Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Motherhood 101: 10 Tips to Improve Sleep for New Moms

credit to: http://mummynew.blogspot.com/

Sleep is essential and often time new mothers are associated with lack of sleep.
Lifestyle changes, interrupted sleep, lack of routine and high levels of unpredictability led to fatigue that could, at times, be overwhelming and lasted well beyond the first six weeks of parenthood.
As a mother of three, i could say that sleep deprivation is no joke. Lack of sleep will lead to so many consequences including post-partum depression, unhappy family and worse, risking your life.
Thus, these are 10 tips on how to improve sleep for moms especially the new ones.
credit to: http://www.askamom.co.uk

1. Talk about your sleep needs.

Get help from people around you. However, normally in Malaysia, we tend to get help from our own mother/ mother-in-law during the first few weeks after delivery.

2. Use the hospital nursery.

It’s there for a reason -- do not feel guilty. “This is your time to recuperate from birth,” Park says.  “Let a trained professional take care of your baby for the night or two that you are in the hospital.”

However, in the hospitals that exercise "rooming-in" to encourage and establish breastfeeding, you can still use the nursery but make sure that you let the nurses know that you need them to send your baby to you every one or two hours.

3. Just say no to added responsibility.

If you feel guilty about spending less time with your oldest child, you may want to volunteer to go on a trip with his class or take him for a special excursion to the museum. Think twice. “Do not take on any extra responsibilities when you have a newborn at home,” advises Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD, clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

4. Sleep when your baby sleeps.

Any experienced baby nurse will tell you that the key to staving off postpartum sleep deprivation is to sleep when your baby sleeps. “If your baby takes a nap, put everything aside and take a nap too,” Zafarlotfi says. “Everything can wait -- except the baby.”

Park agrees. “It is very tempting to try and do chores, wash dishes, do laundry and clean floors when your baby is asleep. But  accept that your house is dirty and messy and go to sleep because once baby is up,  you have to be up too,” she says.
Do not use this time to make phone calls or catch up on episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, 24, or other favorite shows that you have been recording.
“I don’t care of you have piles of laundry all over the house -- if you are too tired to drive your child to the pediatrician, you have a problem on your hands,” says Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep and the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz.

This is also what i did.

5. Say yes to help.

“Accept any help that you can get,” Park says. “Many people are resistant, but whether it is a family member, friend, or babysitter, accept help, so you can get a few hours of sleep,” she says. “People think of sleep as a luxury, but it is a medical requirement.
“When you do get to nap, avoid television, radio, and looking at your clock so you don’t focus on how much time you have left,” she says. A cool, dark environment is also optimal for napping.

6. Don’t worry that you won’t hear your baby cry.

“A baby is a natural alarm clock and mothers tend to be attuned to their baby’s crying,” Park says. If you are concerned that you won’t hear your baby or if the nursery is far away from your bedroom, buy a monitor and keep it near you. Remember that your baby is safe, and if he cries for a few minutes before you hear him, he will be OK.

7. Outsource tasks.

If your baby takes a bottle, ask your partner to take on some of the feedings. If you’re breastfeeding, says Park, “Consider pumping and giving someone else a turn to feed.” Try to divide up all your household responsibilities as best you can.

8. Keep your eye on the prize.

One day -- maybe tomorrow, maybe when your infant is 8 months -- she will sleep through the night. And so will you. Some babies sleep through the night earlier than others. If your baby is crying all night, talk to your pediatrician as there may be a medical reason -- such as acid reflux or too much gas -- that can be treated.

9. Don’t ignore the baby blues.

Sleep loss can lead to mood changes, and new moms are at risk for baby blues or the more serious postpartum depression. “If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, talk to your doctor to address them,” Park says. Mood changes may be made worse by sleep deprivation.

10. Rule out underlying sleep disorders.

“Short naps should revive you somewhat, but if you don’t feel like they do, see a professional as there may be an underlying sleep disorder that can be treated,” Park says. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea -- pauses in breathing while you sleep -- are very common among people who gain weight, and may develop due to the weight gain of pregnancy. A sleep study, in which you are monitored while asleep, can identify sleep apnea. Treatments are available.

original source: http://www.webmd.com/

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