This is the second of six posts in the “Pumping with Weather Anchor Mama” series by Stacy-Ann Gooden.
Stacy-Ann currently delivers the weather week nights in New York City, however considers her most important role being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog Weather Anchor Mama.
After giving birth some moms may opt to have their newborns spend some time in the nursery, while they catch up on sleep. But, I wanted my baby with me 24/7. It wasn’t because I didn’t trust the hospital staff. I wanted that time to nurse and bond with my baby. It was something I planned to do early on, so I was prepared to miss out on sleep. Some people thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care. I was committed and ready for the long haul.
The first two nights in the hospital I don’t think my hubby and I got any rest. My baby girl kept us pretty busy. She loved nursing from the moment her lips came in contact with my boob. Breastfed babies usually nurse every two hours, but it seemed like Princess nursed throughout the entire day. At one point it was like every five to ten minutes. I had already informed my doctor and the nursing staff that I intended on exclusively nursing, so formula was not an option. At one point, I was offered a pump, but I thought introducing the bottle that early could possibly create nipple confusion. With the exception of the normal check-ups, Princess stayed with us the whole time in the hospital. But, we eventually reached a point where we both needed to get some shuteye. I asked one of the nurses to take her to the nursery for a couple hours. It was a smart move on our part because once we got home; sleep time for us was a rare occasion. Let me rephrase that, I barely got any sleep.
When you decide to nurse, you are the only one that can feed your baby. It seemed like Princess wanted the boob around the clock. It’s now a blur to me, but my hubby says that I was like a machine. We chose not to have too many people around the first few weeks because she was so new. Plus, we both wanted to spend as much time as possible bonding with her. As I mentioned before, my work schedule could be pretty grueling. I knew that in a matter of months, most of my baby’s time would be spent at daycare. So, I sucked it up and did what I had to do. But, my saving grace was my hubby. Everyone has a breaking point, and I am no different. Not only did she always want to nuzzle up to my breast, my baby girl would only nap while in motion. She didn’t like the swing or the vibrating bouncers, which meant that I had to walk around the entire house to get her to fall asleep. Most of the time I was a walking zombie, so my hubby took over touring duties. I don’t know what I would have done if I were alone. I give all you single parents a lot of credit.
After a few weeks, we introduced her to the bottle (which I will chat more about in Part 3). It was a much-needed break for me. I’d pump and my hubby would feed her, while I caught up on some z’s. I’m not talking a full night’s rest, but more like a couple of hours here and there. However, it was still a nice break.
My daughter just turned one and she still loves the boobies. She’s already eating table foods, but she enjoys nursing before bed and before she heads off to daycare. She hasn’t been sleeping through the night for the past few months because of teething issues. So, she finds comfort being breastfed during the night too. My doc says that at her age she shouldn’t be nursing through the night, but it helps her sleep. I choose to bask in these nursing days because it will eventually come to an end. There will come a time when she won’t want to nestle up to my boob anymore.
A lot has changed since we bought Princess home a year ago. I’ve gone from getting about a couple hours to about five hours of sleep during the night. Even though I’m still missing out on my beauty rest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My baby is happy and healthy. I thank God for that each day.
Did your baby nurse “around the clock”. How did you cope? Please tell us about it below.
The content of this post is based on the personal experiences of Stacy-Ann Gooden and may not reflect evidence-based information. Your experiences may differ. Please consult your health care provider and/or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for advice.