Whatever works for me? Oh really..?

As I have supposedly started working on my thesis, I spent most of yesterday evening reading.

This process was complicated by spending most of the rest of the day painting, which left me somewhat high and dizzy from solvent inhalation.  Hence the digression.

What I was trying to say was that I was reading about the neurobiological components of sleep, including the effects of sleep deprivation of various kinds and the restorative qualities and psychological function of sleep.  Pretty intense, but also very interesting.

As I was reading, half waiting for Bolle to wake for her dream feed (her idea of a dream feed is about 2130, when she thinks either I or her dad should join her in bed, though we are pushing it back again to 2200).

This got me thinking about how my sleep has been affected by having children. 

Surely this must affect a whole lot of other stuff?  Like my cortisol excretion rates, the amount of REM and Slow Wave Sleep, and melatonin production.

I’m guessing sleep and sleep quality is mediated by breast feeding, as breast feeding affects oxytocin and lactation-hormone-name-I-can’t-remember levels, which are probably not directly related to sleep as such, but oxytocin helps you relax.

And how about post-natal depression?  Does breast feeding affect that?  I know PND often preceeds giving up breastfeeding early, but then again they have a lot of the same risk factors (low education level, low partner support, young age in mother) so who knows about the causality.

I had a look for actual peer-reviewed studies.

There are hardly any which have taken quality physiological measures of e.g. cortisol levels, or measured EEG during sleep in breastfeeding women.

I appreciate that breastfeeding looking like the photo accompanying this post (and yes, that’s me.. don’t ask) would be tricky, but in the name of science, I’d do it.

I can’t believe how little research is done on this, considering how many people it affects.

We get all this «whatever sleep approach you think is best» bullshit all the way from getting knocked up until we send the poor kid away to university (apart from breastfeeding, which is best for everyone).

I strongly doubt this is actually the case.  I’m sure there are physiological measures which could help figure out how feeding your child every hour for nine months affects your neurobiological makeup.  I’m sure some outcomes are in fact better or worse than others, that some affect your ability to be a responsive parent be it day or night.  I would like to know.

At least some have now shown that cortisol is bad for your brain so maybe crying it out for weeks in a row isn’t so good for the infant brain?  And breast milk contains tryptophane, the levels of which follow a circadian rhythm, acting like a zeitgeiber for the baby.

So yes, actually there are some better-ers and worses.  Of course, you won’t kill your baby by letting them cry and bottle feeding them, but there are elements indicating it’s not the optimal solution.  Go on, shoot me.  I’m just very tired of being told that whatever works for me is best for my baby.  Maybe it’s not.

But I did find a review reporting that breastfeeding women are recorded as having less sex than those who formula feed.  So at least the most important issues (for men) have been covered, then.

Mer å lese

4 kommentarer til “Whatever works for me? Oh really..?”

  1. No vonar eg ikkje at søvnmangel, julestrie og lesing har fått det beste av deg?
    Riktig god jul, Klissi! Kos deg med familien din! Stor blogg-klem!

  2. Veldig interessant. Eg kjenner til teorien om at amming påverkar mors produksjon av hormoner, men har ikkje vore heilt overbevist om ammetåka er eit resultat av forhøga oxytoksin eller redusert søvnnivå eller ein god kombinasjon.

    Hylskriking nattestid er ihvertfall noko eg ikkje har villa utsette hverken born eller voksne for. Våre barn har alle hatt stort behov for kroppskontakt, og har derfor likt å sove i midten, noko dei har fått lov til, og så har det gradvis gått over av seg sjølv.

    No har eg mine eigne søvnutfordringar, men kan ikkje skulde på barna lenger. Vonar du får sove, og lukke til med oppgåveskriving! Kva er temaet ditt?

  3. Men ved 6 mnd. skjer det noe magisk! Jernlageret brukes opp og man trenger ikke så mye melk. Of course!

    Bolle sov forresten fra 2130 til 0330 i natt, noe som jeg tror er ny rekord siden tann-helvete begynte for et par mnd siden (nevnte jeg at TRE kom ut på en gang for et par dager siden..). Tror jeg fikk umiddelbar dopamin og serotinin-innsprøytning der.

  4. Nå har jeg lest innlegget ditt to ganger (minst). Det er et veldig interessant og viktig tema du tar opp.
    Vi har ikke stengt av nattamminga, i stedet driver Lillebølla selv på med å redusere antall og mengde på natta. Jeg skjønner ikke helt at ilskriking skal tjene til noe, spesielt nå som det regulerer seg sjøl. Som du sier, høye cortisolnivå er ikke det beste for en babyhjerne, spesielt når det ikke er nødvendig. Hadde ho økt på hadde det kanskje vært noe annet.
    Vi har vært veldig nøye på at ho skal sove mye (gjerne 14-16timer), og det trur jeg er veldig viktig.
    Sjøl har jeg hatt stor effekt av ammehormonene, sovner veldig lett , merkbart lettere enn før amming.
    Er enig i at det burde vært forska på, både for barnas del og for mødrenes del. Dessuten burde det blitt undersøkt om nattamming har en positiv effekt for begge også etter 6mnd. Vet ikke hvor mange ganger jeg har hørt at barnet ikke trenger næringen fra nattamming fra 6mnd, akkurat som om mat er det eneste amming går ut på.

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