Middle Of The Night feedings and pumps, or MOTN for short, is when moms get up in the wee hours of the night to feed and/or pump their baby. Basically if you are awake feeding or pumping anywhere between the hours of midnight to 5AM on a consistent basis, you are a proud member of this mom exclusive MOTN club! It’s like a badge of honor to be sleep deprived never getting more than 3 straight hours of sleep right? Well have no fear. After a while your body just gets used to sleeping in short 2-3 hour bursts to pump and feed. Nature has designed our babies to be this way so that means our bodies will adapt to this “pattern” when feeding and pumping to continue a healthy milk supply.
As an exclusive pumper, MOTN pumps were my least favorite. Just when the baby was asleep and I caught up on chores, maybe even had a moment to relax for the night, an hour would go by and my alarm would ring to wake me up for my MOTN pump. Why is waking up to pump and feed so important? Well producing breast milk is about supply and demand, if you have a supply stocking up and no demand, your body will think that extra milk is no longer needed and will start to decrease your milk production. If your supply is constantly being used up, your body will think to keep producing more milk because your baby must need it. That is why it’s so important to keep a consistent pumping and feeding schedule so that your supply does not decrease prematurely.
So what do moms do during their MOTN pumps to keep themselves occupied? We go on Facebook private breastfeeding and pumping support groups and talk to other moms who are also up in the MOTN! After all, who else can relate to our extreme sleep deprivation and exhaustion than other moms in the same situation? It’s always nice to know you’re not on this journey alone. Moms sacrifice so much of ourselves and time to do what’s right for our little ones, and sometimes the journey can be a bit lonely. Having a baby is a life-changing event so creating a support network of people who can empathize with the transition into motherhood is so valuable. Finding a support group of women to encourage and even provide helpful tips can make a world of a difference throughout this journey.
Good news! As your baby gets older, the more likely your baby will begin to sleep for longer periods of time. Finally getting a full nights rest is just around the corner so just hang in there for a few months. Every baby is different but you will get to sleep again, I promise.
I joke about the MOTN club but it truly is a great honor to be able to comfort my daughter when in need.
These little moments are fleeting, so cherish every minute you get with your little one.
Happy MOTN pumping!