Posts Tagged ‘tired’

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.

Pregnant? Feeling forgetful? Absentminded?

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Pregnant with mugYou may be experiencing “pregnancy brain” also referred to as “momnesia.”  We hear from many women that they have a hard time concentrating and experience forgetfulness during their pregnancy and after their baby is born. So what exactly is going on?

Unfortunately, there has been limited research conducted on the effects that pregnancy has on memory. And research findings are inconsistent. However, we do know that your hormones are increased during pregnancy, which may have an effect on your mind as well as your body.

In addition, many pregnant women and new moms are busy, stressed and tired, which greatly affects one’s ability to remember things. It is hard for your mind to stay sharp when you are exhausted.

So what can you do to help with pregnancy brain?

  • Prioritize what’s necessary for the day and concentrate on those tasks. Better yet, decide on 3 “must do” tasks for the day and focus on those. Anything beyond that needs to wait til tomorrow.
  • Simplify your life; get help with your to-do list by designating tasks to your partner, friends and family.
  • Keep a detailed calendar for events and appointments. Having a post-it notepad handy for to-do lists, reminders and phone numbers helps a lot!
  • Get more sleep. This may be difficult, but what you probably need is more zzzz’s. Take a quick nap whenever you can or ask your partner/family member or friend to watch your baby for an hour while you lie down. Make sleep a priority.
  • Keep keys and other important items in designated areas in your house so you can easily find them.
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water. Good nutrition doesn’t only feed your body – it feeds your brain, too!

Have you experienced pregnancy brain? Share your tips and tricks.

Have questions? Email or text us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Eat, sleep, and repeat

Monday, March 7th, 2016

sleepAs your belly is getting bigger, your hours of sleep may be getting smaller. Lack of sleep is a common complaint we hear from pregnant women. Trying to get comfortable, rearranging pillows and having to get up to use the bathroom are only a few of the culprits that can cause lack of sleep.

But getting a good night’s sleep is crucial– just as important as eating nutritious food and drinking enough water. Eating, staying hydrated and sleeping are the foundations to good health and a happy pregnancy.

Trouble sleeping doesn’t just happen late in pregnancy though; sleeplessness can happen right from the beginning. The same pregnancy hormone that causes fatigue during the day can disrupt your sleep cycle at night. And if you have added anxiety or stress, this will only increase the problem.

This week, the National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week. If you do not get the sleep you need, your body will probably not operate as it should. Your judgment and reaction times may be negatively affected. Simple things like driving a car can be severely impacted with lack of sleep – it’s as dangerous a combination as drinking alcohol and driving.

So between bathroom trips and rearranging pillows, try to catch up on sleep where you can. Here are tried and true tips, which should help.

For more information on how to get a restful night’s sleep, and when to see a doctor regarding possible sleep problems, see this handy guide.

Have questions?  Email or text AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

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.

Shoes killing you?

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Your feet could hurt for any number of reasons.  They might be swollen from fluid retention or if your weight gain is on the high side, they might be fat or they might just be expanding.  Yes, it’s true along with all of your other joints, your feet will spread. Sorta scary if you are already a size 9W like I am.  And it’s possible that your feet may stay larger—as much as full size. Yikes.

Puffy feet and ankles are common during pregnancy.  As many as 75% of women develop swelling at some point.  It is especially common in warm weather, or after standing or sitting for long periods and late in the day.  Often the swelling disappears overnight.

If your feet are swollen or (gulp) bigger, shop for new shoes at the end of the day when your feet are tired and the most swollen.  Look for shoes with low heels, a wide toebox, and made of natural material, leather or canvas so your feet can breathe.

Signs of pregnancy

Monday, March 24th, 2008

How many home pregnancy test have you taken? One, Two, Three?

Here are some signs that you might be pregnant:
• You miss your period.
• You feel sick to your stomach or throw up.
• Your breasts are big and sore. The area around your nipples gets darker.
• You crave certain foods. Or you really dislike certain foods.
• You feel tired all the time.
• A home pregnancy test shows you’re pregnant.

Congratulations! You have embarked on a journey of discovery.