This Is How Your Menstrual Cycle Effect Your Baby’s Sleep!

Have you ever noticed your breastfed baby getting a bit fussy while feeding or your milk is a bit during those days of the month? Well, you're not alone. There are many breastfeeding mothers who experience and notice exactly the same things. Let's take a look at how your menstrual cycle may impact your baby's sleep.

How your menstrual cycle affects your breast milk?

Nursing a baby delays the return of a woman's period after she gives birth. On the other hand, once your period returns, it can have a big impact on the "nursing rhythm" as well. It's the hormones that account for this effect. Besides, a few days before your periods start, your blood calcium levels drop. Together this brings about the following effects:

Menstrual cycle changes the taste of the milk: 5-6 days before and 6-7 days after the ovulation, there's an increase in sodium and chloride and a decrease in lactose and potassium in breast milk. Such changes make your breast milk taste saltier. This may be what makes some babies fussier with feeds around such times. The baby may even refuse some feeds.

Menstruation changes the flavor of the milk: Menstruation can slightly alter the breast milk's taste, making it less tasty for your baby. This change in the breast milk starts a few days before your period, and continue initial few days of your period. 

Breast milk supply drops at certain points of the menstrual cycle:  This doesn't happen for every woman, but some women notice that starting a few days before their periods, their milk supply drops a bit. This lasts until a few days after the period has started. Due to temporary biochemical changes that occur within the milk-producing cells of the breast presumably due to hormonal changes that occur during these times

How does my period affect my baby's sleep?

Guess what will be the consequences of the aforementioned factors? You are not making as much breast milk as you normally do, your baby isn't drinking as much milk he or she normally does as it not palatable for your baby. Obviously, your baby feels hungrier than usual. And hunger is apparently bad for sleep. This is why, starting a few days before your period, your baby starts to wake more frequently or his or her naps are shorter than usual (because hunger is waking your baby).What if I am Formula Feeding?

Obviously, babies who formula fed not have to worry about the change in taste and quantity of the food they get. But that doesn't mean that formula-feeding moms are excused from holding a fussy baby in associate with the period. This time, however, PMS will take the turn. Mood swings, cramps, bloating, and fatigue affect most women, irrespective of whether they are breastfeeding or not. If you have an especially sensitive baby, as soon as your PMS symptoms set in, your baby becomes crankier and more restless. Even their sleep will be disrupted. This takes place for the reason that babies tend to absorb their parents' moods and stress levels. Therefore, if your PMS elevates your stress, it will have an impact on your baby as well.

How to prevent my menstruation cycle from affecting my baby's sleep?

You can't avoid period. However, there are steps that will prevent the period from causing much trouble for your baby. 

As aforementioned, low milk supply and a funny taste of breast milk are caused by drops in blood calcium levels. This may be prevented by taking calcium-magnesium supplements a few days before your period.

We have good news for formula-feeding mums as well. The same calcium and magnesium supplement that helps the breastfeeding mother can help you too. Common PMS symptoms like fatigue and changes in appetite can be alleviated with calcium- magnesium supplement.

But why calcium/magnesium supplement instead of calcium? Well, in simple terms, magnesium helps your blood absorb the calcium better. Without it, only a fraction of the total calcium may be absorbed. However, for specific dosages, it is better to consult a good doctor.