Before you decide to give up nursing, I recommend that you try a few simple things that might make the situation much easier for both you and your baby. If these don’t work, you can still decide to switch to bottle feeding. If, instead, you choose hastily to stop breastfeeding, you might never be able to go back. Here are my suggestions:
- Ask the baby’s father, a family member, or close friend to come and help you for a few days. During that time, pamper yourself!
- Get as much sleep as possible. Let the dirty dishes stack up if you must. There will be lots of time for cleaning later on. Take naps. This is not being lazy; it is being loving.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This will help increase your milk supply.
- Don’t feed your baby more often than every hour-and-a-half to two hours. She may want to eat more often, but if you wait a bit longer she may eat more and stay full longer. You may not have the milk she needs for this in less than an hour-and-a-half (from start time to start time).
- You may not feel great about how you look right now. It will take time to get your pre-pregnancy shape back. Still, sacrificing proper nutrition in order to lose weight is not in anyone’s best interest. Get adequate nutrition and continue taking your prenatal vitamins.
- Talk with your pediatrician and/or a lactation consultant who may well have specific insight into your situation.
- Call your OB. You may be suffering from hormonally induced postpartum depression. Help is available.
Last reviewed: August 28, 2008