8 ways to tackle new mum exhaustion
Ways to overcome new mum exhaustion
Nobody can really prepare you for how tiring it is being a new mum - there’s an awful lot going on and the fatigue can feel sapping, particularly if you are unaccustomed to broken sleep.
The first few weeks are particularly tough, particularly on a first-timer. Everything is new and it’s a magical, yet a steep learning curve.
There are things you can do to help with the exhaustion but you’ll need to let others help you.
1. One task at a time: Don’t take on too much in one day, especially in the first few weeks. For example, if you have to take the baby to the doctors for a check-up, don’t make plans for anything else that day. Getting a baby ready to go out can be challenging in the early days, so don’t make extra work for yourself.
2. Limit visitors: It’s lovely to have people call to coo at the new arrival but it is also tiring being nice sometimes. You feel you have to entertain, make tea, clean up and have the baby looking gorgeous. If you are not up to visitors, put them off. Good friends will understand and even better ones will offer to do what they can to help.
3. Accept help: If someone offers to clean your kitchen, mind the baby while you nap or cook you a lasagne, don’t be proud, smile, say thank you and let them!
4. Nap, nap, nap: It’s tempting to start cleaning while the baby is asleep but if you are exhausted the best thing to do is have a rest yourself. A recharging nap will make you feel ready to face the world again.
5. Share the nights - or early starts - where possible: If you have a partner who can help, then organise a schedule. Maybe they can do the final feed while you get an early night. And on the weekends, share the early starts so that one of you gets a lie in.
6. Try a walk: Probably the last thing you feel like doing, but a short, leisurely stroll in the fresh air can actually help exhaustion. Try it and see.
7. Eat well and keep hydrated: It’s tempting to reach for a caffeine fix or a sugary snack but these will only give you a quick lift and then you’ll feel tired again. A balanced diet doesn’t have to be time-consuming, just try to include as much fruit, veg, lean meat or fish, and healthy carbs as possible. Batch cook and freeze so that you don’t have to waste time and energy. And drink plenty of water - being dehydrated can make you feel tired.
8. Take care of yourself – you deserve ‘me’ time: You need to take care of yourself as well as the little one. It may feel like second nature to keep your baby with you at all times but have faith in your family and friends who want to support you. Trust those closest to you to leave your baby with just for a short while to do something for you. It’ll lift your energy levels in no time to dip into your ‘before baby’ life.