One of the most fulfilling and special things about being a mother is when you nourish your little one. It is an intimate moment when you nestle your baby in your arms to feed. But, what if this precious moment becomes unsafe for your baby?
Confused and alarmed? Well, don’t be! We are talking about moments when you may be so tired that even as you are breastfeeding your baby, you might fall asleep without realizing it. Of course, it can be a dangerous situation, especially in the first few weeks. So, read on to know what all you can do to minimize the risk of falling asleep while breastfeeding.
Is It Natural Falling Asleep While Breastfeeding Your Baby?
While you are breastfeeding your baby, your little one is not the only who feels relaxed and sleepy. Sometimes, as a new mom, you have an equally strong chance of falling asleep while you are breastfeeding your baby. Here are some reasons that may make you fall asleep while breastfeeding your baby:
- When you breastfeed your baby, your body releases a hormone known as oxytocin, which is also known as the love hormone. It relaxes your mind and strengthens your emotional and maternal responses, which help you bond better with your baby. As your body produces more milk about your baby’s suckling motions, the body produces a higher amount of the love hormone.
- Moreover, your body also produces the hormone known as prolactin at the same time, which is also a soothing hormone and will help relax you. Since both these hormones have such calming effects, they end up making you feel relaxed and sleepy even as you breastfeed.
- Of course as a new mother you are almost always tired and deprived of any rest or sleep. While you are breastfeeding your baby in a quiet part of the house, it provides the perfect environment to feel relaxed and fall asleep.
- While you breastfeed your baby, your little one is snuggled safely in your arms. As a result, you are already assured that your little one is safe. You know that there is no danger of your baby suddenly waking up and crying. As you may already feel so relaxed and assured about your baby’s safety, it may help you unwind and make you fall asleep, often without realizing it.
- Pregnancy and the subsequent delivery take a huge toll on your body. Once you have given birth and have brought your baby home, there is a still a lot that your body needs in terms of healing, rest, and care. The initial few days and weeks are extremely crucial for your body to get back its strength and to come back to its healthy self as it was before you got pregnant. The first few weeks are the time for your body to make up for all the wear and tear. As a result, the exhaustion levels that you feel will be at their peak and may make it easier for you to fall asleep, especially in a quiet and calm environment.
Is It Ok To Fall Asleep While Breastfeeding?
No! It is not a safe or recommended practice to fall asleep while you are breastfeeding your baby. But you can take the adequate steps before you start breastfeeding your baby. Even if you do end up falling asleep while nursing, the threat of any harm is minimized or completely negated. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are about to breastfeed your baby:
1. Stay Propped Up While You Are Nursing:
- Before you start to breastfeed your little one, make sure that you are positioned in such a way that your body is propped up.
- You can sit down on a cozy sofa and arrange pillows near you in such a way so that even if you do fall asleep your baby is still nestled safely.
- Make sure that you are sitting in a safe place and not a place from where you may have a chance of slipping down and your baby is also equally safe.
2. Keep All Beverages Away:
- When you settle down to breastfeed your baby, make sure that there are no beverages around.
- While you may be very careful to keep it at a safe distance while you are awake, just in case you fall asleep, it could cause a potential threat to your little one.
- As a rule, make sure that you never place any hot or even warm beverages near where you are sitting while you breastfeed your baby. Even though it may feel warm to you, it could be quite hot for your baby and may result in burn injuries in case of an accidental spill.
3. Take A Nap And Ask Your Partner To Wake You Up:
- If you already know that you are tired and are certain that you will fall off to sleep while you are breastfeeding your baby, maybe you should take a nap.
- If you have your partner or a family member at home, you can ask them to help you by waking you up after a certain time has passed.
- If you are uncomfortable with the idea of a family member coming in while you are breastfeeding, but still want to nap, make sure to use a breastfeeding cloak. While it will allow you to keep yourself covered, your baby will also be comfortable enough to continue feeding.
4 Set A Timer:
- You may be a little wary of setting a timer as it could potentially wake up your baby. However, you can set it up in such a way that it is turned to a low volume.
- If nothing else seems to work, you can activate a timer on your phone, but make sure that you place the phone in such a way that you will be able to feel it vibrating. However, do note that it is not advisable to have a phone placed near your baby, so try and use this option only when everything else fails.
- To avoid falling asleep during breastfeeding your baby, try and sleep at other times and ask your partner or a family member to help by looking after your baby for those times. Alternatively, if you feel you are tired and want to sleep, pump the breastmilk so that someone else can still feed the baby with your milk while you get your rest.
Did you ever fall asleep while breastfeeding your baby? What did you do about it and how did you manage? Do share your tips here with fellow moms.
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