Sleep is # 6 on Our List of Ways to Increase Breast Milk
Sleep – Everyone says to get enough sleep, but new mothers find out quickly that no new mother gets enough sleep during those first weeks after the baby is born. The good thing about breast pumping is that dad can feed the baby while you get a few precious hours of sleep.
Sleep is a serious human requirement for survival. Most new mothers suffer from some level of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can cause a wide variety of problems for new parents.
Learning to cope with less sleep requires new moms to take some specific action to avoid the potentially debilitating effects of lack of sleep.
First things first - GIVE UP GUILT! You don’t need to feel guilty for your moods, the cleanliness of your house or anything else for that matter. Give yourself kindness and understanding you need to recover from the birthing experience and all the hormones bouncing around you body, like a computer game malfunction.
· Please nap when your baby rests. You really need to do this to keep up your strength to maintain your breast milk supply and to heal. Too many mothers feel guilty napping. They think they have to catch up on house work. Dust is less harmful than sleep deprivation.
· Go to bed early. Let your partner look after the baby, because you will be up later. Breast pumping moms, let your partner, family, and friends feed the baby as often as possible, so you can sneak in a power nap.
· Do less housework than you did before the baby. This is one of the most difficult things to deal with after having a baby. Only do the important work, and let others help. Say YES when anyone offers help. Cancel visits if you are not comfortable with people seeing your house look less than perfect. Super moms end up exhausted and often sick or depressed; don’t go there. Your body has gone through a lot, be kind to yourself.
· Eat well. This first month is not the time to diet. Your body needs to heal and you are feeding two people. Consuming less than 1,800 calories a day will put your breast milk at risk and will stress out your immune system. New mothers should eat about 2,500 calories each day. The hormones produced by breast milk mothers will help with a slow steady weight loss.
Experienced mothers have learned the art of getting sleeping whenever they can. You and your baby will benefit from the sleep you get. A tired and stressed out mom can have a stressful effect on the baby. This could turn into a difficult cycle.
Give up the guilt! Sleep when the baby sleeps, as often as you can.
Also, if you suspect that you are getting depressed because of sleep deprivation, tell anyone and everyone! Tell your doctor!
Too many mothers try to muddle through Post Partum Depression. This can be very serious. Get help right away, please. We know first hand, just how serious Post Partum Depression can be.