Mum and Baby having a sleep on a bed

Why First-Time Mothers Should Make Sleep a Priority

2nd November 2017

Mums usually take sleep for granted in the first few months of their baby’s life. This is understandable, considering that newborns have a lot of needs that they need to look after. However, this can be detrimental in the long run, and, ironically, it can even compromise their ability to look after their newborn. claims that sleep deprived mums not only feel drowsy during the day, their ability to think clearly, as well as their emotions are also affected. This does not even include the various health risks associated with the habit, including higher risk of getting diabetes and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. You are also more prone to accidents and injuries, because your attention and alertness are impaired.

HealthDay specified that new mums lose an average of two hours of sleep per night. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should always rest for long periods. Newborns tend to sleep erratically during the day. The trick is to follow this irregular schedule, by sleeping at the same time as the baby and/or taking short naps.

There is no truth to the notion that you can reverse the effects of sleep deprivation by sleeping when there’s time, such as during the weekend. An article on Forbes discussed research on this matter, which revealed that attempting to catch up on lost sleep will only help relieve daytime sleepiness, but it will not have any effect on the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It does not have a significant effect on improving attention levels as well.

Thus, sleeping as much and as often as you can every day is the best solution. Leesa says that mums need to take care of themselves so that they in turn can nurture their little ones. While you may have less quantity of sleep, you can improve its quality so you have more rejuvenating rest. WebMD provides some tips for first-time mums in terms of sleeping better even with a newborn in their care.

Ask your partner to set his own schedule when it comes to attending to the baby’s needs. For instance, he can do other tasks at night, such as lulling your newborn to sleep and nappy changes.

If you have a nursery, another strategy would be to prepare your own sleeping area near the baby’s crib. This will allow you to easily doze off and get up.

You may also consider doing some minor dietary changes to ensure a good quality of rest. Such adjustments include refraining from drinks with caffeine, especially after noontime, as well as eating food rich in potassium so it would be easier for you to sleep.

It can be incredibly tiring for new mums to take care of their baby for the first few months. Take heart in the fact, however, that this too, shall pass. Before long, your baby will be able sleep for multiple hours straight, finally allowing you to do the same.

*This is a collaborative post*

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