Welcome to September's Carnival of Breastfeeding, the theme of which is Breastfeeding and Sleep.
As usual, there are many great posts to follow from both our regular participants as well as our guests bloggers! These are listed below and will be updated throughout the day!
Here's my post:
Sleep, Oh Sleep! Wherefore Art Thou, Sleep?
The days are cold, the nights are long,
The North wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,
Save thee, my pretty love!
~Dorothy Wordsworth, "The Cottager to Her Infant"
Breastfeeding and Sleep... ah, is there really such a thing? I ask because in all the time I was a breastfeeding mum not one of my three children respected this ever-increasing burning desire of mine. Oh yes, they breastfed alright and they slept alright... at one point half-hourly day and night! As a result, it was my own lack of sleep that I found troubling. Pre-baby days had allowed me to enjoy lazy lie-ins after late nights out. My first experiences of my partying baby didn't afford the same luxuries!
Recently, my sister-in-law gave birth to her first baby, a precious little breastfed girl. On our first visit to see the new baby my husband and I couldn't help but smile when we were asked how long it would be before she slept through the night... I didn't have the heart to point out that newborns sleep a lot more in the early days than in the following weeks, nor did I like to tell her that growth spurts at 4, 8 and 12 weeks would leave the whole family craving sleep like a desert craves water. They are at the beginning of their journey. And they'll find it all out soon enough.
What I could share with the new parents was that hard as it may be to cope with the lack of decent sleep that accompanies the arrival of any newborn, it is certainly preferable to be breastfeeding at these times than formula feeding.
Night-time breastfeeding allowed me to stay tucked up in bed with my hungry baby. It enabled me to feed her as soon as she squirmed, rather than rushing downstairs to prepare a bottle all the time listening to her distressed hungry cries.
With each baby I fed at night I have the most beautiful memories:
I recall gently lifting my cuddly terry baby-gro'd baby into our bed for each breastfeed, tender moments when I snuggled close to my baby, breathing in her sweet baby smell.
I rejoice in remembering the satisfied sound of greedy baby breaths as she gulped her milk from my breast.
I relive magical moments spent absorbing the silence of the night, time spent gazing at baby perfection.
Of course I also fretted over the sound of the bedside clock as sleep-lost minutes whizzed by and wondered if I'd get a full night's sleep ever again. I trod the stairs to bed wearily each night know that what stretched in front of me was not peaceful slumber but rather multiple awakenings...
Looking back it seems incomprehensible that I ever persevered with breastfeeding particularly when I began to experience sleep-deprived hallucinations!! But I did and I'm glad I did because, touch wood, I have three very beautiful, very healthy children and I'm quite sure breastfeeding played a big part in this.
At the end of it all I can say with certain conviction that breastfeeding and (lack of) sleep isn't so bad really.
Now formula-feeding and sleep... I'd really rather not go there!
Make sure to check out the following Breastfeeding and Sleep posts :
Tanya at Motherwear Blog: Sleep
Angela at Breastfeeding 123: Why Sleep Training Makes Me Want to Cry
Jennifer at The Lactivist: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Andi at Mama Knows Breast: Breastfeeding and Sleep
Isil at Veggie Way: Breastfeeding and Sleep
Nicole at Leche, Baby!: Breastfeeding and Sleep
Jen at Mama's Magic: So Tired
Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess: Co-Sleeping For Sanity
Jodi at Life With Twins: Breastfeeding and Sleep
Hathor the Cow Goddess: Visions of Yummies