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Feeling light headed when feeding

Hi ladies

I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this...

My DD is 3 1/2 weeks old and we had some issues geting BF'ing going at first as she was premature but is now feeding well. For the last 5 or so days I've been getting dizzy spells (especially in the evening) and often feel light headed when I'm feeding.

Hubby seems to think I'm not eating enough and HV has said I really need to make an effort to eat more. I guess they might be right as I think I'm probably lucky to get my 2000 calories a day, let alone the 500 more required for BF'ing. Could that be the case? But then why is it just when I feed - because baby is taking the calories then?

I just don't have that much of an appetite at the moment - think it's the tiredness and new-mum worries!

MW has also said it could be my iron levels and has said she'll check next week if I'm still feeling unwell, but I'm not sure as my iron level has always been really, really good.

Any advice, especially on how to get extra calories without having to eat too much more?

Thanks, NN and Olyvia xxx


  • hello my luv. It is so important to eat and drink well whilst breast feeding as your milk will not be 'rich'. I do not mean over eat...but make sure you get your 5 a day etc. Just think, if you dont eat well then your milk will not contain essential vitamins etc that your bubba needs. If you dont have an appetite, just eat good food when you can eat so that at least you are stocking up on the good stuff.

    I lady in my postnatal caught a bug and couldnt eat well - her baby lost weight that week as the HV said her milk wasnt any good.

    I noticed that for one day I didnt eat any veg and Bebe didnt poo! So it goes to show how what we eat means so much.

    I am light headed alot (not when I am feedng)....I am not that worried about it....I just make sure I am hydrated as I notice I feel faint when I am thirsty - I get sooooo thirsty now!

  • Hi, I used to get this a lot, particularly in the first few weeks. The trick is to make sure you eat a little something between each feed (which in a newborn means eating little and often lol!). Even if you don't have a big appetite, just make it something light and nourishing to keep your blood sugar up.

    I don't know exactly why - I just think that bf'ing is so clever that as soon as baby starts feeding and you get the 'let-down', your body is looking to produce the next lot of milk (basically the more milk baby takes, the more milk you produce). I guess if your not eating properly this can cause low blood sugar and that faint feeling.

    Also, make sure you keep very hydrated - lots of water and always have a drink while feeding. I remember I used to get a terrible thirst as soon as baby latched on!

  • hi, i used to have a snack (piece of fruit, glass of milk, yoghurt, cereal bar etc) whenever i was feeding ds, to make sure i didn't forget, also make sure u alwasys ahve a glass of water whilst feeding. u only need between an extra 200 to 500 calories a day, equivalent of a mars bar, so u don't need too much more on top of what ur already eating. i ofund cereal bars next to the bed were a godsend, as that 5am feed i aws always starving!! lots of carbs are important for keeping the calorie count of ur milk high enough to support ur lo, but i honestly did find eating whilst feeding helped me not to forget as its so easy to forget to eat when lo is still so little (well evennow he's 9.5months i forget sometimes) it opnly means baby needs to wait an extra 30seconds whilst u grab a drink and a snack before u sit down. hth xx
  • Thanks ladies for your replies :\) Really helps to know I'm not alone and others have experienced this too.

    As you ladies said I have been sooo thirsty since BF'ing - and I crave orange juice!?! I thought cravings were meant to come in pregnancy :lol:

    We eat really good meals with plenty of veg so I think I just need to eat more snacks and make sure I don't leave long gaps between eating. Siany I can relate to being starving at the 5am feed!! And I am pretty sure my milk is rich enough as at the first weigh in Olyvia had gained 7oz and a week later she'd gained another 9 1/2oz!

    Thanks again :\)

    Love NN and Olyvia xxx

  • NN - that is a brilliant weight gain well done!!! (Same as Bebe - and she wasnt early - so that is brilliant!!!)

    Just a note - My midwife told me to be careful of drinking too much orange juice due to the high acid content....can hurt babies tummy - not sure if this is true..but I was careful anyway.

    Now that Bebe is 4 months - I have alot of juice now and Bebe is fine! xxxx
  • Thanks for posting this NN, I get this all the time and Jak is 9 weeks now! I almost feel sick when he's feeding, if that makes sense?
  • I always had a bottle of water next to me when feeding and surprised myself with the amount of water I was drinking. Before pregnant and such I was drinking max of 1.5 liters a day and had difficulties getting to that. But I was drinking 0.5 liters almost each feed with a total of at least 3 liters a day. I found eating often and little helped with the dizzy spells. On occasions I just had to sit down because I had the feeling I would faint at any time. After a few days I realised that if I was eating and drinking something during or just after a feed, I was fine for the entire day.

    I found it difficult to find time to eat and to be honest wasn't really hungry. But like Siany said, if you feed whilst feeding lo it starts to be a habit and it really helps. for next time I definitly know that I will do it from the start.
  • hi (i don't really belong in this forum anymore but was in it until november!) i just came across this post and i wanted to say i used to feel the same.

    i felt completely drained. i kept being told to make sure i was eating/drinking plenty etc.

    however at 6 months i started to feel worse - really light headed/dizzy/very tired. they checked my iron levels and surprisingly they were ok. did some more tests and they were fine so the dr said it was due to breastfeeding and told me to stop (i was just expressing 2x a day at that point). so i stopped and i've felt better since

    just make sure you keep yourself fed and watered image

  • Relaxant hormones get released when you feed. I practically black out when I am feeding because of them. They will make you feel sleepy or light headed. I can be watching the tv while feeding but can not tell you what I was watching because I just zone out with those relaxant hormones getting released.
  • libranaster that's really interesting, it's prompted me to try and remember what I was watching this afternoon when I was feeding and I honestly can't! How weird! x
  • I read somewhere that the reason those hormones are released are to help you get back to sleep when feeding during the night - it must be true cos before I got pg I was so worried about how on earth I'd get back to sleep as I used to have such problems sleeping and if I got disturbed that'd be me up for the night, but I have no trouble at all!! x
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