Posts Tagged ‘exhaustion’

New baby = new mom fatigue

Monday, October 10th, 2016

mother calming crying babyYou’ve just given birth and brought your baby home – now you can relax right? Not really.

Once you bring your new baby home, new parents (especially moms) are often overwhelmed and exhausted. Between the feedings, sleepless nights and extra responsibilities you will find you’re very tired. You may find it hard to balance the responsibilities of your new baby, your family and your home. So will you have any relaxation time? Not for a while.

Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone and your feelings are normal. Here are some tips to get through your new mom fatigue.

Get rest

Now that you know relaxation is out the door, you can still catch up on some much needed rest. Start by napping when your baby does, even if it’s a quick one. If your baby’s breathing, cooing or restlessness keep you awake, place her in her own room to sleep. Remember you and your baby are top priority and rest is important – if you need to limit your visitors and put off your household responsibilities, do it.

Eat well and keep moving

Staying active can actually help give you more energy during the day. You may already find yourself constantly going up and down your stairs while grabbing a clean diaper or washing a bottle, but if you want to start physical activity, be sure to get your provider’s OK. If the weather is nice, taking your baby for a walk is a great place to start becoming active.

Eating healthy foods and drinking lots of water will also help your energy level. And be sure to limit your intake of caffeine and sugar packed beverages.

Accept help

This is an exciting time and your friends and family can’t wait to meet your new baby. When they come to visit and offer a helping hand, accept their offer. Suggest they wash some dishes, get you a plate of food or simply hold your baby while you take a shower. Working with your partner to divvy out responsibilities or feedings can also help. If you are breastfeeding, have your partner bring the baby to you and burp her after the feeding.

Caring for a new baby is a wonderful time, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted remember that the newborn days won’t last long. Accept or ask for help when you need it. Soon you’ll be able to better manage your time and your energy to enjoy your new bundle.

Do you have a newborn at home? Share your tips. Have questions? Email or text AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Holiday fatigue

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

tired santaWell, the holiday season is coming to a close. We thought we’d share this post from last year about how to combat holiday fatigue if you are pregnant. Happy New Year!!

Holiday season is in full swing—we just have to make it to New Year’s Eve. I am exhausted. Traveling, family, kids, parties—it all adds up to a lot of late nights and early mornings. And if you are pregnant, you may be more tired than usual. This is especially true during the first and third trimesters, when your body is producing new hormones and getting ready for the many changes that will be coming soon.

So what can you do to try to relieve your holiday fatigue? Here are some tips:

  • Rest when you can during the day and try to take a few breaks to renew your energy.
  • Lots of family activities may leave you feeling drained at the end of the day. Go to bed early, if you can.
  • Don’t drink lots of fluids too close to bedtime. Hopefully then, you will not have to get up to go to the bathroom.
  • If you often have heartburn, make sure you do not lie down right after you eat. Try to eat your last meal a few hours before you go to bed.
  • To avoid leg cramps, gently stretch your leg muscles before bedtime.
  • A nice 30 minute walk can refresh and invigorate you (make sure your doctor has said exercise is OK). But do not get too much exercise right before bed.
  • Be sure to drink enough fluids—water is usually best.
  • Deep breathing and meditation can help you find a moment of peace when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Try to limit unhealthy snacks. These can drain your energy. Fruits, vegetables, and foods high in iron and protein are good choices.
  • During this busy season, do not forget to take your prenatal vitamin. If you are anemic, ask your provider about an iron supplement.

You can read more about fatigue during pregnancy on our website. And if you have any questions, email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

New mom fatigue

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

wiped-outYou’ve welcomed your beautiful new baby to the world and have now brought him home. Having a new baby can be an exciting and joyous event. But it can also leave many new parents, moms especially, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Some moms might feel that compared to the first few weeks of life with a newborn, childbirth was the easy part!

Between the endless feedings, sleepless nights and other responsibilities, many women feel really, really tired in the weeks after birth. You may find it hard to balance taking care of a new baby, yourself, your family and your home. Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. These feelings are normal. You can take steps to help you find more energy and overcome new mom fatigue.

Get plenty of rest – When there’s a new baby in the home, sleep is on everyone’s mind! Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, often in about 3-hour periods. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, it can be hard, if not impossible, for mom to get a solid stretch of 6 to 8 hours sleep at night. Try these steps to help you get the rest you need.
• Sleep when the baby sleeps, even if it’s just for a quick nap.
• Place the baby in the baby’s room.
• Put off other household responsibilities (laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.).
• Limit visitors.

Eat healthy and be active – Eating healthy foods and getting exercise can help you have much needed energy and feel rested.
• Eat healthy foods.
• Drink lots of water.
• With your health care provider’s OK, get active.

Look to family, friends and others for help – As much as you may want to be “super mom,” no woman can be everything to everyone. If someone offers to help, say yes! Ask your partner, family and friends for help when you need it.
• Share nighttime parenting jobs.
• Ask guests to help out.
• Take advantage of babysitting offers.
• If you can afford it, hire some help for a little while.

Caring for a new baby can be a wonderful time in your life. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, remember that the newborn days won’t last long. Soon, you’ll be better able to manage your time and energy and enjoy these first precious moments in your child’s life.

Nap time for Santa

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

nap-timeMost pregnant women wrestle with fatigue, especially during early and late pregnancy.  If you celebrate Christmas, you’re probably running around putting finishing touches on gifts, dropping cards in the mail, planning meals, coordinating holiday parties… It gets exhausting just thinking about it.

If you’re pregnant, all this holiday hubbub can be really tiring. Don’t forget to plan some down time into your day.  And don’t think sitting still while you wrap a gift or two counts – it doesn’t.  Give yourself permission to chillax, take a snooze.  Pull the shades or drape a facial beanbag over your eyes and get horizontal.  Turn off the phone and cool it with the bell ringing for at least half an hour.  Recharge your batteries (oh, don’t forget to buy batteries for the gizmo!) so you’ve got the energy to enjoy the hustle and bustle.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Monday, October 4th, 2010

tiredA consistent sleep schedule is good for all of us, but a new study published in the journal Sleep suggests that it may be extra important during pregnancy.  The study of 1,300 pregnant women showed that many women who get six or less hours of sleep or more than 10 hours per night have elevated blood pressure.  The study also showed a link between the amount of sleep a pregnant woman gets and preeclampsia, a serious disorder characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

Dr. Michelle A. Williams, principal investigator and lead author, states, “If our results are confirmed by other studies, the findings may motivate increased efforts aimed at exploring lifestyle approaches, particularly improved sleep habits, to lower preeclampsia risk.”  She looks forward to more research and sleep studies of pregnant women to confirm her results.

Almost all pregnant women have sleep problems of one sort or another at some point.  If you are thinking about a pregnancy in the future, start fine tuning your sleeping habits now and get into a good routine.  Read our information on sleeping problems and what you can do to help get a better night’s sleep.

And if you have a new baby in the house, you’re probably getting your sleep in bits and pieces.  Go to bed early and consider trading off feedings (a spouse can give a bottle of breastmilk for one of the feedings).  And if you are one of many parents who continue to have sleeping problems once your baby starts sleeping through the night, realize that you are not alone.  Many parents have difficulty returning from short chunks of sleep to normal sleep patterns.  If you’re suffering from insomnia and exhaustion, don’t be shy about asking your doc to refer you to a behavioral sleep specialist.  Getting enough Zs is critical to maintaining good health.

I’m NOT sexually dysfunctional. I’m just really tired.

Monday, April 5th, 2010

63323191_thbI don’t need medical treatment. I’m not depressed. There’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t need to be “fixed”. It’s just a stage we’re going through as a new family. What I do need is some time, some rest and a little understanding. I haven’t slept through the night in 424 days. I’m still nursing at night. I brush my teeth with a baby on my hip. I am preoccupied and my priorities have shifted. And, I don’t see this as a bad thing either. This is the most important role I’ve ever played. I still love my husband, but I’m distracted. It’s hard to relax and focus on him knowing that the baby might wake up any minute. It won’t always be this way. We’ll get it back.

Why do I bring this up? Read for yourself by clicking here and let me know what you think. I came across this article and I’m feeling a little defensive about the topic. I can only speak for myself, but medication? Come on. It’s only natural to abstain from sex after a baby is born. We need medicine for this? A co-worker (DGR…you’re too funny) suggested jokingly, “perhaps they should make a medication for him to reduce his urges and let his poor wife get some sleep.”  HA! What are your thoughts on this…and let’s keep it clean folks ; )

Fighting exhaustion doing it all?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

doing-it-allSo how come you’re not asking for help?  Sounds obvious, right?   But, for some of us it’s a lot easier said than done.  This is for those of us who find ourselves trying to do everything and do it well, or “right.”  Are you one of those people who feel that it’s faster and easier to get something done if you just do it yourself.  I used to be and I still really need to work hard at breaking that habit.  Guess what?  It’s OK to admit that you can’t do it all – it’s even healthy to admit that you can’t.  And it’s a good thing to let your kids know that you can’t so they’ll see that everyone has to pitch in to make life run smoothly.

Did you know that there really is no “right” way to do most things?  If you don’t load the dishwasher the way you always do to maximize every inch of space and you let someone else do it, it will still run when the START button gets pushed!  If your spouse washes a load of towels and forgets the sheets, the towels will still be clean!  If your mother buys you white bread instead of multigrain, you can still make a sandwich out of it.  Amazing!  Learning to “let it go” helps a lot.

Did you have chores when you were a child?  We did.  When we were old enough, we had to do dishes, empty the garbage, make our beds…   There are things that little tikes can do, too, to help:  pick up their toys, put their dirty clothes in the hamper, put their books on the shelf.  Do you have a dog or cat?  Your three year old can pour a cup of dry food into Bowser’s bowl.  OK, this may require a bit of supervision, but it helps teach responsibility for others, too.

What stuff have you learned to let go of that has made your life easier and lightened your load?  Some of us could really use suggestions.