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Motherhood is full of new challenges, as looking after a baby can be quite exhausting, especially during the first few months after birth.
For that reason, it’s common to hear a new mum saying “I can’t fall asleep during the night. Yet, I’m falling asleep while breastfeeding”.
While this might feel quite frustrating, it’s actually a decently common situation among new mothers, and in today’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this situation and how to deal with it.
Is It Safe to Fall Asleep While I Breastfeed?
It’s quite common for new mothers to feel sleepy while breastfeeding, especially those long feeds. Technically, the main reason this happens is due to lack of sleep and excessive fatigue all day, although this isn’t the only reason.
In fact, even mums who manage to get a good night’s rest might end up feeling a little drowsy while breastfeeding, which can happen for various common and uncommon reasons.
For example, while breastfeeding, mothers produce oxytocin hormone, which is the “love hormone”.
One of the extra effects of this hormone is being relaxed and calm, which can easily translate to sleepiness with all the efforts mothers do in the first few months of giving birth.
Regardless of the reasons that make you sleepy, it’s quite unsafe to sleep while breastfeeding for a lot of reasons, such as:
- Some mums can easily lose hold of their babies, depending on how they are sitting, which can cause unwanted accidents
- Alternatively, some mums that hold on tight to their babies might end up suffocating or smothering their babies.
How Can I Stay Awake While I Breastfeed?
There are plenty of ways to fight the urge to sleep and keep yourself awake and alert while nursing your baby.
Here are 5 of the most popular tried methods that mums use to stay vigilant while breastfeeding:
1. Adjust Your Seat
Being comfortable while breastfeeding is always necessary for the health of your back. However, being too comfortable will easily make you drowsy, especially if you sleep in a sitting position easily.
To avoid that, you can start by propping up your seat so that it keeps you upright and sitting up without a compromise on comfiness. Alternatively, you can look at getting a purpose made breastfeeding chair.
2. Watch Something Engaging and Exciting
Some shows and movies are simply too hypnotic, especially when they’re slow paced with soothing music.
Instead, you can watch an engaging podcast (rather than listen), a standup comedy session, or even watch trailers for upcoming movies to keep yourself excited!
If you like movies with a lot of dancing and choreography, that should be an excellent time to watch them!
If your baby is breast-napping you can always put on headphones.
3. Play Some Games on Your Phone
Some activities on the phone can easily make you sleepy. However, most smartphone games are exciting enough to keep you awake.
Luckily, mobile gaming has advanced dramatically, so you’re definitely going to find yourself a game that you like on the app store!
With the use of a good breastfeeding pillow you can leave your baby to feed comfortable and release both of your hands.
4. Do Some Online Shopping
Speaking of stores, breastfeeding can be an ideal time to do some online shopping and browse online stores. You can look for new clothes for your baby or items that you need!
5. Catch Up with Some Internet Browsing
Lastly, with all the apps we have on our phones, the easiest way to stay awake and alert while breastfeeding is to read some news or watch informational vlogs, learn new mum hacks, etc!
Tips on Keeping Energy Up for Breastfeeding Mums
Now that you know more about the importance of staying awake and how to avoid sleeping while breastfeeding, here are some additional tips to do throughout the day that will also help in keeping you alert during nursing sessions:
- Try to adjust your sleeping schedule by sleeping when your baby sleeps. This way, you won’t be exhausted when he or she is awake.
- Consider going out whenever possible and get plenty of fresh air to clear up your mind
- Avoid relying on coffee to stay awake and look for better alternatives such as proper exercise or yoga
- Stick to a healthy diet plan and eat foods that are known for increasing your natural energy levels.
This wraps it up for today’s guide that shows you whether it’s safe to fall asleep while breastfeeding your babies and what you should do to stay awake during that time.
If you’re feeling too tired and the previously mentioned tips didn’t help, it’s always recommended that you talk to your doctor to make sure that you’re not suffering from a condition that prevents you from staying up properly.