If there's one thing that pregnant woman are told time and time again, it's to sleep now because once the baby is there, there won't be much time for sleeping. It might sound like a cliche at this point that moms might be tired of hearing it (no pun intended), but parents definitely have to get used to a change in their sleep patterns during the newborn stage.
New moms head into motherhood knowing they're going to feel pretty exhausted all the time, but there are lots of things that they can do to feel better. All hope is not lost. Here are 10 ways that moms can combat postpartum fatigue so they can feel like themselves again.
10. Take A Walk
There isn't much that a nice walk can't fix. This is especially true when you just had a baby and need to feel like the "old you" again.
Mom Junction suggests that moms go for a walk because, as we all know, getting some movement does combat exhaustion. As the website says, "Walking every day with your baby lets you get some fresh air, and the movement helps you both sleep better. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate exercising for 150 minutes/week leads to happier moods, healthy heart and lungs, and improved energy levels." Plus, getting outside will help you connect to the outside world again.
9. Food And Water Are Key
We all know that it's tough to eat healthy when we're exhausted. That's why pizza and other junk food (particularly the salty stuff) are so attractive to us when we didn't get enough sleep the night before. That green salad and salmon combo we planned for dinner aren't so interesting after looking at pictures of pizza on Instagram.
According to Education.com, it's a good idea to focus on eating healthy and drinking water during this time. They say, "Your mind's in baby mode, but it's important you take care of yourself—you'll be in a better position to take care of your bundle of joy." It's also recommended that new moms don't eat sugar, which can make us feel more tired.
8. Dad Can Help
Sure, new moms want to take care of their new babies and be there for them in the middle of the night, but trying to do everything by yourself is one way to be super exhausted postpartum.
Mom Junction suggests allowing dad to be of help, especially during the night: "If you are breastfeeding, your partner can help you with changing nappies and dressing the baby while you get some rest. If it is formula feeding, you can divide the duty of feeding the baby."
This is a great reminder that asking for help is always a good thing; you're not a bad parent just because you're asking for help.
7. Get Some Rest
We know that babies won't always sleep through the night, and that can be tough on a new mom's own sleep schedule. If her baby is sleeping well right now, though, she can take that opportunity to focus on her own shut-eye.
According to Baby Center, making it a point to rest more is going to combat postpartum fatigue. They suggest heading to sleep when the baby has, or even switching shifts with your partner so that it's equal. Not every new mom wants to take a nap when their baby naps, but even if you don't want to, you could still take it as a chance to rest. You'll definitely feel better.
6. Don't Forget To Shower
Everyone knows the amazing feeling of being tired and then taking a shower. It may seem like a simple thing but it really does change how you feel.
Education.com suggests that new moms take a shower because it can help them feel better and less tired. They say, "It's easy to stay in your pajamas all day, but you'd be surprised how jumping in the shower and getting dressed can refresh and give you new energy."
New moms who are at home all day with their baby might wonder how to take a shower, so the website suggests putting the baby in a bouncer just outside the shower door. Mom can continuously poke her head out to make sure the baby is doing fine.
5. Cleaning Up Can Wait
It's exhausting to even think about all the things that have to be done to make our homes look neat and tidy all the time. Cleaning the kitchen (not to mention every other room in the house), washing dishes, putting away laundry... It's too much! It's even too much to do when you don't have kids.
Very Well Family recommends that new moms don't focus on cleaning up right away. Allowing a mess to sit until you're ready to clean it up is a great way to combat postpartum fatigue. They say, "If you don't have any help, let the housework go for a while. You can catch up when you're feeling up to it." You hear that, moms?!
4. Be Careful About Socializing
It's obvious that friends and family want to see the new baby as soon as their born, but that's a good way of making a mom even more tired than she already is. Instead of being surrounded by 10+ people at a time, she should be resting with her baby; getting in the groove of parenting.
Baby Center suggests that new moms don't say yes to every invitation that comes their way. They say, "And remember that it's perfectly fine to tell even your family or the best of friends that you're just too tired for a visit or an extended stay right now." The publication also suggests that it's fine to take a nap or relax a bit when friends and family eventually do come over. Since they're watching the baby, you can catch some Zzzs.
3. Don't Ditch Your Friends Completely
At the same time, it's still good to keep up with your social life because you'll feel better and happier being around adult stimulation. Socializing a little will definitely be something that can help combat postpartum fatigue and help you feel like yourself again.
Unity Point puts it perfectly, "You might be a mother, but you might also be a wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc. Spend time with other adults to help you keep your other identities as a person. Hire a babysitter every once in a while to allow yourself to let loose and have fun with other adults and ultimately help you be a better mom."
2. This Could Help
New moms know that they have to try and sleep when they can. They have to get outside for a walk when they can, eat a quick meal without an interruption, and remind themselves to drink plenty of water. But there is something else that might also help...
Have you ever heard of brewer's yeast? It turns out that this food could actually help new moms feel less tired. And since new moms are trying to find their own rhythm, why not give it a go? As Very Well Family says, "This nutritional supplement is used to help fight fatigue and the baby blues. It is also believed to increase the supply of breast milk."
1. Get Out
The final (and arguably the most important) way for new moms to feel less tired and more like themselves is to get out of the house. I know home is safe and cozy — but you need to switch up the scene from time to time.
Of course, new moms are going to be spending a lot of time at home but going grocery shopping or just getting outside can do so much for your mental health. As Unity Point puts it, "Avoid monotony and stress by switching up your days and completing other tasks when you feel up to it."
New moms are always going to be tired from time to time, but these 10 tips are a great starting place for feeling more like themselves and getting a bit of energy back.