Sleep deprived? Here are some ways for a new mum to cope
New mum? Welcome to the world of sleep deprivation
When your new arrival finally arrives, you suddenly realise what all the fuss is about. You’ve waited months for this precious moment and it’s wonderful. But it’s also overwhelming and completely exhausting. The change to your routine, coupled with a lack of consistent, quality sleep, can feel like you’ve been hit by a truck.
So while you and the baby adjust to your new lives together, just remember that being sleep deprived can take its toll on you, physically and emotionally. You’ll find it difficult to concentrate and may struggle to complete even the simplest task. Even having a shower or making breakfast may seem like an effort.
There are a few tips that you can learn to try to make it less of an ordeal. And remember, it won’t last forever.
- Each day as it comes: Don’t try to run before you can walk and don’t take on too many tasks. If you are weary during the day, allow yourself a nap while the little one snoozes. Nobody will judge you if the washing/ironing/hoovering is saved for another day - and if they do, they are not worth bothering about!
- Set a bedtime routine: For you, not the baby. While newborns require feeding at any time of day or night, you can still set your own bedtime routine. Wind down, put away the phone, cut back on food, caffeine and alcohol in the hours before you go to bed. You may not get as many hours, but make the ones you do get really count. A warm glass of milk or a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow can aid a peaceful sleep. And going to bed at the same time as the baby is fine!
- Watch your diet: Eating sugary snacks while tired may make you feel as if you are giving yourself an energy boost but it’s a false lift and will invariably lead to a slump. Try to eat high-energy snacks like nuts and seeds and if you do need a chocolate lift, try a couple of squares of the dark variety.
- Water way to go: Drink lots of water throughout the day - if you keep yourself hydrated, you will feel less fatigued. And it will help improve your complexion, so you will at least look less tired.
- Try a walk: It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing but some fresh air can really do the trick. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, just get out and about for 10-15 minutes. It lifts the spirits as well as the weariness.
- Make it easier on yourself: Shop online, prioritise tasks, and accept help. If your partner/friend/relation offer to take the baby while you catch up on some shut-eye, then never refuse and mind that you don’t give others the impression that you never need help – especially if asking is not your thing!