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Sleep Loss & Fatigue

With a new child in the household, there's little doubt that you will be getting less sleep than usual. This is part of the reason why fatigue is the number one complaint of new mothers.

Bear in mind that when your child starts to spend more time awake and active during the day, he or she will also be more likely to sleep at night. At the same time, your child's stomach capacity will be growing, so he or she may start to skip middle-of-the-night feedings. Until then, here are a few tips for dealing with fatigue:

  • Eat properly, because good nutrition helps increase energy
  • Try to sleep when the child sleeps
  • Consider going to bed earlier than before
  • If you have trouble falling asleep when you need to, get into bed, relax, and read, watch TV, or listen to music for half an hour before bedtime
  • Don't eat heavily or drink caffeinated beverages before bedtime

It is easier to fight fatigue if you establish a routine for your day. This helps you and your child feel secure and relaxed. By setting a schedule for sleeping, changing, feeding, and the necessary household chores, you become more organized and efficient. This means that when there's a chance for you to take a nap, you can do it without worrying about when everything is going to get done.

Rest and sleep

Getting rest now you have a newborn

It's important to recognise your sleeping pattern will probably change dramatically

  • Grab sleep when you can. That means sleeping when they do, whatever time of day
  • Avoid the temptation to do housework when they're asleep, it's more important for you to get rest
  • Don't be shy about asking friends for help and get as much help as you can from your partner, family and friends
  • It's a good idea to get your partner to do some of the night feeds occasionally. If you're breastfeeding, that'll mean expressing some milk in the day
  • It's also helpful if someone can look after your child for a couple of hours to give you some rest and space

Occasionally sleeplessness, when accompanied by other symptoms, can be a sign of depression. Speak to your doctor if you're concerned.

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