If you are a mom you know what I am going to talk about. And if you are going to be a mom then you will get to know soon what sleep deprivation is.
Well, for some moms sleep deprivation starts when they have a huge belly, zillion bathroom trips at night, however, some of them face insomnia.
Sleep Deprivation is a REAL thing and it does affect life, sanity, lifestyle and everything in between.
If you are a new mama then be prepared for the middle of the night cries, wakings and much more. Every mom has to face It one way or the other.
My son never liked his crib. He co-slept with me and he used to wake up about 5 to 6 times or maybe more at night and there are days when he would wake up just twice or thrice and that is a TREAT for me.
He still wakes up even when he is 2.5.
On the other hand, my second one was a good sleeper but as soon as she turned about 9 months she started hating her crib too and she was waking up every 15 minutes. There could be many reasons for babies to wake up frequently during the night.
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If you are a new mom or expecting a baby pretty soon, I highly recommend you should at least know how to manage your newborn sleep for at least the first 6 months that are toughest for new moms. No matter what kind of sleeper your baby is, this NEWBORN SLEEP EBOOK has everything you need to know about putting your newborn on sleep track from day 1.
What does sleep deprivation do
Everybody is different in their sleep habits and how their body is adjusted to their habits. If moms do not get the required amount of sleep their brains and bodies have trouble functioning right.
It makes mom Cranky
Moms get cranky just like kids do. They get edgy, temperamental and tend to react negatively towards kids.
Sleep deprivation makes Moms Stressed out
Moms do get stressed out because they need rest and unfortunately, they are unable to take proper rest. Stress is taking a toll not only on a mom’s emotional and physical health but also on mom’s sanity.
Drowsiness is real
Drowsiness can be really dangerous when you have a newborn. Try not to doze off while you are breastfeeding your newborn. Keep your newborn safe in your lap or use a nursing pillow for proper support.
During my stay at the hospital after my C -section, the nurses on duty made sure that I managed to put my baby in a crib after nursing or before taking a nap. Nursing while being drowsy could be fatal for the baby. That is why it is always a good idea to have someone/partner with you for a few days unless your routine settles down.
Unenergetic and feeling Lethargic
Even though you have only a newborn or you have tots or preschoolers, you need to be energetic to fulfill their needs and demands. Sometimes you got to play with them most of the time. No matter what you have to do, you need energy and if you are not sleeping well, your energy is surely be compromised.
Affect your parenting style
If you are sleep deprived, you can’t parent the way you want to. You just can’t deal with tantrums and sometimes you tend to surrender to your kids’ unreasonable demands. You literally can’t practice what you preach.
Due to sleep deprivation, a constant amount of stress and fatigue does not allow you to be with your kid(s) mentally, physically and emotionally. You can’t interact with them the way you should.
Lack of attention
Sleep improves your concentration ability and lack of sleep does the opposite. You can’t really pay attention to what you have to do. Due to a night of interrupted, non-relaxing sleep, everything seems to be jumbled up subconsciously. Your lifestyle gets affected and sometimes it is not even safe to drive as well.
Stress is the root cause of most of the health concerns. It affects your quality of life when you don’t feel good about your health. Legs cramping, dizziness, body aches, the foggy brain could be a cause of sleep deprivation.
Well, unfortunately, you can’t do much about your sleep deprivation while your kids are babies or toddlers for a few years in the beginning. However, you just have to learn how to manage your sleep deprivation and parenting simultaneously.
Once you are a mom your uninterrupted sleep is gone forever but once your kids’ night schedule or sleep schedules settle down, you can sleep better and on some lucky nights there is the slightest chance of uninterrupted sleep for at least 4 to 5 hours.
Although, 8 hours of sleep is considered ideal for moms. But this is not possible for a few initial years of parenthood.
1.Understand Newborn sleep from the beginning
The OBGYN recommends 6 hours of sleep is a must for moms’ minds and bodies to function better right after having a baby (postpartum) which is considered to be the most sleep-deprived time of motherhood.
Newborns tend to wake up every one to two hours for feedings and they get hungry faster due to small stomach size.
Newborns do not need sleep training for the first several months. However, at the same time, you do not want to switch your baby’s sleep clock altogether and not being on a schedule. Every baby is different but you need to remember, you need your fair share of sleep to function and take care of your baby. And that is possible ONLY if you do not make sleep mistakes with your baby.
In order to get that minimum essential sleep, try to nap when baby naps. It’s the most common suggestion every mom gives to the other but trust me, in the beginning, it’s really important for your mind and body to function.
Sleep and food, for a mom, are the two most essential things during the time of postpartum care. If you are unable to function any better how would you be able to take care of your baby 24/7?
3. Nap when you have the help of your partner or anyone around
If you have help during the day or night, feel lucky and snooze whenever you can manage. It will improve your performance in multiple folds.
4. Try to be in bed early at night when the baby sleeps
For the beginnings, try to be in bed once your baby sleeps. Your work can wait once your baby will come out of the newborn stage and he or she will transition to an age of infancy.
If you have two under 2, twins or multiples, the series of sleep deprivation is not over anytime soon. Both of your kids are babies, their sleep schedules are going to be disturbed either because of teething or some random seasonal allergy. Whatever be the case, you have to be strong and patient.
6. Reduce /avoid using cell phones or gadgets when close to bedtime
I understand how much ME TIME is important for your sanity but take my word for it, at the beginning of your motherhood your sleep is even more important. Cut down your gadget time and sleep when your baby sleeps. If you spend time on your phone unnecessarily, this will eventually affect your baby’s time when you have to be there for him/her. Babies do demand undivided attention.
7. Avoid Caffeine intake or Tea close to bedtime
Avoid taking caffeine close to bedtime. You can take tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks during the day to stay active. When my second one was born I had to take tea at night to stay awake and alert with her because I had to follow her schedule as well as my older one.
Try to get your sleep debts whenever you can manage while everything else can wait. It’s okay if your house seems messy. Try to be there for your kids when they need you in the best of your emotional and physical state. Trust me your sanity means a lot.
Sleep deprivation is going to be there from time to time whenever your kids have sleep regression, teething, sick nights, night terrors, and much more.
9. Invest in a Rocking chair for mom and baby
The rocking chair is something you need while you are breastfeeding. It is a must-have essential for baby nursery or you can place it where ever you want in your house.
This is the one I have with Ottoman and it has been the best thing. To soothe a crying baby, you can shush her in a rocking chair. You can also relax and feel much better with legs elevated and a sleeping baby on your chest.
You have to take care of yourself too. You are as precious as your baby(s).
Just hang in there Mama, this too shall pass. Remember – things do get better with time.
If you are a first-time mom and you are struggling with your food choice you should make healthy alternatives because once you deliver your baby, your postpartum diet starts making a difference right away. It is not a good idea to start eating everything as you were while pregnant. Actually, now you are not eating for yourself only you have to keep your baby in mind too.
Either you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section delivery, you need to eat healthy and nutritious. For C- section moms internal healing is very essential as well as external healing. Eating healthy would ensure faster emotional as well as physical recovery.
The postpartum diet for moms, especially breastfeeding mom, has to be really healthy, nutritious yet simple and easy on your digestive tract. Although it is not backed by any scientific research rather it is based on the experience of many moms that their diet would affect their newborn’s stomach as well (I have had the same experience) which would eventually lead to fuss and uncomfortable nights.
These are simple food suggestions for staying physically and emotionally healthy.
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Healthy Postpartum Diet for C-section Moms
Oatmeal is very nutritious and healthy food for breakfast. Oats are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. They have the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too. Eating oatmeal in any form like oats cookies or porridge can be really helpful in the lactation process.
Even a bowl can be very filling which can actually help you lose weight. Oats can actually help in relieving constipation which is a major concern after delivery. However, oats are an essential part of the postpartum diet for new moms.
For breastfeeding mom, these lactation cookies work great to establish a good milk supply in the early days. You can get lactation bites and put it in your hospital bag for a smooth breastfeeding experience.
4. Iron Rich food | Red Meat and Green leafy vegetables
An iron deficiency can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a newborn baby.
If you had a C-section or you have been anemic throughout your pregnancy, you definitely need iron-rich food or iron supplements.
Red meat and green leafy vegetables like spinach etc. are a good source of iron.
If you are a vegan mom, you should have spinach and other leafy greens, dried fruits, kidney beans and black beans, tofu, seeds, nuts, soy milk, and fortified breakfast cereals for iron intake.
5. Bone Broth | Soup
Bone broth is a great alternative to solid food. It has all good nutritions and it is super hydrating for breastfeeding moms.
You can make bone broth by using any type of organic Bone-in meat. Add water and let it cook for few hours until the meat gets tender. You can add, a few cloves of garlic, cumin seeds, salt and pepper or any other seasoning as per your taste. You can use organic chicken legs, bone-in mutton or lamb meat to make bone broth.
This should increase your milk supply, and bowel movement would become more regular.
6. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with the whole nutrition of essential vitamins and minerals. Eat fruits and green leafy iron-rich vegetables like avocado, apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, spinach.
7. Brown Rice and whole wheat bread
Brown rice is a great alternative to cut on carbs. It will help you losing weight yet keep you full and full of energy.
Whole wheat bread is a great source of Folic acid. Folic acid helps in baby’s brain development not only during pregnancy but also even while breastfeeding.
Folic acid works as one of the mood boosters for me. It really helps positively in emotional as well as mental health.
Your body needs good fats and Desi ghee has way more health benefits if consumed moderately.
Water intake is the most essential part of hydration. You have to drink as much water as you can to have your milk flow get better and your bowel movements could get better. If you feel dehydrated you are at risk of energy draining dehydration. To keep your energy levels and milk production up, make sure you stay well-hydrated.
Cut down on caffeine intake because caffeine can cause irritability in newborns sleep.
9. Milk and Yogurt
Milk and yogurt are a rich source of calcium . as your baby’s bones get strong, more calcium you need for your bone health. You have to have a dairy intake (you can choose low fat or whole milk).
Watch out for any signs of lactose intolerance in newborns.
Keep all healthy snacks at your side table within your arm’s reach Dates Almonds Walnuts Raisins (please keep an eye in case of any allergy signs)
12. Supplements /Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins are really important until you choose to breastfeed. Some essential vitamins that can help you with depression or anxiety and vitamin B complex are one of them. Eat food that’s a rich source of vitamins B.
Calcium, and magnesium are essential vitamins for muscles cramping or bone health. Your baby has already been taking his share of nutrition from your body since you conceived and now when you have delivered a healthy baby, he/she needs food from breastmilk thus, you have to eat in order to meet your baby’s food requirements.
Take Vitamin B rich food because vitamin B really helps with moods, anxiety, depression. In short, it is essential for emotional health as well. Nursing moms need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12.
Folic acid is one of the mood boosters for me. It really helps positively in emotional as well as mental health.
After a C-section, eating gassy vegetables can actually bloat you so bad and it becomes extremely painful in your stitches depending on how your metabolism works. Gas could also affect your baby’s night sleep. Your baby might get restless because his tiny stomach is getting used to of what you are eating. So, try to be gentle with your food choices.
You might want to avoid eating veggies like Cauliflower, kale, broccoli, okra, legumes, chickpeas for a couple of weeks.
2. Fried food or oily food
These type of food can be equally discomforting just like gassy vegetables. It can give you heartburn, discomfort, and bloating in your abdominal area.
Oily food is one of the main reasons for the weight increase.
3. Spicy Food
Hot food can delay the healing process in-case if you have a c-section delivery. It can cause heartburn, acidity, digestive discomfort. For about 2 to 3 weeks postpartum you should avoid eating spicy food.
These are some postpartum diet suggestions, I followed them too. You should enjoy food unless you choose not to feed but be wise in your food choices, try not to overeat, and walk as much as you can.
Word of caution: Please watch out for any form of allergies from dry fruit, nuts, and dairy products. Some babies tend to be lactose intolerant. Please talk to your doctor if you see anything unusual.
Are you near your due date? You probably are wondering about postpartum essentials for faster and better recovery in case if you have a scheduled C-section.
Postpartum is a most critical time when you have a baby at hand and you are sleep deprived, and trying to recover from major surgery. Everything seems so overwhelming.
Ideally, if you have a scheduled C-section then you should know about the postpartum essentials checklist you are going to need once you deliver. Also, you must know what you are going to need at home when you will have no help around and you are all by yourself.
During this postpartum period, you are alone with a baby and struggling to cope up with this new life altogether, as a new mom should know what to expect and what you need.
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Postpartum Essentials Checklist for better recovery
Here is the postpartum essentials checklist for moms to recover faster and better. These recovery must-haves would help you feel more comfortable with a baby.
1. Postpartum Clothing
Pre and Post delivery gowns for mom
Gowns look so cute and also they are super comfy during your hospital stay for delivery. Whether you have a vaginal or C-section delivery, you can wear gowns pre or post-delivery as you prefer.
You can also get matching baby swaddles and gowns that is perfect for photographs. Besides, your hospital stay, you can also wear it at home while you are recovering, and staying comfy whatsoever.
Nursing shirts – a nice comfortable, nursing shirt is a good option. Your life will be much easier wearing not too loose or too tight shirts after delivery. Your 7 months’ maternity clothes can fit in easily right away but it will take a couple of weeks to get back in shape.
Cardigans- You may want to have cardigans or coverups in case you have visitors. You can even wear them on your hospital gown.
Comfortable trousers -You definitely need to have a loose band trouser in case you have C-section delivery.
A nursing cover– You might want to have a nursing cover with you at all times while you are outside if you choose to breastfeed.
Nursing bra – A well-supported nursing or pumping bra is a must-have once you have your milk flow. I recommend using the wireless bra at all times for more comfort even if it is not a nursing bra.
Undies – Stocking up on a few large size undies would be a great idea. Keep a couple of body-shaper undies if you are going out or have to dress up for an occasion.
Post-C-section underwear for scar treatment
For post-C-section recovery, new moms may want to have C section underwear for scar healing. This scar treatment underwear would help provide belly support and helps moms get in shape faster.
Postpartum Disposable Underwear
Moms get postpartum disposable underwear from the hospital when they deliver. These underwears are super soft and comfy for C-section moms as well as for vaginal delivery moms. While coming home, you can bring some home with you.
It is your choice if you are going to stock up on breast milk, or you are going to supplement formula as well.
If you are a working mom or you are exclusively breastfeeding, you can use an electric breast pump. It will help you stock up on breastmilk and freeze it for future use. Most likely, your insurance company is going to cover the cost for the electric breast pump depending on the plan you have.
Breastfeeding moms may use a manual or an electric breast pump, but there is Haaka Silicon Pump that is a must-have for breastfeeding moms who are on the go or nurse on demand. Haakaa is very effective in saving milk that leaks away from the other breast while nursing and it also helps with engorgement.
Normally, not every mom needs to have a nursing pad for the most part. However, If you experience heavy milk flow then you must carry nursing pads with you to avoid visible leakage marks on your shirt.
Latching is the first thing you have to do once you deliver a baby (only if you choose to breastfeed your baby). Let that be a vaginal or a C-section. The fact about C section is, since it’s not as natural as vaginal delivery so for that matter, the milk flow takes time to set in. You have to struggle to latch your baby on your breasts, more sucking is equal to more feed.
First, colostrum is produced which is a yellowish fluid, very healthy for your baby. Then milk flow starts in a couple of days. In this whole bonding process, the breasts get dry, itchy, they might even bleed for a couple of weeks. The pain and discomfort are real.
A belly belt is a must-have for new moms. Most of the hospitals in the US provide a belly belt if you have a C-section. You can always ask a nurse about it.
Belly belt helps in providing support on your postpartum, jelly-like belly. It will help your postpartum belly pooch shrink faster after delivery. However, you can order a postpartum belly belt online that may work better for you .
6. Heating pad
Postpartum abdominal cramps are painful, thus, you might need a heating pad to ease abdominal cramping.
7. Prescribed medicines
Moreover, If you have a C-section delivery, you have to take pain medication, Motrin, Tylenol, every 6 to 8 hours or a stool softener every day. Watch out for any sign of infections after delivery.
Unfortunately, if you ever get an infection in your wound or vaginal stitches you have to call your doctor immediately.
DO NOT USE tampons especially if you have a vaginal delivery and if you have sensitive skin, you can use organic pads
9. A Water spray bottle or Portable bidet
During your visit to the hospital, nurses give you a small water bottle to clean all that post-delivery blood down there when you deliver either vaginally or via c-section. The purpose is to clean.
You can have portable bidets that are available online, or you can install a hand-held bidet to wash after every bathroom trip.
It is certainly a must-have.
These hand-held bidets are so easy to use and hygienic. A handheld bidet is a great option for moms who are following natural ways of parenting like cloth diapering, etc. After installing this in your bathroom, it would be easy for you to wash your baby’s soiled diapers.
10. Stool softener/ organic rose water for constipation
Yes, constipation is real during postpartum. For that reason, you have to have a stool softener after delivery.
In addition to that, you need to drink plenty of water even though you are taking stool softeners.
Also, if you want to try natural ways of relieving your constipation I highly recommend you drink about half a cup of rose water every day until you get regular in your bowel movement. Rosewater is a healthy alternative to stool softeners and it helps you feel so much refreshed and light.
11. Prenatal Vitamins
Your prenatal vitamins are as necessary during postpartum as was during pregnancy as long as you choose to breastfeed. Once you wean off your baby or you are not breastfeeding, you must take regular multivitamins for the right nutrition.
12. Healthy food
You will surely be going to need a lot of healthy food, snacks. Eating a healthy diet is essential that helps improve milk supply for a breastfeeding mom.
New moms need healthy snacks – like dates, figs, almonds, etc for the breastfeeding sessions or late-night munching.
However, you need to watch out in case your baby shows any signs of allergies due to nuts. Some babies, if not all, tend to throw up a lot or have an allergic reaction to nuts, chocolates, dairy products, etc.
Hydration is the most important thing pre or post-delivery. You should drink plenty of water preferably at room temperature.
15. A Good Read or a Good Watch
If you like reading a book, you should have a Kindle Fire with you to unwind all that exhaustion while you are nursing or when the baby is asleep.
To be honest, once you have a baby at hand, you definitely have to take time out for yourself so your body and mind could relax. This unwinding process will help you function so much better.
If you want to watch a good drama series, it will be a great relaxer in a couple of weeks after postpartum because you won’t be interested in anything right away unless you settle down with everything with your baby and other chores.
C-section or Cesarean delivery is a surgical procedure to deliver one or more babies. C section is different than a vaginal delivery. It is performed in case if a mother or a baby is at risk like if there is twin pregnancy or more, breech baby, high blood pressure, or problems with the placenta or umbilical cord.
Post-C-section delivery needs a lot of care to recover faster internally and externally, both.
I have had two C sections 19 months apart to be exact. I was fortunate enough to have a great surgeon. I recovered super quick after my C-section deliveries as my nurses at the hospital gave helpful instructions for quick healing.
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C-section Recovery tips to heal faster and better for new moms
1. Sleep and rest
In my experience, I could hardly sleep in the hospital at both of my deliveries. You really have to sleep whenever you can. Once you have a baby it is not easy to fall asleep without worries.
Life has changed already now.
You have to feel healthy, well-rested in order to take care of your baby. Sleep whenever you can because once you have a new addition to your family, you tend to get visitors out of love to see your little one. Eventually, you get more tired and exhausted due to sleep deprivation and guests all day.
However, if you are not physically or emotionally ready to take guests, you may want to delay visits for a few weeks. It all depends on how you feel in your postpartum period.
Some women need more sleep to function properly. At the end of the day, you are the one who is going to take care of the baby besides all that daytime help (if you are lucky enough to have). So you have to take care of yourself first.
Once my baby was out, they stapled me. Voila!!! That’s it …. No medicine to apply. Once my catheter was out I could take shower the next day which was much needed. Also, in just about three days the staples were removed.
The scar heals on its own, you don’t have to apply anything unless it is prescribed by a surgeon. This does not mean that you are not vulnerable to any kind of infection. You really have to watch out for any signs of blood oozing out, infection or swelling.
You may have your partner keep a close eye on your stitches. If you see anything concerning, seek professional advice right away.
3. Pain Medication
Painkillers, like Percocet, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen will be prescribed. Although medicines are to be taken 6 to 8 hours depending on your pain level also you can skip it if you do not feel a need for it.
Make sure your legs are not hurting too much because you might end up having a clot so to deal with that they have very soothing leg pads that ensure blood circulation.
Once your catheter is out you have to go to the bathroom by yourself and you have to actually start walking. Walking is really essential to healing fast. Don’t overdo it.
Sometimes legs start hurting as a consequence of an epidural or spinal you get for delivery. If your legs keep hurting once you get home, you can get compression socks to ensure your legs are not giving you a hard time along with new mom struggles.
5. No Heavy Lifting
Do not pick anything heavier than the baby. If you have a toddler, do not hold her out of emotions for at least 2 weeks. Please DO NOT PICK older kids up for at least two weeks.
Your body from inside takes a while to heal. But heavy lifting and not resting may cause an “umbilical hernia” and you might end up again in the hospital for another surgery. In adults, too much abdominal pressure could cause an umbilical hernia, in case you have multiple surgeries back to back.
6. Wearing Belly belt
Hospitals provide you with belly belt after a C-section. It is highly recommended to wear belly wrap, it will not only help you with a lot of support around your abdominal area but also it will help you get in shape by shrinking your abdominal muscles quickly.
7. Avoid stairs
Avoid going up and down the stairs for at least two weeks. If you really have to depend on your house configuration, room, bathroom, and kitchen location, then be careful to do it once or twice only if you think you are ready also your body is ready to handle this.
After delivery, it takes about 3 to 5 days to have a milk supply right away. For both of my deliveries, it took a couple of days to get the right amount of supply. This made my babies lose more than 10% of their birth weight, so I had to supplement to meet their eating requirements as per the pediatrician advice. Always consult your doctor.
If you are a first-time mom and you are planning to breastfeed it is always a good idea to have a lactation consultant help you how to latch on your baby. It seems really easy but some babies are hard to latch on. Hospitals offer a lactation class at the hospital for new moms. Those are really helpful.
Place a pillow in your lap to elevate baby for nursing, so you don’t have to bend on to your baby rather bring your baby on a reasonable height and position to nurse.
You definitely going to need some stool softeners. They give you these in hospital but you have to keep having them for about 10 days unless you get a regular bowel movement. At my first delivery, I had to take it for more than a month. But the second time it was just about three weeks.
I highly recommend Colace Stool Softener tablets.
However, drinking rose water would help you a lot with constipation.
11. What to eat and what not
It is always advised to have a soft whole-grain kind of food post-delivery. This will help in milk supply as well as your bowel movement would be less painful if you have a vaginal delivery.
Wait, did anyone tell you that when you have a c section delivery you won’t be able to feel your abdominal area for about six months at least?
Well yes, the reason why your nerves get slashed so it will take more time to get all those sensations back.
Coming back to food – drink a lot of meat broth or veggies broth (if you are vegetarian).
Boil eggs, oatmeal, salt, and black pepper spiced minced meat, bone broth. Take as much soft food as you can. It would help you heal better and your intestines would thank you.
Well if you can’t have all those things, eat whatever you feel like eating.
Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your baby at this point in time. Do not take it lightly. It may take more time to recover/heal internally and externally than in vaginal delivery. A healthy mom can take care of her family in a better way.
Hi -I am Madiha, mom to two beautiful kids. Here you can find helpful tips about pregnancy, postpartum, newborn care, toddlers and product reviews. Join the tribe and let’s grow together as moms. Enjoy having kids while they are still little and more fun.
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