No doubt, after nine months of pregnancy every woman feels exhausted. Unfortunately, the delivery of a baby is not the end of the road but only the beginning of a new life called “maternity”.
A lot of responsibilities lie on your shoulders as soon as the baby comes out. You will constantly be concerned about the baby’s health and wellbeing, about breastfeeding, your own health, schedule changes and adjustments plus the housework, the cooking, the being a good wife.
There is A LOT to handle. And don’t forget, you have just given birth, so the fatigue is what comes natural after that. While it all may seem daunting and too much to cope with, there are some sure-fire ways to cope with postpartum fatigue and feel more energized throughout the dat while you take care of the newborn.
Help your body
After the delivery of the baby, your body may need some help to successfully overcome difficulties of the post-pregnancy period and return to its shape.
Here are some useful tips.
Continue Taking Your Prenatals
During the postpartum period your body needs external resources to recover and stay on a healthy side. Vitamins can be this external help. I took this amazing raw prenatal complex from Garden of Life. You can consult a doctor on what supplements your body needs.
It may take a few blood tests to identify the deficiencies. However, the most common recommendation is to continue taking a prenatal complex and maybe add up on ferrrum, since it usually drops quite significantly after the delivery.
In any case, consult your health care provider to get the recommendations on most suitable and safe vitamin complex.
Stick To A Healthy Well-Balanced Diet
A healthy diet will be good both for you and your baby. It will improve your milk supply and give you enough energy for breastfeeding. A heathy diet may also help you restore your deficiencies along with the vitamins.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS: BREASTFEEDING DIET GUIDELINES
Drink Enough Water
If you breastfeed and drink little water, you are risking to become dehydrated. You may also experience unpleasant symptoms of constipation and your milk supply can drop significantly. So, water it is!
Go For A Walk
This study claims that even a ten minute walk outdoors has a significant effect on improving symptoms of fatigue. It was also found to raise the mood. So getting some fresh air somewhere in a park will be a good thing for you and your little one. It will definitely improve your mood and give a boost in energy because you are finally out of your room!
I know what you think. Believe me, I am a mom too!
- When do I find time to exercise?
- I’m freaking exhausted, how do I start exercising at all?
I have the answers. The best thing about exercising is that you don’t need to overindulge yourself into something way over your physical abilities to get the positive effect on your fatigue (like go to the gym or do the HIIT workout).
Short and moderate exercise will do the trick. And when I say short, I totally mean it. Fifteen minutes of moving your body in a way you feel comfortable will be just enough to keep you more energized. Make a daily routine. Include it into your schedule (you have one, right? If you don’t – make one). Remember that it will take time for your body to adjust. I started feeling more energized after two weeks of daily exercises.
And if you don’t believe me, you can’t doubt the science. This study shares that regular, low-intensity exercise decrease the symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion by 65%.
Cut Down On Sugar…
…and all the refined carbs!
Sleep Whenever The Baby Sleeps
Sleeping fights off the fatigue – no brainer! Getting some quality sleep (even if it is just a short nap) is the most common advice in terms of battling with exhaustion. Yet the least followed one. Of course, you are tired during the day, so why don’t you take a nap with your newborn? It will contribute to establishing a strong connection between you two and will make you feel better.
Do It Tomorrow
Sometimes simple things like cleaning the house or doing the dishes are too hard for a new mother who takes care of a newborn. It happens to everyone, especially when there is no one to help. And it’s okay. Leave your housework for tomorrow and do it when it feels right for you.
Ask For Help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Everybody needs help from time to time, especially a new mom. Talk to your partner and ask him or her to do some cleaning while you are with the child or ask your friends or relative to look after your baby while you are out.
Don’t play a superhero trying to do it all. It will only add up on your exhaustion. When somebody offers you help, don’t reject it. Accept it. With clear instructions. For example, you may ask your friend to bring some homemade food. You may ask you friend or relative to come over and help you wash the dishes, do the load of laundry or simply stay with the baby while you take a shower.
When You Should Worry
Extreme fatigue and exhaustion that is difficult to fight off is a warning sigh. If you feel tired soon after you wake up this might have come further than just postpartum fatigue. Call you doctor and consider to run some blood tests to make sure you don’t have the following conditions:
- Anemia (or low ferritin levels – CBC, serum iron, ferritin)
- Hypothyroidism (TSH, T-4, Anti-TPO)
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (Vit D, B-vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, iodine – are the most essential ones to be checked first thing first)
- Check your gut health (because when our gut is out of balance all our body is, including the nervous system)
All these things may cause the feeling of over-exhaustion. They may also be the reason for the baby-blues and postpartum depression.
Consult your doctor to exclude the conditions mentioned above or treat them properly in case you are diagnosed with one (or several).
What about you, mama?
Did you feel exhausted after giving birth? How severe was it? How long did it last? I would love if you share your tips and tricks to fight postpartum fatigue in comments below.