Postpartum exhaustion. Physiological exhaustion. Fatigue. Anyway you describe it, it means the same thing and is just as serious. Simply put, it’s the physical and mental exhaustion post-childbirth, even many weeks after, that leaves you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck. Whether you are the new mom to baby #1 or baby #3, it is a huge adjustment trying to fit a newborn baby into an already active life.
How to Cope with Postpartum Fatigue
Baby A was not my first, but she has proven to be the most difficult. Not in her personality, which is the sweetest, silliest I’ve ever seen in a baby, but in our experience with her. The trips to the doctors, the blood tests, the medicines, and over four months later we still have no answers. I know I am not the first mom to experience exhaustion but when family members express their concern you know it’s not just run-of-the-mill fatigue.
Making sure you take your vitamins is essential. Remembering to take them is difficult, but you will feel better. If you are tired and breastfeeding, your body is working so hard to produce the milk it is essential you make up for it in your meals and vitamins. Do you sometimes feel too tired to eat? That’s when a nourishing smoothie is a good idea. Check out this page for a list of healthy smoothie recipes. Also, Nettle Tea works wonders for postpartum moms, because it rejuvenates, creates a calmness, and it increases breastmilk production! You can brew nettle tea alone or drink it in an herbal tea mixture like this one from Earth Mama Angel Baby’s PostPartum Recovery products. The Monthly Comfort Tea is designed to ease postpartum symptoms with the nettles and other healing herbs. The tea is so good, even for a non-herbal tea drinker like myself!
“When you sleep, but wake up feeling tired, it’s important to work on getting better quality sleep. It may mean that you wake frequently either due to your baby’s frequent wakings or on your own and aren’t getting enough time into those deeper levels of sleep. Calcium/magnesium and minerals in general help the body have a deeper sleep experience.” Mamashine.net
Some Healthy Foods for Postpartum
- Dried fruit
- Low-fat cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Trail mix
- Raw veggies and hummus dip
- Whole-grain crackers
It makes sense to stay home as much as possible when you have a newborn, but sometimes it is just not possible. If you have older kids that have to get to school, or you have nobody to help out with the errands, it is imperative that you drive your car and carry your baby around in her carseat. But make sure you are rested enough for driving. Driving a short distance may not reveal any symptoms of drowsiness, but long-distance driving, even a half-hour away, can be life-threatening. Have someone else drive the car or wait until you’ve had enough rest.
Drowsy driving is a serious occurrence and one that many people don’t realize they are doing. Imagine driving down the road and suddenly realizing you don’t remember the last few minutes of your trip or what signs you passed? What if you are driving and suddenly a car is honking because you unknowingly are veering into their lane? We never think these things can happen to us but the only way to prevent it is to be prepared.
60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy
37% admit to actually having fallen asleep
at the wheel in the past year
Here are some signs that you should not be driving:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable
From the national sleep foundation at drowsydriving.org
What steps do you or have you taken to heal yourself or someone else during postpartum?
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