Confessions of a Sleep Consultant: The Jett Diaries; Week Two

Nothing like waking up to mastitis to pop the newborn love bubble… OUCH!!

After one week I was actually feeling AMAZING….. Even planning to head back to Pilates! Body saying “um… no, little too soon Soph”!! – which I am told is usually what happens with mastitis (it creeps up on you just when you are getting back into life)

Now I’m no lactation consultant.. (I’ll leave that to the Pinky McKay’s of this world); however, this is what I did to clear my mastitis (over 3 days):

Mastitis relief…

  • Epsom salt baths
  •  Tiger balm on affected area (wash off thoroughly before holding or feeding)
  • Skin to skin with baby, and feeding regularly from affected breast/s
  • Lecithin granules (1tbsp 3 x per day)
  • Massaged the sore spots in hot shower, and during feedings
  • Feed with breast facing downward (better drainage)
  • Position baby on breast with their chin facing the lumpy area in breast
  • Plenty of rest
  • Homeopathic Traumeel (for anti inflamatory and pain relief)
  • Lots of water
  • Saying yes to a timely offer by a girlfriend to take my daughter for a play date

Note: I like to avoid antibiotics where possible, but in some cases they are absolutely necessary.. Please consult your healthcare professional before you conduct any home treatments or take any homeopathic remedies, as you may need medical intervention.
Beside this minor set back, my recovery this time around has been unexpectedly speedy. It’s hard to pin point just one thing which has enabled me to bounce back so quickly, but below is what I believed helped me both pre and postnatally:

Post Partum Recovery…

  • Keeping active during pregnancy (walking regularly, 1-2 x Pilates and 1 x Personal Training weekly)
  • Regular reflexology and massage during pregnancy (once per month)
  • A balanced and healthy diet with supplements including probiotics, pre natal multi vitamin, and Vitamin C
  • Vision board created for my pregnancy and birth experience; visualisation is an extremely powerful tool – what you think about, you bring about. Whilst my labour was longer than anticipated, I did achieve my peaceful, all natural home water birth I imagined
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea, and Partus Prep (herbal mix) from 36 weeks; to tone and prepare uterus for birth
  • I consumed my placenta raw post birth for my second and third babies. From personal experience, recovery was faster, I experienced less post birth bleeding, my mood more balanced (no day 3-4 blues at all), less exhausted, and increased overall well being. Further reading on the benefits of consuming your placenta here. If you are looking into placenta encapsulation, salve, or a tincture being prepared, look no further than our friends at Nature of Birth
  • Traumeel Homeopthic (relieves pain and inflammation)
  • SRC recovery shorts 
  • A fantastic and supportive husband, family, and network of friends to help out with cooking, meals, washing, cleaning, and caring for my other two kids – so I don’t have to be on my feet consistently
  • Day naps wherever and whenever you can catch them – or just the opportunity to REST
  • A great chiropractor (for during pregnancy and post birth)

*Disclaimer: these are my experiences only. Please consult your health care professional before following any pre or post natal advice (including but not limited to; homeopathic remedies, herbs, and other alternative therapies/treatments)

Sleep…

Developmentally, somewhere between 10 days to 2 weeks our babies transition through a growth spurt. You can expect cluster feeding (either toward the end of the day and/or overnight), and less sleep (not great news for parents who’s babies don’t seem to sleep from the beginning…. sorry!)

After 9 days of Jett sleeping 2-4 hour stretches at a time overnight (which in my books is fabulous for a newborn!)… whether growth spurt, and/or combination of dreaded wind setting in, we experienced a few very unsettled nights; awake every hour on the hour, and/or 2-3 hours straight at a time **enter the exhausting night dance of;  un-swaddle, change nappy, swaddle,  feed, burp, attempt to lay down, pick up, rock, un-swaddle….repeat**

When you are up for a newborn in the early weeks, there is an eery quietness, like you are the only person in the world who is awake at that time of night/early hours of the morning. It’s a strange almost isolating feeling…kind of how I imagine Will Smith would have felt in ‘I am Legend‘. I used to religiously count the hours of sleep I accumulated each night, which only left me feeling deflated and grumpy in the morning. So, right now, I have accepted the fact; babies don’t always sleep. Some don’t sleep at all. They will wake oftenYou have your good nights (maybe), your not so good nights (common), and your downright shitful nights (very common). This is normal. They get wind (colic and reflux if you’re unlucky) and this interferes with sleeping. They grunt…and cry in their sleep…a lot. Ear plugs are golden…. and… This too shall pass.

I have managed to improve the wind situation significantly over the last couple of days; I have been watching my diet (limiting processed foods, sugar, coffee, spicy foods, dairy, alcohol etc), block feeding (upon advice of my trusty midwife), and administering Wrenn & Co Comfy Colic Wind Calm Drops.

Gas/wind aside, this kid is pretty chilled; I mean, there have been times where he hasn’t even woken for a bath (despite his bull-in-a-china-shop brother and sister being in the bath with him)!  I am learning more and more about how different temperaments are evident from birth, and how much this affects our overall experience (as parents) of the newborn stage, and how well our babies (and we) sleep. As I observe how settled Jett is (90% of the time!), I can’t help but think – maybe there is such thing as karma? If my third baby experience was anything like my second, I would be in a straight jacket already.

I can’t remember too well what my first was like (although the shock and challenge of adjusting to parenthood is quite vivid), but our second is etched (or should I say scarred) permanently in my memory; as I remember wishing it all away in a hazy blur of sleep deprivation, colic, constant crying, exhaustion, stress, and feelings of inadequacy and incompetence (mainly as I couldn’t help my son sleep, or stop his crying day or night).

Let me tell you about my second child.. The one who almost broke me, but also my driving force and inspiration to become a sleep consultant. My darling Bodhi is what you may call high maintenance; highly emotional, sensitive, sweet-natured, intelligent..and a terrible sleeper from the beginning. In fact, now, at 2 years of age, my poor husband is getting up to him more often than I am to our newborn…(2-year-old molars and adjusting to having a new sibling will do that).

From birth Bodhi would never sleep anywhere but on me; he wouldn’t settle for anyone but me, would sleep for a maximum of 10 minutes (on a good day) before screaming to be picked up again (where he still wouldn’t sleep and continue to cry). He had colic for 4 months, and the four-month sleep regression saw me nut out 2 months of him waking every 1-1.5hrs overnight. It wasn’t until I got so sick and run down myself I decided to get some help over the phone from another sleep consultant. We did a modified cry it out method which seemed to dramatically improve his sleep – but of course as life happens; a month or so later (enter sickness, teething, developmental leaps, and both Bodhi and myself returning to bad habits), the training came undone.

The next year was really spent treading water, and doing whatever worked for our family to get sleep; – co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand overnight, camping out – you name it… except I haven’t had the heart to do controlled crying/CIO again, as while I know it can work, it doesn’t sit well with our parenting philosophy. At 18 months of age (which ironically is when environment and routine trump genetics in the sleep department), Bodhi’s sleep dramatically improved. He still has terrible nights during illness, teething, and times of change; but again, it’s acceptance into who he is as a person, and I wish to nurture and encourage his sensitive nature (whilst providing a solid foundation of love, support, trust, and confidence during his times of need).

Whether it’s that I know better this time around, I am more relaxed as a third time parent, or different temperaments (most likely all of the above), I am thoroughly soaking up every moment of this newborn stage; taking the good with the bad, and accepting things for how they are now, rather than wishing it away… as I know I’ll blink my eyes and this little man will be moving out of home already!

That’s all the thoughts for now, signing off with love,

Sophie & Jett xo

If you are wanting some extra help with your baby and getting into a routine, my Ready to Go Sleep Plans are available here.
If you are expecting, or have a newborn, click here for my recommended top 10 best buys for baby 🙂

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