The Common Reasons Why New Mums Are So Tired
One thing most new mums feel is exhausted. There is no feeling like it and nothing can truly prepare you for it. Yes, your beautiful little bundle is mainly to blame but there are some other factors that you should consider if you are feeling particularly wall fallen in the weeks after giving birth.
1. You’re not getting enough sleep
Well, obviously?? Night feeds aside, studies show that women need more sleep than men. It is totally understandable to want to enjoy that peace and quiet when Baby is asleep at night. To catch up with your other half or on some TV or social media, but don’t fall into the trap. Make a habit of going to bed earlier. Go to bed before you start scrolling through your phone. You will feel so much better for it in the morning.
2. You’re still recovering from childbirth
It usually takes roughly six to eight weeks to recover from childbirth. Physically speaking that is. That is the amount of time it takes for the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. Mentally and emotionally it takes a lot longer. As a mum of four, not once at my 6-week check-up did I feel “back to myself”. Having a baby is massive on our bodies and also on our minds. A lot of mums forget about looking after themselves when Baby arrives. Arguably, this is when new mums should be looking after themselves the most! Practise lots of self-care, good nutritious food and rest.
4. You're breastfeeding
Producing breastmilk to sustain this brand new baby is no easy task for our bodies or our breasts! Breastmilk changes hourly to tailor for your babies specific needs. Did you know breastmilk production is massive at night? So even while your “resting” your body is working overtime to produce the best breastmilk for your little one. Also, did you know exclusively breastfeeding your baby burns about 500 calories a day—which is the equivalent of walking about seven miles!
5. You’re lacking in iron
Pregnancy and birth takes its toll on us, especially our blood supply. It changes what vitamins you may need or may be lacking in; this can change after birth too. Many new mums don't have high enough levels of iron in their blood it is a very common symptom in pregnancy or after giving birth or both.
If you are feeling a little more exhausted than normal talk to your GP and have some blood tests done. You might have an idea of where your iron levels are at from your care after giving birth. If you find you are anaemic, iron supplements and eating more iron-rich foods will help. Just be careful to take some stool softeners with any iron supplements, ESPECIALLY right after giving birth.
5. You need to slow down
We get it – Life is hectic when you have a new-born. Everything piles up. And stuff needs to be done! Especially if you have other children. But, you’re no use to anyone if you over-do it and end up run down or sick. The old saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” if very fitting here. The laundry and dishes can wait. Look after yourself, Mama.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired in the chaos of it all. Writer and blogger at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.