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5 expert tips to deal with post-natal insomnia

Expert lists lifestyle habits that mothers can adapt to deal with sleep loss after delivery.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : February 3, 2018 4:57 PM IST

Motherhood can be a whole new ballgame that comes with a lot of responsibility and balancing it could be a very overwhelming experience. Most mothers find it extremely hard to balance their new motherhood along with work. Battling time & energy to ensure the best care for your baby and not sabotaging your work life can come with a lot of health complications. The journey of motherhood could be a demanding role but it s imperative to keep an eye out for your health. Sleep deprivation is one of the most immediate changes associated with parenthood. This doesn t mean that your getting less sleep but your sleep cycle is dependent on your baby s sleep cycle.

Waking up every few hours to tend to your baby remains consistent during the first 18 postpartum weeks. This could also lead to postpartum depression and mood swings. Dr Bhawana Mishra,Apollo Cradle, Bangalore shares tips for improving sleep while bringing up a baby.

#1. Take short naps: Mothers must try to get sleep whenever and wherever possible especially for a short first three months. The best time to sleep in overnight or early afternoons when the body naturally wants to sleep. Make sure your surroundings are sleep-friendly, therefore, blocking heavy sun rays with heavy drapes as it makes you easier to go to sleep. Eye masks and earplugs are also a great way to block out loud noise.

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#2. Help your baby develop healthy sleep patterns: Sleeping with babies is another way to promote bonding and regulate both the mothers and baby s sleep patterns. Make sure to choose a calm and peaceful environment where the baby can sleep well. Here are tips for co-sleeping with your infant.

#3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine: Stay away from coffee, tea, alcohol and nicotine for some time can prevent mothers from falling asleep. Nursing moms must limit their caffeine and alcohol consumption. Drinking coffee can mask one s need for sleep and can actually prevent mothers from falling asleep. One cup a day might not be that harmful and alcohol consumption even though may help you fall asleep, it actually increases wakefulness at night.

#4. Get as much help as possible: Assistance is very much required particularly for mothers of newborns. If you are opting for a longer nap hours or sleeping early, someone s help would be very helpful.You could try sleeping in shifts, and take your partners help in tending to the baby.

#5. Deal with the stress: Always consult a doctor if you feel stressed or depressed because these are the signs of postpartum depression. Practice yoga or go for a quick run to refresh your body and activate your nerves. Pilates is also a good option for those trying to get fit and experience calmness. Also read facts about postpartum depression (PPD).

Never compromise on your sleep and consider preserving your sleep the first few months of caring for a baby. You need to strive to do the best thing for your newborn, but remember one of the important facts of good parenting --take good care of yourself so that you can take good care of your baby.

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