Becoming a parent may be one of the most beautiful experiences, but it comes with its own share of troubles. The exhaustion that follows the delivery of a child and the first few months of caring for the child, is real. The toll takes on the mother’s health ultimately affects her sleep.
According to research that examined sleep patterns and fatigue in 72 couples before and after childbirth, sleep is disrupted during the postpartum period in both parents. However, compared to the fathers, the mothers got even less sleep. Previous studies have established that women go through significant changes in sleep when they are pregnant. Fluctuations in hormones during pregnancy are responsible for these disruptions. The growing fetus is another cause of discomfort during sleep. The sleeping difficulties and interrupted sleep after childbirth are seen to be mainly because of newborn care that involves repeated night time wakings. The fatigue affects sleep quality in new mothers, thus changing their sleep patterns for the worse.
After having recognized this relationship between postpartum period exhaustion and sleep in mothers, sleep experts have come up with several ways of curbing the terrible effects and ensuring that the mother transitions through the stages while getting proper rest. One of the most recommended ways of getting good sleep after childbirth is to sleep when the baby sleeps. Getting these naps will help the body rejuvenate and prepare for the next session of baby care. The other technique is to go to bed as soon as possible at night, at least for the first two weeks after delivery. To help mothers ease into this new sleep routine, they can try some relaxing sleep rituals, such as a calming bath with salts an hour before bed or listening to some soothing music that will help them drift off into sleep. Most couples share the night time care with each other. It is a good idea to plan shifts so that both parents get good rest while also tending to the needs of the baby. Single parents can ask a friend or a close relative for help.
After the first two weeks of childbirth, mothers will get an idea about their child’s sleep requirements and patterns, which will further make it easier for them to plan their sleep routine. Also, as the baby grows, they start sleeping longer making it easier for the mother to slip into your regular sleep schedule.
If getting sleep becomes impossible during the night or when the child sleeps, then it could also be a case of postnatal depression. If in addition to these sleep difficulties, mothers also face a feeling of hopelessness and unwillingness to do anything, then it is best to get assistance from a professional. Having a baby is magical, but to really enjoy the process you have to be well-rested. Look after your sleep the way you look after your baby.