Friday, February 6, 2009

New mothers and sleep

A July 2008 online Survey of Mothers’ Sleep and Fatigue revealed an interesting factor...
Mothers’ self-rated fatigue levels were spread evenly from “very fatigued” to “not at all fatigued.” We found that fatigue varied by feeding method. When asked to rate their energy on most days, 28.7% of breastfeeding mothers rated their energy as excellent or very good, compared to 19.4% of formula feeding mothers, and 19.1% of women who combined methods. In looking at the other end of the scale, 23.4% of breastfeeding women described their energy level as fair or poor, compared with 39% of women who formula feed, and 35.4% of women who combined methods.

Women’s friends were twice as likely to think the women would get more rest if they formula fed than the women thought themselves.
If you want to read more about this, click on the post title to be taken to the online newsletter, Medications and More.

Often mothers assume they will get more sleep if they do not breastfeed but in actuality several studies have contradicted this belief.

In the early weeks frequent feedings give the impression breastfeeding will be an all-consuming activity, but as the child grows, this is more infrequent and it ultimately becomes much easier than having to deal with the paraphernalia and preparation of artificial feeding. Some fathers are very anxious to feed their newborns, but work and other commitments make it difficult for them to do the night shift and the burden often falls to the mother, regardless of feeding method chosen. So, sometimes planned vs actual results in discrepency.

If you have the choice of giving your baby the best food on the planet (mother's milk), we hope you will do so. Many benefits have been discovered with increased health risks to artificially fed infants.

So, the bottom line is this: don't assume you will get more sleep and feel more rested if you use a bottle to feed your baby. If that's your reason, you may wish to reconsider.

Some comments about the experiences of past WeeCare participants: Best Blogger Tips

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