Moms & Sleep Deprivation: 5 Effective Strategies for a Sound Sleep
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels
When a new baby arrives, everyone notices the happiness but not the tiredness that comes with it. In India, there's this idea that taking care of the baby is only the mom's job. People give her the baby when it's calm, but as soon as it cries, it's back to her. It starts with soothing the baby, and before she knows it, the mom feels like she must do everything alone, without any help.
But is this how moms naturally feel, or is it because society expects her to ignore her need for sleep?
This blog is all about moms and how they often don't get enough sleep. We'll explore why this happens: Is it something moms just do? It's about understanding the reasons behind it all and finding ways for moms to take care of themselves while also taking care of their babies.
A study published in the Journal Sleep says that mothers lose out on their sleep for 6 years after the birth of their first child and it’s the worst at three months after birth! Despite the joyful moments that come with motherhood, the challenges of sleep deprivation should not be underestimated.
Sleep Deprivation Among New Mothers
The transition into motherhood can be overwhelming, and one of the most glaring aspects is the severe disruption of sleep patterns. According to studies, new mothers experience a substantial reduction in sleep duration and quality during the first few months after childbirth. On average, they lose about 1.5 to 2 hours of sleep per night! This sleep deprivation can lead to a range of physical and psychological challenges.
The Need for Rest: A Common Misconception
One prevailing issue is the lack of recognition and support for new mothers' need for adequate rest. Family members, well-intentioned as they may be, often underestimate the toll that sleep deprivation takes on these women. The common misconception that "sleep when the baby sleeps" is a panacea that fails to account for the other responsibilities that mothers juggle, making it nearly impossible to follow.
The Baby Bundle of Joy and Responsibility: A Double-Edged Sword
Welcoming a new baby into the family is a moment of unparalleled joy, but it also introduces a plethora of new responsibilities. Newborns require round-the-clock care, feeding, diaper changes, and soothing. The cumulative effect of these demands leaves new mothers with little time for themselves, let alone for sleep.
Stressed and Depressed: The Consequences of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation doesn't just lead to physical exhaustion; it also has a profound impact on mental health. Sleep-deprived mothers are more susceptible to stress, anxiety, and postpartum depression. The hormonal changes accompanying childbirth can exacerbate these challenges, making it imperative to address sleep as a crucial component of postpartum well-being.
Strategies for Maintaining Sleep Amidst Baby Care
Thankfully, there are strategies that new mothers can employ to improve their sleep quality:
Embracing Soothing Sounds: Pink Noise and White Noise
Creating a serene sleeping environment for both mother and baby can work wonders in promoting better sleep. Incorporating soothing sounds like pink noise or white noise can create a calming atmosphere that lulls both mom and baby into a restful slumber. These gentle sounds like the fan running, the sound of a washing machine or there are many Apps that produce White noise. This has got to do with the time the baby was in the womb. The baby is accustomed to hearing all faint noises in the womb, so it gives a sense of security to the child when it can hear it when it is out in the world. They have the magical ability to drown out disturbances and create a cocoon of tranquility, allowing both mother and baby to enjoy the rejuvenating benefits of quality sleep.
Sharing the Load: Partners in Parenting
It's not a solo journey—partners should actively share the responsibility of baby care. Fathers and partners can step in, taking turns to care for the baby during the night. This not only helps the mother get more uninterrupted sleep but also fosters a sense of partnership in parenting. By collaborating to ensure the baby's needs are met, both parents can find balance and moments of respite.
Lightening the Burden: Rallying Support from Family and Friends
In the spirit of communal care, it's crucial for family members and friends to rally around new mothers. Offering assistance with household chores and tasks can significantly reduce the load on mothers, giving them the opportunity to rest and recover. By creating a network of support, mothers can focus on self-care and bonding with their baby, without feeling overwhelmed by the demands of daily life.
From Day One: Embracing Equitable Parenting
A transformative concept that can reshape the parenting landscape is the idea of equitable parenting right from the start. Mothers shouldn't bear the entire burden of child care solely on their shoulders. When parents share responsibilities from day one, it sets a foundation of balance and teamwork. This way, both parents actively participate in nurturing their child, allowing mothers to have the rest they need to be the best version of themselves.
Prioritizing Self-Care: Carving Out Moments of Rest
Amidst the hustle of baby care, it's crucial for mothers to prioritize their own well-being. Taking breaks for short naps or moments of relaxation can recharge energy levels and improve overall mood. By understanding that self-care is not selfish but essential, mothers can better navigate the demands of parenting while maintaining their own physical and mental health.
In conclusion, sleep deprivation among new mothers is a pressing concern that cannot be overlooked. World Sleep Day serves as a reminder that sleep is a fundamental pillar of well-being, and it's crucial to ensure that new mothers are given the support they need to get adequate rest. By acknowledging their challenges, sharing responsibilities, and promoting a culture of equal parenting, we can create a more nurturing environment for both mothers and their precious little ones. When mothers get more rest, they are better equipped to handle the challenges of parenting, exhibit greater emotional stability, and form stronger bonds with their babies.
About The Author:
Dhanya is an impatient inquisitive seeker, content writer and blogger. Dhanya, through her blogs aims to help moms who are raised in nuclear families, aspiring, ambitious, well educated but feel stuck when it comes to parenting!