For many mums – breastfeeding or not – lack of sleep can be the hardest thing to deal with.
Young babies need to feed round the clock as their tummies are very small and they need frequent 'filling up' to help them grow. You're probably craving a decent full night's sleep, but try to see night feeds as a quiet time to bond with your baby.
If you've had a particularly difficult night, try to take time out to rest during the day. Visitors can wait – or better yet can help by taking over housework or looking after other children while you and your baby catch up on sleep. For more tips on how to cope with night feeds, take a look at UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative's leaflet Caring for your baby at night: a guide for parents.
It may help to talk to other mums in the same situation – you can find support groups in your area here.
Stopping breastfeeding at night
If breastfeeding during the night is making you over tired, you may wish to phase out night time feeds as your baby gets older. You could start by making sure they drink plenty of milk during the day, and then feeding them just before you go to sleep. If your baby is still waking up and needing to feed during the night, you could also try expressing milk and asking your partner to take over the night feeds. Our page on stopping breastfeeding has more tips. You can also find useful information on the NCT website.