BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Feeling Faint while breastfeeding
The Parents Network >
Advice about Breastfeeding >
Feeling Faint while breastfeeding
Recently I have expereinced an alarming feeling that I am about to faint while
nursing, particularly at the end of the day. It is quite scary. I went to the doctor
and he said it was just a result of stress/exhaustion, so I have been tryng to
get more sleep--but whenever I have a bad night (which, let's face it, is rather
unavoidable with a 3-month-old baby) it begins occuring again. In spite of the
doctor's assurances I can't help feeling worried, all the more so because i have
never heard of others with this problem and can't believe i am that much more
stressed/tired than the rest of the mothering world. I love nursing my baby and
this is definitely getting in the way. Does anybody know about/have experience
with this problem? Are there any other health issues I should be concerned
about? (I am generally healthy and did not experience heavy postpartum
bleeding or other problems).
Just a thought- are you drinking water or juice while
breastfeeding? Have you eaten before feeding? You might want to
get in touch with a lactation consultant to ask what she might
think about it? Sometimes I feel hot flashes when I feed my son
because I think it has to do more with hormones than anything
else... good luck and hope it improves.
Poor thing!I'm sure you'll get a lot of solid advice from
nursers on this list, but I thought I'd make the obvious point
upfront: nursing takes a lot out of your body, and at the end
of a busy day, it's probably not unusual for you to feel faint,
especially if you've been neglecting your own needs in lieu of
Bolster yourself! Remember to eat, and consider snoozing when
baby dozes off at your breast. And did I mention to eat?
Nettles (infusion or tea) is also a tasty and thirst-quenching
tonic, that happens to deliver a whopping dose of iron and
other vitamins for you.
Good luck to you. Eat, Drink, and no fainting!
I remember feeling completely drained sometimes while nursing--
literally and figuratively. But never fainting. Try calling a
consultant, or someone from the La Leche League. Here's the website:
Your symptoms sound to me like dehydration. A sense of overwhelming
fatigue, heaviness and dizzyness are typical. Make sure you drink more
water, even if you don't particularly feel thirsty. I didn't have the
with breastfeeding, but I've certainly experienced pretty severe
dehydration a few times and that's how it feels.
Consider looking at your level of water intake. This is hugely
critical to nursing moms. Some moms grab the water each time they nurse to
relax and rehydrate.
Having that habit can help. Another issue is maintaining a healthy
blood sugar level with adequate calories. Lactating moms need even more
calories per day than
when pregnant. Your support system, family and friends, might lend a
hand by bringing easy to reheat meals so you need not forage in
snack-land for a bite.
Nutrient-dense foods are the best.
Hi. I am not sure this is the same thing but... When my son
was very young (the first 10 weeks, esp), nursing was very
painful for me (due to torn up nipples) and I sometimes felt
that I was going to faint. I asked his pediatrician and she
told me to always nurse in a safe place, where neither of us
could fall very far. If I did faint, I suppose she was
implying, I would come to quickly and we would both be OK. I
never did faint, but it was scary. Also, of course, take care
of yourself and make sure you are keeping your blood sugar
levels high enough -- are you eating every couple of hours? I
fainted during pregnancy due to low blood sugar. Good luck and
get in touch if you want to discuss any other breast-feedign
Extended sleep deprivation can do wacky things and mess with
your mind! A mom-friend would always point out when we'd
complain about it: ''remember, sleep deprivation is used in some
countries as a form of torture...'' I'm not a doctor but it
sounds like what you're feeling is do to lack of sleep because
it happens at the end of the day and isn't an issue when you do
get rest. If it were a medical condition you would most likely
feel faint at other times of day as well. Everyone says nap
when your baby naps. I know it's hard to do as as it's the only
time you have sometimes to get things done. But if you learn to
nap you will feel so much better.
Are you eating enough throughout the day? That could also be
contributing to how you feel. Try having some snacks handy
wherever you tend to nurse. A good piece of advice the teacher
at our birth preperation class gave us is that when nursing
those first couple of months you should eat like a diabetic -
complex carbohydrates and protein. You also need to snack
throughout the day. That will help your energy level and keep
your glucose stable. Don't worry, those pregnancy pounds will
go away even if you are eating more as long as you are eating
Hi, this sounds very unsettling, nerve-wracking and odd. I was
wondering when this feeling of being about to faint started?
And if you have any other general feelings of anxiety,
depression, or irritability? I'm a psychotherapist who
specializes in postpartum mood disorders and your post made me
wonder if your feeling like you're going to faint might be
associated with that. Of course, you want to rule out a purely
medical conditions. But, clearly, hormones play a significant
part of postpartum states, too.
I'd be more than happy to speak with you to try to figure out
if you may be experiencing a post-partum mood reaction.
Fortunately, treatment works to help women overcome post-partum
depression and anxiety.
The explanation that occurs immediately to me is that you're
dehydrated. Keep a sport bottle of water or a large pitcher and
cup in *every* location where you typically nurse your baby and
everywhere else you think it might be convenient; you need to
consume a *lot* of liquids while exclusively nursing a newborn!
(If plain water is unappealing, try adding a little fruit juice
You may also be having blood sugar problems if you're finding it
difficult to keep yourself fed while you care for your baby
during the day. Keep things you can eat one-handed (cheese &
crackers, carrot sticks) around so that you don't go too long
between snacks/meals, and make sure you get at least a little
protein every few hours.
I had a similar experience... though I'm not sure if it lasted 3
months. I remember it happening a lot earlier on. I believed it
was from the rush of hormones released when breast feeding -
those feel-good chemicals felt so good I almost passed out! I
became concerned because I almost fell forward out of the glider
chair once, with my babe in arms! Anyway, it eventually passed.
Nevertheless, you should consult a doctor about it.
When my baby was newborn until about 5 months old I would feel
very weak and the room would start to spin when I would have the
middle of the night feeding. The remedy was eating something.
Once I ate I felt so much better and the room would stop
spinning. I have never tried to diet while I breastfeeding but I
there were many times I didn't get the extra 500 calories I
needed to produce milk, and just keep my energy up. It was when
I would get too busy to think about food. I would recommend
eating a few minutes before you feed and see if that helps...and
make sure you are getting enough calories throughout the day.
I had a similar problem when I was nursing. The things that
helped me most were eating more and drinking water constantly. I
don't know about you, but I felt hungry all the time. Having a
bottle of water and dish of almonds by your side when you nurse
might be an easy answer. I ate a lot of Clif bars (just my
preference of bars, there are about a zillion out there). Also
drinks like gatorade or others that replace electrolytes were
this page was last updated: Dec 21, 2003
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network