In an earlier blog post here on AmyTreasure.com, we talked about our experience of losing sleep with the arrival of a little one in the house. Our experience isn’t new. Most, if not all new mothers experience sleep deprivation, especially within the first six months after giving birth. Fit Pregnancy cited a study which revealed that parents with children six months old or younger only get about 1-3 hours of sleep on a nightly basis, less than half of the required eight hours of sleep that adults should be getting.
While many mums take it for granted that having a baby means getting less sleep, the problem lies in the fact that they are not just subjecting themselves to being drowsy throughout their day, they are also making themselves vulnerable to a variety of problems. These include health-related concerns such as a weakened immune system, higher blood pressure, and a greater risk of contracting diabetes and heart disease.
BellyBelly.com.au cites reasons why new mothers should sleep better. Aside from being more alert in order to be able to take care of the baby and do other tasks, getting enough sleep will also help them produce adequate milk for their child. Furthermore, sleeping better will make mothers less prone to diseases as well as injuries, given that sleep deprivation makes a person more prone to accidents. Enough rest will also mean that mums are less cranky, which can be a relief a huge relief for everyone involved.
Granted, it might be very challenging for new mothers to meet the same amount of sleep that they had before they gave birth, or even before they were pregnant. After all, they do need to care for and feed their babies. The problem is that many think that they should put their own health at risk in order to do so, which can be a dangerous mindset to adopt. That is why some health care experts are recommending that they should instead strive for good quality sleep, and focus less on quantity. An article on Leesa talks about how energising good quality rest is no matter how short it may be, saying that this can be more helpful than spending time in bed tossing and turning without getting any sleep.
Parents.com has a list of suggestions to help new parents get enough rest. Aside from recommending getting an extra pair of hands to help feed the baby so that mums can get some sleep, the article also pointed out the value of napping. For a lot of new mums, they use their baby’s nap time to do chores around the house, thinking that they need to use that period of time to be productive. What they may not know is that resting can also be a productive way of using their time, especially in the long run. A report published by Family Education said that mothers who stay healthy after giving birth are those who sleep when necessary, and not just when it’s bedtime. Mums can take naps at the same time as their baby. By taking time to get some sleep whenever and wherever they can, mothers can get the energy they need to better care for their children.