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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Sleep, Rest, and Breastfeeding

Sleep, Rest, and Breastfeeding

Topic Overview

Rest and sleep are important to breastfeeding women for keeping up their energy and their milk production.

Help yourself sleep well

  • Avoid or limit caffeine, especially in the hours before bedtime. Caffeine can keep you awake.
  • Use the evening hours for settling down. Avoid watching TV and using the computer or phone if they keep you from getting to sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. Try using a sleep mask to help you sleep.
  • Take a warm bath before bed.
  • Make your own sleep routine. Try to have the same bedtime and wake-up time each day.
  • Manage stress. The stress and worry that come with having a child who isn't sleeping well may be causing you sleep problems too.
  • Take naps and find time to rest for short periods throughout the day, such as when your baby sleeps.
  • You may be able to collect and store breast milk so that your partner can feed the baby while you sleep. Because both you and the baby have to learn how to breastfeed, you may want to wait a few weeks before you start pumping breast milk. Experts usually recommend waiting about a month until breastfeeding is going well before offering a bottle.

Get plenty of rest

You likely will not have a normal schedule when you first start to breastfeed. But you can take naps and find time to rest for short periods throughout the day, such as when your baby sleeps.

In addition to rest, exercise will also help you feel your best. For the time you are breastfeeding, try to plan a routine that incorporates both rest and exercise.

It is very important to ask for help when you need it. Ideally, plan ahead for certain periods that a friend, relative, or babysitter can come in to help with your chores and child care so you can exercise or rest.

For information about how to help your baby sleep well, see Sleep: Helping Your Children—and Yourself—Sleep Well.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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Related Links

Sleeping Better Stress Management Breastfeeding

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