Postpartum Fatigue and Energy Recovery

Postpartum Fatigue and Energy Recovery

  Autor sursa Babyzone Data: 23.06.2005

Postpartum Fatigue and Energy Recovery

Although sleep deprivation is almost inevitable in the postpartum period, fatigue must and can be avoided. Here are some tips and pieces of advice for balancing energy in the weeks and months after birth.

Fatigue appears to peak at 2-4 days after returning from hospital. Some moms pass through a critical phase from 8-10 weeks after birth, when the accumulated lack of sleep begins to inflict damage. Only 50% of women feel that they have recovered forces at the end of the 6th week, another 25% feel they have got on track after barely six months, which leads to the conclusion that a quarter of new mothers suffer chronic fatigue and lack of energy even after 6 months from delivery. On the other hand, do not forget that two thirds of infants between 6-12 months show sleep disorders.

High level of hormones during pregnancy is largely responsible for sleep disturbances in this period, the phenomenon manifesting in the first weeks after birth. If the difference between the rhythm of sleep of the baby and that of mother's is added to this, we realize that we cannot get rid of red eyes, chills, sweets cravings, lethargy, irritability, difficulty to concentrate and even depression, all associated to sleep deficiency. Luckily there are enough 2-3 consecutive nights of good sleep for the removal of these symptoms.
You should organize your time even before birth so as leisure be a priority. Build up early a network of friends and family members who can assign tasks of the day (cleaning, shopping, cooking and washing) and even infant care.

Set a list of rules to follow:

  • Go to sleep early. When we have to recover sleep it is better to sleep earlier than to wake up later. Try to keep the same schedule on weekends or holidays;
  • Avoid heavy foods, caffeine, alcohol or nicotine especially before bedtime;
  • Watch the moment when your baby sleeps and taking advantage of the break, you can try to take a nap leaving aside any other activity;
  • Continue to take your vitamins and mineral supplements;
  • Organize baby's feeding at night keeping everything you may need at hand: clean exchanges, napkins, a glass of water or a snack for you, a very weak light bulb lamp that you can leave eventually lighted at night, a comfortable chair with pillows, etc.
  • Take a walk outdoors at least one hour a day. Physical exercises are also welcome.
  • Recreation is also important: planning at least one relaxing activity per day (reading, television, chatting with friends);
  • Do not set more than two tasks / duties per day, excepting those needed for neonatal care - ask your partner's help in housework and in caring of the baby and let him fulfill his responsibilities in the manner and pace of it. Instead of criticizing him, let him know that his help makes you happy.
  • If fatigue persists despite all the measures, see the doctor. Responsible for loss of energy can be a possible anemia, a poor functioning thyroid, a potassium deficiency.

Read the English version of this article: Postpartum Fatigue and Energy Recovery