Congratulations! You may be pregnant, or maybe you just had a baby (and lucky you actually have time to read this)! There’s no feeling more incredible than when you’ve just had a baby. So why don’t you feel wonderful all the time?
Dealing with Stress of New Baby
Well, even the best events in life have stress attached to them. Having a baby is exciting for everyone. You’ve had company practically from the moment of delivery. If you’re a first-time mother, hospitals don’t give you very much help or advice; they send you home with this new little creature with an array of demands that you have to interpret. And new babies sleep a little. At least not long enough to allow you to get some much-needed rest.
Hormonal Changes After Giving Birth
Add to that the hormonal changes in your own body, and you have a formula that’s guaranteed to be stressful. Sometimes you think you’ll never get a full night’s sleep again. Until the baby settles into a routine, you probably won’t!
Lack of Sleep and Rest
There will be days when you bring the new baby home, you think you’ll never get to sleep again. In the meantime, try to get some rest and sleep whenever you can. The baby won’t be sleeping through the night for several weeks, perhaps months. While she’s adjusting to the schedule of night and day, you won’t be able to sleep through the night until she does.
Until she’s sleeping through the night, try to sleep when she sleeps. Many new mothers try to do everything at once and start cleaning or doing the laundry once the baby goes down for a nap. You’ll only make yourself more tired if you try to be supermom.
How To Cope With Stress Of New Baby?
To get through those first few weeks and months, here are a few tips to help you get at least a little more sleep.
First, don’t be a supermom. When the baby goes down for a nap, take a small nap yourself. The laundry can wait, and so can the dishes. You don’t need to have a perfect house. There will be time for all that; give yourself a break whenever you get the opportunity.
If you have a good friend or relative to help, by all means, take advantage of that for an afternoon. Grandma would probably jump at the chance to have the baby all to herself for a few hours!
When you put the baby to bed for the night, take some time to decompress and relax, so you have a better chance of falling asleep. Take a bath scented with lavender; put on some soft music and baby yourself a little. Sometimes it’s hard even without a new baby to fall asleep right away. There’s a lot to get used to!
If you can get some help in those first weeks with the cleaning and laundry, by all means, do so. If you can have a friend or relative in order to watch the baby for an afternoon while you catch some much-needed sleep, try to take advantage of that whenever you can.
When you’ve been so busy all day with new baby chores and everything else you have to do to maintain a household, and possibly take care of older siblings as well, it’s hard to wind down just because everyone else is asleep.
Make some routines to help yourself unwind at night. Take a warm bath–not too hot, hot water can stimulate–and play some relaxing music. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, avoid caffeine throughout the day and especially at night. Drink water or decaffeinated or herbal tea. If foods that have a lot of preservatives or sodium can make you jumpy, try to avoid those as much as possible. Try to eat very natural foods, such as salads, green vegetables, fruits, and warm healthy soups.
As soon as you’re able, try to get out and walk for a little each day. The fresh air and moderate exercise will help you and your baby feel relaxed and can help you get to sleep at night.