Five tips for sleep-deprived moms of newborns

According to a study, moms lose one hour of sleep every night until the baby turns three-months-old, and dads lose about 15 minutes of sleep per night.

Myupchar September 04, 2019 10:47:23 IST
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Five tips for sleep-deprived moms of newborns
  • According to a study, moms lose one hour of sleep every night until the baby turns three months old - irrespective of whether they are breastfeeding the baby or not

  • Sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease in women

  • With some smart and creative choices, new mummies can reclaim their sleep - and good health

The joy of bringing a new life into this world is incomparable. But nurturing that new life is a 24-hour job that can leave parents, especially new moms, exhausted. Earlier this year, a study confirmed that while both parents lose sleep after their young one comes screaming and kicking into the world, moms have it worse.

Published in the journal Sleep, the study — conducted by scientists at the University of Warwick, UK — showed that both parents’ sleep duration declines after the birth of their child. According to the study, moms lose one hour of sleep every night until the baby turns three months old - irrespective of whether they are breastfeeding the baby or not. By comparison, dads lose about 15 minutes of sleep per night.

Five tips for sleepdeprived moms of newborns

Representative image. Image by Iuliia Bondarenko from Pixabay

Looking after an infant is tough enough, and when you are sleep-deprived, the challenges just seem to get bigger. Plus, sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease in women. However, with some smart and creative choices, new mummies can reclaim their sleep - and good health.

Be a mom, not a supermom

If you’re a new mom, try to understand that there is nothing you can do about the baby’s sleep patterns - it is natural for him or her to wake up in the middle of the night and cry for food and nappy changes. Seek help, and welcome it when it comes from people you can trust. Ask your partner or other family members to take care of the baby so that you can get your share of rest. Remember, your partner or another family member can change diapers just as well as you can. And if you pump milk before you go to bed, they can also feed the baby.

Take in the morning air

Taking good care of your baby means that you take better care of yourself, too. Be alert and active. Don’t hang up your walking shoes; put them on and head to the park. Walk a little, stretch a little, bask in the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. This will calm your mind and keep the anxiety at bay.

Say hello to me-time

Return to your hobbies with a passion, even as you take care of your baby. If you are on maternity leave from work, keep yourself engaged by picking a new skill or reading more books. Of course, this is not to say that you have too much time on your hands now. If anything, time seems to fly in between feeds and diaper changes. That’s why it’s important to steal about 20 minutes at a time — three, four, five times a day — in-between naps, feeds, and nappy changes, just for yourself.

Sleep when the baby sleeps

Your baby will not adjust according to your needs, it’s you who will have to follow their schedule. So, put away your to-do list and get your forty winks while your baby sleeps. These 15-30 minute naps will relax your mind and energize your body. Of course, this is not at the cost of your night-time sleeping.

No caffeine, please

Sipping on a hot cup of coffee or tea may sound like a good idea to help you relax. But limit these to one cup a day. Coffee contains caffeine, and caffeine keeps you up. The extra sips of coffee can cost you a few precious hours of sleep.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please visit https://www.myupchar.com/en/disease/sleep-deprivation

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