groups to join via Meetup.com.
It’s like what they say if an airplane is going down and the oxygen mask is needed. They instruct you to put your mask on first and then put your child’s mask on. Why? Because without oxygen for yourself, how can you help your child? If you’re a new mama, do put yourself first because if you don’t you won’t have the energy to give to your child and family.