6 Tips to Deal with Postpartum Sleep Deprivation
Often times new parents neglect their sleep needs. This is especially true for the mother. Sleep Deprivation affects a mother's ability to take proper care of her child and it can lead to depression and a low milk supply. It can be extremely challenging for new mothers to get enough sleep during the first couple of months following their child's birth but there are a few things they can do to help.
Setting Your Priorities- Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of your baby. In that case, it is perfectly ok to be late on your household chores because you have to take a shower, or eat something! It is also acceptable to let friends and family help you with said chores or simply hold the baby for a while. Remember that you deserve to be taken care of and that putting yourself first means that baby gets the best care possible.
Communicate- It is a great idea to work out a schedule with your partner/helper. This will help you get adequate sleep because while one person is resting the other is tending to the baby.
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps- This may be a cliche, but it also may be the only opportunity you have to catch some z's! Remember that taking care of yourself is top priority and taking care of yourself means getting enough sleep. Take a nap in the afternoon and don't feel guilty about it because you are simply taking care of yourself.
Patience- Your baby's sleep patterns will slowly emerge and will be able to sleep for longer periods of time. It may seem like time has slowed down but do your best to take it one day at a time celebrating every victory no matter how small.
Ask For Help- If you need help it doesn't mean you did something wrong or that you are a bad mom. It simply means that you need help. Seeking help will ensure that you are taking care of you. Try not to feel guilty or embarassed if you think you have postpartum depression, or are struggling to complete your daily chores. Seeking help helps you take care of you which in turn helps you take care of baby.
Recognize It May Be a Sign of a Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorder- Prolonged insomnia despite exhaustion is one of the many symptoms of postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, and the other postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. If you’re doing all you’re supposed to do, including asking for help, trying to get sleep when the baby sleeps, and prioritizing sleep, you may need to look at the other symptoms of postpartum depression to see if you may have post partum depression. It can be very serious if left untreated but the good news is that it is very treatable and is usually temporary. If you suspect you may have post partum depression, then please talk to your doctor as they will be sure to help you.
*If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression and need someone to talk to, please message me at any time and I will do my best to help you as I struggled immensely with postpartum depression.
*This information has been paraphrased from the following article: postpartumprogress.com/dealing-postpartum-sleep-deprivation