So you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks – this isn’t likely to change in the near future.
If you have four or five nights of broken sleep, you’ll feel sleep deprived. If you have a newborn, it can be perfectly normal to have weeks or even months when you don’t get more than a few hours of unbroken sleep.
Getting the sleep you need in the first few months is vital for both your sanity and safety. Here are a few tried and tested tips to help new mums.
- In the hospital reduce visitors and get as much sleep as possible before coming home.
- Sleep when your baby sleeps- everything else can wait except your baby.
- Learn to say ‘Yes ‘to any help offered, take a rest, and delegate as much as you can with household chores.
- Don’t take on extra responsibilities during the first few weeks.
- Share the tasks with your partner, if you are breast feeding you might consider pumping, so others can help out with the feeds and you can get some sleep.
- Don’t rely too much on coffee during those early days, too much coffee may prevent sleep when you actually get to lie down.
- Just know that the sleepless nights won’t go on forever.
- Sleep deprivation can lead to mood changes. Mum’s are at risk of baby blues and in severe cases postnatal depression. If you think it is more than baby blues talk to your doctor.
- Don’t stress if you can’t fall asleep. Even lying down for a half hour can be very beneficial.
- Avoid watching television or a computer screen 30 minutes before bedtime, or if you’re up in the middle of the night. These can stimulate the brain and keep you up.