ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The advice that pregnant women hear all the time is, “you better get sleep now!” But nothing can really prepare you for the daily sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn that has to eat every two hours. One study found that more than four months after a baby is born, mothers were still dangerously exhausted. So what can you do about it?
With a new baby come feelings of utter joy and crippling fatigue.
Suzi Gaiser, a mother of a new baby, said “We had suffered for like, oh gosh, four or five months because we thought this was being parents.”
But it doesn’t have to be. One of the keys to avoiding postpartum sleep deprivation is to sleep when baby sleeps. One study found that even a 30-minute nap restored hormones and proteins that are lost after a poor night of sleep. Another way to improve your sleep… breastfeed. One study found that nursing mothers got more deep sleep, the kind that heals muscles and repairs the body. That is thanks to the growth hormone prolactin, which spikes during breast feeding. Researchers also found that new mothers who don’t have a lot of social support, get more sleep. When friends and family come over women feel obligated to entertain. So you may want to hold off on guests. And at the end of a long day when baby finally sleeps, don’t jump on the computer, watch t-v or play on your phone before going to bed. Science has shown that these devices emit a blue light that stops your brain from releasing melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep.
“You can be a parent, you can be a new parent and you can get sleep, like it makes you so much better as a person.” Gaiser shared with Ivanhoe.
It is recommended that you start sleep training your baby at the age of four months. It sounds young, but according to the American academy of pediatrics, at this stage your baby should be able to sleep through the night, up to 12 hours, without feeding. And, in most cases, your baby is still young enough that they are not yet dealing with teething.
Contributors to this news report include: Jessica Sanchez, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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