Combatting the Postpartum Exhaustion
As a new mom you might feel as if more yawns come out of your mouth than actual words, and we’re here to tell you, it’s completely normal. The fate of fatigue is common for mothers after giving birth and while you wish that energy you once had would magically come back, it will gradually over time. Afterall, your body’s just been through the incredibly physical challenge of childbirth. How tired a new mom feels also depends upon external factors too, for example, the amount of support you have at home, or a job. Go easy on yourself, take the time to recover and read some of our helpful tips to perk up those droopy eyelids.
Get Enough Rest and the Clever Ways to Get More
For new mothers, rest is a four letter word that sounds like a m-y-t-h. While going to bed and getting a full eight hours of sleep at once is going to be unrealistic with a newborn, you can plan strategies to still get rest to make up for the lack of sleep you experience at night.
- Go lie down in bed as soon as you have baby settled for the night
- If possible, have your spouse or partner take him for the evening shift as you get some sleep earlier
- Sleep when he does, meaning when he goes down for his afternoon nap after feed, so do you
- Relax while breastfeeding. This means completely shutting your brain off to focus on getting rest. However, do make sure that he remains in a safe and secure position just in case you doze off.
- We wouldn’t blame you if you fell asleep in the shower, but taking one has helped other mothers to feel well rested, especially after a rough night of no sleep with baby.
Get Support and Accept Help From Others
Before giving birth, you might have been a busybody with the need to take everything on yourself. To cope with the fatigue, taking a break from this mentality is smart. Have a family member or friend watch the baby while you nap or take that much needed shower. Don’t feel guilty enlisting their help with household chores or accepting their offer to bring you over a hot meal either.
Keep in mind, it’s important to differentiate a few dedicated helpers from entertaining visitor after visitor who wants to see the baby. You are the one who needs the assistance, it shouldn’t be your job to wait on them. If multiple people stopping by during the week is adding to your stress, then limit the visitors. On the same note, clear your calendar of all unimportant events and activities.
No Clean Dishes or Clean Laundry? No Problem
Simply put, let the chores go. Your health and sanity are worth far more than a clean sock or folded towels. While those dirty dishes won’t clean themselves, they’re not going anywhere. Household chores can be done when you’re ready for them, or when you can find the help to get them done. If you have the finances available, consider hiring a professional to help you tidy up and provide a deeper clean of your home. Notify them ahead of time that you have a newborn and you’ll need help with both of these types of services. This way, you don’t have to pick up or do light cleaning beforehand.
Eat Right, Stay Dehydrated and Exercise
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle after childbirth has a big impact on your level of fatigue. Post-pregnancy isn’t the time to worry about losing weight or starting a fad diet. You will actually want to consume more calories due to breastfeeding. It takes more energy to feed him that you might realize. Breastfeeding requires an estimated 500 calories a day. Here are some things to consider to follow a healthy diet post-birth.
- Eat a variety of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, dairy, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water a day and pay attention to your thirst. A thirsty mom needs more water to produce breast milk. Think of it as your body sending you a message that’s your not getting enough liquids.
- As tempting as it is to consume caffeine, it should be limited while breastfeeding to no more than two cups of coffee or two caffeinated sugary drinks a day. Especially coping with postpartum exhaustion, beware of that caffeine crash later on.